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how to spring clean your closet

The air is getting warmer. The freesias have pushed up along the sidewalk. And you are just beginning to believe that spring might be near.

Before the weather beckons you outside, spend at least one more day cooped up inside and spring clean your closet.

Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to clean and put away winter clothes and get your summer duds in gear. 

Sound overwhelming? It doesn't have to be. Here's how to spring clean your closet.

Divide and Conquer to Spring Clean Your Closet

Most people (unless they live in Miami) have a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe - even if the word "wardrobe" sounds a bit fancy for the clothing in their closets.

To maximize closet space - and your clothes' lifespan - tuck the winter duds in for a good summer's rest with a thorough spring cleaning. 

Go through all of your clothes and divide them into distinct piles:

  • Clothes that are clean, in good condition, and that you will wear this summer.
  • Clothes that need cleaning.
  • Clothes that need repair.
  • Winter clothes.
  • Clothes you have outgrown and never wear.

You know the drill here. Donate the outgrown or never worn clothing. Clean and repair the rest. Box up the winter clothes for a rest.

While the closet is empty, vacuum it thoroughly and wipe down all shelves.

How to Take the Best Care of the Clothes You Have Left

Now you have the closet ready for clothes that you are going to wear. What a concept. Here's how to take the best care of what you have left.

  • Use cedar balls or blocks to ward off moths as part of your spring cleaning. The newer variety today doesn't smell as bad as you may remember, and do plenty of good by keeping munching moths at bay.
  • Use proper hangers. Don't use the flimsy wire things that you get from the dry cleaners. They don't provide enough support, plus they can rust or snag clothing. Invest in curved wood or plastic hangers for suits and jackets. Choose padded hangers for delicate dresses or silk robes. Use plastic hangers for blouses and jeans. And clamped hangers for pants (always hang from the cuffs). To save space, buy several skirts or pants hangers that will accommodate five to 10 garments.
  • Never store clothing in plastic bags, which can promote mildew and light damage.
  • Use plastic shoulder protectors to keep dust off rarely worn garments.
  • Space clothing out to promote airflow and to minimize wrinkling.
  • Air clothing overnight before returning it to the closet to rid it of any moisture or odors.

And finally, don't be like your kids and wear the same thing every day. Clothing needs a rest. (Shoes, too.) If you like it that much - buy two.

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› Spring Clean Your Closet