Monday, March 04, 2013

The Savvy Girl's Guide to Spring Cleaning

It's that time of year again - a dreaded thought for some of us and a seasonal cleansing ritual for others. Spring signifies the start of something new, a time for planting new seeds of style, for cleaning out old habits...and wardrobes. This is my guide to surviving the closet crusade they call 'Spring Cleaning'. I share with you some of the ideas that have worked for me in the past and a few clever ones I sourced from magazines around the web.

1. Start Sorting

* You will probably need to set an entire day or weekend aside to sort out your closet. The easiest way to begin is to clear out everything. Remove all your clothes off their hangers, sweaters off their shelves and accessories from their drawers.

* Divide your clothes into three piles :
  The 'Things I Treasure' Pile
  The 'Things to Toss Out' Pile, and
  The Undecided Pile

* The 'Things I Treasure' Pile will usually consist of your much-loved closet pieces and everyday essentials. Hold on to items of clothing that you get great wear out of and that always look graceful on you... with the odd party dress or gravity-defying pair of heels thrown in, which you will insist is far too pretty to give away.

* The 'Things to Toss Out' Pile should include items of clothing that don't fit well nor flatter you, that are ripped or faded, & things that you haven't worn in over a year. Also consider adding ultra trendy pieces you know will only make a comeback when Lindsay Lohan does. Donate these pieces to charity, content knowing your clothes are going to a better cause.

* Now, the tricky part...How to decide on the 'Undecided Pile'. 
- The best trick in the book is to hang or fold these undetermined pieces of clothing inside out. As the months go by, you will have an idea of what you haven't worn & probably never will.
- Be reasonable with your decisions. If you can't think of any place or occasion that you could wear the garment or shoes, it probably means you should bid it farewell.
- Another good idea is to have a clothes swap party with your friends, bargaining with only the undecided pieces of clothing. That way, if you ever decide you want the clothes returned to your closet...all you have to do is swap it back.

2. Re-Packing

* Now that you have made some space in your closet for the new season's trends, it's time to store away your winter wear and repack.
* Before re-packing your wardrobe, line the shelves with scented drawer liners or organza bags filled with cinnamon sticks and dried flower petals.
* Separate clothing pieces by type - long pants, cropped pants, shorts, skirts, blazers, work shirts, weekend t-shirts, work & party dresses. Arrange them accordingly in your wardrobe.
* An easy way to identify your clothes is to arrange and hang them by colour. Not to mention it looks quite appealing too.

3. De-Cluttering Ideas

1.  If your wardrobe space has ran out, why not purchase cute stand-alone drawer sets to store any extras. Not only do they jazz up your room, but they are ideal for storing socks, tights, shoes, hats or undergarments.
2. The shoe wheel is a great space-saving way to pack your heels and keep them in shape. 
3. When storing your winter knits and thicker sweaters, have them vacuum-packed in plastic bags so they take up less space. Deposit the bags on your top-most shelves or under the bed for next winter.
4. Try to keep your hangers identical and toss out bulky wooden ones for a sleeker set like these Huggable Hangers, which have a velvet covering that prevent clothes from falling off.

A functional and visually delightful way of storing those winter coats and boots are by packing them away in vintage suitcases. They look charming as part of your room decor and they serve a valuable storage purpose too. 

4. Organizing Accessories

1. Keep your precious pieces of jewellery in pretty little teacups and saucers or fancy bowls.
2. Buy or make shelf dividers to redistribute your space. Storing handbags this way will make them easy to find and keep them neat and upright.
3. Etsy and Amazon have a world of attractive jewellery organizers to choose from that also assist in keeping necklaces and bracelets from tangling.
4. Store your scarves and belts on silver towel hangers that you will be able to find at a low cost in any hardware store.
5. Another brilliant idea is to cut and use old PVC pipes to line your drawers and roll scarves, ties or tights into them for easy access.

5. Tips & Tricks

* If you like keeping your shoes in their original boxes, take a Polaroid of each pair and stick it to the front of the box for easy recognition.
* If you have an open shelf for your shoes, a smart idea is to place them one foot facing forwards and one backwards, this way you will be able to see the height of the heel.
* Store a few of your favourite colourful scarves in a glass vase or bowl on your dresser, it will look fantastic and be simpler to grab as you pop out the door.
* I store my earrings in clear plastic tackle boxes so the pairs don't get lost.
* The beginning of Spring is the ideal time to have the soles of your stilettos and summer sandals repaired and have the heels replaced if need be.
* If you have a miniature sized closet, purchase extra railings and shelving and have them set up alongside an empty wall in your room. Then hang up a curtain to drape and hide them away, while also adding some decorative drama to your boudoir. (As seen above).

