Spring Cleaning: Our Editor’s Guide To Breaking Up With Your Wardrobe
Cleaning out your closet can feel similar to a break up. There are memories to look back on, tough choices to make, some regrets, and often a lingering hesitation of whether it’s even worth going through. Initiating the wardrobe purge is what most assume to be the big decision that seems daunting, but in reality it’s the process of tiny decisions that cut deep. In an attempt to maximize my space x make room for the future, I decided to do the dang thing x say goodbye to the closet clutter. Now that I’m on the other side of the challenge, I’m here to give the lowdown on what worked for me + products x advice for those who are facing similar closet convictions.
Upon realizing my closet had gone from a lively space where I could cultivate creativity x self expression to an unwelcoming mess of chaos + unfolded sweaters, I entered the first stage of the progress: acceptance.
I called in backup [aka professional help], Lauren Smothers from Restore The Home, because I knew that this was not a task that I could get done if left to my own devices. I needed an expert opinion x recommend the same to anyone else trying to get rid of years worth of nostalgia + favourite garments.
In life, you can talk to your friend or you can talk to your therapist, and it’s surprisingly the same in your closet. With a friend, you may be more likely to sit + ponder. Most likely, the damage that needs to be done won’t be. When you bring in an unbiased expert, someone whose craft belongs to helping people, like myself, detach from their material belongings, your space is less likely to look like it did before.
Once I had done the digging x sorting through my former wardrobe, it was time to decide where everything should go. By this point, I decided the “keep pieces” that I knew had made the final cut. Before beginning the closet renovation though, I needed to find a new home for the former. My options were to donate or archive. I’m no professional, but I did take notes on my own process if you’re desperate for some hot tips: First things first, turn on tunes or a podcast to set the vibe. Next, pullout your racks + take your time on each item by reflecting on the past, present, and future of the piece. Ask yourself:
No 1. Would I wear this today? Does this reflect who I want to be?
No 2. Does this make me happy? Would it make someone else happier?
No 3. Do I like this enough to invest in having it mended or dry cleaned?
Don’t linger too long on decisions — go with your gut, one section at a time. Once you have your toss pile, the next step I take is donation or second-hand thrifting. For my donations, I first turned to local vendors + thrifters. After making some gains in the neighborhood, I took what was left x shipped it to ThredUP — an online consignment clothing store that allows you to shop secondhand + make a profit off your donations.
At this point in my closet’s facelift, I was out with the old x ready to make my wardrobe look new again. No more digging or forgetting about the time capsule items. With Lauren’s help, I was able to elevate the space in my closet x present my beloved pieces in an appealing + functional way that made all my clothes accessible to me.
A9: What, to you, is the biggest benefit of organization in your closet?
LS: Being able to find what you’re looking for when you need it. When everything has a place to belong it is easy to find what you need and maintain the order — and what you used to dread can now be an enjoyable and efficient experience.
A9: Sometimes looking at a whole space can feel really daunting. What is the first step of getting your space in order?
LS: Set a time frame and start. It is as simple + as complicated as that. I personally like to turn on a playlist and start by sorting the items that are obvious clutter! [ex. items on the floor or on the counter space]
A9: What advice would you give to someone who has a hard time letting go of items?
LS: Decide what your end goal is. Once you have an image in your mind of what you want your space to feel like at the end of the process, then you can filter your decisions through that vision.
A9: What are some simple changes or tips that help your space feel refreshed and streamlined?
LS: Matching organizational products. Aesthetics aren’t everything — but they are powerful. Whether it’s matching hangers or matching bins, at first glance, your eyes will see order x consistency.
At times while purging my closet, I found myself tired x discouraged, but when I look back at the space, I realize it’s finally a reflection of who I am + where I’m going. The difference is in stuffing your handbags with paper, making consistent hanger decisions, and having neat drawer space, for sure. But it’s also in how much lighter + productive my space can mirror my life. Special thanks to the team for helping me brave the courage to execute this, and more praise to Lauren, who helped me elevate x feel like myself in my own space.