Winters in Wisconsin always seem to last an eternity, so when spring finally comes around it can feel like a fresh start. ‘Spring Cleaning’ has always been coined a term to deep clean your home in the beginning of the warmer season to give your living space a revived feeling of serenity while washing away the winter blues. One area of spring cleaning that often goes unnoticed is doing a deep dive of your wardrobe and pulling out all the stops. That’s right, I’m talking about everything from clearing out unwanted items to organizing. I recently did this process myself and let me tell you, this is a process that should be done more often than you think. I will be sharing my experience and tips and tricks all within this blog, so if you are looking to give your closet and drawers a deep clean keep reading for a step-by-step guide to spring cleaning your wardrobe (I promise, you’ll thank me later)!
Most of the time when we clean our spaces we get rid of things we no longer want, but we don’t do this often with our clothes. This first step is the step where you will see the biggest change happen from a visual standpoint with your wardrobe because you won’t keep everything you see. You may be thinking “what do I do with the clothes I don’t want?” and the good news is that there are plenty of options on how to part ways with the items you no longer need. Besides keeping them, you can create piles to donate, sell, or give away to friends and family.
Establish 4 piles that you will be separating into items you want to keep, donate, friends & family, and sell. If you are not interested in selling your items, then only the 3 piles consisting of keep, donate, and friends & family are advised.
Start wherever you would like, and when going through your clothes, be sure to try on items that you think may no longer fit. It is better to know for sure about any unsure items while you are sorting through your items than to just assume and keep them if they don’t fit in order to make you feel comfortable and your best.
Be realistic and ruthless about what you keep and get rid of for best results. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and take the time to think about the items in your closet and ask yourself if they spark joy within your soul or more generally, ask yourself “do I genuinely see myself wearing this?” If the answer is no, then it has to go! Really think about what you need. You don’t need multiple versions of the same item or things in different colors unless it’s a basic/versatile item that could be worn in many different ways. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. At the same time, don’t be afraid to keep lots of items. It is not a bad problem to love so many pieces in your closet! Only get rid of what you don’t 100% love.
The items you wish to get rid of that you don’t sell and that your friends and family don’t want are perfect to donate! There are lots of places to donate your items, which will help people in need. Feel free to do your own research on which charities you would like to donate to based on their cause or location. Below is a list of a few places where you can donate your unwanted items!
- Salvation Army
- American Red Cross
- Dress for Success
- Free the Girls
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Do you have a sibling or any friends that like your style? See if they want any of the items you don’t need! That way you can get rid of more items from your closet, yet you know they will be going to a good home!
Another great idea on how to get rid of your unwanted items is to sell them, especially if you are looking for an extra source of income. I have tested out several different ways of selling your clothes and so I’ll describe my experiences with each so you can figure out which method is best for you!
Technology has come a long way, including the development of apps where you can sell a variety of things, even beyond clothes. Staying on the topic of selling clothes, my favorite app to sell my clothes on is Poshmark! Available to download for smartphones, Poshmark provides a platform to users who wish to sell their unwanted clothes, and to those who are interested in the discounted, lightly used listings featured on the app. Similar to most social media platforms you can gain followers and create a community of followers who see value in your clothes to potentially purchase and ways to support other sellers. When selling, you can set your price but users have the option to counteroffer a lower price. You also have the ability to provide a new offer based on the counteroffer. The process can repeat itself until the item is sold or when the buyer is no longer interested. There are a few important things to consider before selling on Poshmark. Firstly, the buyer pays for shipping so expect counter offers lower than your original selling price. Secondly, since Poshmark is providing this marketplace platform they take a portion of the money sold in every transaction and this is probably the biggest con of using Poshmark. There is also a lot of work involved if you have lots of items because users really like to see multiple pictures and of the items tried on so they can get a better idea of how it fits. Even with the cons I would still recommend the app as it helped me get money for items like my prom dresses that are more difficult items to sell traditionally and I have made a decent amount of money. Overall, this is a great way to sell your clothes if you are avoiding going out in public during the current pandemic. Once an item is sold, all that needs to be done is print out the shipping label, attach it onto the box with the item inside, and bring it to the post office to ship out. Otherwise, all the work can be done from the comfort of your own home with your smartphone!
Another great way to sell your clothes on a digital platform is by creating an Instagram account and list all of your clothing items on there! This is the method I am currently using to sell my clothes and I have high expectations for a good outcome! It is easier to gain supporters to buy from you as you can market your account on your personal profile so your followers can see it. Even though I am just in the beginning stages of this method, I’ve seen many other accounts use this way to sell their clothes and have seen lots of accounts be very successful! You have more flexibility in certain decisions such as if you want to provide shipping or if you would like to just sell locally. The biggest perk is whatever you do sell, you get to keep all of the profits unlike Poshmark. However, there is more preparation involved because you need to make an account and seek out users who actually have an interest in buying your unwanted items. If you have the time to put in the work to make an account like this successful, then this is the perfect option for you!
Unlike the first two methods, the last option is not virtual and requires some human interaction which may not yet be feasible for some during the pandemic. The first method in this category is bringing your clothes to your local Plato’s Closet! This company has been in business for quite some time and I have brought my clothes there on several occasions. The process is very simple. All you have to do is bring your clothes in, the staff will pick what they want, and give you the cash for what they buy from you. It’s a great method if they like your items. However, in my case the majority of times I go in I have multiple bags full of clothes, and yet I walk out of there with just as much because they only buy a few of the items I bring in. From my experience, they have been very picky from the clothes I bring in, even though it aligns perfectly for what they accept. Overall, convenience-wise it is a very easy way to get rid of your clothes for a chunk of change, but it isn’t the most effective way because they take so few items.
Once you have decided what items you no longer want, it is time to focus on reorganizing the items you want to keep! Make an organization system based on the storage you have available and what works best for you! You may need to get creative with how you do this! One way I organize my closet is storing out-of-season items separately by leaving them out of my closet. For instance, during the summer, I store my thick winter sweaters in an under-the-bed storage bin and I keep it out of sight under my bed leaving more room in my closet for what I am currently wearing!
Below are a few tips on how to keep your wardrobe clean from more clutter in the future!
Only Buy Items You Truly Love:
It took me so long to learn this lesson. I used to buy items solely to have new clothes. It is better to leave with something you really love and are excited to wear than to settle for an item just to say you bought something new. I used to even make up excuses in my head to justify purchases like “but it’s on clearance” or “I can wear this if I ever go on vacation to_____“ but in reality, having to justify a purchase means it may not be a great purchase and will likely just sit in your closet taking up space.
Only Buy Clothing That Fits You Well:
This is another lesson that took awhile for me to grasp. If you are out shopping, try on items you are interested in and only purchase them if they make you feel good about yourself. You will only love the item itself if you love how it looks while you are wearing it. Similar to the first tip, you can come up with reasons why it is a good purchase, but if you have to convince yourself it fits when it really doesn’t, chances are you won’t wear it. Coming from someone who has done this multiple times, this is a lesson my wallet will definitely thank me for in the future.
At the end of the day, they are just clothes. I know this process can be overwhelming, but don’t get too worked up about strung together fabric. You have complete control over what you keep and get rid of. Just remember, you have the power of what items make up your wardrobe. I hope this helped you give your wardrobe the spring cleaning it deserves!