Out with the cold, in with the bold

I have been waiting to rotate my clothing until the weather shows more promise of warmth. The presence of tulips has reassured me that contrary to what I see outside my window, spring has arrived! It’s finally time for me to shed my sweaters — and to take some bold steps with my wardrobe.

Rotating your clothing is an excellent way to begin organizing your closet. When approaching this project, like any organizing project, the first step is to sort. You will want to set out four containers labeled:

Pass on

Put on probation

Store for next season


Laundry baskets work well to keep your sorting contained, as do bins and boxes. Simply use a sticky note or sign to label what container will hold which category. The closer these containers are to your closet, the better.

Divide your clothing by type. If your pants are not currently being stored next to each other, gather them to one area of your closet or bureau. Do the same with casual shirts, dress shirts, etc. Unless you can devote an uninterrupted afternoon to your project, I recommend examining each clothing type on its own. All of the pants come out of your closet or bureau and are looked at together. If you haven’t worn the item in over a week, put it on. Ask yourself the following questions about each item:

Is it in good condition?

Do I enjoy wearing this?

Is it flattering?

If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, then put the item in the “Pass on” container so that can be enjoyed by someone else. When we pass on clothing items that no longer serve us in our current situation, we are creating space for better fitting and more flattering clothing.

The container marked “Put on probation” is for clothing items that you have a one-sided relationship with. You love them, but they don’t love you in the same way. They may be clothing items that are too big, too small or need some mending. These items are on probation. Determine an interval of time to come back and check on these items (three or six months). If the relationship is still one-sided at that point, it is time to break up and let them find a better match.

If the answer is “yes,” then decide if the item needs to be stored for fall or winter weather. If the item is one that you will continue to wear through the rest of spring and summer, put it back in your closet or bureau. Here’s a tip to tell how long it has been since you have worn something: if the item goes on a hanger, then hang the hanger backwards. The next time you wear that item, replace it on the hanger as normal. Then, at the end of this clothing season, you can easily tell which items you have worn and which ones you have not. The direction of the hangers will tell you. When it is time to rotate your clothing again, you will know which items to examine first.

Remember that the fact that you have been storing all sorts of clothing items in your closet doesn’t mean that they merit a place in your closet’s valuable real estate in the future. Be bold: create space for clothing that you not only genuinely love, but clothing that loves you back!

Mindy Jeppesen, owner of Rejuvenation Organization is a professional organizer and productivity trainer. You may follow up with her at (206) 599-9614 or to ask how bold she was in her closet.

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