Photography by Meg Niemann | @MSNPhotography
If you know me you know how obsessed I am with with cleaning out my closet. Below are a few tips I touched on about decluttering in The Huffington Post...
Every season has its magic, but there’s just something about springtime that is lovely beyond compare. With the snow long-melted, cherry blossoms blooming, and the city getting greener by the day, spring is all about out with the old, in with the new. Hence, spring cleaning!
Some say the idea of spring cleaning dates back to the Persian New Year in ancient times, while others attribute the trend to the Jewish tradition of cleansing one’s homes in anticipation of the springtime festival, Passover (I’m a fan of this theory myself). Whatever its origin, the idea is pretty clear: spring is the time for a clean slate and a tidy lifestyle.
As a fashion blogger, I’ve come to embrace the “spring cleaning” mindset year round. Trust me: a messy closet and overstuffed wardrobe is not your friend. There are plenty of smart ways to purge, leaving room behind for beautiful, fun new items in your wardrobe.
This minimalist philosophy applies to way more than just your closet. From bad habits to bad relationships, why not make spring a time of reflection to flush out negativity and embrace a new (and organized!) way of life?
Here are some steps that will help you spruce up your wardrobe and beyond!
1. Decide what has real value
There’s this book that everyone raves about by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ll admit I haven’t read it all (yet!) but what I do know about it is truly insightful. For example, the author advises that when tidying, you pick up each belonging and analyze it. If it brings you joy, keep it, if it doesn’t, let it go.
She also advises you consider your clothes’ feelings! Do they like being crammed, balled up, or in the laundry basket for two months straight? Would you? Probably not. Long story short, if you respect your stuff as having value, you’ll treat it right, even if that means it’s journey with you is over.
You might consider this an opportunity to reflect on other areas of waste or neglect in your life. Do you have friendships that no longer bring you joy? On social media, are you following dozens of pages or people you could care less about? Are you habits actually serving you, or are they just a product of comfort-turned-laziness?
Take the time to think these things over. If you decide they are both valuable and joyful, you’re in luck. If not, that’s okay! This brings us to…
2. The power of purging
Nostalgia can be a powerful force, but not a very helpful one. I sometimes get caught up the sentimentalities of old clothing, and feel guilty about letting things go. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when it comes to spring cleaning, you have to live in the present. If something is not serving you now or tomorrow, it should go.
With clothes, there are some great ways to phase out old items without throwing them in the garbage:
- Sell it! You can use sites like Ebay or ThredUp to resell your old clothes. This way you know they will get a new home, plus you will make some money off of it. The more into this habit you get, the more you’ll make, and if you do it frequently enough your clothes (or other items) will be worth more.
- Donate it! If you think it feels good to hold on to old clothes, it feels even better to know someone less fortunate than you will get them. Your old jean jacket may hold memories of summer camp, but it’s better off acquiring totally new memories than sitting on a hanger for five years.
Tidying up your personal and professional life can be much more difficult if it means letting go of things you once loved. If your job isn’t working, for example, consider how someone else might excel at that position, which would ultimately be better off for you and the company.
This brings us to...
3. Make space for great new things
When you examine your closet (and life), decide what isn’t working, and purge, it may be bittersweet, but I guarantee you’ll feel relief. There is a beauty in empty space, whether that space needs to be filled or not.
You may also find that you have needs you didn’t realize. Maybe none of your jeans bring you joy—if so, it’s time to buy a pair that does! The same goes for shoes, accessories, dresses, hats, you name it. And if, like me, you can get in the habit of rotating clothing quickly and regularly, you’ll be able to enjoy new things more often.
To me, spring cleaning means making space, enjoying that space, and filling with things that matter, and nothing more.
By letting go of bad habits, toxic relationships, dead-end jobs, and other metaphorical “clutter” you will also feel relief, and best of all, the hope of new and joyful things to come.