Fashion writer and two+seven guest blogger Morgan Gray offers her tips and tricks for the ultimate closet cleanup.
Boy, has it been a long winter, and am I looking forward to getting my spring rituals started. Usually I dread spring cleaning, but now that this winter is—hopefully!—coming to an end, I’m relishing every chance I can to shake it out of my closet. Together, I think we can come up with some great ways to revamp our wardrobes and shine in the spring sun!
1. Try everything on.
I know, I know. This is exhausting. But what I do every year as spring is starting to come around is take one afternoon and just get down to business. Cancel your appointments, treat yourself to a nice dinner afterward, and spend a few hours in your closet. As you go along, be harsh—it’s the only way to parse down your closet. Ask yourself, “Does this still really suit me?” “Do I still wear this color?” “How long have I had this?” I’ve read someplace that you should go with the two-year rule: if you’ve had something two years and haven’t worn it in that time, give it up—solid advice, though hopefully something hasn’t been hanging sadly in your closet that long! Appraise everything and know your own style, though it may have changed since you bought those bright pink strap wedges!
2. Sort, sort, sort.
I recently came across this cute closet organization checklist from RedEnvelope, which inspired me to develop a strategic method to my madness. As you go along, organize your clothes into different piles. I usually start with three piles: Keep, Donate, Discard. It’s pretty straightforward, but can be difficult! Easiest is the Discard pile; I only throw things in there that are utterly beyond repair. Deciding what to give away, though, is definitely harder. As you go along, be generous: are you really going to wear that again, or could somebody else enjoy it? Those baggy dresses that were so in a few years ago, for example, are going to be a few in my “Donate” pile—well, maybe I’ll keep one or two! Make notes of the things that you have that you can mix and match—it’s okay to be nerdy and write out your outfits!—and make a shopping list for items you still need. Looking into my closet now, I see a few cute cardigans I haven’t worn in a few months that could do with a nice orange or red tank top. I rarely go to the mall without a specific plan, and after months of hibernation I could stand to treat myself to a few essential outfit items!
Finally, what you don’t keep, discard, or trade away to your friends (consider a clothing swap!), donate to a good cause. There are a lot of statistics about the tons and tons of wasted clothing rotting in landfills, so let’s not contribute to that. When you look at your Donate pile from your closet, sort it further: what needs to be washed? Repaired? Don’t give clothes that are dirty or broken—that’s just rude! Perform any small repairs yourself if you can, and hand in clothes as fresh as possible to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. There are bound to be local shelters in your area that would be happy to take your clothes; I know there’s a women’s shelter near me that I regularly take my used clothing to, and I know they give them straight to the women they help. When you clean your closet, you can also clean your conscience!
With a method and a little patience, you can certainly spruce up your wardrobe and make room for that very-well-deserved summer dress!
More about Morgan: Morgan is a writer-at-heart from New York with a degree in Communications. She’s currently looking to devote more time to her own blog over at www.graygabbana.com, and to connect and share with online communities.