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Seven tips for cleaning out your closet

Feb 04,2018 - Last updated at Feb 05,2018

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Jessica Pruitt

Fashion Blogger 

Whether you’re a packrat or a minimalist, cleaning out your closet is a job and a half. All those decisions, all those trousers you have to try to squeeze yourself into, the new layer of clothing carpeting your bedroom floor… Fortunately, you can clean out your closet and even keep it that way with these tips!


How to get started


Ever since Marie Kondo published her take on all things organisation, closet cleaning experts have been recommending that you start by removing absolutely everything from your closet. If you have not cleaned out in years, this is a solid approach. It forces you to evaluate every item, rather than just skimming off the top, and gives you the chance to make your closet shiny and new (no more dust bunnies, lost socks and T-shirts from your university days hiding out behind your winter coats).

If you have moved on to the “maintenance” stage of closet organisation, instead remove any items you do not feel 100 per cent sure about keeping and pile them onto your bed. If you need some extra motivation to clean out, go shopping! It is easier to let go of the items you no longer love when you have some great new pieces to replace them with.

Use it or lose it


This is my personal favourite method for cleaning out your closet. Start by pulling out any items you are on the fence about — whether they’re in the never-worn-it, bored-of-it or forgot-I-had-this category. Hang them on a curtain rod or shower rod or tie a scarf on the hanging bar in your closet to set apart your maybes.

Over the next week, challenge yourself to wear each one of these items. Try mixing them up by adding a belt, a layering piece, or even just wearing a different pair of shoes. Best case scenario, you come up with a bunch of interesting new outfit combinations and discover some new go-tos. Worst case scenario, you kind of dislike your outfit for the day. But hey, even this is a win because you will be able to toss the offending item in the giveaway pile without hesitation.


Get your friends involved


It’s no secret that we all get by with a little help from our friends, so when it comes to cleaning out your closet, do not do it alone! Invite a group of your closest friends over to help. Have each person pick out their least favourite item in your wardrobe and style it into an outfit. Then, do a runway show of these looks, first setting your friends up with sharpies and paper so they can vote Olympic ice skating-style.

The scarf method


To get a head start on your cleanout, tie a scarf onto the hanging bar in your closet. Then, every time you wear an item, hang it back up on the other side of the scarf. This is a low maintenance way of figuring out which items you actually wear.


Ask yourself 

tough questions


Now for the fun part. Turn on a playlist of your favourite tunes and start trying clothes on. For each item, consider the following questions: 

1. Does it still fit? If not, get rid of it!

2. Have I worn it in the last year? Be real with yourself. Unless it’s a special occasion item, you probably will not wear it if you have not put it on during the year.

3. Is it still my style? You’re constantly evolving, so why should not your closet follow suit? Be honest with yourself about whether or not you will actually wear this item again. Style it into an outfit so you can get a real sense of how you will wear it.

4. Is it damaged? If so, will you actually repair it? Or will it sit in a “fix me” pile for another year?


Give your 

closet some love


Now that you love everything in your closet, treat the space with some well-deserved respect.

•Store everything in plain sight, since you’ll be more likely to wear items if you can see them. This means no more overcrowded dresser drawers!

•Hang lightweight items and fold heavy items like sweaters and denim on open shelves in your closet

•Invest in some nice new hangers — either wood or slim velvet ones. Using a set amount of nice hangers is a good way to limit yourself. When you run out of hangers, you know it is time to clean out again

•Separate your clothing into categories like casual/weekend and dressy/workwear and sort by colour


Sort it out


Once you have decided on the pieces you are going to clean out, sort them into three piles: sell, store and donate. You can try to sell any items that are still in relatively good condition at Store any items that are out of season and that you do not plan on wearing within the next three months. Everything else can go in the donate pile to drop off at your favourite non-profit.



Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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