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Closet Cleanout by Kate Kaschenbach

Who’s up for a “Spring Cleaning” in the middle of winter? I recently was asked by another blogger to share my closet, favorite outfits, my personal style, etc with her readers (more on that later). I am very excited, however, I opened my closet, looked at the mess, and thought, uh oh. My closet is exploding, I can’t find anything, and I don’t wear half of it. I have no idea what I have, what I need, etc. So I have decided to suck it up and SORT.

Here are some tips I thought might help any of you who are feeling the same way. And if you’re not quite ready yet, bookmark this post and come back to it in the Spring!

The hardest part of a closet cleanout is deciding what to keep! With each item ask yourself the following:

1. Does this fit?

2. Is it damaged in any way? If yes, will I actually get it fixed?

3. Do I feel confident wearing this?

4. Have I worn this in the past year? (A friend of mine told me a good trick to knowing whether you’ve worn something in the past year – every time you wear something turn the hanger around when you hang it back up, at the end of a season/year see which hangers have not been turned around — you haven’t worn that item in a year!)

5. Is it likely I will ever wear it again?

6. Is this currently in style and/or does it reflect my style?

7. If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?

Now, everything you have decided to KEEP, move to the side. Next go through all the things you’ve decided not to keep and divide those up into 3 piles: Sell, Donate and Trash (remember Carrie from Sex in the City going through her amazing closet!?). If you don’t feel like putting in the energy to try and sell things, just do 2 piles for Donate and Trash.


This is something I’m trying to look more into. If you have some really nice items that are still in great shape, they just didn’t fit you right, or whatever, you should consider trying to sell them. There are so many options these days — here are a few:

  • Ebay – you all know how this works. Create an account, create a listing, upload pictures of your item, etc. The downside: 1 item at a time! If you have a lot to sell, this could be very time-consuming.

  • ThredUp – this site is so cool. You order a “Clean Out Bag” which they send to you for free. You fill it with everything you want to sell, and send it back to them (for free). They take care of the rest, and send you a check when your items have sold! The downside: they decide on the price

  • ShopHers – This is only for designer clothes and works similar to eBay. You list the items and decide on the price — it’s a great idea if you have some really nice designer pieces that you’d like to sell. The downside: You’re doing the work.

  • Consignment Shops — if you don’t want to try the online thing, there are a lot of high end consignment shops — just google for some in your area, and call the owner. They’re always looking for new consigners.

The best idea might be a combination of these options — and just think: empty hangers, space in your drawers, and cash in your hand to fill that closet back up (or go get a massage after all that hard work)!


If the items are not super high end, or maybe you think they’re too out of date to try and sell, or if you just don’t want to spend the time trying to sell them, donating is perfect. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You can even call some donation centers and they’ll pick the goods up at your home — now that was easy. I know Volunteers of America will do this — and I’m sure there are more.


Now, if you have things that are in really bad shape: stained, torn beyond repair — in the trash they go. Or give them to your daughter to cut up and make doll clothes with (that’s what I do!).


Everything in the Keep pile — this is your chance to re-organize!

  • Arrange your hanging items by color – this way you then can see what color you have a lot of, and what you might need to add

  • Stack your jeans on a shelf from darkest to lightest

  • Even if you have the space to have all seasons in your closet at once, you should have the current season in the most convenient location — just so you are looking at what you can actually wear

  • Use fun colored bins for scarves and other loose items (or buy a scarf hanger!)

  • If you have a shelf – use it to display clutches and bags

~ Kate Kaschenbach, Fashion blogger of, personal shopper and stylist, Founder/CEO of KK Designs LLC accessories line.


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