How To Clean Your Closet Tonia Zemek

Getting dressed is making me distressed. I have more American apparel than American Apparel. The experts say hoarders have too much baggage. But it’s not just accessories creating all this carry-on. I have too many frocks and tops. An abundance of hats and caps. My jean pool is overflowing. Even my footwear is running out of room. Finding sweats makes me perspire. I’m forced to channel my inner gymnast as I contort my limbs to search through a labyrinth of wire coat hangers and buckling drawers. Sound familiar?

Well get ready to step out of the changing room and make room for change. It’s time to clean out your closet. Make like a d-j and d-clutter. Word.

Closet Readers
My Nike sweater is always telling my “I heart NY” shirt to “just do it.” An old Carrie necklace can frequently be found in the pocket of my DKNY pants, sorry SJP. “Keep calm and carry on” smirks my shiny white tee. Bite me.

As you fight this wardrobe war you’ll discover that Cher was right, words are like weapons they wound sometimes.  You can’t turn back time and right your purchasing wrongs, but you can spring clean this fall.

Jean-etic Engineering
Overwhelming quantities of distressed denim can create a sense of distress. It doesn’t take a genius to work out it’s time to cull those cut-offs.

Break up with your boyfriend jeans. They’re so last season and keeping them is treason. Want to know the reason? If you’re single it’s fraudulent and if you’re dating it’s dumb.

This season is all about pastels so anything else belongs in a time capsule. Here’s the skinny; keep the stovepipes but boot the bootlegs. Burn the flares and ditch anything stone-washed, tie-dyed or patched. Remain detached.

It’ll be hard to part company with all these general pants but something’s gotta give. Get rid of your excess pants, no butts.

Bags Without Borders
That woven clutch I picked up on vacation just isn’t cutting it in Cali. Totes are totes cool, but I really don’t need ten of ‘em. My gym bag hasn’t seen a gym since Jen and Brad split. I can’t remember the last time my back embraced my backpack.

Unless you’re an octopus, you really only need one shoulder bag, a couple of clutches and a decent overnight bag.  However, should you be gifted a Hermès or Birkin throw the rules out the window. Bag whatever you’re offered and rock those beauties.

Well Heeled
Do you regularly go boot scooting? If the answer is no, then your closet should only be housing one pair of cowboy boots. Are you an elite athlete working out between five and six hours a day? If the answer is yes, then pack your closet with trainers of every color and style. But if you’re not heading to the Olympics anytime soon, one pair of trainers is your limit.

It’s easy to get guzumped on pumps. A sale here, an amazing color there. Before long your closet is crammed with open toes, sling backs and zipped ankles. There’s not an inch to spare. It can be sole destroying.

Spend one week tracking your footprint. At the end of that week, make a pile of every shoe you haven’t worn. Don’t look forlorn. That pile is headed for the thrift store to someone who needs it more. Eureka! Now your closet has space galore.

Wardrobe Warrior
You will know your journey is at an end when you can close your closet door without a giant guffaw. When reaching for a sweater feels so much better, when finding your favorite kicks takes nicks.

Use your new found freedom wisely oh Wardrobe Warriors. It’s natural to feel a sense of emptiness, nay abandonment when confronted with an orderly, clear closet. Resist temptation. Do not re-stock. You’re officially out of the closet now, so stay there.

Image via Shutterstock

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  1. Agreed with the above — if I only kept the shoes I wore during one average week, I’d only own probably one pair of boots and one pair of Toms. The nice shoes/adorable flats/sexy heels still have to stay for the odd occasion that Toms aren’t appropriate.

  2. I just went through this in my own closet. Had to say goodbye to some old friends, but you’re right – It was time.

  3. It’s the t-shirts I’m having the most issue with. Sure I don’t wear Legolas in public anymore but i still can’t throw him away! *hand over heart* Damn you Hot Topic and my youth spent on ya! D:

    • My man has a similar t-shirt issue…. so we went through his t-shirts and made a stack to make a t-shirt quilt. he can keep all the memories but in a more useful way :)

  4. Love this. Something along these lines needs to happen to my closet/wardrobe!!

  5. Only a weeks worth of shoes? Harsh!

    What about fancy shoes for best? I don’t wear best every week.

    • Hey Christina, I think they were just making a point for the shoe-addicted (some people really don’t know how many shoes they can’t part with. I would give it serious thought myself. How many “best shoes” do you have? What can you wear them with? Can you wear them for the duration of your event? How many events do you need them for? If you can’t come up with four really good answers, then I might reconsider

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