Cleaning Out My Closet: Spring 2018

Woohoo, exciting stuff here! I’m cleaning out my closet again, taking out (some of ) the winter things and then I’ll bring in the spring/summer things. Not QUITE yet with the spring/summer, because it’s still, incredibly enough, snowing here on Long Island! It should get warmer this week but I’ll believe it when I see it, and when I see it, I’ll move the warm weather items into my closet. But I need to start shopping for warm weather as I can already see items disappearing from the online sites where I shop…and I can’t shop til I make a list of what I need, and I can’t make a list of what I need til I’ve cleaned out my closet! Phew, sometimes it’s tough being me with all my internal rules and such. But it really does help me, doing it this way. And I’m going to explain to you why and how and maybe something can help you, too.

Sorry there aren’t a lot  any pictures in this post, because there’s a video. But I’ll explain my routine here in case you don’t want to watch the video (though you should). So here is how I clean out my closet twice a year.

Step 1: Take everything out of the closet. Lay it on the bed or hang it on a rack, but get it out of the closet. If you leave it hanging in the closet it’s much too easy to leave something something there that should really go. Take it out first, so you have to make an effort with it either way, keeping or letting go of.

Step 2: Go through every single item one by one. Don’t go “these are all long-sleeved tees” and pick up a bunch together and hang them back in the closet (or put them back in the drawer). Look at every single thing, touch every single thing. No, I’m not going to ask you if it “sparks joy.” That sounds lovely, but come on. A lot of things don’t spark joy, but they’re still necessary. A bra. A toilet brush. These are not joyful items but I’m not getting rid of them because they have a role in my life.

Also, while you’re touching each item, you’re looking at it. Is it stained, torn, pilly, dingy? Sometimes we look at things without really seeing them. This is the time to see them and really assess their condition.

Step 3: Assess each item. Do you still reach for that item when putting outfits together? Does it have several different items it goes nicely with? If yes, it can stay. If you’re just tired of it and find you never or rarely reach for it, maybe it’s time to let it go so it can be replaced by something you really enjoy. If it’s not in good condition anymore you can donate it. If the condition is good and it’s still reasonably in style, you can donate or sell on any of the online used clothing sites – ebay, depop,, poshmark, etc.

Step 4: Put all the keepers back. Enjoy your neat closet with breathing room. I love when it’s not packed so tight that there’s no room to slide the hangers on the pole.

Step 5: (and here’s where I sometimes get stuck!) Actually let go of them items you set aside. Bag up the clothes to go to the donation center. For the items you plan to sell, hang them somewhere neatly so they’re not wrinkled and messy in the photos you’ll take. Don’t Be Like Bettye and just pile them up in a corner on a bunch of boxes (for six months. or so.).

Okay. That is my process for cleaning out and getting rid of items. Next week I’ll talk you through how I make up my shopping list so I only buy items that will go with what’s already in my closet. It’s The List that helps me avoid having items in my closet that were purchased on a whim…and then never see the light of day.

And if you want to see the steps in action, watch this video!

Will you be cleaning out your closet this spring? I’d love to hear (or see!) how you make out!