These are the 3 essential questions you need to ask yourself when cleaning out your closet

What’s more invigorating than an espresso shot on a Monday morning? Better than a dip in a cold lake on a hot summer day? More life-affirming than waking up after a night of drinking without a hangover? Spring cleaning. Specifically, taking the time to declutter your closet.

I’m serious.

There’s something about going through all of your earthly possessions, donating what you don’t need to those who do, and reorganizing your life in a way that makes your day-to-day more seamless. It can give you a sense of control unlike anything else. If you’re like me, then you’re really looking forward to the reevaluation you’re about to do come spring.

But spring cleaning isn’t always a walk in the park. It can be hard to decide what to keep and what to toss/donate/sell.

Luckily, we’ve got some major tips for you ahead of your deep-clean. While there are many places to tackle during this time (like under your bed, and inside your bathroom drawers/cabinets), we’ll focus on the big kahuna: your closet.

Ready to dive in?

Firstly, try taking all of your clothes out of your closet and grouping them by category. It’ll be much easier to decide which of the many cardigans in your closet should stay and which ones should go, when you see them side by side in a big ol’ pile. Also try setting an intention before cleaning out your closet. Do you want to eliminate a few items to make room for your impulse buys? Perhaps you want to give someone else a chance to love an item you once did? Or maybe you just want to get rid of stuff you don’t need?

Once you have everything sorted and your intentions set, there are three main questions you should ask yourself regarding frequency, memories, and style.

1Have you worn it in past year? 

Think seasonally. Ask yourself when and where you would wear it. Why haven’t you worn it? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? IS it uncomfortable? Too big? Too small? Do you honestly see yourself wearing it in the next month?

If you’re holding onto it because it’s probably worth some $$$ but it’s not the right season to sell it in (say, it’s a fancy coat but it’s currently summertime), hold onto it until the season when people will start shopping for those styles. Then sell, sell, sell!

2Does it have positive sentimental value? 

I get it: it can be hard to let go of that fancy skirt you wore once on your 21st birthday but would also never wear again because your style has evolved. (Am I speaking from personal experience? Maybe.) But really, unless it’s, say, your senior prom dress, do you really need to hang onto it?

3Is this item timeless? 

Maybe you don’t wear it a whole lot, but it was and still is an investment. Like the Audrey-Hepburn-à-la-BreakfastatTiffany’s kind of classic. The kind of classic your future or current daughter would be so mad at you for not keeping to pass down to her someday. (I’m lookin’ at you, Mom! Would have loved those Levis you wore in the ’90s!)

Or maybe it’s classic, but you’re low on cash and don’t feel like you really need it anymore.

There are so many avenues to sell gently-used, timeless pieces — such as Depop, Poshmark, and ThredUp. ThredUp gave us a few tips, in case you’re seriously interested in making some extra cash from clothes/accessories you no longer want.

The #1 reason sweaters aren’t accepted by most resale shops is because they’ve pilled. The easiest way to clean those up? Gently shave them off with a razor. Also, scan each item front and back with a lint roller to collect any excess dust, hair, or lint. Always make sure it’s clean. If the items have minor spots, marks, or stains, grab a Tide stick. Iron or steam out any wrinkles or kinks, and if it’s missing a button or has a small tear or two, use your needlework to give it that little bit of love that will make all the difference.

Here’s hoping that these tips help you clean your way to feeling something like this:

Happy spring cleaning, lovelies!