Despite the beast of winter bearing down on us (well, not in California though), it’s a new year and it’s time to consider a fresh start for your closet. Just like the preparation that goes into painting a wall, you need to prime your closet and your wardrobe for the upcoming changes of season. Just like the other facets of your life, your closet should also be something for reconsideration, thought, and organization. So let's man up and get that closet and wardrobe in tip-top shape and ready for a new season!
Sure I know, I know; it's scary, overwhelming, and possibly even emotionally torturous, but let's face it, it needs to be done. Just imagine the sense of renewal, lightness, and clarity that will come with a clean, organized, and most importantly, well-edited wardrobe. Your mind and your closet will be ripe for the exciting reception of new clothes in the upcoming seasons and you’ll be able to make thoughtful purchases based on exact need, rather than a guess. Just don't forget to donate the clothes you are getting rid of to those in need; homeless shelters, veteran’s organizations, Good Will or The Salvation Army are great places to start. For dress clothes donations, seek out organizations like Working Wardrobes, who donate dress clothes to people who are trying to get back on their feet.
Once you are mentally prepared to jump into the deep end and get this done, here are a few tips and things to remember as you begin this process:
- If you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it - I know, that old cardigan, fraternity t-shirt, or dress shirt holds a special place in your heart but if you haven't worn it in a year, it's not coming back. This goes for shoes too. If you just can't bear to part with an item, at least package it up in a trunk or suitcase and store it rather than having it take up valuable real estate amongst your wearable items.
- If it has holes, ditch it or fix - Find damaged items and make a decision to get them fixed if they have some life in them. Or, in or in the case of old t-shirts, get rid of them entirely. A great way to repurpose old t-shirts is to cut them up to used as household rags.
- Use a critical eye and be honest - Are you REALLY going to wear that flowered shirt again? Those ridiculous leather pants you thought were totally cool? It’s important to think broadly about where your wardrobe needs improvement and to look at where you want to go with it. This includes not only with your professional wardrobe but also with your social and weekend choices too. Be courageous and make the cuts! And then forgive yourself for hilariously dumb purchases and move on, you're only human and we've all been there.
- Organization shall set you free - In addition to editing, donating, and throwing away, think about organization. Arrange your clothes properly by styles, colors, or occasion, whatever works best for you. Put away those winter coats and seasonal items and store them properly. Find a system and be diligent about keeping this organization and re-evaluate every few months or so. It will help you be clear on what items you need, what you would like to upgrade, and help remove some of the headache when deciding what to wear. Think about it, that means an extra 10 minutes of sleep in the morning (sweet victory!). You don’t have to be all Patrick Batemen-obsessive about it, (unless you want to of course, though we don’t recommend the murder), but make a commitment to a better organized closet.
- Details, details, details - Now that you have cleaned, edited, and organized, don't forget about some important details. Invest in some good hangers, some shoe trees, and proper suit and storage bags. These important items will help extend and maintain the life of those nice duds of yours.
Now don’t you now feel a sense of freedom? Like you’re ready to headbutt the world in the face and charge ahead for a stylish and kick-ass 2015? We thought so.