Spring Into Action
Spring is just around the corner and, with it, comes spring cleaning. While this can seem boring and time consuming, it can also be cleansing and freeing. While many people pick rooms to focus on until the whole house is clean, one space in our homes that we often overlook (or stuff things in to “hide our shame” when cleaning) is our closets. That’s why at T.R. McTaggart we’ve put together some tips that will show you how to spring clean your closet as well as how to tackle the rest of the house.
The first thing you need are boxes. Next, take a marker and label them ‘Keep,’ ‘Maybe,’ ‘Donate,’ ‘Sell,’ ‘Swap,’ ‘Upcycle,’ ‘Repair,’ and ‘Toss’:
Try to be decisive, but if you want to sleep on it make a box for that to avoid regret.
If you don’t care about recouping cash, want a tax deduction, don’t want to take the time to sell, or want to do some good in the world, donate to a charity.
Sell at a local re-sale shop or online. Online marketplaces include eBay, Bib + Tuck, Poshmark, LetGo, and Threadflip.
Like they say, one man’s trash is another’s treasure! Host a party and invite friends to bring a garment they’d like to swap. Have dinner and wine and make a night of it. One option is to take off the labels so that it’s not about designer labels; it’s about trying on a new outfit for awhile.
If you have old T-shirts or just too many T-shirts, consider cutting them up and using them as rags. This will help you with the next stages of spring cleaning! Another option is to cut out the designs and make a quilt if the items are sentimental.
However, if it’s the case of a broken zipper or a missing button, fix it and then decide based on its repaired state.
If you personally do not want the item and don’t feel it is even donation-worthy because, perhaps, there are tears or stains, toss it.
Time to Purge
Let’s face it. You have a lot of clothes and accessories, many of which you don’t even wear or use. Many people in the U.S. have a lot of clothes, yet we tend to only wear a small portion of them regularly.
That’s why spring is the time to purge!
This can be exciting, overwhelming, and stressful, but it’s oh so necessary! Think of it as a cleanse, but without the juice. Though, heck, if you want to drink a healthy refreshing juice while you work, by all means go for it!
Once you have your boxes set up in a row, take everything out of your closet and drawers. Though it will likely be a mess, with everything out in the open you will see just how many clothing items you actually have. Many people are afraid that if they get rid of clothes they’ll end up with nothing to wear. But, if you’re like most people, this will be far from the case!
Now is the time to ask yourself, “Will I honestly ever wear this again?”
Don’t think of this as losing a bunch of clothes. Think of it as freeing up space to bring new clothes into your life that more accurately reflect who you are today and how you want to present yourself.
Also remember that they’re just clothes. Donating them can also help with this mindset since you know your items will be going to someone who needs it and can make good use out of it.
How to Decide What to Keep and What to Toss
It can be challenging to decide which box to put your clothing in. We live in our clothes and often become attached to particular apparel items. Some clothing brings up fond memories or reminds us of another time in our lives – or our children’s lives. However, we have a few tips to help you be more decisive when sorting.
While we recommend slim hangers and canvas shoe compartments, organization will only get you so far.
Set aside a full day to dedicate to spring cleaning your closet. Consider asking a roommate or friend who tells you the truth for a second opinion when sorting through your pile.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Spring Cleaning
As you debate what makes the cut, ask yourself some questions. The following questions:
- Does this fit?
While it may have fit like a glove when you purchased it, be honest with how it fits today. For example, if you’ve given birth, your hips change and the jeans that fit in your 20’s likely aren’t going back on no matter how much you exercise.
- Have I worn this in the past year or so?
If you didn’t miss it then, are you likely to miss it in the future?
- Is it likely I will wear this again?
This is a key follow-up to question #2. You might not have worn something in the past year or so, but if you have an expensive dress reserved for black-tie occasions, you’re going to appreciate having a go-to piece rather than trying to come up with an outfit – and the money – to buy something appropriate that fits your style. The last thing you want is a countdown to find something pricey that you think is “so-so.”
- Is this still my style?
Each decade we should re-evaluate our wardrobes. While your pajama pants and worn mini-marathon T-shirt might have served you well in college, is this the image you want to portray to others as you continue to establish your career? Then again, maybe you do feel comfortable wearing it around family for a lazy brunch. In that case, throw it in the ‘keep’ pile!
- If it’s damaged, will I realistically ever repair it?
If they answer is “yes,” then say ‘hello’ to an old friend. If the answer is “no,” it doesn’t make sense for the item to take up precious real estate in your closet.
- If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
If you wouldn’t, then maybe it’s time to part ways.
- Do I feel confident wearing this?
Fashion is all about making people feel good about themselves. If your clothes aren’t giving you confidence, making you smile, or aren’t a joy to wear, you shouldn’t be wearing them. Give them to someone who answers, “Yes!”
If any of your answers are “no,” it goes.
Store Clothing Safely
Part of spring cleaning is switching out your clothing by moving winter clothing into storage to make room for spring styles. But take great care with your clothing when doing so.
Launder items first and then store them in a protective enclosure, such as a cedar chest or canvas boxes that allow the clothing to breathe. Evening gowns should be hung on padded hangers with cotton canvas or muslin covers.
To store bulky items, hang them, store them in plastic bins, or on high shelves.
Spring Cleaning One Day at a Time
It’s an art to properly spring clean your closet, and so is spring cleaning the rest of your house!
Don’t know where to begin? Since spring cleaning can be overwhelming, our list breaks things down into small manageable tasks so that you can feel accomplished each day as you work toward your goal.
The Ultimate Spring Cleaning List for Your Closet!
It’s amazing how much you will be able to accomplish in a week or so if you do just a few of these items each day. Your closet will thank you!
- Sort through clothes
- Switch out and store seasonal clothing
- Take clothing items that need repair to the tailor
- Take shoes that need repair to a cobbler
- Take clothing items to the consignment store or photograph items to sell online
- Cut up old shirts to make into rags
- Wash your heavy sweaters and store them
- Plan a clothing swap party!
- Take a broom to the corners of your closets
- Wipe down all of your shelves and racks
- Wax the hang-bars (simple wax paper works wonders)
- Clean the floors of your closets (vacuum or mop)
- Drop off items you plan to donate
- Take a trip to the dump
Places to donate clothing:
Bring your used clothing here and help someone in need! We love a win-win solution!
- Vincent De Paul
- Women’s shelters, such as Shelterhouse Resale Shop
- The Salvation Army
- Homeless shelters
- Any other charitable re-sale shops
- Dress for Success
- The Cinderella Project
There’s No Time Like the Present
This truism couldn’t be more accurate than when it comes to spring cleaning. At T.R. McTaggart, we wish you the best of luck in your spring cleaning this year! May your life be full of beautiful, well-kept, age-appropriate apparel – now and every year! Now that you know how to spring clean your closet, let the spring cleaning start now!