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Spring is a time of growth and rebirth — you know, birds chirping and all that. For us mortal folk, that means it’s time to throw open the proverbial drapes and get cleaning. Out with the old (buh-bye boots and parkas) and in with the new (hello, space in my wardrobe that needs filling).

But before we store those coats, we need to take a good, hard look at our closets. It’s time to purge, donate andstore and we’re here to help.

Set aside at least a few hours and make sure you’re motivated because you’re going to make some important (and difficult!) decisions. A good philosophy is to follow the one-year rule: anything you haven’t worn in a year should be tossed, donated or placed in storage as a potential hand-me-down.

Here are some things to remember:

  • Let’s start with the easy toss? You should get rid of anything beyond repair.
  • Store your valuables — and we’re not talking jewelry. Leather, suede and fur needs to be stored properly (i.e. in a climate-controlled environment), ask your drycleaner for suggestions in your area
  • Restore your boots (or any shoes for that matter) – nothing is worse than wearing worn down shoes
  • Store your sweaters properly. Do not hang any sweaters on hangers, they should be folded carefully for storage.
  • Donate clothes that don’t fit. Don’t try to ‘squeeze’ into anything, ever.
  • Get rid of old coats and sweaters. Wash or dry-clean items and donate atonewarmcoat.org. Not sure what you can and cannot donate? Click here.
  • Edit your jeans. Hunting for the perfect pair of jeans is a sport. Often, we buy pair after pair, but end up just wearing one or two favorites. Don’t let them take up space in your closet, donate them to The Salvation Army. Or, sell them on eBay — who doesn’t need some extra cash these days?
  • Make your old clothes new again. Have you lost weight? Take your too-big clothes to the seamstress and have them tailored to fit you. The cost may be more than you had planned to spend, but bespoke clothing is worth its weight in gold.
  • Banish bridesmaid dresses. We may be happy to bid adieu to these frocks, but a young girl headed to prom will feel differently. Donatemydress.org will make sure that dress finds a happy owner.
  • Organize your closet. Now that your stuff is pared down, clean and good to go, organize it so you can see what’s what.
  • Make sure to put your clothes on Huggable Hangers: they save space and give everything a clean, uniform look.
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