For me the creative inspiration behind cleaning out and organizing my closet is to arrange my clothes and accessories as though they were displayed in a boutique. That way, wouldn't it be more fun to 'shop' your own closet everyday?

I hope some of these ideas will help you as you clean out your closet this Spring. 
I would love to hear some of your own Spring Cleaning tips.


Scarlett said...

Great tips! Perfect timing too :)
xo, Scarlett
The Trendy Chick

Mélo l'imparfaite said...

so nice and colorful post

Tamara Chloé said...

Sam such a wonderfull post again!!!

My dad just finished building a shoecloset,and the next project will be a new walk in closet...these tips are excellent!

great job dear and like Scarlett said perfect timing!

xoxo kisses Tamara Chloé

Adeola Naomi said...

Such a great post at the right time!
I am good dear and hope you had a wonderful weekend too.
Have a lovely and productive week.

Anonymous said...

I only pack jackets then everything stays the same.

AlittlebitUnique said...

These ideas are so helpful Sam! I definitely need to de clutter, especially after hauling a bit too much throughout winter! Will take this all on board :)

A little bit Unique


Dawn (Sassy) said...

Hey Sam..

Excellent post! Thank you.


Punctuation Mark said...

These reminds me I need to put a ton of my stuff in vacuum bags... Ugh!!! Have a nice one!

bridechic said...

Love the mannequin in the closet space. Very handy

Megan, said...

great tips and pictures, I officially need to clean and get gorgeous new closets :) Xo Megan,

Kamilla K said...

Great tips!! I'm gonna wait a while for spring closet cleaning, but these are definitely great ideas to use!

Sophisticated Lace

Diva Desle said...

I wish my closet looked like the pink and purple one under tips and tricks. Too pretty.

The Purple Clown said...

Wow great tips! I definitely need to get mine started! I will totally refer to this when I do!


Jessi said...

Love this! My closet definitely needs reorganized and cleaned out! I've loved that shoe wheel forever! Just wish it held more. Great tips on accessory organizing!
haircutandgeneralattitude.blogspot. Com

Well... said...

Sam, this post is one of your best ones yet! So helpful and also inspiring. I need that shoe wheel!! :D
Haha, and I need to get started on spring cleaning now...I'm ready to cleanse my tightly packed closet!

Trendy Teal

AdinaA said...

I love this time of year, even though where I live I will have to postpone it for a couple of weeks or so: I don't want to scare Spring she just made it here. hahaha

Thank you for your tips, especially the ones for accessories, I always have troubles organizing those, I usually hang my necklaces by my mirror but they get tangled and I get way too frustrated to try to untangle them, and don't let me start about my earring...long story short I never get to accessories properly!

Also a short tip of my own, I have an outfit notebook for outfits I think of during my clean up, so when I am in a hurry and don't know what to wear, I have some ideas there.

Great article as always!
Have a nice day and superb week!

Анна Епринцева said...

ооо это все просто гардеробы мечты!!!!!!!

Denisa said...

Nice post. Have a great monday.

Joyce said...

OHhh I REALLY need to clean out my closet! I love how the earrings are organized by teacups, so cute and such a great idea. Mine is all in a clump right now haha. And woah that last picture of the closet is amazing, I wish mine looked as organized and pretty as that :)

Giorgia said...

fantastic post! Excellent idea

Thank you


new post on my blog dedicated to Tim Walker

Natalia A said...

Really like the idea of using vintage china to store jewellery. Looks very pretty. As for the wardrobe, I must admit, I hardly ever throw anything away.... The only swap I'll have to do in a few weeks is to pack my cold weather footwear and get out the spring/summer shoes out - can't wait to wear them. :)
Have a beautiful day!

mademoiselle mode said...

Lovely !!
I want these dressing and clothes


Rebecca Ragionieri said...

ottimo post (: Reb, xoxo.

*Ho appena pubblicato un post dedicato a una
mia intervista, fammi sapere cosa ne pensi:

MateaTPol said...

