Out with the Old: Closet Cleaning

Tips and Tricks to Cleaning the Clutter

So lets be honest, on some level we all hate cleaning and there is always going to be that one specific cleaning job that we do not want to do and will find a million and one ways to avoid doing it until we can no longer put it off.

For me, that is simply cleaning out my clothes that I no longer wear. I have tried so many times to live by the rule that you cannot buy anything until you get rid of something. But my justification for keeping something is always one of the following:

  1. “I just haven’t found the right top/skirt/pants to wear with it!”
  2. “Well so and so gave that to me.”
    or the infamous
  3. “I wore that to such and such. I will wear it again one day.”

Yeah those are the largest lies in the world of cleaning out a closet and will cause the clutter to grow even more! Now occasionally it happens where lies one and three actually become truths and you randomly find the perfect top/skirt/pants or you buy something that you will wear to more than one event. It does happen! I have a beautiful red dress from Ralph Lauren’s Lauren line of dresses as well as its counterpart in black that I try to find every excuse to wear! They are such comfortable dresses and definitely my favorites.

Time Limits

So it does happen that you find the right things to put together a specific outfit sometimes. But it is definitely not worth waiting on. I have been there, and I have done it. Definitely trust me when I say it is not worth it! And if you are going to do it, give yourself a time limit! A time limit to find the perfect thing to pair with it will make things all the better for you to break free of the clutter. This is a practice I am going to try to live by this year so that I am not cluttering my closet or dressers up with clothes I do not wear because I do not have the finishing pieces to put an outfit together.

The idea is that you have, for example, six months to find the right pair of colored jeans to go with that cute top you got for spring/summer. If you cannot find it, the top gets sold or donated! Heck if you have a friend that is your size in clothing that you might know would A) wear it and B) has the perfect pair of pants to wear with it give it to them as a Birthday/Valentine’s present! It works out for both of you because you get rid of the clutter and they get a cute outfit to put together!

Get Rid of What You Do Not Wear!

I cannot preach the above more than ever! I legitimately went through my t-shirt drawer this last week while cleaning and got rid of a handful of shirts because I simply do not wear them anymore! Granted some of them were concert t-shirts that are being saved for a giant t-shirt quilt made up of my aunt’s, my mom’s, and my own concert t-shirts so keeping them stowed away in a waterproof tub is okay! But if it is not a t-shirt that is from a concert or it is not a shirt you would want to pass on to your kids one day (I have plenty of these!), then it gets tossed in the sale or donate pile. If it is in pretty much excellent condition, I suggest trying to sell it. If not, then definitely donate! Another option is to re-purpose them into rags to use around the house.

As far as your closet goes, try to think of your everyday staples that you know that you wear. If you have worn it a minimum of two or three times within the last calendar year, then it stays. If you have only worn it once or not at all, then put it in the sale or donate pile. I have really been trying to live by this rule since I started attempting to faithfully clean my closet out every so often, but it is hard!

No one said this would be uber easy… Because it definitely is not. I mean I have cute tops I have not gotten the chance to wear just because I work all the time. So I have really cute outfits that I cannot wear out because I do not get to go anywhere!

The Shoes Can Go Too!

We are not just talking about cleaning out your clothing. You know that pair of shoes you never wear? Oh you know the ones I am talking about. The ones that you fell in love with at the store but have never felt quite right about pulling them off with an outfit once you got home? Get rid of them! They are just as much a part of your wardrobe as your clothes are.

Get rid of the shoes you do not wear. Follow the same rule I mentioned for clothing. If you have not worn them or have only worn them once, then they are gone. If you have at least worn them two or more times, then they get to stay and you can re-evaluate during the next closet clean out!

Set up a clean-out schedule

Doing this once a year does not help when you switch seasons. I fully believe in cleaning out when you switch your clothing out for every season. If you do it as you are pulling everything out, then it makes it a bit easier on you. If you know that you did not wear something during the last season, then toss it.

One Thing In, One Thing Out

Okay now this rule can be semi tricky. I have struggled with this because dang it I cannot stop myself if I find something that I can pair with a million and one things! I have two tulle skirts that I purchased – one from Francesca’s and the other from Tara Lynn’s Boutique – that I try to wear with anything and everything I can pair them with because they are so comfortable and so much fun to wear!

My justification for buying them was that I had taken a lot of clothing out that I plan on getting rid of. So therefore it was okay to purchase them. I have struggled with this rule, but it takes time to get into the habit of saying “What do I not wear that I can take out so that this can replace it?” But right now, I am pretty much thriving on the front of not purchasing any more clothing.

To be honest accessories are not exempt from any of the above. If you have purses or jewelry that is seasonal and you happen to like to buy more, then I highly suggest doing clean outs of them as well. Sometimes it is really hard to let things go, but it is always worth it in the end.

I wish you all the luck in your closet clean-outs my friends! Hopefully it will be an experience that makes you feel amazing!