For most of us, the relationship we have with our closets is love-hate, even on a good day. It’s home to our favorite skirt and pair of heels, but it also houses our middle school graphic tees and dresses we haven’t worn in years. We say we’ll get around to organizing it one day… Right before we go out to make more purchases to add to the piles. What better way to welcome change in the new year than re-imagining and reinventing your wardrobe? Here at Valley we have created a list of steps to follow that will lead you to having a manageable closet, all within a manageable budget.
Get Rid of the Old
From ill-fitting tees to that birthday gift with the tag still on it, many of us have clothes we don’t need. Anything with stains, holes, or excessive wear can be tossed in the trash. Do you have clothes you’ve barely worn, but feel guilty about tossing? No worries! You can make some extra cash by using websites such as Poshmark or Tradesy to post your clothes for others to buy. Donating unwanted items or giving them away to friends is also a great way to get rid of clothes you no longer need.
It’s easy to toss clothes on a hanger or shove them in drawers for future use, but this only causes headaches later when you need that going-out outfit! During the winter months, store summer shorts and swimsuits in bins and place them under your bed. You won’t be wearing them anytime soon and they’re only taking up space you can use. Purchase thin felt hangers, drawer dividers, and over-the-door shoe racks to free up precious space, and make it easier to see the selection to choose from. This will prevent you from splurging on items you already own.
You have your closet cleaned out and organized, and now you’re probably wondering “How do I maintain it?” Elaina, a Mathematics major, says she keeps her closet in line by using one special trick:
“I like to turn all of my hangers around, and every time I actually wear something, I’ll turn the hanger back around to its normal position. In a few months if I have backwards hangers left, it means I didn’t wear those clothes and I can probably get rid of them.”
Bring in the New
Start off by restocking your closet with basic items. This can include plain t-shirts, bras, leggings — anything you’re in dire need of and can pair with any outfit. Buying staple pieces you can wear with what you already have is practical and easy.
Most importantly, know when you should and shouldn’t splurge! Winter boots, jeans, and cardigans are great additions to your wardrobe and should last you years, so don’t feel bad about spending more on these items. While buying fewer clothes that are more pricey and durable is a good habit to get into, it’s not always the easiest option – especially not for college students. It’s also OK to shop in the sale section of Forever21, especially for cheap Saturday night outfits you’ll most likely get tired of posting to Instagram weekend after weekend.
Peering into your closet with the expectation of starting over with a clean slate can be overwhelming at first, but it’s a lot easier than you might expect! Sure, there will be days when you still frantically search your drawers and panic about not having anything to wear, but revamping your wardrobe will help stop the panic and save you money in the long run.