how to successfully clean out your closet

Every once in a while I find it necessary to dedicate time to cleaning out and reorganizing my closet. Springtime tends to be the most popular season to do a deep clean, but I find it beneficial to make a sweep at the beginning of the year too. I usually know it’s about that time when things are looking a tad bit too cluttered or just downright messy (hey, no one is perfect). Taking note of what I wear day-to-day versus pieces that I haven’t touched in a while helps me become wary of how much waste I’m creating as well as how much money I’m spending on clothes. That being said, the key to an organized and intentional closet starts with a clean-out.

Before you dive in, it can be helpful to get yourself in the right mindset. One of the biggest deterrents can be putting too much sentimental value on clothes or convincing yourself that you’ll wear them eventually. To keep you moving forward, I came up with three big questions that you should ask yourself before putting clothes in the “to keep” or “to toss” pile on your bedroom floor. Here’s what they are…

1. When was the last time you wore it?
This question may seem like a no brainer, but seriously ask yourself when the last time you wore a particular garment was. If you haven’t touched it in at least six months, chances are you should put it in the donation pile. It’s easy to put sentimental value on certain clothes, but if it wasn’t worn for a special occasion or handed down to you from a favorite friend or relative, chances are you can live without it.

2. Does it reflect your current or evolving style?
Buying a lot of fast fashion, or trends that are hot for a season and then fizzle out, often leads to a big closet clean-out. Season-specific trends usually don’t come back around for many years, leaving them unused and taking up unwanted space in your closet after a few months. My editor Ilana touched on the importance of intentional shopping and avoiding the trend-driven wardrobe in this post, something I constantly refer to before binge shopping a sale or reaching for an overly trend item.

Your wardrobe should be a reflection of who you want to be. While cleaning out your closet, be sure to evaluate whether it is serving your current style.

3. What local charities or donation centers can you bring your discard pile to?
Once you’ve successfully cleaned out your closet, the last order of business is to find a donation center or charity that will put your clothing to good use. It’s easy to make a quick stop at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, but it can also feel good to give back to a charity that holds particular meaning for you.

Charities such as Dress for Success put your gently used professional attire to good use by providing women with ensembles they need to secure a job and a safer future. Local Cinderella Projects take donations of gently used special occasion dresses and use them to provide prom dresses for high school girls. I also encourage you to look up local shelters that provide their residents with clothing donations as well. The options are endless!

Who knew that a simple closet clean out could do so much good?

Are you planning on cleaning out and reorganizing your closet? 

Let me know if you have any successful cleaning tips in the comments!

XO Lauren

Photos: Jessi Burrone
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