1. Home

Discuss in my forum

How To to Spring Clean the Closet

Spring Clean your Clothes Closet

By

Learn how to spring clean your closet from the inside out. This key step in the annual spring cleaning ritual will have you decluttering, donating, recycling, storing and maintaining closet organization for the spring and summer months. Time to switch from fleece to linen, wool socks to flip flops, North Face to Hunter, and naturally, a great time to spring clean your closet. Here are quick organizing tips to get your closet in shape in time for sundress season.

1. Do declutter, don't hoard

Declutter your closet in 7 steps
Photo / The Container Store
Spring is an excellent time to purge your closet of any winter clothes and accessories that you didn't wear all season. Look for anything that falls into the following categories:
  • You haven't worn it in two winters.
  • It is stained/ripped/faded and you don't love it enough to invest in having it professionally cleaned or tailored.
  • It no longer fits the image you are trying to project. Say you used to work in an office (like me) and had to wear suits. You now work in your basement (like me) in yoga pants and a t-shirt.

These are sure signs it's time to donate, recycle or toss an item of clothing.

2. Donate what you declutter

Ladies Wallnut Elfa on Wall Closet
Photo / The Container Store

It is about a million times more appealing to declutter your closet when you know you're clothes, shoes and accessories are going to a worthy cause. Just because you no longer love something doesn't mean something else won't love it like you did. So, do some research and find a great place to donate your used clothing. I've included a bunch of resources and guidelines below.

Bonus: This is much easier than trying to unload it on Ebay.

3. Keep layering pieces close at hand

Elfa Closet with Adjustable Drawers
Photo / Container Store

Scarves, cardigans and light jackets are your best friends right now.  It will most likely be cool in the early mornings and nights, but warm in the middle of the day.  Be prepared with an extra sweater or scarf.

4. Switch up accessories

For most of us, it's going to get wet and muddy before it's hot and dry. An umbrella is a necessity at all times. Find a compact model to toss in your handbag or on the backseat of your car. Also, swap out your thick and warm winter boots for your wellies. On dry days you can start wearing your ballet flats again.

How to Store Accessories

5. Swap wool for cotton

Store your winter items now.  Anything made of a heavy fabric like wool or fleece can now be moved to your storage area or to a bin at the back of the closet.  I have two shelves my clothes closet; the high one has bins for off-season clothing and the low shelf is used for in-season shirts and sweaters, stacked between shelf dividers.

6. Take your shoes to the cobbler

Hunter Orange Festival Tall Wellington Boots
Photo / Hunter

Ask around your favorite stores and for cobbler recommendations. Bring the leather boots you’ve been abusing all winter in for a thorough cleaning and any repairs necessary.  When you’re ready to store them they will be clean and ready to wear again in October.  Also, think about reinforcing the hells of any stilettos you plan to wear this Spring and Summer.

Read more about: How to Care for Your Shoe Collection

7. Invest in a good iron or garment steamer

Garment Steamer
Garment Steamer
You've spent the last 4-5 months wrapped up in as wool, fleece and tweed. For spring, think more linen and cotton - fabrics that require a great deal more wrinkle removing.

Two options:

  1. Iron: I come from a long-line of Rowenta Iron fans. In fact, I inherited my Grandmother's still-working model. A good iron is smart investment. If you lack the space for a board, you can fold a towel and iron on your kitchen table, desk or a counter top in a pinch.
  2. Garment Steamer: A good steamer will take 2 minutes to heat up, so you can quickly steam outfits before heading out the door. More expensive than an iron, this purchase was worth it to me for the time savings and ease-of-use factor (read=I am lazy!). I recommend a Jiffy J-2000.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.