March 2, 2020

Closet 'purge' kicks off spring cleaning season

Spring is right around the corner – a time for renewal, re-organization and fresh starts.

Decluttering is the watchword. Some of us are better at it than others. It requires a commitment to letting go and moving on.

The closet “purge” is sweeping the nation. Studies show that we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. At least half our clothes just sit there collecting dust, and possibly moths. Set a goal to get rid of at least 50% of the “also-worns.”

Start by removing all clothing and other items from the closet and cleaning it thoroughly. If it’s dark in there, try a new coat of paint or maybe install a light. Make it look large, light and airy.

Now, grab a box or a bag or a laundry basket. Get rid of things that are too small, too big or just don’t make you feel great about yourself.

Clean out the old, make room for the new and give your closet a little breathing space.

As you put clothes back in, remember some tips: Always re-organize as if you are preparing to show the home to a potential buyer. Distribute evenly, comfortably and equitably. Arrange by color for a sleeker look.

A trip to the storage store or DIY websites like Pinterest can generate ideas for keeping less-used items in alternative storage; under the bed, under the stairs or behind the living room couch.

If rearranging isn’t doing the job, maybe you need to cull the wardrobe a little more.

One trick is to turn hangers around in the other direction. Two weeks from now, the ones that are still pointing in the opposite direction are likely clothes you don’t wear very much anymore.

It’s clear evidence of what gets worn, rather than what’s kept for sentimental reasons. If it’s still in good shape, give it away. If it’s not, throw it away.

Well-maintained closets are one of the perks - and responsibilities - of homeownership, and a bellwether of the spring cleaning season.