If you’re anything like me, getting ready in the morning can be something you dread. Knowing you have to leave for work in 5 minutes, while staring into your closet and wondering if anyone will notice if you re-wear the shirt you wore last Tuesday, is not fun for anyone. While spring may seem far away, being snowed it is a great time to do a thorough “spring” cleaning of your closet! Not only will it help you feel fresh and more efficient, donating the clothing and accessories you no longer need is an easy way to give back to charity. We’ve all heard the hanger trick – turn the hangers in your closet so they’re facing the same way, and when you wear something and put it back, turn the hanger the opposite way – but who has the patience for that? Here are my recommendations for cleaning out your closest in the quickest and most painless way possible!
1) Get Inspired
Pour a glass of your favorite wine, browse dream closets on Pinterest, and put on some music or inspiring episodes of TLC’s What Not to Wear. If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, Hoarders works even better.
2) Divide and Conquer
Go through each item in your wardrobe, and in addition to your “keep” pile (items you absolutely love, wear all the time, and are in great condition), seperate the remaining items into the piles below. Evaluate every piece of clothing and check for damage, and try it on to make sure it still fits (be honest!). Take into consideration how much you’ve worn the item, as well as how it fits in with the rest of your wardrobe – and don’t be afraid to let things go!
- Toss/Recycle (the v-neck tee you sleep in – and OK, sometimes wear to brunch – that has seen much better days)
- Go ahead and throw out items that have irreparable holes, stains, or are otherwise no longer wearable. Even better, find a clothing recycling program in your area that accepts textiles in any condition, such as H&M’s Garment Collection Service.
- Donate to Goodwill (the sweater your ex-boyfriend’s mom gave you that is definitely not your colour)
- Any items that are in decent condition, but no longer fit you, aren’t your style, or just no longer fit in your life, but aren’t top name brand, can be donate to Goodwill or similar organizations.
- Donate to Fashion Project (the designer dress you wore to 3 weddings last season that is still in great condition, but you and your tagged Facebook photos are ready for something new)
- For gently used or like-new designer items, Fashion Project is a great option to easily pass on your clothing to a new home while allowing you to give back. Simply request a donation bag online (see their accepted brands here), send them the items (shipping is on them!), and know the majority of the proceeds from your items sold on Fashion Project will go to a charity of your choice.
- Fix (the boots you wore every day last winter until you wore the heel out)
- Don’t put it off any longer – get these items repaired and back in your life! You’ll be happy you did.
- Save (the dress you wore to your bachelorette party that is a little too short now, but reminds you of your best friends)
- If you have space, it’s OK to hold onto items with sentimental value a little bit longer.
3) Say Hello to the New Organized and Stylish You
Once you’ve sorted through all your items, put everything you’re keeping back in an organized fashion – in a way that makes sense to you. Do you plan outfits around colour schemes, or would you rather be able to grab a blouse from your new “tops” section? If you’re short on space, put off-season things (hello, puffy winter coats) into storage under your bed or on the top shelf of your closet. Now, enjoy how much faster and less stressful it is to get ready with your new organized wardrobe, while knowing you have given back to charity (with the karma and tax receipt to prove it)!