By: Page Olsen, Summer 2017 Intern
I don’t know about you, but summer is an excellent time for me to catch up on some chores that I have neglected throughout the year. One of those chores is deep-cleaning my closet. I don’t mean simply putting clothes away, organizing my closet, and getting rid of the occasional sweater that is unraveling. I mean purposefully going through each piece of my closet and deciding whether it is adding value to my wardrobe or simply taking up space.
Maybe you’re like me and are a bit of a clothing fanatic. I myself am not ready to go down to an itty-bitty capsule wardrobe. However, there are serious benefits to deep-cleaning your closet.
Your closet will seem less overwhelming // Have you ever walked into your full closet yet felt that you have nothing to wear? Sometimes the visual of the sheer amount of clothes and the clashing of colors and patterns prevents you from matching outfits and finding what you need.
Staying on top of laundry will be easier // Having an abundant wardrobe allows for the procrastination of doing laundry and ultimately leads to a larger pile of clothes to be washed in the future. With less clothes in your wardrobe, doing laundry will become less of a daunting task.
Keeping your closet organized and tidy will also be easier // Sometimes it is far too easy to let our closets to become messy and unorganized. Shrinking your wardrobe will make organizing easier and cleaning a simpler task.
Convinced of the benefits? Here is a simple method for deep-cleaning your closet. First, make sure that all of your laundry is clean and that you have all of your wardrobe in front of you to properly assess. Next, start to make two piles/sections: one pile to keep and another to go.
In the pile to keep should be the clothes that you wear on a regular basis, neutral pieces, and a couple of accent clothing articles. Keeping more versatile pieces than bold pieces allows for more outfit arrangements. I suggest keeping your wardrobe somewhat color cohesive to make picking out outfits easier. Great articles of clothing to keep in your wardrobe are ones that can be layered and worn throughout the seasons. Also keep an outfit or two for fancier occasions; just because you do not wear that dress frequently does not mean you should get rid of it.
However, do not keep an excessive amount of clothes that you aren’t wearing. The stuff that you should be removing from your closet includes not only the hopelessly stained items or things that don’t fit, but also the articles that you never wear because there are things in your closet that you’d rather wear instead. Extra T-shirts and jeans that may look cute but sit at the bottom of the pile need not be kept. Don’t be afraid to get rid of the items that you say you will one day “make it work.” For example, I bought a pink velvet off-the-shoulder top over the winter. It was on clearance (no returns), I thought it was trendy, and I had never tried an off-the-shoulder top before. After wearing it once, I learned that pink velvet matches with very little and that off-the-shoulder cuts are not exactly flattering on me. However, I have been hesitant to get rid of it in hopes that I will find some miracle article of clothing to match it with and somehow look good. I have not found that miracle piece. At the end of the day, I know it’s time for that top to go.
So, you have sorted through your clothing and put away the “keepers.” Now what? Instead of simply throwing away your rejects for them to sit in a landfill, consider these options:
Give to a second-hand store // By donating your clothes in good condition to a store such as Goodwill or Salvation Army, you allow others to enjoy clothing that would otherwise just be sitting in your closet.
Sell on websites such as Poshmark, ThreadUp, or even over Instagram // I personally resist getting rid of clothes because I do not like the idea of having wasted money. In order to make some of your money back, you can resell clothes that are in good condition. Some cities even have physical clothing exchanges where you can sell your clothes to them in person.
Repurpose the fabric // For clothing articles that are stained, unraveled, or ripped, try using the fabric for a creative project. Not only is it recycling, but you can save yourself some money on home decor by making your own creations.
Host a clothing exchange event // Get a bunch of your friends together, have them bring their unwanted clothes, and throw a party! If you find yourself lacking in neutrals, exchange some of your extra wildly patterned pieces with a friend who has too many gray T-shirts on her hands.
Though deep-cleaning your closet can take time, the result is rewarding. Let us know if some of these suggestions helped you deep-clean your closet and take a step towards simpler living!