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Quarantine Closet Cleanup

Quarantine Closet Cleanup

After months of stay-at-home measures during the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of us have been reevaluating what is essential in our daily lives. For many, that has meant parting ways with things we no longer want or need. A good place to start this process by taking a hard look at your closet. It might surprise you to hear that most people wear only 20 percent of their wardrobe. That can amount to a lot of cluttered, potentially wasted space.

Is Your Closet Evolving?

Most everyone’s closet can use an inspection every now and then. But the pandemic has brought with it some lifestyle changes that may require looking at your wardrobe with new eyes. You can stay better organized by eliminating items that no longer fit your body or the way you live.

Until our lives gets back to normal, more are people working from home and socializing less, which means our business and formal attire is getting less use. For some people, “Casual Friday” has pretty much taken over the rest of the week! In an unpredictable economic and social environment, it can be tricky to predict what your future wardrobe needs will be. But you can base some decisions on what you have been wearing for a while now. If you work from home and do only occasional video conference calls, maybe it’s time to pare down your collection of suits, heels, or neckties. Keep a few dressy items front-and-center in the closet for video meetings or potential job interviews. Consider storing excess items elsewhere, and selling or donating business attire you don’t use anymore.

Loungewear and exercise clothing are more popular than ever, and they can take over a closet. Especially since a lot of it tends to be fluffy. Pay attention to the favorite items you wash and re-wear often, compared to ones you keep having to refold and re-shelve. Maybe you’re really “just not into them.” Keep only what’s comfortable and comforting!

Quarantine Closet Questions

Here are some tips to help you decide what stays and what goes.

  • Get physically and mentally prepared. Gather plenty of boxes or bags for any castoffs. That way, you’re committed to getting down to business. Label the containers: donate, sell, or discard.
  • Set aside 20–30 minutes to play the “fitting room” home game. Try on items you haven’t worn in a long time. Are they ill-fitting, unflattering, uncomfortable, or out of style? Take an especially critical look at formal wear. Don’t obsess. If you have to think about it too long, put it in the “to go” pile and move on.
  • Think about when you last wore the item. If it’s been so long you can’t remember, it should be an easy call to let it go — especially if you can’t envision wearing it again. Make an allowance for less-used items you might need to rely on again in a work context.
  • If you really can’t decide to keep it or not, turn the hanger backwards on the rod. After 6-months, any hangers still hanging ‘backwards’ on the rod haven’t been worn and you should feel safe to give them away.
  • Don’t forget to consider shoes and accessories like belts, ties, and purses. These are common “hidden” space-hoggers that may be easy to part with, especially if they are ill-fitting or scuffed.
  • Does the item have only sentimental value? If so, consider storing it with keepsakes or giving it special treatment (such as using the fabric in a quilt).
  • The contemporary advice for decluttering is to keep something only if it makes you happy. If you’re getting emotionally stuck on whether to get rid of a piece of clothing, it can help to consider how it might bring joy to someone else you donate or sell it to.Keep in mind that some local donation outlets will accept unwearable items for recycling — think stained shirts and mismatched socks. Click here to find local textiles recyclers.
  • If you plan to donate or consign items, be sure to consult the store or organization in advance for any special precautions that might be related to the pandemic.

You Don’t Have to Do This Alone!

A crowded, unorganized closet can make getting dressed an unnecessarily stressful experience. For some people, trying to solve the problem can be a source of anxiety in itself. Yet, many mental health experts suggest that reducing clutter can ultimately make people feel and function better.

At Closets by Design, our designers can help you take the first step in creating a closet where you can breathe easier. We design, build, and install attractive, efficient systems where everything has its place. Click here to schedule a free consultation today.

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