Closet Clean-Out Series Part 1: How to Declutter Your Closet Sustainably


Whether it's Spring or Fall, it's always a good idea to give your closet a deep clean. Keep in mind that a sustainable closet is one where you’ll wear the pieces over and over again. So today, I’m sharing my top tips to clean out your closet sustainably. Let’s get to it, girls! 

How to get started.

First things first: you have to be in the mood. Set aside a chunk of time and put on some fun music. A little pre-cleaning dance party never killed anyone. Once you’re warmed up, go through one clothing section at a time. Begin by simply categorizing your clothes into keep, maybe, repurpose, and the ever important sell/donate piles. 

As you go through each piece, consider these questions:

  • Is this something I’ve worn recently or wear consistently? If not, why?
  • Does it even fit properly?
  • Is it worth giving a new life via tailoring or repairing?
  • Does it look good paired with anything else in my closet (especially an item you constantly wear)?
  • Most importantly: Have I worn the item in the past year?

The truth is, you most likely won’t be wearing it anytime soon if you haven’t. If it’s a true gem you just forgot about since stuffing it away in a corner last summer, then go ahead and keep it and make a note to wear it! 

Now, let’s dive into those piles.

For the ‘keep’ pieces: 

Although it may seem obvious, store away any clothes you’ll be keeping but that are off-season, since you know you won’t be wearing them until the appropriate season comes around. Or, if you have an off-season vacay planned, you know exactly where those clothes will be. 

For the rest of the pieces you just know you’ll be keeping, a handy trick is to hang the pieces on hangers all facing in one direction (or place them on one side of the drawer). As you wear each piece, hang them on hangers facing the other direction (or place them in another location in the drawer). Every month or so, take note of the pieces you’ve yet to wear and make a conscious effort to incorporate them into your outfit choices. 

For the ones you’ve noticed you just aren’t wearing, move to the sell/donate pile. 

For the ‘maybe’ pile: 

In addition to the questions above, let’s break it down even further by asking yourself these questions:

  • Does the piece fit into your current or foreseeable lifestyle?
    • Yes: Keep! No: Repurpose or donate.
  • Do you truly and absolutely love the piece?
    • Yes: Keep! No: Repurpose or donate.
  • Ask yourself again if you’re going to wear this piece. Does it go with anything in your closet that you haven’t thought of yet? If not, add it to either your repurpose pile or the sell/donate pile. Do not pass go.

Bonus: Take the time to check out our conscious shopping checklist and apply the questions to the items you have in your closet. 


For the 'repurpose' pile: 

Consider altering or up-cycling these pieces into new goods for use such as scrunchies, pillowcases, kitchen rags, bandanas, and blankets. With all this time at home, a little arts and crafts project never seemed so fun. 

And of course, as I always make note to mention, you can turn to your trusty tailor to help turn a long-sleeve top into a sleeveless one or jeans into shorts. Let your creativity run wild and turn to your Pinterest for extra inspo. 

For the 'sell/donate' pile: 

Normally, we would suggest things like clothing swaps, selling your clothes at a consignment store, and donating the goods to a homeless shelter or organization who’ll put the goods to use. But due to the current COVID-19 climate, we’ll be putting together a blog post soon on how to responsibly recycle and donate your items during these trying times. Keep an eye out for Part 2! 

Keep your closet closest. 

All in all, assess what you kept and what you’re giving away. Take note of what fits into your lifestyle, what kind of styles you consistently reach for - and what you don’t. Keep these notes in mind and avoid buying the kinds of pieces you’re giving away the next time you shop. Hopefully, you won’t have that much to do by next Spring! 

I’ll part with some much-needed inspo: “The most sustainable item in your closet is a piece of clothing that you already own.” — Elizabeth Cline, author of Conscious Closet 

Happy cleaning,

Diana 

P.S. - Got any sustainable cleaning tips? You know we always love to hear from you. Email hello@unseamthelabel.com or DM us on Instagram to share.

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