Spring Cleaning 101: Start With Your Closet

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Home Improvement

We know—it’s not easy to get rid of clothes, but think of it as making more space for pieces that fit you better, and feel great about donating items that can really help out those in need. 

Start 2019 out on the right foot and learn how to clean out your closet to invite more style in.

Before your closet cleanout day arrives, there's a few items you should definitely get your hands on.

Donation Bags
Try to avoid throwing clothes in the trash. Not only are clothing items one of the biggest source of landfill waste and greenhouse emissions in the world, there are absolutely many people on Cape who could use some new clothes for free or at a thrift store price! Donate anything that’s clean and hole/tear/stain free to a women’s shelter or non-profit secondhand store of your choice. Things that are not in good enough shape to be worn can often be cut up for household cloths or even composted, if they’re made from a natural fiber. You get the idea- maybe don't throw it immediately in the trash, there are better places for most items.

Here's a list of places to donate clothing and household goods on Cape Cod.

A Date
Decide on the day you’ll be tackling this project in advance, and mark your calendar—that way, you won’t be tempted to reschedule for brunch or lounging on your couch (or if you're like me, sleeping all day.) Carve out at least half a day (be honest with yourself- maybe you'll need a full 8 hours if you are the kind of person who buys clothes instead of doing laundry). You’ll need food breaks and time to breathe. So plan accordingly.

A Friend
Do you have a friend who’s also a shopping buddy? If so, try to get them to help you with this project. You’ll need someone to help you be decisive, knows your lifestyle and what you need to wear for it, and can help you stay strong when making those difficult decisions. Make sure to keep them happy with caffeine (or wine?).


Now for the hard part. You can’t do the organizing part without purging the stuff you no longer wear. When you’re rushing in the morning, or getting ready for a night out on the town, you don’t want to be rifling through pieces you’d never wear. At the end of this process, your closet will ideally only be filled with pieces that are stain-and-tear-free, fit you really well and look great with lots of other things you own.

How to decide what to keep 
When making these tough choices, ask yourself these questions about each piece:

How does it make me feel? (If its not "great" or something similar, you can probably let it go.)
Do I love the way I look wearing it?
Is it in good shape? (No holes, tears, stains.)
Does it go with my overall style vibe?

You wouldn’t keep a friend around who made you feel bad. It’s OK to hold on to the occasional item for sentimental reasons, but for the most part if you're not wearing it regularly and feeling great while wearing it, you gotta ask yourself "What am I really doing here?" 

How to decide what to ditch 
Here’s what to ask yourself before you make the final call:

If a piece doesn’t play well with the rest of your wardrobe
If it has any cosmetic problems
If it’s in need of repair or only exists to make you look schlubby around the house. 

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET
Are you ready to acheive closet nirvana? Now is the time to channel your inner interior designer, and organize your closet to perfection. (Or just, you know, arrange things so they stay neat and you can find them.) 

Hanging space
Divide your clothes into categories to save time when getting ready. First separate by type (layering tanks, tops by sleeve length, skirts, shorts, pants, dresses, sweaters, and coats) and then by color (light to dark). Excessive? It’s not! Put in the extra effort to save time in the long run. Invest in slim, non-slip hangers for your tops, bottoms and coats. Then, arrange everything so it faces the same direction. This not only saves space, it gives you an overview of what you have. It also gives your wardrobe a clean, color-focused look.

Shelves And Bins
If you find you can’t hang everything, spend some time schooling yourself in the art of folding, and store easily foldable items like sweaters on shelving. To keep your shelves organized throughout the year, learn how to fold for optimum space-saving—it makes all the difference. If you have enough shelf space for bins, they are great for corralling smaller items like underwear, socks and scarves.

Here's a handy guide for how to fold ANYTHING.

Drawers And Folding Space
Lucky enough to have built in drawers in your closet (or a dresser)? While it’s fine (even advisable) to use drawers for socks, underwear and t-shirts, with a little imagination you can use drawers for storing jewelry and other accessories. Look for actual jewelry organizing trays, or get crafty and nestle small, open-top boxes together in a drawer to hold your favorite baubles, belts and beads.

You'll eventually want to, I guess, get out the mop and broom, and clean the rest of the house this Spring. But why not do something for yourself that will make your life so much easier, neater, and even help people in need on Cape Cod? Oh, and let us know when you're done with your closet so you can come over and do ours next!