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Make Way for a Wardrobe Update, 6 Tips for Clearing out the Closet

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Are you getting spring fever? So are we! And, now is as good of a time as any to do some spring cleaning… top on the list should be a good, energetic closet clean out! So, let those March winds blow open that closet and clear out those unworn winter styles (ahem, hello plaid wool pants over there in the corner).  Let’s face it, most people have a lot of clothing languishing in their closets. In fact, research shows that women wear only about 20-30% of their wardrobes (and that’s even BEFORE the start of this pandemic)!

Trust us, less really is more when it comes to outdated styles – especially when it makes you look… outdated!  So, let’s get started with 6 easy tips for clearing out that closet!

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  1.  Start with a clean palette – Just go on and empty out the whole thing. You read right – empty out EVERYTHING.  Don’t leave a stitch of anything behind.  As you empty, organize piles into dresses, shirts, pants etc. Once you have some nice organized chaos go through each pile and decide what should stay and what should GO → O.U.T.
  2. BE Ruthless – Don’t get stuck in the seventies, it can make you look like the seventies. So, ditch the tie-dye, peasant blouses, ponchos, bell-bottoms, gauchos, and frayed jeans.  But, that’s not all, get rid of too big, too small, too short, too long, too whatever… get it?  
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  1. Include sleepwear and undergarments – That bra you wear EVERY day has got to go. We know it’s comfortable but it’s because the elastic is completely WORN out. And, how about those pinching bras just sitting in the drawer simply because they are so pretty. You’ll never wear them. So, O.U.T. And…while weeding through your undergarments, don’t forget the sleepwear. We know – stained, worn-out pj’s are comfy because you don’t mind it when you get chocolate ganache on them…  but if you’re embarrassed to be seen in them, let them go!

TIP: Re-purpose worn out undergarments into cleaning rags (just cut the elastics off ) You’ll be surprised how much fabric there is!

  1. Do you still LOVE it?  Once you’ve weeded out the discards you are probably left with clothing that is still in good shape but for some reason remain unworn.  Before hanging this clothing back in your closet take a long pause and decide if you truly love it.  Stop thinking about that future party that your future self will saunter into all aglitter in sequins. If you’re not partying, let it go!  You can buy a party dress anytime, anywhere.
  2. Repair it or Recycle it – Ripped, broken zippers, missing buttons are all problems that can be fixed, so make an appointment with a seamstress or tailor, or beg your mom or that friend with a sewing machine to help you make the needed repairs to your favorite pieces and ONLY then put it back in your closet.  Be honest with yourself, if it just isn’t going to get fixed you will never wear it so recycle it (see #6).
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  1. Sell, Donate or Give Away – Just don’t stuff it in the trash!  This is the tricky part of cleaning out your closet… what to do with it all.  Of course, there are many places to donate or sell your gently used or unworn clothing. You could have a socially distanced clothing swap with your masked friends or look for some retail take-back programs.  Here’s are a few more ideas on getting rid of specific items instead of into that trashcan…
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  • Socks – Nice Laundry will take your socks and undies and ship them to a recycler and once they arrive, top-tier items are sanitized and sent to the needy while the rest is repurposed as textile, shredded into fibers, or turned into things like home insulation.
  • Shoes – It takes very sturdy materials to make shoes and that’s why they take a long, long time to degrade in landfills, keep them out of the trash and donate to Soles 4 Souls.   
  • Bras – Did you know that throwing 2 pounds of bras away in the trash has the same environmental impact as filling 25 bathtubs with water or driving 150 miles by car?  Donate your bras instead, simply wash and ship – check out
  • Denim – Denim can be turned into many things and one of the more useful is as home insulation, send your outdated denim to
  • Women’s and Men’s Suits – Suits and professional wear can be used to given to someone who needs a new start, donate at Career Gear or Dress for Success
  • Donation Centers – The following stores will take in gently used or new discards and resell to fund a cause, Goodwill, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Savers, BigBrotherBigSister, The Salvation Army, Vietnam Veterans of America

We hope these tips inspire you to dig into that closet and get rid of some of those clothes that have been around for a little too long.  Imagine the room you will have for some updated pieces and that fresh new you looking back at you in the mirror!  See you in the next blog!

Deb Fries is a freelance writer and designer and worked at Julianna Rae in Graphics and Customer Service she now writes for the blog at