Spring cleaning for your closet: Organizing Tips

Does your closet look like this?

Does your closet look like this?

Spring has sprung! Temperatures are rising and women are pulling out cute spring-ish fashions and even some summer-ish styles to stay cool during our warm afternoons. With Daylight Savings Time in place, I feel like we are well on our way to cocktails on the patio and dinners on the deck. Summer is around the corner!

We are also just a few days away from Easter Sunday and in Passover, two more milestones for the season, and everyone’s just loving getting together with family and friends for the holidays.

What does all this mean to your wardrobe? It’s time for the old closet switcheroo! Here are my Top Ten Tips for organizing for spring 2013 – along with notes on a worthy cause that might motivate you to tackle this task right away.

  1. Get out your supplies: a stepladder to reach high shelves, clear plastic bags for storage, extra hangers, and a notepad for your spring shopping list.
  2. Start with the golden rule of closet organizing: If you haven’t worn it in a year or it doesn’t fit you well, get rid of it. Donate it to someone who will wear it and be glad to have it. When you come across things you’re on the fence about, go ahead and donate. You know you’ll be glad you did. Start building a pile for donations.
  3. Next, pull out your “keeper” winter jackets, pants, sweaters, and tops that you won’t wear again until next fall. Put aside your fur coats to take to storage. Check out all those fall and winter clothes that need to be laundered or dry-cleaned before you put them away for the season. Start the washing machine and make a dry cleaning pile.
  4. Put plastic bags over the pieces that are ready and haul them to your guestroom closet, your under-bed storage boxes, or wherever you move your out-of-season clothes.
  5. Leave transition-type clothes in the closet for another couple of months, such as long-sleeve knit tops. You can cull those out in May.
  6. Now move to the spring/summer things currently hanging in your out-of-season closet. Take a hard look at the outfits and try them on if necessary. Begin the “keep or donate” sorting piles for those spring items.
  7. Then put the “keepers” in your current season closet. People have different ways of organizing their closets. I like to group jackets, pants, skirts, jeans, dresses and tops separately. Then I hang them from lightest colors to darkest.
  8. Move on to shoes and handbags. Go through the same season-switching process: evaluate and sort.
  9. Once your spring things are hanging up or shelved, look for wardrobe gaps and make a shopping list. Maybe you need colorful new tops to update basic outfits. Maybe you need something special for an upcoming wedding. Maybe you have some great evening shoes and would love to have a dress to go with them.
  10. Pack up the piles to dry clean or donate and enjoy your new closet!

Now, about that worthy cause: I’m sure you are familiar with the YWCA’s innovative Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center. This nationally acclaimed program provides housing to homeless women (and their children) who are working to get back on their feet. The TLC has a terrific track record for changing women’s lives.

Some women come to the TLC with very, very few possessions. The center continually needs gently used clothing and accessories to give them both wardrobe basics and appropriate ensembles for interviewing and working. For years Tres Mariposas has invited women to drop off nice clothing for these women at our Westside store (5857 North Mesa Street in Century Plaza). We’ll even mail you tax-deductible donation receipts.

This year, the Center needs about $1,350 to upgrade their security system. At Tres Mariposas, our goal is to collect 1,350 pieces of gently used clothing and accessories for the TLC – and then we will match that with a  $1,350 donation for the TLC security system.

We hope to complete the clothing collection campaign by April 25, the YWCA’s annual fundraising luncheon, and to give them our check that day. Suze Orman, the financial guru known for helping women achieve financial independence, is speaking at the luncheon; it should be an excellent presentation.

I’ll update you on the campaign next month as we get closer to our deadline. Meanwhile, tackle your closet and donate your clothes!

Shoe Organization.  Closet Nirvana!

Shoe Organization. Closet Nirvana!


Don't forget the jewelry too!

Don’t forget the jewelry too!


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