Getting your closet organized can be a bit of a trial and error process. Case in point: you get a little too drunk, scroll through an Instagram model’s #OOTD for too long, and decide it’s time to update your wardrobe by making some room, and you end up donating everything but two shirts and a skirt.
We’ve all been there, but trust me, it’s not the way to go. Instead, here’s some basic guidelines to follow before you go too spring cleaning crazy and end up getting rid of some great pieces.
1. Keep a clothing calendar
No, not a physical calendar. Instead, take one month to find out what you really wear. Keep a handy sharpie nearby, and mark the tag inside of your clothing when you wear it. If, by the end of the month, a piece has less than five marks on the tag, it’s time for it to go.
2. Balance the basics
Yes, it’s great to have a lot of basics in your closet. But it’s important to make sure they’re not overtaking your wardrobe. Here’s a list of about how many pieces of basics you need. Get rid of the rest and replace them with standout garments instead!
- Jeans – You can never have enough great jeans. Essential for almost every outfit, be sure to have at least 6 high quality pairs of denim. Definitely a black pair and definitely a classic blue pair, but feel free to mix it up with the rest!
- T-shirts – No more than 10 please. T-shirts are great for a cool casual look, or a comfy night in, but don’t let them take over your precious closet space! Choose a few great concert tee’s or your favorite college shirt, but let the rest go to charity.
- Leggings – Essential to every girl’s wardrobe. Keep them to 5. Otherwise, you just have a closet full of matching black leggings.
- Sweatpants – We all love a good pair of sweatpants, but you don’t need more than 3. If you’re someone that wears them out all the time, try switching to joggers! Just as comfy, but a lot more stylish
3. Downsize on wrong sizes
Those shorts you don’t fit into anymore, but you promise you will once you buy a gym membership and start going again? It’s time to throw them away for good. That dress that would be so cute if you just got it hemmed sometime in the distant future? Time to go. Unless you’re ready to pencil in an actual appointment with a good tailor in the next week, it’s time to get rid of any clothes that don’t fit anymore or are just a little off and replace them with the perfect fit.
4. Keep a list
When you’re staring in your closet, trying to figure out the perfect outfit, keep track of any items you think would be perfect with that shirt — but, wait! You don’t have it. This way, when you’re out shopping, you know you’re getting pieces that will fit in with your wardrobe and keep your outfit planning easy. Make sure you know what colors you need, what items you’re lacking, and what you already have plenty of before you fill up your shopping cart.
5. Always donate
Any old clothes you decide to get rid of, make sure you donate. If you live in a city, some good quality pieces will earn you cash or new clothes at used or exchange shops, so be sure to know what your options are when you’re ready to clean your closet out. Otherwise, most churches and plazas have donation boxes. If you’re doing a big overhaul, go to your local Goodwill. You’ll get a tax break, and you’ll be doing the right thing for the environment and others!