It's that time of year again! Spring is, well, not exactly upon us but slowly working its way towards being a thing. As we start to prepare for warmer weather the words "spring cleaning" get thrown around a lot. I feel like there is often so much talk about spring cleaning your life without a lot of helpful advice about how to do it. I tackle my closet at many points throughout the year (because clearly I buy too many clothes and require more frequent clear outs) but if you're looking to embark on a cleaning mission somewhere, your closet is a great place to start. Here is my guide to getting your closet in order, broken down into five simple steps. If I can do it, so can you!
First things first, before you even open your closet you’ll want to make your bed and pick everything up off of the floor. Sorry if your bed is made and your floor is clean already! I just assume that if your closet is as messy as mine you have not yet completed the necessary steps to prepare you for the Austen style of closet cleaning.
Next, take everything out of your closet. Place clothing on hangers in neat piles on your bed and the contents of your drawers and any shoes and accessories on the floor. Taking everything out will help you see all of your clothing and also the physical space you have to work with. Here’s your opportunity to locate any pieces that may have fallen on the floor, any broken hangers, or dust bunnies that may be lurking in your closet so you can start with a blank canvas.
I like to group pieces by category once they’re all out of the closet (long sleeve tops, slogan t-shirts, sleeveless tops, etc.) so they’re all in one place. As I do this I make notes to myself that I like to keep in mind as I shop in the future like “I can never get enough black, long sleeve tops in the winter, I should keep an eye out for more variations of that style” or “Why did I buy an almost identical version of these pants that I already have?” I feel like this not only helps me organize things in the moment, but also trains me to be a better shopper.
Then I go through each item and try to remember the last time I wore it. If I can’t remember when I wore it last, I try to remember what I loved about it when I first bought it. If I still want to hang on to it even though I never wear it and don’t know what I liked about it, I put it into a “maybe” pile. I go back to the maybe pile after everything else has gone back into the closet and often the amount of space I have left helps me make a decision. For anything that I’m ready to part with I put it aside in a pile that I later separate into a Salvation Army pile and a Poshmark pile.
Finally, I take everything that I am keeping and put it back in the closet, organizing it by color and then item type. Usually when I’m deciding on an outfit, I think of colors that I want to wear so this is the most helpful way to organize everything for me to make sure I can find what I’m looking for. My drawers each contain a different item and I try to keep them grouped by color as much as I can— though admittedly drawers are much harder for me to maintain than hanging racks.
Photographed by Nikki Fraser
Shop this look:
How do you spring clean your life?