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Spring Cleaning for Guys: Your Ultimate Guide

Do this before you shop

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Apr 25 2019

I’ve always loved cleaning out my closet. I find it therapeutic, and the process of decisively chucking worn or outdated pieces from my wardrobe makes me feel like some kind of fashion superhero.

Maybe you’ve been harboring secret closet-cleaning fears (What if I need that scuba suit later?!) or feel indecisive angst about your wardrobe’s contents (I know I never wear that shirt, but I spent so much money on it!). Whatever the issue, I can help break it down and make the whole process feel more manageable.

If you’re ready to take charge of your own closet overflow situation this spring, follow these tips and get ready to spring clean like a pro.

The first step? Decide what you’ll discard.

Get rid of anything in your closet that…

1. You haven’t worn in the past year

If there are things in your closet that haven’t been touched other than moving them out of the way, it’s time to move them out of the way for good. YES, even if said-item still has the price tag on it. If you haven’t worn it yet, you probably aren’t going to wear it in the future.

The exception to this rule is clothing reserved for special occasions, because you’re just not going to wear that as much as your other clothing, so you might as well hang on to it. (but if it’s been more than a year since you’ve worn a tux..maybe it’s time for a Fancy Date Night™?!)

2. Doesn’t fit

Let’s get real, guys: you know exactly what does not fit you that’s sitting in your closet right this very second. Don’t lie to yourself; if its too tight because you gained a few pounds, or too loose because you lost a few, get rid of it and treat yourself to something that fits you NOW. Reallly don’t want to part with it? Get thee to a tailor and see if they can make it work.

If you find yourself eyeballing a shirt or pair of pants while cleaning and honestly can’t remember if it still fits? Try it on.

3. Is totally, utterly beyond repair

This means anything discolored, faded, stained or hole-y. This garment is sadly past its prime, and you don’t want to be seen wearing it.

The next step is to decide HOW you will get rid of this stuff.

Your options are…

1. Sell

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a hoarder, so I need a good reason to part with literally ANYTHING. Every piece of clothing I have carries some sentimental value, so you can imagine the arguments for and against that I make in my head when considering the fate of each piece as I spring clean.

That’s why selling my clothes at a thrifted shop makes me feel at least a little bit better about parting with these items that I hold so dear (or did, at one point).

So, how do you know what you can sell? Some broad guidelines: if it still has tags on it, if it was only worn a few times or wasn’t worn at all, if it’s a well-known brand and if you bought it in the last two years, there is a good chance the store will take it.

Check out resellers like Plato’s Closet, or any local thrift store. Each store has their own guidelines, but the worst case scenario is that they’ll pass on it. And if that happens, that’s more things that you can potentially…

2. Donate

Scoop up some good vibes by giving clothes that are still in fairly good condition to those in need. Anything that you think was worth selling is DEFINITELY worth donating.

This pile may include things like bootcut jeans that have extra whiskering from wear. As long as the button and zipper work, they will be of help to someone else.

3. Toss

There are some things that you can’t sell, and shouldn’t donate. Namely, items that are hole-y, stained, or excessively faded. Also? Underwear. Second-hand underwear is not something that should exist.

If you have a copious amount of clothing left that you can’t bear to get rid of due to its sentimental value, consider making a craft out of it. Make a t-shirt quilt, a pillow cover, frame it – the possibilities are endless. But if you aren’t really willing to do that, there isn’t really a good reason to let them sit in mothballs. Like Andy and his toys in Toy Story, the right thing to do is to let them go.

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