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Closet Cleanup

by Sonia Kulkarni

Photography courtesy of Ece Yavuz

September 22 marked the beginning of fall, meaning a new wardrobe––switching summer dresses for cozy sweaters. Either way, the best time to do a closet cleanout is at the end of a season because it is a fresh start. Here are some helpful tips to maximize closet space!

1. Take everything out. As weird as it sounds, it is easier to see your entire wardrobe on the floor—or at least sections of it. When you take things out, you find items you have not worn in months or items that went ‘missing.’ It is also the first step before reorganizing.

Once everything is out, try to divide things to stay organized throughout your process. Have an area for clothes you are definitely giving away, clothes you are unsure about and clothes that need to be altered. For clothes that you are definitely keeping, it is best to place them back in your closet so they do not get mixed-up. There is nothing worse than accidentally getting rid of your favorite pieces.

This will not only make the process go faster, but also help you visualize all the clothes you own; hence, helping you clean-up after project ‘closet cleanout.’

2. Get rid of it. There is one major rule to remember: if you have not worn it in over a year, it is time to give it away. If your clothes are in great condition, look into reselling them on sites like Poshmark. You can make space in your closet and save up for a new wardrobe. Otherwise, you can give clothes to a friend or donate them to local shelters.

However, before you get rid of your clothing, make sure there is not anything that could potentially be revamped into something new. Maybe there is a pair of old jeans that could be saved with new rips or a dress that could be saved with a new hemline. Check out YouTube for potential DIY activities before discarding your old clothes.

Lifestyle guru Lauren Conrad says good way to find out if you have worn something in the past year is to hang all your clothes backwards. In her blog post about closet organization, she writes, “[It’s called] the switcheroo…as you wear items, turn the hanger back around so it’s facing the right way. By the end of the year, you will see which pieces you wore and what you can get rid of.”

3. Reorganize. Everyone organizes closets differently. It is best to figure out what method works for you. One thing that is helpful is dividing it based on what you wear most often. Place all the clothes that do not get regular use (i.e. your cocktail dresses and coats) out of reach. Your daily uniform should be the first thing you see when you open your closet.

Another thing you can try is to organize your tops based off of sleeve length or color. Sleeve length will help you grab the appropriate top for the day’s weather while color is more for aesthetic purposes. “I organize by item: i.e. dresses, shirts, long sleeve shirts and within every category I color code the items,” said Alexis Morales (SAR ’18). Whichever method you choose should be based off of your style and preference.

Maybe the “switcheroo” will work for your closet!

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