Fashion Foreword: Spring cleaning tips (even though it's not quite spring)

You just have to get your wardrobe down to less than 20 tops and a quirky hat.

You just have to get your wardrobe down to less than 20 tops and a quirky hat.

This springlike weather is making us think all sorts of crazy things, like it’s okay not to wear tights on a 45-degree day and since it's spring it's time to clean the heck out of our closets.

As a certified Clean Person, I find that doing a thorough closet cleaning when the seasons begin to change is a thrilling, satisfying activity. It's something to look forward to, honestly. If you’re psyched about the signs of spring and can’t wait to turn over your closet, here are some tips on how to do it painlessly and perfectly.

Give your sweaters a good cleaning. You don’t need to take your wool and cashmere sweaters to the dry cleaner, though that’s always a good, relatively inexpensive option. It also works to put a little gentle shampoo or soap in the bathtub and soak your sweaters for a few minutes, then wring them out and squeeze out excess water by rolling them tightly in a towel. Let them air dry, and then fold them and pack them away. Throw in a cedar ring or sachet just in case moths find their way in.

Get some Space Bags. The importance of Space Bags when you live in a little apartment without great storage options is huge. You can compress your heavy winter bedding, your coats, and the aforementioned sweaters, then neatly stack the bags in a closet until cold days appear again. We know it sounds like something your mom would do, but it works.

Donate, donate, donate. If you're like us, you have several closets and a dresser heaving under the weight of all your clothes. If you didn’t wear something all winter and it doesn’t have sentimental value, it’s gotta go. You can donate your “no items” to your favorite thrift store (we like Value Village in Richfield) or have a clothing swap with your friends, but get rid of what you’re not using. Chances are someone else will be all about it.

Organize your stuff. You know how you always find yourself digging for that one black tank top and destroying your drawers as you rifle through them? Don’t do that. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to get organized. Keep basics in one drawer, and fold them by color or type: tank tops here, T-shirts here… you get the picture. Jeans, leggings, and sweaters should be folded, while buttoned shirts and dresses should hang.


Say “no” to cardboard. A big plastic bin is preferable, just in case a neighbor’s water pipes burst and soak through the ceiling (hey, it's happened!). Be smart about your storage; if you’re keeping your items in a basement or a storage unit, a plastic bin will keep musty smells and moisture out better than cardboard.

Get a few garment bags. Buy a few garments bags to protect precious items. Keep things with sentimental value or expensive, rarely-worn items wrapped up in cloth or nylon garment bags (which are about $5), just in case.

Pamper your shoes. You spent over $100 on your leather boots, so treat them with some respect. At the end of the winter, take them in to a shoe repair shop and have them cleaned and treated, and resoled if necessary. You want them to last, right? Do the same with your Ugg boots; many dry cleaners will clean them and get rid of salt stains or gross smells. Take care of your stuff and it will take care of you.