Well, Charlotte shoppers, the time has finally come for us to stop ignoring the disasters we call our closets. If you’re like me, you like to hold onto your clothing for far too long. It doesn’t matter if a piece still has the tags on it three years post-purchase—the only way you’ll get rid of that item is if someone pries it from your cold, dead (and well-accessorized) hands.
Trust me, I totally get it. It’s hard to let go of something that has so much potential. What if the day comes that you actually have a need for the cream-colored shirt with the contrasting embellished collar, only to remember you don’t have it anymore?! Such is the nightmare of many clothes-keepers like myself. But take it from someone who probably deserves to be ambushed on A&E’s Hoarders… It’s time to let go.
There’s no better time of year to reevaluate your organizational skills (or lack thereof) quite like spring. So why do you stubbornly avoid cleaning your closet? You know your fashion shrine could use some sprucing up—and I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to do without feeling completely stripped and empty. Yes, you can get rid of clothes and still feel like you’ve got a wealth of stylish options. Just take a deep breath and take baby steps with me. You can do this.
Tips for Spring Cleaning and Organizing Your Closet
Since it’s hard to have an unbiased opinion about your own clothing, we brought in the clothing experts at 2ULaundry to give us their best tips on cleaning out and organizing your closet. Here’s how you tackle the task.
Try-on before you toss
As you sift through the items in your closet, make sure you try them on whether or not you plan on keeping them. You might quickly realize that a top of yours is not nearly as flattering as you thought it was, or perhaps that old skirt came back in style and you want to keep it. Either way, trying on each item will help you decide what to do with it.
2U says to group your clothing together according to category (tops, pants, skirts, shorts, etc.): “Grouping by categories makes it easier to know exactly what you have, what you should get rid of, as well as the gaps in your wardrobe you should fill.” They say you might not realize just how many pairs of jeans you have until they’re spread out all over the floor. Genius.
Use the 18-month rule
This is a hard one for those of us who have ridiculous attachments to our clothing; however, it’s necessary to circulating items through your closet and letting your pieces get new lives afterward. The 18-month rule means that before you keep something, think about whether or not you’ve worn it within the last year. If the answer is no, try to figure out why you haven’t worn it. Maybe it’s a little tight in the hips, or maybe it doesn’t fit your shoulders right. Either way, usually, if you haven’t worn it in a year-and-a-half, it’s time for you to purge it.
Organize with strategy
Once you’ve cleaned everything out of your closet, it’s important to re-organize everything in a way that’s beneficial. After all, it’s annoying to search for things when you know they’re in there. Make sure you think about how often you wear something before placing it at the very front of the rack. Rare-wear formal dresses and other similar items work best in the back, and seasonal items should be in the front where they’re easily accessible.
Clean bulky winter clothes before storing
For bulky winter items like jackets, anything with down, and comforters, it’s important to give them a deep clean before stowing away for the warmer months. Neglecting to wash heavy winter items allow dirt and grime to build up and settle in the fibers of the fabric, which makes the garment wear out quickly. You can find more info about that on 2U’s winter garment care guide, and if you’re really lazy like me, you can get your laundry cleaned and delivered back to your home. Perf.
Refresh your warm-weather clothes
You should also make sure to refresh your spring and summer clothing such as blouses, shorts, skirts, and dresses before wearing them. Since womenswear often tends to be made of more delicate fabrics – silk, linen, and light cotton mixes – make sure you carefully read your garment’s label before washing! Read this to learn how to take care of delicates, and this guide has the low-down on making sure your cotton pieces last.
Don’t forget the bed
Lastly, you might as well hit a home-run with your spring cleaning efforts and take on the bed while you’re at it. (Wondering how often you need to wash your sheets? Finally, answers.) Tackle the linen closet as well and take a quick moment to deep clean all your bedding – including your pillows! Heck, maybe even treat yourself to a luxurious new silk pillowcase (we hear it’s great for the skin!) For sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillows, it’s best to wash them in the hottest water possible to sanitize them and eradicate any sweat, saliva, dust, etc. And when placing pillows or bulky comforters into the dryer, throw a couple of tennis balls in there as well to help distribute the down/artificial filling evenly. There’s more info on washing your down comforter here.
Where to Donate and Consign in Charlotte
Charlotte Donation Centers
Crisis Assistance Ministry – Uptown. Donate clothing and shoes for those in need. 500A Spratt Street, 704-371-3001
Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte – Uptown. Donate clean linens, but not bedding. 1123 S Church Street, 704-370-3262
Salvation Army – Multiple locations. Donate clothing and other household items.
- Plaza Midwood: 1011 Central Avenue Charlotte, NC 28204
- Pineville: 8500 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte, NC 28226
- Matthews: 11328 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews, NC 28105
- Gastonia: 1876 S. New Hope Road, Gastonia, NC 28054
- Kannapolis: 2910 Cloverleaf Parkway, Kannapolis, NC 28081
National Kidney Services – Multiple locations. Donate clothing and linens.
- Charlotte (Freedom Drive) – 2917 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208
- Charlotte (Central Avenue) – 4451 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205
- Charlotte (South Boulevard) – 6300 South Blvd. #300, Charlotte, NC 28217
- Gastonia – 2541 West Franklin Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28052
- Greensboro – 3407 High Point Road, Greensboro, NC 27407
- Kannapolis – 912 South Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis, NC 28083
- Mooresville – 219 East Plaza Drive #A, Mooresville, NC 28115
Goodwill – Multiple Locations. Donate clothing.
- Ballantyne: 9121 Bryant Farms Rd
- Uptown: 2901 Randolph Rd
- SouthPark Mall: 6231 Fairview Rd
- Echo Hills/Cotswold: 1133 N. Wendover Rd
- South Charlotte: 2226 Park Rd
Some Charlotte Consignment Shops
J.T. Posh – Dilworth. Consign designer clothes, accessories, handbags, etc. 2400 Park Road, 704-375-1334
Revolve Upscale Men’s Consignment – Dilworth. Designer men’s shirts, jeans, sport coats, shoes, and slacks. Call to make an appointment to consign. 1222 East Blvd, 704-817-7845
The Argyle Alligator – Dilworth. Children’s clothing consignment, next door to Revolve (above)
Nouveaux Couture Consignment – Ballantyne Village.
Clothes Mentor Charlotte Arboretum – South Charlotte. 8120 Providence Road, 704-594-7949
Uptown Cheapskate – Multiple Locations. clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Huntersville: 9709 Sam Furr Rd
- Uptown: 9015 J M Keynes Dr
- South Charlotte: 8700 Pineville-Matthews Rd #900
Savvy Seconds Consigned – Cotswold. 2907 Providence Road #102, 980-335-1119
Have any favorite consignment shops or donation centers we forgot to mention? Comment below to let us know the best places to give our beloved clothing new homes.