Published on March 4, 2014—  Leave a comment

Refreshing Your Closet: 5 Tips to Make Spring Organization (Relatively) Painless

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The polar vortex may still be big news, but the days are getting longer and spring is definitely on its way. As you start to retire your winter coats and boots and plot your sundress and shorts shopping, it’s a good moment to step back and take stock of your closet– where, if you’re anything like us, you have quite a few items, some of which you’re probably far more reliant on than others. Closet clean-outs are always tough (those sentimental T-shirts from a decade ago tend to bring up feelings), which is why we’ve come up with a few tips to help you get your closet in shape without stressing yourself out. 
1. Try the hanger trick. Emotions and rationalizations can get in the way of the clutter-clearing process, which is why this trick is so awesome at getting to the heart of what you actually wear. It’s simple: turn every hanger in your closet backwards, so that the open part of the hanger faces out. As you wear items, their hanger gets to shift back into the correct position. After a pre-set period (it could be 30, 60, or 90 days), you’ll have a clear idea of what should stay and what should go. Start this one now while the weather’s still frigid, and by the time it gets too warm for your winter clothes, you’ll know which should and shouldn’t make the cut for next winter.
2. Ask the tough questions. Everyone has their own way of reckoning with themselves about getting rid of those too-tight (but so cute!) shoes or that way-too-formal dress (maybe I’ll wear it someday!) A few good questions to ask yourself: If this was being sold at the store for the same price today, would I still buy it? If I was forced to wear it to an event that was important to me (where it would be an appropriate choice, of course), would I be happy to be seen in it? Does this piece express who I am now, or just who I was then? If the answer to any of these is “no,” time to let it go. 
3. Re-evaluate your closet. Good old-fashioned “keep” and “toss” piles work for a reason, and the best way to make them is by completely clearing out your closet. Once it’s empty, give it a look with fresh eyes. Are there places you could add vertical space for more storage, like a hanging shoe rack, organizer, or shelf? What areas do you go for first in the morning? Where are your blind spots, where items get hidden or pushed out of the way? Once you have a sense of how you approach your space, you can organize it around your needs.
4. Make it look good. Part of the reward of a well-organized closet is how attractive and uncluttered it looks. It’s a nice way to start the morning! If you can afford it, go out and buy matching hangers for everything you’ve decided to keep; it’ll instantly make your closet look more organized than leftover wire remnants from the dry cleaner. As you re-hang and add back items, try organizing them by type and then by color (light to dark), so that you can easily select a certain skirt or blouse from their compatriots. Put items you use the most, like jackets and officewear, in convenient spaces to grab, and items you use the least, like formal dresses and retired-for-spring winter coats, in more out-of-the-way spots.
5. Deal with the castoffs. thredUP is a great place to send the clothes that you aren’t wearing anymore (but are still in excellent condition), and get a little cash to acquire some fun new items. We make the process easy: send us a bag of your high-quality items, and we’ll handle the rest. Be sure to reward yourself for all that effort with a treat– if you’ve noticed a key piece needs to be added to your wardrobe, go ahead and pick it up! 
For more on getting your closet in tip-top shape for spring, check out our new Clean Out video: 
What are your favorite spring cleaning tricks and tips?