Even if it’s not spring, take a moment to familiarize yourself and organize this hidden space
It’s the weekend, and in the quiet moments of a Sunday you’ve decided to de-clutter your home, not only for the aesthetics of it, but also for the relaxing and lulling sense it will provide when you’re finished. You’ve vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, organized your jewelry and makeup, but you’ve overlooked one space: your closet. Even though we see it daily, our closet is often a chaotic hidden space and last on our to-do list of tidying. Perhaps your closet is starting to look a bit like Carrie Bradshaw’s, or you simply haven’t had the energy to tackle it. Closet purging can be overwhelming and stressful, but it can also be exciting and calming at the same time. By eliminating items you no longer wear and bringing hidden gems to the forefront, you might end up rediscovering yourself in the process. We’ve put together some tips to get the job done as painlessly and efficiently as possible.
Set aside the time
Closet clean outs are not something that can happen a half hour before you’re heading out to brunch. You should plan for this to be an all morning or afternoon event. Pick a rainy day, or a Friday when you really need a night off and truly set aside several hours for the task. We often find that it’s even more fun to invite a friend over for the hilarity that will undoubtedly ensue in your fashion show of items you bought from 8 years ago.
Get in the zone
Before you get started, take a deep breath, put on your favorite playlist, grab a glass of wine or your favorite refreshment, maybe light a candle (or take a whiff of one of our ribbons), and get pumped. Give yourself a pep talk, you might be parting with things that are somewhat sentimental: that dress you wore the night you met your current boyfriend, or the pantsuit you wore to your first job interview. If they aren’t things that you are currently wearing or think you’ll ever wear in the future, just tell yourself that someone else should have the opportunity to love them, and think of the next person who will have a magical moment in them.
Empty everything out.
I know it seems like a lot, but it really is necessary to get everything out of your closet. You need to be able to physically see, touch, and try on all your clothes to really know which should stay and which should go. If you put them on your bed, it also gives you the added motivation of getting the job done in one sitting– you’re unlikely to want to sleep on everything.
As you go about this, set up three piles: keep, store, and donate. First start with the things that you know you want to keep, but that you’re not wearing right now. These are things like off-season items (i.e. summer clothes if it’s winter), evening gowns that you only need for specific occasions, costumes, ski clothes, etc. These should be put aside and stored in airtight containers at the top or bottom of your closet, under your bed, or in a storage unit.
Next, you’ll want to go through all of the on-season clothes and divide them into keep and donate. Anything you haven’t worn in over a year should probably be donated– unless it is something super sentimental (i.e. a handknit sweater from your grandma who passed away), or an heirloom that you’d want to pass down. Definitely don’t throw things away, as there are so many great charities in need of clothing. When you’re in this phase of cleaning, it is important to actually try things on, maybe facetime a friend and have them help you decide if you're feeling particularly nostalgic about a certain piece.
If you’re having trouble, ask yourself the following questions: do I like it? Like-like it. Do I wear it? If you haven’t worn it in over a year, maybe there’s a reason for that. Does it fit? Or does it require a dance and shimmy to get on? Finally, does it need repair? Re-consider keeping a top with a red wine stain, or pants with a deep tear.
Now that you have a better idea, pack away your seasonal clothes, bag your donated items, and put aside everything you’re keeping.
Now that you’ve purged everything, this is your opportunity to really clean your closet. Dust the shelves, rods, boxes, bins, and even vacuum the floor. A clean space means you’re less likely to have critters on your nice things.
Maybe the walls need another coat of paint, or you need better lighting. This is your time to really step back and consider what would make you happiest.
Put it all back together again.
Now that you have separated your clothing and know what you’re keeping, you can go through it all and start organizing. Create a little nook for your intimates, a space for jackets, and maybe put all of your favorite things in a place you can easily reach them.
We recommend organizing by clothing type and color– for example, order your tank tops by color, then your long sleeves, then your sweaters, next your pants, your skirts, and your short dresses. Then for your longer garments and sets, our hint? Use our Smart Hangers to place outfits you repeatedly wear together so you don’t have to go hunting for each piece every time.
To top it all off, hang some of our Scented Ribbons in the closet so that tomorrow morning, not only will you get that deep zen satisfaction of seeing all your clothes in order, but you will also be drowsily enveloped in a dreamy aroma.