Great post! i Bought closed rack and I started to organize my garderobe but im still in mess, here is still cold and I cant remove jacket so I muss little wait!

Janice Lunes said...

Yeah great tips girl !!

I can use these for my big closet clean up this weekend :P

Jessica said...

WOW! amazing post dear, such a great idea!!! :)
Have a great monday!!

The Fashion Heels

Joy Shana said...

Lovely post

fluff and fripperies said...

There are some great ideas here Sam. I am definitely going to revisit this post as a closet clearout is well overdue in my place!

Anonymous said...

Nice post! Great !!
I wait for you for a NEW SNOW POST!!
Follow me that i follow you!
Kisses kiss

Mira said...

Thanks for sharing. I know that I have to clean out but it´s really no fun at all :-)


Heather said...

I love the idea of rearranging your closet by color - it looks gorgeous!

Pearls & Paws

Josie said...

This is a fab post, I may attempt to spring clean today. So don't want to though haha! xxx

Lilli said...

Morning Sam! Hope you had a nice weekend!:) Thanks for this post, it is really useful! Actually I need these rules! Lol, since I'm pretty lazy when have to tidy up my closet:P But is a thing I have to do soon, once the weather will be finally better here! So when will do it, will follow you precious advices:) Have a great day and week ahead my dear, big kiss!♥

Anonymous said...

Excellent ideas; thanks for sharing!


Rakhshan said...

lovely post and so helpful, i love your tips and i wish i could be as organised! plus there's no time to do it, my kids consume all my time lol:) xx

Menos es más said...

soy una fanatica de las cajas y de tener todo bien colocadito, pero soy un desastre para mantenerlo colocado....besos!!!:D

Ira Kharchenko said...

Awesome post! So useful:)

Dale Janeé said...

These are great tips and I'm going to share this post on twitter. Love the whole idea of Spring cleaning and repacking away winter clothes. I do that too and one thing I do is take all clothes I really don't want anymore to trade them :)


Heiress said...

Wow this is an amazing post! Very very helpful... pat on the back for this one :)

Loved the idea of storing scarves in a bowl or vase and also Polaroids for shoe boxes !!

Much Love
The Heiress Blog

Maddie said...

Such a great and useful post! I wish I had time to do a spring cleaning, since my closet screams for it!

Bodil Huisman said...

Just love this post!! Really needed those tips right now 'cause I had already started making plans to sort out my closet.


Lina Louise said...

Thank you for the great ideas! Super inspiring! xx

mochaccinoland said...

this is a really great article! full of great storage & organizing ideas!! LOVE IT! <333


Sandra Leiva said...

Nice tips and post, dear!

S said...

Great tips sweetie!
Definitely I'll try to follow them for my wardrobe spring crleaning!^^

Katie Frank said...

This post is perfect for me! I'm about to spring cleaning!

Rahul Bhatia said...

Smart tips Sam:)

Rosa C. said...

Wonderful POST!! Kiss
Chocolate Rose Style

Juliano Dias said...

Amazing post!

Love Love Love.

Have a nice week.

Audrey Allure said...

It definitely helps sorting things into piles!

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Such helpful and timely advice. I try to clean out my closet at least 2x a year. With the lunar new year last month, I already had an early start on my spring cleaning but there is always something to clean :)

Have a wonderful week Sam!
Rowena @ rolala loves

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

it does help! i love those hangers. so colorful and cheery.

Nico Saich said...

Love organization posts like these! So many good ideas, I'm going to start looking for suit cases and vintage stores and I dig the idea of keeping scarves in pretty glass dishes! I posted my closet tour here:

and recently I put a couple photos of my closet and house up on instagram here:

I hope you get thru your spring cleaning really fast!


BELULOVE said...

lovely!!!!! kisses

Carmen said...

Oh what a great post! I so need to reorganize my closet so I will come back next week and read the post again when I´ll have the time to do it :) Also that shoe wheel looks pretty cool!

Filipa said...

great ideas :D
sorry for not translate my posts to english, but I'm a little bit afraid of doing it wrong :/


Karolina said...

Such a great post!

xx Karolina

Je ne sais quoi said...

