It’s hard to believe that we’re already on the cusp of fall. I’ve had the September issues on my coffee table for a couple of weeks now, and while I’m being careful to not wish summer away, I can’t wait for the shift in style that a new season offers, especially autumn. Layers, boots, and plenty of texture — after a long, hot summer of one-piece dressing and sandals, fall makes the act of getting dressed feel fun again. If you’re like me and pack away your off-season clothes (a smart decision if you’re also dealing with a too-tiny closet), the cooling days of late August mean it’s almost time for the Great Closet Switchover. I’ll soon be rummaging through bins and boxes in search of the sweaters, jackets, flannels and boots I boxed up months ago, and making a list of the must-haves I hope to buy for the months ahead (suede miniskirt, anyone?). The transition into a new time of year isn’t just great for personal style though, it also happens to be the perfect time to plan a major closet cleanout.
Why clean out your closet from season to season? Besides allowing you the opportunity to take stock and see exactly what you already own making shopping for what’s to come more streamlined and intentional, detoxing your closet a few times per year lets you clearly steer your personal style in whichever direction you please. Think about it: if you haven’t worn a fit-and-flare in years, but your closet is full of them, there’s no room for the new silhouette or color that you love (not to mention, there’s likely someone out there who would be ecstatic to find those pieces for a steal on Poshmark!). Reselling your castoffs also ensures less landfill waste, and those extra bucks in your Poshmark account make it easy to refresh your own wardrobe with gently used pieces when the time comes. Not sure where to start? Check out my five tips below for executing a successful closet cleanout, and then share your own!
1. Plan Ahead
While a full wardrobe overhaul is tempting to just jump right into on a Saturday afternoon, I’d advise against it. I’ve made this mistake countless times and usually what I’m left with is a giant mess, flagging motivation and more disorganization than when I started. Plan a few days in advance to give yourself time to gather supplies, even better, pencil it in. Set aside a full morning or afternoon (whenever you feel most productive), more if your wardrobe is large and your intent is a major cleanout. Be honest with yourself, if you feel you need a full day, take it.
On the day-of, brew a fresh pot of coffee (or pour yourself a glass of wine if it’s after noon), grab some snacks, and crank your favorite Spotify station. This should feel like a party, not a chore!
2. Gather Supplies
If you’re still using plastic hangers, now is the time to upgrade. I prefer velvet slimline hangers, which are gentle on clothes while providing a non-slip grip and save you serious space (clutch if you’ve got a small closet). I also have a small arsenal of sturdy wooden hangers, which I use for heavier jackets and for displaying special items on the back of my closet door.
Along with upgrading your hanger situation, get your hands on three large bags (I love the blue bags from Ikea for this). You’ll need one for clothes to keep, one for clothes to sell, and one for donations.
If you’re not already packing away seasonal clothes, but want to start, grab a few large plastic or cardboard storage bins, some masking tape, a sharpie, and some cedar blocks (found in the closet section of most big box stores).
Make sure your full-length mirror is handy, and if you’re really in fall cleaning mode, you’ll want a vacuum or broom and duster close by, too.