Spring Cleaning Your Closet

You probably don’t find spring cleaning to be a whole lot of fun, right? What if there was a fun reason to tackle your closet this year for some much needed spring cleaning? Okay, sign me up!

The weather’s getting warmer. If you want to feel fabulous and have clothes that fit you well, clothes you love to wear, and clothes that are in great shape, its important to do a closet clean out at least twice a year. The best times are spring and fall, at the change of seasons.

Now is the time to tuck away those sweaters and heavy layers and bring out your sandals, skirts, and sundresses. Some people keep all of their clothes in their closet and dresser year round. That’s okay if you have the space, and the summer clothes are separated from the winter clothes to make them easy to access. Even if you have the space, don’t let it fool you. Having a closet full of only clothes that make you feel great is an art, and more is not better!

If you’re feeling apprehensive about your closet clean out, remember that you only wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. Be ruthless. If it doesn’t fit right or you don’t wear it for whatever reason or its worn out, get rid of it! It has no right to take up valuable space in your closet.

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First, take all of your clothes out of your drawers, closet, and seasonal storage. No cheating. . . we’re doing a closet clean out. No article of clothing gets a free pass! This should help you realize exactly how many clothes you have.

Second, make four piles: keep, seasonal storage, donate, pitch. The keep pile should ONLY be clothes that you’ve worn in the last 6 months and you love. Seasonal storage is where you’re going to tuck away all those clothes that are in great shape for next winter. The donate pile is for all of the perfectly good clothes that aren’t perfect for you. And the pitch pile. . . that’s for the holey socks, stained shirts, and other items that should become rags or trash.

Third, sort through all of your clothes into each of the four piles. If you’re on track, your keep pile should be SMALLER than the seasonal storage, donate, and pitch piles combined.

Next, put your keep pile back in your closet and drawers. Put the seasonal pile in a bin (note: 1 bin) and store it for next winter. Put your pitch pile in the trash or cut some salvageable articles to use for rags for cleaning.

There’s one pile left. . . the donate pile. This is the fun part! You have a couple choices here:

  • Host or attend a clothing swap (also known as a naked lady party!)
  • Find a friend to go through your clothes for items they want
  • Donate clothes to charity (be sure to get an itemized form)

All three of these work on the same principle- your trash is somebody’s treasure. The clothing swap is my favorite option because it lets you go “shopping” and get new-to-you clothes that you love. Just don’t get too carried away! The purpose of your closet clean out is to eliminate the excess clothes in your closet and leave only have ones you love. It makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning when your closet is full of clothes that make you feel good and fit you well.

I’m excited to share with you that my friend and colleague Shelly Beyerle, co-owner of Rocky Mountain Rossiter, organized an event to make closet clean out fun for those of us in Fort Collins!

I’ll be there, will you? Here are the details:

Women’s Clothing Swap

When: Thursday March 29th, 2012 from 5:30pm to 8-ish

Where: Straightline Fitness Studio, 1606 S Lemay, Suite 102, Fort Collins, CO

What: Do your closet clean out and bring your donate pile- they’ll have healthy snacks and changing rooms to try on clothes while you “shop”. Oh yeah, its totally FREE!

See you there! =)


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Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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