There’s a reason one of Marie Kondo’s big five categories is made up solely of clothing; we tend to collect a lot of it, and have a hard time letting go of items we rarely use just in case that special occasion when we finally need it someday arises. In the interest of hitting refresh and getting ahead of spring cleaning, here’s how to clean out your closet for real, and for better.
Take it slow.
When you try to go too big with a cleanout, you’ll end up getting sentimental and tired, and wanting to keep it all. Instead of tackling everything at once, choose a specific drawer or section (like shirts or pants) to go through at one time, and work your way through your entire closet collection.
Keep what you love.
This one is akin to the whole “sparking joy” idea – if you only keep what you absolutely adore, you’ll naturally build up a wardrobe of pieces you love to wear, and won’t be weighed down by extraneous fabric. If you’re worried about tossing out basics that you just never get excited about, take it as an opportunity to experiment with your wardrobe and play with the pieces that make your heart sing.
Give everything a place, and put it back there.
This is the key component to any method of tidiness – everything in your home should have a place where it “lives” so it’s not bouncing endlessly from chair to pile and back again, and the same goes for your clothing. Organizing clothing by color is a great way to remember exactly where you stuck that blue shirt. Try not to let things build up on “the chair” either; if you have some dry cleaning to do, take it today, and if you really need to get those jeans hemmed, stop by on the way to work so you can get the job done and reintegrate the piece into your wardrobe.
Get rid of the excess.
Don’t just squirrel it all away in the attic for potential future use – to truly cleanse your closet and your mind, those old pieces gotta go. If you’re feeling generous (or maybe a bit lazy), drop them off at a donations center. If you’d prefer to get some cash back and happen to have a bit of time to spare, snap some pics and post them on an app like Depop or Poshmark, and leave the rest to the internet.