I am the kind of girl who genuinely has post-it notes tacked to the inside of my closet and on cupboard doors reading
‘Ashleigh, you are a hoarder!’
I have them all over the apartment to remind myself to stop collecting crap. Up until I moved out of the family home and into my first place three years ago, the concept of spring cleaning my closet was just something hilarious my mum talked about each year.
But, since space got tight and I realised that the voice inside my head telling me I need all the clothes and accessories i’d collected over the years probably wasn’t as friendly as I once thought, I’ve adopted the annual clear out as a much-adored tradition.
If like me, you can’t bear to get rid of your beloved clothes/shoes/beautiful-wonderful-things, then these tips will surely show you how to Spring Clean your Closet, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
As with any project, preparation is key! Clearly mark four boxes: RECYCLING; CHARITY; RESELL; STORAGE.
Then you’ll need to mentally prepare yourself because what goes into these boxes will not be coming back out!
As in, time to evacuate your closet. But don’t go crazy, empty it out one section at a time, whether it be shelf by shelf, draw by draw or ten pieces at a time. Taking everything out all at once will only overwhelm you and you’ll lose your patience with the process, or worse, run out of time and throw everything back in at the end of the day leaving your wardrobe messier than it was to begin with.
Lay out each section as you take it out and look at each piece individually before deciding which box it’s going in to.
Be brutally honest, and be ruthless! If you haven’t worn it for two years, get rid of it. If it’s two sizes too small, stop torturing yourself and get rid of it. If you’ve never worn it and think you never will, let it go.
WHEN TO RECYCLE:
- If you’ve loved it a little too hard over the years and its falling apart, it’s time to find a new love. Sad but true.
- If it comes from your lingerie draw.
- If it is marked or stained – I can’t tell you how many bleach/coffee/nail polish stains I threw out!
- 5% of the waste in landfills is textile waste. People forget they can recycle old clothes, shoes, linens etc.
Do your bit to help reduce that 5% and receive a £5 Gift Voucher for H&M in the process when you take a full bag of textiles for recycling to any of their stores!
WHEN TO DONATE TO CHARITY:
- If the piece you’re holding is still in good shape and has plenty of wear in it.
- If it was passed on to you from a friend and you’d feel bad throwing it out – soothe your conscience by doing some good with it.
- If it holds enough sentimental value but it’s time to let it go.
- Remember, if isn’t fit to resell or you’d be embarrassed to lend it to a friend it’s usually not fit to donate!
WHEN TO RESELL IT:
- If you bought it on a whim and it hasn’t yet seen the light of day (or partied a night out) it probably never well!
- If it’s a trend piece or unwanted gift that could contribute towards your rent – my rent has been paid many times with the help of never worn designer boots and bags!
- This is a Do-or-Don’t kind of step. If you do decide to put anything on Ebay, then do it on the same day! Take photo’s as you go if you can as this is the most time-consuming part of the process and it’s far too easy to leave things lying around until you get around to it. If you’re a procrastinator, don’t bother!!
WHEN TO PUT IT INTO STORAGE:
- You love, love, love it and will 100% wear it again…next season!
- You know it doesn’t fit but you can’t bear to let it go just yet – you can always have another swing at it next time around.
- It holds deep sentimental value and you don’t intend to let it go any time soon, storing will only keep it out of sight but not out of mind, it will be waiting for you any time you need it.
- I love to rotate my closet, I have pieces in there that I welcome back every winter like old friends, I call them my old faithfuls because they never fail to look great or lose style points. Putting things into storage is a way to rotate your closet easily and maintain space year-round.
I opt for vacuum storage bags every time and living in a small apartment with another girl, space is precious! We pop ours into empty luggage cases – since they’re taking up room anyway they may as well be used!
If you can get all of this done in a day, you deserve a whopping great treat! It doesn’t have to be more clothes to fill the newly found space in your closet (although you can do that now that you’re the master of rotation), it could be as simple as a night in with a face mask on and glass of wine to relax after all of you’re hard work.
For me, at home I am the clutter bug while Kalegh is the neat freak, so I get a serious sense of accomplishment when she walks in and instantly notices the improvement. I’m still having the wine though.
I can’t wait to know how you get on with Spring Cleaning your Closet and if you have any tips of your own to add the pot then share them too!