There are a few golden rules when it comes to closet cleaning. Everyone knows that if you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s time to toss it in the Goodwill pile, but there are a few other tricks of the trade.

So here ya go:

First, take it all out. This may seem like an exercise in redundancy, seeing as you think there are certain things you are definitely keeping, but if you’re overflowing, it’s hard to know what really needs to be sent packing. 

Keep everything that’s on hangers hung.  If you can acquire a free standing rolling rack, it’s a great organizational tool.

Now. Three piles: Keep, Maybe, Toss.

Anything stained, with a tear or moth holes, too big, too small, pilled (those fuzzy things that show up on sweaters or old t-shirts), or seriously dated goes.  No questions asked. Just put it in the toss pile.  Also, that pile of to-do hemming, altering, etc. needs to be assessed.  If you haven’t gotten to it in 6 months, then toss.  If there is something in there you can’t live without, give yourself a week.  And if you haven’t altered it by the end of those seven days, it’s a goner.

Go through your maybe pile three times. Try everything on if necessary.  Be honest.  And if any thought starts with, “I could maybe wear this…” it’s out the door.  A friend is a great boon in this case.  Especially since you can make them try dated clothes on.  Sometimes all it takes is seeing our prize on someone else to realize all that glitters is not actually gold.  Oh and speaking of—anything 80’s and sparkly… out.

And finally. go through your keep pile twice.  Again be honest. Do you really want it?  If not, au revoir.

-Arianna Schioldager

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