My closet is usually a mess. I hold on to everything. But thanks to two different moves and going away to college, I pared down my wardrobe to the essentials and now nothing goes unworn. However, if you don’t have a move on the horizon but still want to get a jump on spring cleaning, here are a few tips on cleaning out your closet: 

First, do a general sweep through your closet. Pull out the pieces you’re unsure about and the things you definitely want to toss. This will help you to get started; if you just try to go into your closet and pick out things to toss, you’ll most likely end up tossing one or two things. From there, go through your “maybe” pile. This is where it gets hard. 

What you should keep

Keep classic pieces that you can always use, such as a little black dress, dress pants or slacks and a denim jacket. These are things that are staples in your closet and that you could always use or might need in the future. Keep items that are in good condition that you’ve worn recently. You might also want to keep one or two things in your closet that have “gone out of style.” For example, when I was younger flared jeans went out of style. However, they’re slowly starting to make a comeback. But be smart about this. Not everything will come back.

What to throw 

Barring winter items and the formal dress you have for special occasions, toss anything you haven’t worn in the past six months. Odds are, if it has been that long, you probably won’t be wearing those jeans anytime soon. Throw away anything with obvious stains that are past the point of saving or any rips and tears you can’t fix yourself. If there’s a rip in a sweater you love but you don’t know how to sew and you haven’t taken it to a tailor yet, toss it. 

How to rearrange 

Now that you’ve torn apart your closet, how do you put it back? This is somewhat of a personal choice, but I still have a few tips. Put the things you wear more frequently toward the front of your closet so you won’t have to dig to find them. Put things that are out of season toward the back as well; if it’s the middle of the summer, there’s no reason your sweaters should be the first thing you see when you open your closet! Try sorting your clothes by color, type and occasion. I’ve sorted my closet into dresses, casual tops, going out tops and work blouses. Within those sections, I sorted the items by color.

I hope these tips help you on your quest for a more organized closet. Happy cleaning!