I try to do a quick closet detox about every six months. Living in apartments the past 8 years has taught me to eliminate excess and keep the clutter to a minimum. Easier said than done, especially with a full house of kiddos and packed schedules, I get it. That said, spring is on the horizon, well we are still getting snow storms in Seattle, BUT I turned my cabin fever into spring fever and started the detox early.
I work with clients helping them declutter their closets and refine their own personal style. Those sessions require a bit more strategizing as we meticulously work through their closet and consult about their wardrobe and style goals. A quick detox isn’t as intense as a full on closet audit, but eliminating the excess is on the path to curating a wardrobe that caters to your lifestyle. The process is simply a routine to clean out the clutter and get rid on what you do not wear anymore. Whether the items are out of style, ill-fitting, or have stains, detoxing your closet routinely keeps you organized and you’re left feeling quite liberated. Trust me
Here are a few simple steps I use to quickly detox my closet and prepare for the season ahead!
Get three moving boxes or old amazon boxes and one trash bag. Label the three boxes Consign, Donate, Repair. The trash bag is for, yes, just throwing it away.
Go through each section of your closet or category of clothing( i.e, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, denim, etc) individually and pull items you have not worn in months.
Once you have pulled all the items from one section. Try on the item! Don’t miss this step. You may be reminded that the sleeves are too long, the cut isn’t flattering or that grease stain didn’t ever come out. Also, consider why you haven’t worn it? If you keep it, what can you pair it with, how do you style it? If you struggle to answer those questions. It’s time to be like Elsa and “Let it go! Let it goooooo”. Read the next steps and figure out what box it belongs in.
We all have those designer pieces we scored at sample sales or bought online yet failed to return. We hold on to the ideal of a luxury brand owning real estate in our closet, knowing it hasn’t left the hanger since it came home in a garment bag two years ago. Listen, I understand the struggle of parting with a designer piece. I have a dress I bought with one of my first pay checks and I absolutely refuse to part with it. There are exceptions, but for the most part, rather than taking up the valuable space in your closet, earn some cash from it.
Many cities have great store fronts for consignment. Do a quick google search to find the nearest one by you. For those in Seattle, make sure to sign up for my email list as I will be blogging about some killer consignment shops in the area soon!
Online is always a convenient option. Here are a couple popular ones!
First of all, if you haven’t used this for your own designer purchases, you’re welcome. Not only is this a great place to sell pieces, you can score some amazing deals! You can manage your own account with The Real Real and earn up to 70% of the selling price on their site, or if you prefer to avoid the shipping and handling, a professional buyer will come to your house and pick up your designer pieces after verifying it’s authenticity.
PoshMark is the perfect solution for those items that aren’t luxury brands like Celine, Chanel etc, but you’re not ready to just drop them off at Goodwill. For brands like Nike, JCrew, Michael Kors, or even Lulu Lemon pants this site can earn you some extra income on gently used items in your closet. PoshMark is basically a social media site that married Ebay. The seller has control over posting images of the product, pricing and can even negotiate with buyers. However, the success of your sales can be dependent on the number of followers you have on the site and your own personal engagement with other “Poshers”.
You pulled a few items out of your closet because you haven’t worn them, to realize the pants are too long, the zipper is broken or buttons have fallen off. Put them in your repair box and get them fixed. Too often, we let pieces hang in the closet growing stale and collecting dust when all they needed was a little TLC. Dry cleaners usually have a seamstress in-house, or look up your local alterations shop. Grandma sews? Hit her up for some quick fixes and bring her lunch. You’ll be surprised how many new items you’ll wear after simple alterations or repairs.
For the pieces that don’t fall in the perimeters of consignment or repairs consider donating them to charity. This means “before kids” skinny jeans. Donation is an amazing (tax deductible) way to declutter and also help others in need. Many store fronts such as Goodwill and Salvation Army take almost anything, although I like to make sure items are without holes, stains and washed. Also, look out for upcoming school fundraisers, clothing drives and local non-profits that accept donations.
This doesn’t need much explaining. For the items too torn for repair, under wear, tights with snags, and for just plain worn out clothing. Throw them away.
Many of you may already do this quick detox. It’s interesting to see some people easily get rid of things while others struggle to part with 10 year old denim. I fall in between the cracks, so as I am sharing this post, my intention is to encourage detoxing and selfishly share this experience with other people so I am not alone with the separation anxiety :).
Happy Pre-Spring Cleaning!