Winter has finally come and gone (and let us all say, AMEN) and the freedom of summer is so close we can almost feel the fresh air and humidity. Spring is here and as the weather improves—and so does your mood—there is no better time to pack up the old and make room for the new…clothes. And that starts with good old fashioned closet organization. Layers of wool are out and lightweight frocks are in, but before you can rock your new spring clothes, you need to find somewhere to put them. It’s time to flip your closet, and you better do it now, before summer strikes and you start to overheat and develop a love-hate relationship with your tank tops and shorts.
We all know how exciting it is to dive into spring cleaning—-simply moving your clothes around can make it feel like you have an entire new wardrobe in a matter of minutes. And there is no denying that it is important for the sake of your home and your mental well being to regularly tidy up your belongings. Experts agree that a cluttered home can lead to stress, can distract you, prevent you from being productive and can induce feelings of guilt, embarrassment and frustration. As Psychology Today reports, according to psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., “clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.”
So the question isn’t whether or not you should do some spring-cleaning, the question is how do you go about it. Before you closet organization it’s important you do a little planning. Think of it as a spring-cleaning strategy session. Start by contemplating what you wore this past season. That old sweater that was too expensive but you bought it anyway? Did you actually wear it, or just admire it from afar? If you didn’t wear an item of clothing at least once in the last year, get rid of it. Don’t hold on to items just because you think they serve a purpose in your wardrobe. If you aren’t using them, give them away to someone who might. And if an item has sentimental value, set it aside so that it doesn’t get lost in the mess of your everyday clothes.
Next, as you go through your winter clothes, think about which items are transitional and which are strictly for freezing temps. Versatile sweaters and shawls might work well for spring and can serve as layering items as the season changes. So while you might be antsy to completely hide your knits, tights, jackets and wool tops, don’t purge everything without thinking it through.
When in doubt, try the “reverse clothes-hanger trick” courtesy of organizational expert Peter Walsh. He explains that you should hang all of your clothing so that the back of the item is facing you when you open your closet. When you wear something, return it facing the correct way. At the end of a 6-month period, anything still facing backwards (and therefore not worn) should be retired to a better home.
Another way to really win at closet organization for the new season is to not just change what items you keep, but change up how to store them. This may be the OCD talking, but organizing your clothes by color can really change your getting-dressed routine and make your day easier. You will find clothes faster (no more wasting 20 minutes searching for that green silk top that’s shoved in the back of your closet) and have an easier time figuring out what you want to wear in the first place. Plus, it looks really pretty.
Want a simple way to transform your closet as you decide what to store/purge/keep? Three words: get new hangers. If you’re like us then your closet is a dumping ground for old hangers from your college dorm (yes they are VERY old), from the dry cleaners and from department stores. Some are wooden, some plastic, some falling apart, some way bulkier than others and all of them are making your closet look like a mess. Invest in a uniform hanger set so that your clothes will all measure up nicely and you will have an easier time not only organizing your closet now, but also every single time you put a pair of pants away. These small steps take a little effort today, but they pay off big-time throughout the year, and we promise, you’ll be thanking us every morning when you’re getting dressed for your day.