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Intentional Spring Cleaning for 2020

March 27, 2020

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This is a pretty different post than one I would normally share on the Kindred & Co. blog. But with extended time at home and the weather slowly (read: very slowly since there was also snow this week) warming up, I figured this would be a great post to share with the community. So hello being intentional with the space I’m in, the time I’ve been given, and the closet that needs to be cleaned out 🙂

Peep at my large container for all the clothes I don’t wear often enough and live under my bed.

Peep at my large container for all the clothes I don’t wear often enough and live under my bed.

For some context, this is what my closet looks like. It’s a wooden rack, lovingly and tediously built by my husben, that realistically holds 1/3 of my wardrobe. Another third lives in a giant purple suitcase in my husben’s closet and holds either winter or summer clothes, opposite to whatever season I’m currently in. Another third is in the actual bedroom, stuffed into drawers or in a giant container under the bed (think pants, athletic wear, some basics, etc.). My apartment just does not have the closet space for both my husben and I to store our clothes, so I’ve learned a little about keeping a clean(er) and more accessible closet.

Accessible in the sense of ease to finding items and minimizing the overwhelm. Let’s break this down:

Sometimes I’ve gone to my closet and not been able to find what I am looking for because there are clothes sporadically thrown onto the hangers or folded into drawers. I think most of us tend to keep a pretty organized dresser system with specific drawers assigned to underwear, pajamas, tops, bottoms, etc. But the same can be said for our closets. We can section out our closet to hold our dresses, skirts, tops, sweaters, jackets, etc.

I like to take it a step further and split up my tops by sleeve type (short, tank, long, etc.) and then even further by casual vs workwear. This might be a little excessive for you, and that’s totally fine. For myself, I’ve found it helpful to speed up the getting ready process in the morning. If I know what I’m doing for the day requires a more professional work look, then I know where in my closet to look. As opposed to shifting all my hangers around trying to find the perfect top.

Accessibility also plays a role in minimizing the overwhelm by reducing what is actually hung in our closets. Understandably some items in our wardrobe have to be hung in order to avoid wrinkles, weird creases, etc. However, there are some items in my wardrobe that I just don’t wear often enough to warrant space in my closet. Keeping the less worn items hanging in my closet, the more stuff overall is in my closet and therefore can feel as if there is overwhelm in my closet.

The more overwhelm there is in my closet, the more time it takes me to sift through my closet in the morning (and the more distracted I get as well, oops). So reducing what actually is hung in my closet, folding away the clothes I don’t typically wear (setting aside to store under the bed for example), helps my closet look less overwhelming and improves accessibility of my closet.

Also, putting aside the less worn clothes helps with the spring cleaning bit, which we’ll get to a little later.

Closet accessibility is one way I practice intentionality in my wardrobe, but isn’t really about spring cleaning, which is what this post is about, so let’s focus on that. Side note, focus is kinda hard when working from home at times, you know what I mean?

Anyways, spring cleaning! Spring cleaning my closet is something I enjoy doing, but often takes good effort to get into doing. Sometimes I don’t even know where to start or how to begin. And also, I want to do it well and with intention, so whatever I do prepares me better for the upcoming season and creates a rhythm that is replicable for next year. After a several closet clean fails (think sitting on the floor in a mess of clothes and pulling at my hair in frustration), this is what I’ve come up with as spring cleaning with intention:

  1. Schedule a time and timeframe for when and how long you will clean out your closet. Setting a time ensures you’ll actually do it. Remember how all the other goal setting and achieving with intentions involved putting it into your schedule? Yep, same thing here. Put it in your schedule and it’s far more likely to happen. Setting a timeframe helps too so you know there is an end and puts you on the clock to get it done in a timely manner.

  2. Take everything out. Empty drawers, pull clothes from hangers, unearth chests, etc. and take out all the clothes, even pieces you know you love and wear. Once you lay everything out next to each other, it’s easier to see the expanse of your closet more clearly; that striped t-shirt you love, might look less lovely next to your three other striped t-shirts.

  3. Group similar pieces together. All your t-shirts in one pile, denim pants in another, business casual tops, skirts, dressy dresses, etc.

  4. Take a deep breath, turn on some motivational music (my preference is 90s throwback music), and mentally prepare yourself for the hard part of being honest with yourself.

  5. Sort (honestly) by keep and toss. Keep the pieces you love, the ones you wear, the ones you know will work with the other pieces you are keeping. Toss the pieces you’re hopeful for, but have never worn; the pieces you know are well past its time; and the pieces that will only work for one outfit. See? It takes some real honesty with yourself.

    Also, remember that bit I shared earlier about only putting pieces in your closet you wear often and frequently? Often times the first pieces I’m ready to toss out of my wardrobe are the ones that didn’t get hung up in the closet. And it’s pretty easy to toss them and know this because if I didn’t spend any time in the last season digging under my bed for a specific clothing item, then it probably means it isn’t worth my wardrobe space either and can be tossed. Sad, but true. Exceptions to this are: sports paraphernalia (ie Red Sox shirt), dresses for special events, etc.

  6. Repeat, repeat, and repeat until you’ve gone through each pile.

  7. Rehang, refold, etc. Once every pile has been sorted through, you can rehang pieces in your closet and refold items into your drawers or wherever else you store clothes. This is the perfect time too to organize and sort your closet and drawers to be a more accessible closet, if you haven’t already got a system that works. See photo and caption below for the end result of my closet clean.

With the rest of the clothes that made it into the toss pile, consider doing a clothing swap with friends or offering them first to your friends, you never know who might love the top you wish you could love. If there aren’t takers, plan a time to donate your clothes to a clothes donation drop point (ie Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.). Try not to keep your toss clothes in your home for too long, otherwise they’ll somehow creep back into your closet and drawers (I speak from experience).

In the end, the goal is you’ll have a closet and wardrobe that speaks to the intentionality you seek to have in your life and a pile of clothes ready to find new homes and models to wear them. And, for a season when you have theoretically more time and space on your hands, you’ll also have a nice little goal and task completed that you may not have gotten done otherwise. 🙂

Happy spring cleaning!

What are your favorite tips and tricks for spring cleaning?

End Result of my spring cleaning 2020 (Left to right): Cardigans and light jacekts | casual short sleeve tops | work wear short sleeve tops | casual long sleeve tops | work wear long sleeve tops | sweaters (ordered from thin to thick) | skirts (casual to work wear) | casual dresses (ordered from sleeveless to long sleeve) | jumpsuits | dressier dresses (ordered from short to long) | heavy sweaters

End Result of my spring cleaning 2020 (Left to right): Cardigans and light jacekts | casual short sleeve tops | work wear short sleeve tops | casual long sleeve tops | work wear long sleeve tops | sweaters (ordered from thin to thick) | skirts (casual to work wear) | casual dresses (ordered from sleeveless to long sleeve) | jumpsuits | dressier dresses (ordered from short to long) | heavy sweaters

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  1. […] first proper break-it-down blog post about spring cleaning was in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. While I still hold fast to some […]

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