Declutter your closet fast for the New Year 

Kelly Smith 

      Another new year can mean a fresh start to everything. It’s like hitting the reset button on everything we wish we could change. Most of us set goals that we really want to try to accomplish (I’m talking to you, gym membership) but seldom stick with them. Instead of setting yourself up for a resolution doomsday, try to start with the easy stuff first, and that’s where decluttering comes into play. There are so many ways to declutter our lives including emails, never ending to-do lists, the garage, and on and on.  Decluttering for the new year doesn’t have to be a large-scale project. Want a way to start off small? Step into 2018 with a clean mindset and a clean closet with a total fashion fix up! Read on, for tips to start your new year off with a fresh fashion start! 

Make a game plan—A simple Sunday afternoon project may start off with the best of intentions, but without a plan, it’s a recipe for a fashion disaster. Don’t just start ripping everything off the hangers and out of the drawers with blind gusto because sooner or later attention spans will wane, and that will leave you right back in 2017. Instead, ask yourself a few questions before serving your closet companions eviction notices. Do you have too many long sleeve black sweaters? Have your wardrobe needs changed due to a new job? On the flip side, are you now working from home? Have you moved and are perhaps tight on space? It’s important to assess WHY you need to declutter that closet before you even start.  

Make easy categories and have supplies ready–Making a space in your work area will help you visually see everything to analyze, sort, save and purge. I like to have three basic categories to get myself started. A “Keep,” “toss” and “donate” pile. (I do this for the kids’ rooms as well.) My toss pile usually goes quickly. If I have to think for more than three seconds if I want it, I must not really be that attached to it and it gets the boot. Then, I do subcategories such as “clothes I still wear but can’t really wear until the summer,” or for you simplistic ladies, just try “summer stuff” for your sub-category. Don’t forget your trash bags, boxes or bins to keep things moving along. 

Say “yes to the “yes” pile!Now that your closet and drawers are empty and clutter free, it’s time to put back all of the pieces you intend to keep. Don’t be tempted to go through that “no “pile—it’s there for a reason and there’s no turning back if you want to get through this. Keep all of your cool weather items front and center and make sure you keep your everyday go-tos easily accessible. To keep folded T-shirts or sweaters viewable, try slightly staggering them, and if you’re lucky enough to have the extra space to do so, color coordinate your folded items. This is a great time saver. For now, summer items will be pushed to the back of the closet, which is never a fun place to be but hey, it’s better than being tossed into a bin in the basement for the next few months. 

Say goodbye to that “no” pile–Don’t even try it! Those pieces have been relegated to that pile for one reason or another. It’s best to just bag them up fast and send them on their merry way. Your “no” pile should be limited to anything that is stained, torn, worn out or very outdated.  It’s the end of the line for you, “no” pile!   

“Donate” pile– This should be your last pile because it gives you the opportunity for one last perusing of the closet to unload anything else that may be cluttering up your space. Donated clothes should always, always be in good, clean condition. If it has a missing button that’s OK, but if it’s torn beyond repair, toss it. It’s also a good time to assess just how much money you may have wasted last year buying impulse items. I can’t tell you how many of my donated items still had tags attached to them. If you see more than a handful of those in your “donate” pile, take a mental note and watch your shopping habits! 

Good job! You have finally finished your new year’s closet declutter project. Keep your closet picture perfect all year long by simply giving it just a little attention once every week or so. For every new item bought, try to trade it for an old piece every now and then. You don’t need to necessarily follow the “if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it” rule to stay on top of things, but you should focus on your ever-changing wardrobe wants and needs to stay ahead of the game. Sometimes, we just need to knock out one project at a time, and if we can hit the restart button on our fetish for fashion, then I’d say were off to a great start for 2018. Happy New Year to all!