If you’re the type of person to diligently clean out or organize your closet at the start of every season, you have our utmost respect and admiration. If, on the other hand, you need a little firm encouragement, we’ve got just the thing: National Clean Out Your Closet Week.
From March 20-26 we're helping you optimize your wardrobe for the season ahead. But, we're doing things a little differently — rather than encouraging you to toss old pieces and buy new ones, we're all about refreshing what you already own. "Out with the old, in with the new" is an outdated adage anyway, if you ask us. Ahead, we've got a seven-day challenge full of approachable, easy-to-achieve tasks that will help you revive pieces you already own, see your closet through fresh eyes, and inspire you to live more sustainably.
Day 1: Swap Your Clothes For the Season
First things first — with each change of season, it's always helpful to take a good, hard look at everything in your closet and evaluate what you truly want to bring into the next few months with you. Now is a good time to donate anything you know you won't ever wear again (think: clothes that don't fit or no longer bring you joy), set aside the pieces that are out of season but that you still love and want to store for the future (i.e. thick sweaters and bulky jackets), and bring out the pieces you know you'll rotate through for the current season (like warm-weather dresses!). With fewer, and only the most relevant, items in your closet, you can see everything at a glance, which will make getting dressed quicker and easier.
Day 2: Organize Your Closet
Now that your closet only contains the current pieces you're excited to wear for the season ahead, it's time to tackle organization. Begin by taking everything out, so you can neatly rehang and refold them. This not only helps refamiliarize you with what you have, but also allows you to put them back into your closet in a way that makes sense for you, whether that's organizing pieces by color, length, or convenience. If your folded items are going into a drawer, filing the pieces vertically rather than stacking them will help you quickly see and access everything that's stored rather than just the item at the top of the stack.
Pro tip: hanging your blazers, jackets, and coats will help preserve their shape and structure, and folding your sweaters and tees will help prevent them from stretching out.
Day 3: Revive Dingy White Clothes
There's nothing worse than pulling out your cherished white tee again only to discover unsightly sweat stains under the arms or around the collar. Whether it's your go-to cotton button-down, your expensive linen dress, or even your everyday basic underwear, help your white clothes look like new today with OxiClean™ White Revive™ Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover. It works with detergent to gently lift away stains and restore the color's brightness, so you can continue wearing your favorite white pieces for years to come.
Day 4: Tackle Those Clothes Chores
We all have that neglected pile of clothes full of items that need to be "taken care of." You know, the ones you still love and want to wear, but that need to be destained, depilled, repaired, ironed or steamed, or taken to the tailor. Dedicate some time today to finally address these small tasks — it's definitely easier to commit to doing them all together as one big chore rather than one by one. First up, throw a load of laundry in including your stained clothes, pretreating them first with OxiClean™ Max Force™ Spray. The fast-acting formula begins working on contact to remove those everyday, set in stains.
Once your laundry is going, head to the tailor to drop off any pieces that need to be altered. If you're more of a DIY type of person, or if the repairs are small (i.e. missing buttons, small rips), tackle them at home. Finally, take care of any required ironing or steaming — if you wait until your load of laundry is done, you can include those pieces in the process.
Day 5: Clean Your Shoes
Set aside an hour to give your favorite or most-worn shoes some love. Clean your white sneakers using OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover, a water-activated formula that can get stains and grime out of your shoes. Apply the product using a cloth, sponge, or brush, scrub as needed, and wipe clean with a damp cloth. You can also use this chance to swap out your shoelaces for fresh ones. For boots or sandals, wipe them with a damp cloth to gently remove dust or dirt. This will help keep your shoes looking good as new and make you excited to continue wearing them.
Day 6: Polish Your Accessories
It's time to dust off your best outfit-makers! Gather your bags, belts, sunglasses, and jewelry together to give them a good polishing or conditioning. A leather conditioner can help keep your bags and belts in tip-top shape; otherwise, giving them a gentle sweep with a shoe brush or wipe with a damp cloth works, too. And you know those microfiber cleaning cloths that come with your sunglasses? They're not just useful for lenses — you can use them for belt buckles and jewelry as well. To bring back the brilliant shine of your diamond jewelry, mix a drop of dish soap into filtered water, scrub with a toothbrush, and rinse (again with filtered water).
Day 7: Make A Big Difference With Small Upgrades
So, you've finally got a closet full of properly refreshed pieces that you're excited to wear. Why not take it a step further and ensure they last for the long haul? By focusing on extending the life of your pieces beyond just the season, you're investing in a more sustainable wardrobe and way of life — and turning your closet into a more aesthetically pleasing space while you're at it. Even the smallest closet upgrades can make the biggest difference in the preservation of your clothes, shoes, and accessories. For instance, simply swapping your mismatched plastic hangers out for velvet or wood ones will help your space appear more streamlined and feel more luxurious. Velvet hangers are gentler on clothes while wooden ones are sturdier and can help properly support heavier pieces. Other upgrades: storing your shoes in acrylic boxes, storing jewelry and sunglasses in cloth-lined boxes, or placing cedar blocks or lavender pouches throughout to deter moths.
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Credits: Illustrations by: Louisa Cannell