By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ
Whether you’re a packrat or a minimalist, cleaning out your closet is a job and a half. All those decisions, all those pants you have to try to squeeze yourself into, the new 6-inch layer of clothing carpeting your bedroom floor…yeah, on second thought, think I’ll go for an episode of GoT and a glass of wine instead. Fortunately, with a few organizational hacks and little help from your friends, you can get your closet sorted with enough time to make it down to Buffalo Exchange, where you can sell your past favorites for cash or trade. Win, win and win!
How to Get Started Cleaning Out Your Closet
Ever since Marie Kondo published her take on all things organization, closet cleaning experts have been recommending that you start by removing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from your closet. If you haven’t cleaned out in years, this is a solid approach. It forces you to evaluate every item, rather than just skimming off the top, and gives you the chance to make your closet shiny and new (i.e. no more dust bunnies, shriveled apple cores and T-shirts from middle school hiding out behind your winter coats).
If you’ve moved on to the “maintenance” stage of closet organization, instead remove any items you don’t feel 100% sure about keeping and pile them on your bed. Need a little extra motivation to get started? Go shopping! It’s always easier to say goodbye to pieces you’re no longer wearing when you have new favorites to replace them with.
Try Wearing Your “Maybes” One More Time
This is my personal favorite method for cleaning out your closet. Start by pulling out any items you’re on the fence about – whether they’re in the never-worn-it, bored-of-it or forgot-I-had-this category. Over the next week, challenge yourself to wear each one of these items. Try mixing it up by adding a belt or a layering piece or even just a different pair of shoes. Best case scenario, you come up with a bunch of interesting new outfit combinations and discover some new go-tos. Worst case scenario, you kind of dislike your outfit for the day. But hey, even this is a win because you’ll be able to toss the offending item in the sell pile without hesitation.
Roast Your Closet
It’s no secret that we all get by with a little help from our friends, so when it comes to cleaning out your closet, don’t go it alone! Invite a group of your besties over for a closet “roast”. Have each person pick out their least favorite item in your wardrobe and style it into an outfit. Then, do a runway show of these looks, first setting your friends up with sharpies and paper so they can vote Olympic ice skating-style.
Ultimately, it’s your opinion about the item that counts, but this can definitely help you let go of items you’re holding onto for sentimental reasons or that you’re just on the fence about. Repay your friends by plying them with cocktails and takeout. Then, conclude the evening with 90s fashion film favorite Clueless.
Try the Scarf Method
To get a head start on cleaning out, tie a scarf onto the hanging bar in your closet. Then, every time you wear an item, hang it back up on the other side of the scarf. This is a low maintenance way of figuring out which items you actually wear and which ones you’re just being hopeful about. Alternatively, you can try turning your hangers backwards every time you wear an item.
Ask Yourself the Million Dollar Questions
Ok, now for the fun part. Turn on a playlist of your favorite tunes and start trying stuff on. This is basically your own personal fashion show, so live it up! Mirror selfies highly encouraged. For each item, consider the following questions:
- Does it still fit? If not, get rid of it!
- Have I worn it in the last year? Be honest. Unless it’s a special occasion dress or one-of-a-kind vintage, chances are you should sell it.
- Is it still my style? You’re constantly evolving, so why shouldn’t your closet follow suit? You may look super cute in the item, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wear it again.
- Is it damaged? If so, will you repair it? If it will sit in a fix-me pile until your next cleanout, then it’s time to donate.
These may be tough questions to answer, but they’ll help you find your way to closet bliss. Good luck!
Sell, Store and Donate
Once you’ve decided on the pieces you’re going to clean out, sort them into 3 piles: sell, store and donate. Sell any items that are still in relatively good condition. If you’re not sure, take it into Buffalo Exchange anyway – your Buyer will be happy to look through everything. Store any items that are out of season and that you don’t plan on wearing within the next 3 months. Everything else can go in the donate pile to drop off at your favorite non-profit.
Give Your Closet Some Love
Now that you love everything in your closet, show it how much you care! Spruce up your closet with these tips:
- Invest in some nice new hangers – either wood or slim velvet ones.
- Store everything in plain sight – you’ll be more likely to wear items if you can see them.
- Hang lightweight items and fold heavy items like sweaters and denim on open shelves in your closet.
- Separate your clothing into categories like casual/weekend and dressy/workwear and sort by color.
Phew! That wasn’t so bad, was it? Time to sell your closet cleanout at Buffalo Exchange. Nothing makes me happier than a giant bag of clothes to trade in and a free evening to shop. Cheers to a clean, organized closet and a chance to reinvent your style!