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A Beginner’s Guide to Spring Cleaning: 8 Essential Tips

When it comes the worst of the worst of housekeeping tasks, tackling an overstuffed, messy closet is pretty much up there with cleaning the toilet. It’s a painfully daunting chore, but is crucial to do every so often to ensure you’re wearing the pieces in your wardrobe that you absolutely love. If you’ve attempted decluttering in the past, and have failed miserably, keep reading for some easy tips on how to easily clean out your closet.

Assess the situation
First off, ensure that you have enough room to move around in the space you’re cleaning. You can then begin to remove pieces, one-by-one, from your closet and assess which pile they’ll be going in. Your three piles will be: keep, toss, maybe.

This pile is for the items you absolutely love and gravitate toward regularly. Whether it’s denim or a collection of white shirts, these are pieces you won’t get rid of.

If you know you’re not going to wear an item ever again, then obviously toss it. When was the last time you wore it? Rule of thumb: If it has been a year or more, kiss it goodbye. Setting a timeline is an easy way to hold yourself accountable. If you don’t wear something and are keeping it for sentimental reasons, then ask yourself if holding onto the item actually makes you happy. Likely it just causes you more anxiety because you’ll feel guilty for not giving it enough love. If you feel the latter, you know what to do.

You may find yourself conflicted (or useless at decision-making on a particular day), so keep the item and sleep on it before coming to a conclusion. It’s never good to get rid of things impulsively.

Donate or sell
While going through your toss pile you might encounter something you could easily donate or resell. Give your BFF or family the pieces you know they’ll love. If you have something that you could resell, then go for it. Check out websites like Tradesy, or take your designer wares to a local consignment shop. If you’re looking to sell fast-fashion, try Kind Exchange. Just because you’re getting rid of something doesn’t mean you can’t gain anything back (cha-ching). Read more on the subject in our editor’s guide to thrifting.

One in, one out
To maintain the a certain sized wardrobe, you may want to consider implementing a few rules. An easy one is the “one in, one out” rule. If you’re thinking of purchasing something new for whatever reason, think about a wardrobe item that you would get rid of. This is a great way to sidestep any impulse purchases, a.k.a. those nights when you’re shopping online and have had one too many glasses of wine.

Don’t be discouraged
If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, then take a break. Whether it’s a few minutes or a few days, taking some time to chill before going back in will ensure you’re in the right headspace for when it comes time to declutter.

Get inspired
If you can’t seem to get into the spring cleaning vibe, but you know it must be done, then try to make it fun. Pull out the laptop and search pictures of gorgeous closets that you’d like to replicate. Go out and get some coordinating hangers to make your wardrobe look aesthetically pleasing.