Health Advocate Blog

Declutter your closet, declutter your mind

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for spring cleaning! To avoid being stuck inside when the sun is shining, get a jump-start now by tackling one of the bigger projects – your closet. Having a disorganized, overflowing closet can create stress, making you feel overwhelmed while simultaneously believing you have nothing to wear (because you can’t find it!).

Paring down the items in your closet can make getting dressed simpler and more fun because you actually like everything in your wardrobe. Plus you’ll be able to find your favorites easily without digging through shoe boxes, dry cleaning bags or that bridesmaid dress from 10 years ago that the bride swore you’d wear again. Try these steps to help declutter your closet, and in the process declutter your mind!

Start off easy. To get warmed up, pull your absolute favorite items from the closet, the ones you seek out time and time again and find yourself wearing over and over. Give each a good look – do they need any minor repairs or dry cleaning? If so, put them aside to take to the tailor or dry cleaner. Otherwise, rehang and set aside for the time being.

Now that you’re warmed up, examine each remaining item and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it fit well?
  • Is it flattering?
  • Have I worn it in the last year? (This may not apply for special occasion items.)
  • Is it still in good shape/quality?
  • Can I mix and match the item easily with other pieces in my wardrobe?

If you answered no to any of these questions, set those items aside in a different pile.

Changing with the seasons. If you have space at the top of the closet, under the bed or in another closet or attic, consider storing the off-season items you’re keeping in order to give the clothing you’re currently wearing more breathing room.

Restock the closet. Put your favorite, in-season items back in the closet with the pieces that remain from your review; however, organize them in a way to help avoid missing clothing in the future. For example, turn all the hangers the “wrong way” so you know which items you haven’t worn recently – when you wear them, flip the hanger back. Or move items to the other side once worn. This will help you continuously evaluate what items make the grade and which do not.

Re-evaluate. Go back to the pile you discarded earlier and give items a closer look. If the item was repaired or tailored, would you wear it more often? Chances are, if you haven’t been reaching for it in the last year, you won’t in the future, and that piece would be put to better use with someone else.

Donate. With the exception of items that are worn out or in poor condition, you can donate your clothing to those in need. There are many national and local organizations that are seeking clothing donation. Take a look to see which operate in your community. Some will even pick up items at your home to make the process more convenient, and you can often request a receipt for tax purposes.

By donating items you no longer wear to those in need, you can feel good about decluttering your closet. And it will feel great, and much less stressful, to easily pick out what to wear each day without struggling to unearth an item or dig through piles of clothing you don’t want to wear.