Newsflash: Now is a great time to clean out your closet
Set a date and time for your closet clean-out, and plan on 1.5 - 2 hours
Follow this easy chart to help you determine if something is a "keep" or a "toss"
There are so many changes during the 4th trimester and cleaning out your closet is one you can plan, control and feel really good about

Out with the Old

Jill Standlee

Newsflash: Now is a great time to clean out your closet

We know:  You are still working out your baby’s schedule (naps, feedings, doctor visits), you are staring at more laundry than you ever thought possible,  and you still haven’t figured out how to store all this baby kit (for ideas on this last point, see Jess’ article on designing your home for kids).  So we understand that cleaning out and reorganizing your closet isn’t exactly on the top of your 4th Trimester to-do list.  

Let’s be honest, we never really want to clean out our closets.  All these things we loved once!  And we might fit into again someday!  But actually, now is a GREAT time to take the plunge.   Why, you ask?  A few reasons, actually:

1) It’s been at least six months of maternity wear since you last looked at some of your “regular” clothes.  You’ll be surprised what you notice staring at your old favorites with fresh eyes.  Your staple black turtleneck is actually faded to a dingy brown.  The collar on your go-to white shirt has yellowed.  Your every-Saturday sweater is pilled.  The moral of the story: They need to go!  It’s time to refresh your basics.

2) It’s easier to say goodbye to something you stopped wearing months ago.  If you have anything in your closet that you know you didn’t wear for at least four months BEFORE you got pregnant, chances are slim you will ever reach for it again.  Use this moment to take a walk down memory lane, then say your final farewells.  The LBD you wore on your first date with your husband, the plaid school-girl skirt you thought would work but didn’t (because there’s only one Britney Spears), and those jeans (you know exactly the pair what we mean):  their moment has passed.

3) Your life has changed!  Sorry, girlfriend, but your old Friday night ritual of hitting the wine bar circuit with girlfriends and then meeting up with your husband for a late dinner is probably off the books for now.  Don’t get us wrong — every mama needs a couple of hot “going out” looks — but you can probably winnow that collection down quite a bit, and fill that space in your closet with clothes that make you feel good now, rather than causing you to pine for a time gone by.  In this regard, cleaning out your closet is actually therapeutic: a final step in embracing your awesome motherhood.

So where to begin?  Listen closely because here’s the secret: Plan it out.  Follow these three easy steps and you will be very pleased.  

Set a date/time. Consider using baby’s naptime, and if you need to, plan a playdate for any older sibs. Figure about 1.5 – 2 hours for the project.

Get three bags/boxes and tag them. Keep.  Donate.  Throw Out.  If you’re squeamish about saying goodbye to anything in particular, you might want to consider adding a “Limbo Bag”: put any maybe’s in it and stash it for a month.  If you don’t find yourself opening it in that month, it becomes a Donate.

Be honest.  Look back at reasons 1, 2, and 3 above to clear out your closet.  Does a garment still look good?  Can you think of an occasion where it would be practical, look appropriate, and (realistically) fit you?  Does it match your new lifestyle and identity?  If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it goes.  

There are so many changes during the 4th trimester and cleaning out your closet is one you can plan, control and feel really good about – before, during, and of course (one of our favorites) after.

Inspired?  Keep an eye out for Jess Davis’ upcoming post on styling your organized closet next week on the site!

Title Image - Bonnie Tsang // Plan Image - Bonnie Tsang // “Be Honest” Diagram - Yoga by Candace // Organize & Exhale Images - Who What Wear, Refinery29, Good Housekeeping, houzz

All graphics by Cori Magee

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