The Great Spring 2016 Closet Clean-out!

Here is a reprint of David’s article for


You’ve been putting this off for weeks, but now the temperature is rising and you are roasting in your corduroy, suede and cashmere. Now is the perfect time to face your closet and decide what stays and what goes to make room for your new spring clothes!

Give your closet a good spring cleaning
Welcome to the spring closet clean-out of 2016! Here, we’ll show you how to make the important decision of what stays and what goes so you can then make room for your spring clothes!

Block out some time
First, make some time when you can focus totally on your closet — no phone, TV, interruptions and not even music. That way, nothing but your clothes set the emotional tone. Ready? Open your closet door, put the first item on, and take a good look in the mirror. Do not just focus on the item but how you look in the garment.

Do the color, fabric and cut express your authentic self? Would you rank this as an ‘A+’ look? Continue this analysis with each item. Start by putting those ‘A+’ ranked garments on the left side of your closet. Put the ‘B’s in the center. The ultimate goal is that eventually everything in your closet ranks an ‘A+.’

Sort through the middle
If there are some pieces that are in an unranked limbo, here are some tips that might help you decide where they belong:

Remember that the garments in your wardrobe have different types of value: monetary value, emotional value, etc.

Emotional value: The personal associations with an item are what create its ’emotional value.’ This type of value can lead us to hold on to clothes that either don’t work for us anymore or never worked for us in the first place, but these clothes have no ‘use value’. Take a deep breath and put the items to the right side of your closet.

Monetary value: If the garment doesn’t make you look and feel fabulous, what good is it to you? Maybe spending all that money on it was the right decision at the time or maybe it wasn’t; either way, you’re not getting any use value out of letting the expensive item hang in your closet, and you’re actually creating negative use value by wearing it when it doesn’t suit you. Put it to the right also.

Don’t confuse your closet for a clothing museum
Many people hold on to garments for historical reasons. That bright-red tee commemorating the high-school reunion, the dress worn to the rehearsal dinner, etc. You do not have to get rid of them completely, but please don’t leave them in your closet. Create a memory box or find a storage closet with an extra shelf and store your memory clothing there, the way you keep other kinds of souvenirs.

Dress from the left
After you have gone through and ranked each item, push all of your ‘near hit’ clothing a little farther to the left so you can look at them as a group. Take a moment to appreciate how all of the colors, patterns and textures relate to one another and tell the story of who you are.

Now, for a week or so before you go shopping for new spring clothes, try dressing yourself only from the left side of the closet. Discern what it is about this group of clothing that gives it the ‘A+’ rating. When you wear them, do you get more compliments from your friends? A different type of romantic attention? More respect at work? Do you feel more confident? Take what you learn from this existing group when shopping for new items, and use the palette, fabrics and cuts that serve you so well. In other words, take the clothing that makes you feel at your best, and duplicate your past successes.

Get rid of the rest
It is at this point you should feel free to try on the ‘C’ and ‘D’ list items from your closet for comparison. It is now so much more obvious that they do not serve you the same way that the ‘A+’ ones do. This is the moment that you can bundle them up and drop them off at the thrift shop on the way to go shopping for your new spring clothes! Whether you’re shopping the current sheer trend or wanting to test the color of the year, make sure the clothing still speaks to you personally and fits you well!

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from David Zyla.