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  • Writer's pictureDarcy Camden

Keep or Toss? How to spring clean your closet

KEEP OR TOSS: How to decide?

I think we have two seasons in our region: warm/hot and cool/cold. The transition from cool/cold to warm/hot is an excellent time to edit your closet and reset for the new season. This is a system I use with clients, I call it Closet Auditing. 

Darcy's Closet Audit System: Everything you own will fit into one of 5 categories, and each category has an action step. This system allows you to #1. really see what you have (because swe rarely have a true sense of what’s going on in our closets, that’s part of the reason we experience anxiety) and #2. work in sections, which feels less overwhelming.  

CATEGORY 1: Items you like, fit well and you wear often. These are your favorite pieces, they’re the easiest to wear. They’re functional, comfortable and/or make you feel great. For the average person, this is usually only about 20% or less of everything they own. 

Questions to ask yourself: Am I maximizing these pieces? How can I wear them more? 

ACTION: These are all Keepers. Look at these items as a capsule collection, maybe take them into another room and see if you can mix and match them in ways you haven’t thought of (this is easier without the distraction of your other items). 

CATEGORY 2: Items you like, fit well but you DON’T wear often. These could be special occasion pieces that you enjoy or have specific use for  (a pretty dress you only wear to weddings, a suit that you wear for special presentations)= KEEP. This could also be items that you were intending to wear regularly but forgot about or need something else to finish the look. 

Questions to ask yourself: Why am I not wearing this? Do I need additional pieces in order to wear these more frequently? 

ACTION: If you’re not going to invest further to help it work, you might want to give it to a friend or thrift it. 

CATEGORY 3: Items you DON’T like but wear for lack of something better. This could be an old cardigan that you grab often because you feel cold or black pants that are past their prime but feel comfortable. 

Questions to ask yourself: What do I like about this? How can I upgrade this item? Do I have something else I like better that can sub in for this? 

ACTION: soon as you can. It’s ok to create a “Transitioning out” section of your closet. Plan to replace these items one at a time—as you are able—and donate your old things. 

CATEGORY 4: Items that don’t fit. Doesn’t matter if you love it or not, if it doesn’t fit, you can’t wear it. I tend to think most of these items should go, but I understand there are some legitimate situations of weight fluctuation—maybe there’s some postpartum pieces you might need again, etc. or you’re on an active fitness regimen. 

Questions to ask yourself: Is this a "Present Tense" item? Will I realistically wear this again within a year? 

ACTION: If you might realistically wear it within the year 2024, you can pack it away and KEEP it. If not, TOSS. Either way, the item comes out of your closet.  

CATEGORY 5: Items that you dislike, are old, worn out, not useful or damaged. These are often the easiest to identify and remove. If you’re eager to purge, start here. 

Questions to ask yourself: Where can I donate these items? 

ACTION: Bye, bye! 

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