It's spring, and that means it's time to toss some stuff.
How do you deal with piles of shoes, hoards of neckties, belts, scarves, purses and more? Get organized with our seven closet-cleaning and organization tips.
The one-year rule
Haven't worn something in a year or more? It's gone. Donate that sucker. But there are some exceptions to this rule: Weight loss or gain must be accounted for. If your weight fluctuates season to season — or you're a mom to be — pack things away instead of donating. You'll be glad to save that new-wardrobe cash when you need to go back to another size.
Start from nothing
Begin your closet-cleaning project by removing everything. Take items off hangers, off the shelves — just completely out. Give yourself a fresh look at the space of the closet. Clean the shelves, vacuum — make it seem like a brand-new space.
Make three piles: Keep, toss, donate
If you are having trouble deciding whether something should be kept, donated or tossed, use these guidelines: Donate it if it is just out of style, too big or too small. Toss items that are torn, ripped, scuffed or stained. (If it's in no condition for your own use, no one else will want it, either.) If you'd wear something in front of others right now, today — keep it.
When it’s time to put all the kept items back into the closet, do it in an organized manner. Throw away cheap plastic and metal hangers. Invest in nice, wooden hangers. Amazon has great deals on all different types. With this investment you will help your clothes keep their natural shape and last longer. Arrange your tops by colors, short sleeve to long sleeve. Have all your dresses together, all your pants together and all your skirts together.
Don't hang purses
Try not to hang your purses — it can wear out the shape. If you can store them on a shelf side by side, that is the best option. Or if you have seasonal purses, store the ones that are out of season in a plastic container with a lid in your basement and rotate them out to save room.
Store neckties in a drawer
Dresser drawers are great for neckties in order to save closet space — they can be rolled up and separated with tie dividers. Otherwise, a rotating necktie rack is probably a good investment for organization. Look for one that includes storage for belts, too.
Turn donations into tax deductions
For tax deductions on the items you are giving away, the best places to donate include Goodwill or other nonprofit thrift organizations. Ask for a tax form to fill out and keep for your records.
Call a local church and see if it takes donations or if is partnered with a donation center such as the Salvation Army. By donating to a local charity, items will go right back to the community and to someone in need in your own backyard. Some local charities will even come and pick it up from your home.