Spring Cleaning: Wardrobe Edition

As the snow melts away and the skies clear up, something in us starts to see the clutter of our dorm room/apartment/house. So we clean, we donate what we don’t want, and then our eye turns toward our closet. It’s finally time to bring out those sleeveless frocks and sandals that we’ve been waiting to wear since last summer, or finally time to buy them. So we open our closets to see just what we need to be well-dressed for spring, and come upon piles of clothing from winter, a few spring-y things we picked up in end-of-summer sales the previous year, and a vast array of warmer weather clothes that just aren’t our style anymore. Rather than get too overwhelmed and end up shoving a bunch of clothing in boxes to be sorted later, use these tips to clean out your closet this spring.
First, take everything out of your closet and dresser. Everything. Put it in piles on your bed, and choose a pile to start with. Glance over it and pull out anything you know you never wear and immediately put those pieces into the donate pile. Now that you have such a pile started, it will be easier to add other pieces to it later.
Next, systematically go through every pile, trying pieces on. Check for fit, style, and color. Donate the items that you don’t want but that are still in good condition, and toss out those that are just too worn out or are ripped.
At the same time, figure out which other pieces go with the item of clothing you’re trying on. If what you have on only goes with one or two things, then consider whether or not you’re willing to buy other pieces to go with it. If you aren’t, then maybe it’s time to donate it, even if you haven’t worn it that much. It happens to us all—just move on, and remember that next time you’re about to buy something that can’t be worn very often.
Hopefully at the end of this, you have narrowed down your closet to just the items that you know you’ll wear and love. If you have a large donation pile, then do your research carefully—don’t just dump it off at the nearest clothing-donation site. There has been some controversy lately about clothing donation, so be careful. Know that your old clothes are going to someone who can really use them. I try to find a group that donates to specific families in need (so, a smaller organization) or I give them to a family in my area who could use the clothes for their children. I feel much better about donating and getting rid of those clothes (since it really is hard to tear yourself away from some pieces!) when I know that they’re going to someone in need.

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