One of my favorite scenes from my favorite movie, Clueless, is when Cher is faced with the daunting task of finding the most perfect outfit to wear for her driving test; she finds herself surrounded by a pile of clothes in all colors in the spectrum, searching for a top by Fred Segal, crying out in frustration that she has absolutely nothing to wear. There are many days when I find myself in the same situation, overwhelmed by clutter and unable to find my new favorite top amid the chaos. It's during these moments I know it's time to clean out my closet and organize. I know, what you're thinking: "But I simply can't part with my clothing!"
As fashionistas, sometimes our wardrobes are our most valuable possessions and each season as trends change it's easy to accumulate a massive collection. The dream would be to have a closet as big as the one Big made for Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City 2 (hello, rows and rows of shelves for shoes!), but unfortunately, we aren't all lucky enough to have a husband/boyfriend willing to knock down a couple walls to house our Manolo's. So when you find yourself with "too much stuff and not enough space" remember these simple tips to clean out your closet!
The Five Questions of Closet Cleaning
Though purging your wardrobe can seem very unsettling, it's really quite simple. Keep in mind five simple questions to ask yourself as your sift through each article of clothing.
- Does it Fit?
- Have I worn in the Last 12 Months?
- Is it likely I'll wear this item again?
- Is it my style?
- If it's damaged, do I plan to fix it in the near future?
These questions should help you narrow down the stuff you want to keep and the stuff you wouldn't mind going without. That cocktail dress hiding in the back of your closet you bought specifically for an event and haven't touched since? Toss it. Your most comfy pair of skinny jeans that make your butt look great? Keep it.
What to Do with the Stuff You're Getting Rid Of
Now that you have your stuff organized into two piles, you've got a lot of possibilities of what to do with the stuff you don't want. Go through the items and figure out which are in the best condition and which have the best labels vs which ones are little damaged and which one are lost causes.
Sell and Consign
You'll get the most out of you money by selling the used clothing or consigning them to stores like our own! The next time you buy, think of your outfit as an investment: how much are you going to get on the return? That $100 dress will probably be valued at $50 six months later--so in the long run, you'll only being paying $50 for it originally! Plus, it's super chic to go green!
The items you've noted to be not worth very much on the return (think Forever 21, and other fast-fashion stores), should absolutely be donated to thrift shops. Think of all the babes on a budget who go to the Salvation Army and Goodwill looking for a nice top or shoes but are limited on their options! You could get extra karma points and, sometimes, a tax write off by donating to your local charity shop. Best part is, most of these places offer pick-up, if you plan on dropping-off a lot. Even H&M is hip to donations now! And you can get a credit to shop in their stores.
If you find yourself with a lot of items that are past the point of no return, it's time to embrace the spirit of DIY and turn those old pieces into something handy! Search online for fun tutorials that turn your old t-shirts into dishcloths or make a quilt. If you find yourself without any skills to craft something new, absolute Do Not toss damaged clothing! A lot of synthetic fibers aren't very eco friendly and take, forever to decompose. Research textile companies like Zkano or Wearable Collections, that take clothing beyond repair and turn them into new fabrics, right here in the US.
The Organization Aftermath
Now that you've successfully purge down to the essentials (and that non-essential pair of shoes that you won't EVER give up), you should consider investing in closet organizers to really revamp and revitalize you storage space. The Container Store, Ikea, and even Target have loads of options for closet storage. The essential items would be a shoe organizer, try the over-the-door hangers or the under-the-bed sliders---or maybe both! Also on your checklist should be Space-Bags, to hold those coats you only pull out in the winter months that are super bulky.
Take these tips and go for it! Then remember to bring by some of those used pieces for BBLA.
---Written By: Kiani-Iman