Spring cleaning is the worst, and really, cleaning any time of year is the worst. And, of all the chores on your to-do list, spring cleaning your closet is the biggest time suck of them all. Yes, the feeling of looking into a thoroughly organized closet after spring cleaning is euphoric, but that comes after the effort, the dirt, the grime, and the exhaustion. And all that without receiving an extra $10 at the end like when we were kids. Ugh.
But it's important to remember that spring cleaning isn't simply a chore that's marketed to the world as a holiday when we all come together to spend too much money on "natural" cleaners and plastic tubs and containers. It's about putting that last nail in the coffin of winter, and getting mentally and emotionally reborn in time for spring. This is something we all need. No matter how much snow you had to shovel this winter, the season of darkness is a bummer, and spring cleaning serves as a welcoming ritual for the warmer days to come. It's therapeutic.
Besides, no matter how recently you cleaned out your closet, you know there's more that can be done in there. You have items you refuse to let go of, even though they probably should've been tossed years ago. Here's how to clean that closet properly, once and for all.
1. Get rid of excess handbags you don't want
If you're anything like me, you have one or two super expensive bags you saved up for, or received as gifts, and still use occasionally, and then a pile of mid-range bags that you used for a couple months and then got tired of. But once you use a bag that you didn't spend too much money on, what are you supposed to do with it? You know you won't use it again, but you don't want to admit how wasteful it is to toss a perfectly good purse just because you're not feelin' the color anymore.
Time to donate, bb. That perfectly good bag will go to someone who will do more with it than just woefully glance at it every time she enters her closet.
2. Be real with yourself about your hat situation
You're not much of a hat person, but you've tried to be on several occasions. So you keep those hats because you might, someday, be the Blossom-level IDGAF chick you've always wanted to be with hats, and rock one every day of the week.
But you probably won't be, though. The older you get, the more you learn about your signature style and what you will actually wear — and more importantly, what you won't. If you're not a hat person now, you won't become one tomorrow. Definitely not with the slightly outdated hats collecting dust in your closet. Toss 'em.
3. Downsize your shoe collection
I don't care how cute they are, or how many compliments you received while wearing them, or even how much money you spent on them. If they hurt your feet, throw those monsters away. When you're in pain, you obviously aren't comfortable. And when you aren't comfortable, you aren't happy. And when you're not happy, you aren't able to have fun. So why would you put yourself through that? Exactly. Toss 'em.
4. Clear out old coats
You probably have more cold weather coats than you actually need. Styles change and you typically get a new jacket every year or every other. That means that your older coats are lightly used and would be extremely handy for someone else. Clear out the coat clutter, and donate to someone who needs it.
5. Ditch the outdated formalwear
Of course you were honored to be a bridesmaid at your friends wedding. Of course you had a blast at prom and want to cherish those memories forever. But be honest: are you really going to wear those dresses and tuxes again? Probably not. So unless you're a master seamstress and can breath some modern life into those garbs, give them away.
6. Trash the old bras and underwear
By comparison, bras and underwear are relatively inexpensive items, next to the dresses and jeans you own, so why do you keep them (why do we all keep them) until they're falling apart? Especially considering how often you wear them. Make room in those bra and underwear drawers, and clear out the pairs you don't feel extremely sexy or comfortable in.
7. Stop hoarding sweatpants
I am guilty of this. I cherish my comfy clothes, because they make me happy. But I don't need to keep the sweats from four years ago that have coffee stains on the thigh or slight tears at the bottom. Especially if I have newer pairs that I can be cozy in while still looking adorable, ya know?
8. Stop hoarding hoodies
Hoodies are wonderful apparel items and there's no greater joy than the first chilly day you can throw one on after a hot summer. But you do not need them in double digits. Keep the ones you'll actually still wear, and ditch the rest.
9. Recycle old tees
Maybe you have old tees that you refuse to donate because they have sentimental value. The ones from college with the slogan from your dorm floor or academic club that's jam packed with sexual innuendo, for example. You probably won't wear it again, but you don't want to get rid of it. Find another use for those tees, like using them to dry your hair instead of towels — because towels are way too rough on your wet, delicate strands.
10. Create a seasonal storage setup
Do you really need immediate access to your summer and winter wardrobe at the same time? The answer is no. Keep the items of the season prominently displayed in your closet, and box up the rest until next year. This will give your hanging clothes room to breathe, and it gives you a better look at your everyday options.
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