I once read a quote from a highly questionable source that Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen archive all of their clothing they ever wore and revisit it when they need design inspiration. We know that fashion goes through cycles and that my closet is not big enough to archive my black Steve Madden platform sandals from the 90s, so I envy the Olsen’s mythical collection of spaghetti straps and jean jackets covered in iron-on patches. Since I am not so fortunate to hoard my life’s wardrobe for the sake of fashion, I’m forced to perform the regular person’s ritual of parting with my clothes. Here are 10 tips for cleaning out your closet and, sometimes, saying goodbye:
- Get the right hangers. Because I’m slightly neurotic, I purchased white, plastic hangers and recycled the dreaded metals. RIP.
- Before eliminating anything, organize all of your clothing by type. I’d like to say this is for aesthetics, but organizing your closet by clothing type allows you to grab and go when you’re late for work in the morning.
- Go through your clothes one by one and be aware of your immediate thoughts. If you touch a shirt and question its existence and why its creator was hired in the first place, take it out of your closet and start a donation pile immediately.
- If you haven’t worn something in the past year, you know what to do.
- Build a wish list. If you spot a pair of pants that would look SO GOOD with a pair of glitter heels, but you don’t own one, write it down. At the end of the purge, you’ll have a nice list to start your scavenger hunt.
- Shine and protect your leather boots, spray sneakers with some stain remover, scrape the gum off the bottom of your shoes… or don’t, whatever.
- Iron your clothes. (I’d say do this in your spare time, but that would just be rude because what even is spare time?) Wrinkle-free clothes look fresh and feel new. I also find ironing to be incredibly calming and instantly gratifying. It’s the little things, right?
- Organize your purses. But, more importantly, look through those zipper pockets for ancient treasures. You are guaranteed to find one lipstick, pen or pack of gum. If you’re like me and hated high school chemistry, you may or may not find a folded note… triangle style.
- Know that if you give away half of your closet, you will need to replenish it somehow. If you’re cool with thrift and vintage shopping, the task is easy. If not, get ready to do some serious sale hunting.
- Lastly, invest in a free standing clothing rack. If your closet is like mine and is so full you can’t see all of your clothes, you can pull a few items you’re currently feeling and display them on the rack, like I did in the photo above. Instant organization and inspiration.
Tell me your tips for peaceful closet purging and any rookie mistakes you’ve made. Happy cleaning!