Clean Out Your Closet to Make Room for Spring
June is just around the corner and even though we’re still seeing the remnants of winter outside the windows here in Colorado, we’ve already enjoyed some warm days that remind us spring is almost in full swing. With the changing season comes energy for newness, and inspires us to clean out the wool and the fire ashes from winter to make room for a fresh start. Not only is spring a great time to get into those nooks and crannies in your house that have been neglected the past several months, but it’s also a great time to go through your wardrobe.
As the weather warms, it is exciting to pull out spring and summer clothes that have been out of sight all winter. It’s also easy to start thinking about some new things that you want to purchase such as a new floral dress, cute shorts or a fun pair of sandals. This is all well and good, but before you make that purchase, I suggest that you close up your winter wardrobe first. Once you’ve gone through your winter clothes, then you can start pulling out the new season and go through that as well. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate any items that are taking up valuable real estate in your closet without earning it. Get rid of the clothes that you aren’t wearing, so you don’t store them for another year for nothing. You can also take stock of what you have for spring so you don’t buy something you already have, and can see where you need to fill in some gaps. Here’s how to button-up winter to make room for spring:
Close Up Your Winter Wardrobe
Before you pull out the sundresses, evaluate your winter wardrobe first. Especially if you are a person who switches out your clothes seasonally, don’t put away clothes for next fall and winter unless you’ve worn them over the past few months and you know you want to keep them in your rotation. If you take the time to purge at the end of each season, when it comes that time of year again, you will only be pulling out things that you know you love and wear, and won’t be storing things that never make it out of your closet. Set aside a day or at least a few hours in the coming weeks for your wardrobe clean out. I suggest you pull everything out of your closet and drawers, so make sure you allow enough time to go through everything so you don’t end up sleeping under a pile of clothes on your bed that night. If you take everything out, then you can put the things you are keeping away as you go.
When you come across the items that you know you love and are in great shape, just check to make sure they are clean before putting them away for the summer. You don’t want to store things that are stained or need to be freshened. Remember not to hang your knit sweaters in your closet because they will stretch and lose their shape. Put sweaters in the drawers or neatly fold them on shelves, and save the hanging space for tops, skirts, dresses, and jackets. If there are winter and fall items that you haven’t worn this year, ask yourself why. Go through the following questions for items that you don’t seem to be wearing:
Does it currently fit?
Does it need any maintenance (dry cleaning, mending, washing, hemming, etc.)?
Do I have things to pair it with?
Does it go with my current style?
Is it currently in style?
Do I like the color and does the color look good on me? (If you’re not sure if it’s a good color for you ask a friend on this one).
Do I love it?
Would I want to wear it today?
Would I buy it again?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, that item most likely should be eliminated from your wardrobe. An exception might be if it just needs some maintenance, then make sure to take care of it before it goes back into your clothing rotation. If you only keep clothes that you are wearing and that make you feel good this winter season, it is more likely that you will feel the same way about them when they come back out next year. Obviously your tastes and styles change, so you’ll need to do some review every single season, but this will give you a head start for next fall. Don’t stop at just your clothes, review accessories including shoes, scarves, hats, and gloves. Keep your favorites, and then donate or consign the rest.
Take Stock for Spring
With your winter wardrobe evaluated, now you are ready to move onto your clothes for spring and summer. Even thought it might be a little early in Denver to imagine wearing tank tops and bare legs while it’s still nippy outside, this will get you started and you can always review again during the season to see what you are wearing regularly. Are there items that you saved for this spring that you didn’t wear last spring? If so, use the same questions above to review them. If there are items that need to be cleaned or repaired, put them aside take in now so they are ready when you want to wear them in a few weeks. If there is an item that you like but you don’t wear because you don’t have the right things to pair it with, start making a spring shopping list for yourself that you can add to as you go. Maybe you’ll notice you have lots of sheer tops for summer, so you need some basic colored camisoles to layer underneath. Or perhaps you love playing with prints and patterns for the warmer months, so you need to have some neutral accessories that go with lots of different items. Make a note of those gaps in your wardrobe so that you can fill them in the coming months. This will also help you avoid buying things you don’t need, or that won’t go with what you currently own. Keep the list on your phone, in Evernote, or in your purse so you can refer to it when you’re out shopping.
If you take the time now to edit your wardrobe, then you will set yourself up to feel organized and stylish for the coming spring and for next fall. Of course you will come across other things throughout the year that you realize you aren’t wearing, and will notice things that your wardrobe is missing, but if you’ve already done this evaluation process, those will be much easier to identify and subtract or add.
Get Excited for Spring Style
Finally, once you have done the hard work to clean out your clothes, have a little fun by getting excited about putting looks together for the warm weather! Get inspired by collecting images that you like and that you want to try in your own wardrobe. Pinterest is a great way to do this, and you can pin the images you like to refer to later. Or take a trip to the store and buy a few fashion magazines, and cut out anything that gets you excited about spring style and make a mood board collage. While it’s still snowy outside in many areas, take the time to get excited and organized for spring, and create a little space in your wardrobe for the coming sunshine.