spring cleaning for fashionistas

It's that time of year! Temperatures are rising along with hearts and hemlines. Spring is the time dedicated to fresh starts, to cleaning out the old and welcoming the new in--and it shouldn't be any different in the realm of style!

Rainbow shoes! Love it

Obviously, it's a great time to dump the clothes you didn't seem to wear all winter and anything meant for warm weather that doesn't fit. Of course, everyone has their own rules about when something needs to leave the closet. Some are strict "use or lose it" types, while others hold onto every pair of bell bottoms because "they could come back!" My general rule is anything that doesn't fit (and you therefore won't be wearing for a long while) goes, unless it's particularly special for some reason. I'm still holding onto a shirt with a hand-illustrated squid on it that doesn't quite fit me, but I could never toss it. A pair of random denim shorts? Get outta here!

As I've recently discovered with my mystery dress adventure, clothes can surprise you. I can't advocate for immediate purging of anything you're wishy-washy on--it may surprise you! But if you've been hanging onto a piece for over a year with no real change in your affection, it might be time to let it go. Another tip I read on another fashion blog (I forget which it was, but I find dozens touting the same advice when I google it, so I'll assume it's common property by now!) is to place all of your clothes in the closet with the hangers backwards. Whenever you wear an item, when you put it back in the closet, hang it back up with the hanger going to correct way. That way, after however long of a sample time you need (3 months? 6? a year?), you can clearly see what pieces you don't wear and could probably safely dispose of. By dispose, I of course mean donate, presuming your clothes are still in good wearable conditions. (You can also send clothes that need more love than you can give to a new home, a good home with someone who would love them, a little place on a farm, with plenty of room for them to run around and ducks for them to play with...by which I mean, there are few people who would not appreciate a box of gently worn clothes. Thanks, Misha!)

While you're doing all this clothes organizing, you might as well tackle the closet as well, right? Now, my dream is, of course, to have a fabulous budoir just filled with my clothes, all ready for dressing and glamorizing.

Dita Von Teese's closet, via her twitter

Obviously, Dita Von Teese is living the clothing dream, but even those of us without unlimited funds and space can fix up the closet a bit. It's where we keep our pretty things--they deserve to be displayed fabulously too, right? There are dozens of great organizers to make sure everything has it's place. I have to admit that I'm partial to Bed, Bath & Beyond's in-room closet systems. They're designed for dorms, sure, but I love the idea of having a rack of my clothes. It would be like shopping every day, without spending money!

Also consider how your clothes are arranged in the closet itself. Can you find everything? Is something you need daily tucked into a corner while your old prom dress is hanging front and center? I organize my closet from dresses to outwear, from most to least formal within the category. So I have my cocktail dresses to my day dresses, to skirts, to slacks, to blouses, to tops, to sweaters, to blazers, to jackets. This way, the things I'll wear most often (skirts--sweaters) are most easily within reach. Never underestimate the power of little things, too. The revolving shoe rack that my sister gave me for Christmas was an instant game changer. No more squatting and digging around at the bottom of the closet, pushing clothes out of the side. My shoes are all attractively displayed for my perusal and easy retrieval!

What's your tried-and-true organizing tip? Or is all this "spring cleaning" business giving you hay fever?

(related, I brought up a very controversial subject on my twitter this morning: organizing your books by color. If you feel strongly about it, come follow along and join in!)

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