Great ideas doll! i loved the shoe wheel A LOT! thanks for sharing I think the most difficult part will be tossing out pieces!
Ill let you know once i clean my closet maybe do a post about it as well :)
thanks again for the inspiration

Miss Top Ten Image said...

Oh Sam I've got the feeling tha you have read my mind!!
One of my tasks for this week is to clean my closet and get it ready for the new season...!! SO THANKS A LOT FOR THIS GREAT POST!!!

Alina said...

Thank you for your advices!
Baci, Alina

Margaret Cruzemark said...

He,he. This is life and time saving. Thanks so much for asking.
Best Regards
Miss Margaret Cruzemark

Paola Lauretano said...

Good ideas!!!
Check out my blog:

Oh to Be a Muse said...

I already separate my clothing by type, but I think it would be really cute to separate them by color as well.

Rebecca said...

Thanks so much for the spring cleaning tips and I am so inspired by your amazing photos! I am liking this post on bloglovin!


Adrielle said...

Amazing post!Well-written and full of great tips!

Kacie said...

Great post! Thanks for the tips :)

CoSMT said...

Great ideas!!

Tian said...

These are some great tips, I love the polaroid idea!
Thanks for your comment on my blog. :)

Diana Marks said...

great ideas and beautiful images! thanks for posting this!

LA By Diana Live Magazine

Helena Resende said...

Really nice ideas :)

Carla said...

OK this is the most gorgeous post! Seriously i can't even stop staring at these gorgeous and dreamy closets! Gorgeous! Great tips! xoxo Carla

Audrey (hkittygirl) said...

I think I should really go through my clothes soon and sell some stuff.

Caitie Schlisserman said...

great tips for spring cleaning!!! love the pics too - wish my closet could be as large as some of theres!

Lady à la Mode

....... said...

these are some fantastic tips! I have been doing big time spring cleaning lately. love all of the gorgeous photos of nicely organized closets! thanks for sharing. xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @

Bree TheUrbanUmbrella said...

I do keep my shoes in their boxes and you're right, polaroids on the front so make it way easier/more organized!

xoxo Bree
The Urban Umbrella

Katie Q. said...

Oh, I so wish my closet looked as pretty and neat as those closets...... *sigh*
I'm getting ready to do a big closet clean out but I always end up tossing at least one item that I end up really wanting later on. :P I do have a few projects for hangers and organizers that I'm going to build to get better use out of my tiny closet so these pictures are some great inspiration!

Living_in_aShoe said...

thanks for the tips!

Chiara said...

Amazing post, as ususal <3 Lovely inspiring ideas!

Aleksandra said...

Great ideas !
I need few vacum bags :)

Nicole said...

Hey Sam!

Thank you so much for the wonderful birthday wishes! Wow! :)

This is such an amazing post about spring cleaning (I've actually bookmarked it). I often spring clean, but I have a huge bedroom cupboard is filled with clothes, my study + spare room cupboards are filled with vintage clothes, which I can't throw out as I use it for photo shoots. No to mention random clothing rails. Although I love being surrounded by clothes, I need to sort it out. And now with all these amazing ideas, I think it can become more manageable! YAY!
I love the idea of the polaroid's for the shoe boxes and putting the jewelry in cute bowls. And I definitely need to get new hangers - some of mine are bulky!

Thanks for this :)
Have a wonderful day!

Мария Рябич said...

ahahah! I just need to do all these)))

Cinnamon and White Chocolate said...

I looooove these pics! This post is great, and I totally agree with what you say at the end... I feel the same way!

Sara T. said...

Great post! I always do spring-closet-cleaning! I put away all thick sweaters, wool scarves and stuff...but in my country there's still plenty for that time since it's still cold and I still need to use winter clothes.


Lipgloss Kisses said...

Great post. There are some super helpful tips. :)

Indira Cherietmoi said...

Fabulous ideas of spring cleaning, sweetie!!! I've organized some of my outfit last week and gotta sort more of them out... ^_^

Indira Cherietmoi said...

PS: aaahhh so in love with the last pic.. it shouts spring and girliness!! :D

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

"...take a polaroid"

How quaint!

Sianna Marinova said...

I enjoyed both the article and the pictures in it. Very helful, found some nice ideas.

Mari williams said...

Very nice article. I appreciate you for choosing such a colorful snaps. Great ideas, I’m enjoyed of reading it. Thanks for your post. Keep Sharing.

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