Spring Cleaning Means Tackling That Closet

Isn’t spring always the best time to clean anything and everything? Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when your closet has reached critical mass status.


You may have seen the ads that Carson Pirie Scott ran on TV recently. They offered discount coupons for every item you bring into the store for donation. I thought what a great idea! What a clever incentive to get rid of items one no longer needs, wants, or finds useful. I decided to take full advantage of the offer. It was time to purchase a few of my can’t-do-without cosmetics, so I proceeded to peruse my closet for items I might donate to Carson's Good Will drive.

Please keep in mind that I try to keep my closet in tip-top shape. I purge on a regular basis so that when clients come to my studio for style workshops, they can see how an organized closet should look and function. Obviously, as a professional wardrobe advisor, I need to walk the walk!

Much to my surprise, I was able to come up with a number of items I needed to donate or toss out, including a pair of beloved boots. Don’t know how I missed them last fall, but clearly, I needed to take one more very discerning look.

Here’s a list of the questions I tried to keep in mind as I checked my drawers and my closet:

  1. How long has it been since I wore this? I have an animal-print turtleneck top that I love, but it feels claustrophobic every time I wear it, so I stopped wearing it at least two years ago. Toss it.
  2. Is it truly versatile? Can I wear it with many things and in many different ways? Perhaps it's a lone wolflike the pretty silk tank I thought would be so great with my business suits? That was three years ago. Maybe it would be great, but I've NEVER worn it. At this point it doesn’t even matter why. It needs a new home.
  3. Does it look worn or tired? For example, my black and tan print silk top that is many years old and has that “fading of the arm pits” syndrome.  No one would want to wear this. It should go in the garbage, not the donate bag.
  4. Is it in need of repair? If so, can I justify the expense? I have a cute cocoa color, bolero-style sweater tucked away in a drawer with a “re-weave the big snag” job ahead.
  5. Does it look good enough to wear just one more season? Truthfully, I was stretching it to wear those boots last year. They are no longer the right height and they hit me in the dreaded matron zone—somewhere between high ankle and low knee. They have to go.

So, there you have it. Five items, three can be donated and two need to bite the dust.

Makes me wonder what’s lurking in your closet?

Sue Becker April 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Thanks for the kick in the rear (without boots, please) Nancy. Time to clean out my closet!


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