Spring may still be a month away (on the calendar, at least), but that hasn't stopped me from getting a jump on my spring cleaning. I've slowly been working my way through everything from my kitchen to books to paperwork and even my site right here. In fact, starting next month I'll be presenting much of the Runway Chef content in a new or updated (aka "spring cleaned") format.
One area in which this is particularly the case is the "Wear" category. The updates are inspired not only by my recent move to a new location, but also by a style rut I've found myself stuck in since said move, as well as the desire to bring you more value than "just another outfit idea". I'll be explaining more details on March 1st, but in the mean time, these site updates have led me to another spring cleaning task- a necessary, but incredibly intense, spring closet clean-out.
As the weather warms up, I'm sure many of you will be doing similar cleaning chores, so I thought I would share my closet clean-out checklist with you to help you tackle your own tasks. In not so many words, my checklist motto is basically "out with the old, in with the new". I'm sure whoever said that was referring to something far less superficial than clothing, but if the saying fits...
Keep on scrolling to peek everything on my closet clean-out checklist and leave a comment with any of your own tips!
Seasonal Items //
In the summer I pack away my sweaters and heavy clothing, and in the winter, I pack up my shorts, swimsuits and tank tops. If at any point while those items are packed away, I found myself saying where "such and such sweater..." or "such and such tank top..." might be, I pull that specific piece of clothing out of storage as I realize it's something I actually use regularly. Anything I forget about, I get rid of.
Wear + Tear Check //
I know this might seem obvious, but it's amazing how many stains, lost buttons, broken zippers, pilling and/or tears you miss in clothing until you go to wear a piece, and nothing ruins an outfit faster than some wine stain you somehow missed prior. Spend a few hours every month straightening up your closet (refolding t-shirts, fully buttoning shirts on hangers, pairing socks together, refolding pants and shirts, checking for tears and stains, etc) to make sure everything still works properly and looks ok.
Staples vs. Trendy items //
Closet staples should be gone through and refreshed twice a year, whereas trendy items should be checked ideally every month, but at minimum, once a quarter/season.
Color Coded //
As I've gotten older, I've noticed myself veering towards and buying mostly pieces of a certain color palette. When I do make the random one-off purchase of something outside that color range, it ends up being much harder for me to mix and match it into the rest of my wardrobe, often leading to the said piece being forgotten in the back of my closet somewhere. To make sure I now wear everything in my closet and truly get the most out of each item, as well as cut down on outfit planning time, I stick to my color palette (neutrals) when it comes to purchasing new pieces, and edit out anything else.
Creature of Comfort //
For me, because I mostly work from home, I'm a creature of comfort. I like cozy sweaters, soft sweatshirts, jeans I can move in, t-shirts I can breathe in. Rarely am I throwing on some buttoned-up look, which means anything that falls into that category is getting overlooked and shoved in a corner. Find what your thing is, be it comfort, dresses, jeans, etc. and make sure your closet is full of those things and void of anything else.
Extra, extra //
Most of us are good at cleaning out clothes, but what about everything else that makes up our outfits? Shoes (Are the scuffed? Can they be resoled? Are they discolored and worn out?), underwear (Are they stretched out? Do they have holes?), jewelry (Is it broken? Are they missing a piece/a back to an earring/a clasp?), pajamas (Have they shrunk? Are they pilled or do they have holes?) and workout gear (Similarly to pajamas, are they stretched out, worn out or full of holes?).
The Feel Good Test //
Last but not least is the feel good test. Does a piece make you feel good? Because chances are, if it doesn't, you aren't going to wear it. I know this seems like an obvious one, yet we're all guilty of keeping a piece that's too tight or doesn't fit quite right because we "might lose weight", or "it might work if I get this specific skirt". Take it from me, that's never going to happen and you're never going to wear the piece. Just get rid of it.
Pass them Along //
Once you've gone through your closet, I suggest sorting items into three piles- donate (or giveaway), sell and toss. I use Poshmark to sell items (You can check out my closet, and if you use code 'RUNWAYCHEF' to sign up for an account, you'll get a $5 credit.), and donate to local women's shelters. Just remember to toss anything with holes or stains. I see so many people sell or donate items that have no place other than in a trash can. Just because someone is in need doesn't mean they want to wear a t-shirt with a bbq sauce stain on it. If it's not in good enough condition for you to wear, it's not in good enough condition for anyone to wear.