If there’s one thing people have a lot of right now, it’s time. While you’re cooped up for the beginning of spring, you might as well use some of that time to do some spring cleaning. At the top of the list (let’s be honest) of things to be done, is likely a closet clean out.

As someone who regularly has to do closet clean outs because they have a shopping problem and would otherwise look like a hoarder, I have devised five questions to ask myself about a piece of clothing when deciding whether to keep it or not. 

Hopefully, these questions will help guide you and act as the voice of reason for finally getting rid of those sweatpants with paint stains on them and a slight tear in the buttcheek.

1. Does it “spark joy” or have sentimental value?

So, this question comes partially from Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo suggests people hold an object and see if it “sparks joy” within their life. If they don’t have an emotional reaction to the object, it’s time to thank it and set it aside. This is a great technique to apply to clothes. If you don’t immediately get a sense of happiness from a piece of clothing, it likely doesn’t have great significance to you. That’s why this is a good first question to ask yourself. It can quickly weed out many items of clothing. Along with that, if your answer is no to each question for an item, but it holds great sentimental value, then it should stay with you. At that point, it’s more than just clothing and is a part of you because of the memories it provides.

2. Does it fit?

As we go through life and the many changes it brings, our body is bound to have changes too. THAT’S OKAY. LOVE YOUR BODY IN EVERY FORM. The way you should decide if something fits you or not is how good you feel in it. You should feel like a queen or a king in what you wear. If you don’t think you’re serving a look and feel confident, then maybe it’s time for it to go.

3. How is the condition?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to keep every grubby hoodie or slightly stained bodysuit from going to the club. There’s nothing wrong with getting rid of worn items. It just means that they’ve been very loved and told their story, but their time has come to an end.

4. How much do you wear it now?

If you haven’t worn the piece of clothing more than three times in a year, excluding formal wear, it’s basically just taking up space in your closet or dresser. Everyone buys things they think they’ll love, but then actually don’t end up wearing. If you get rid of it, the item could become a staple for someone else and get the love it deserves.

5. How much will you wear it later?

Personal styles, as well as styles for the time, change. If you can tell that you’ve started buying clothes that are the opposite of an item and you can’t see yourself wearing it much in the future, or making a comeback at some point, it’s time to give it up.

After you clean out your closet, you may be thinking, “Great, what do I do now with them before I talk myself out of getting rid of them?”

The short answer is you can practice restraint and wait to donate them, or you can resell them.

Currently, most places in Springfield are not accepting donations due to COVID-19. Eventually, they will accept them again. Until then, if you have the room and containers, you can store them.

Because of the financial strain brought on by coronavirus, some families may be unable to afford to take their children back-to-school shopping this fall. Consider making a post on social media mentioning that you wish to donate your clothes to a family for that specific reason.

If you decide to go the resell route, Depop and Poshmark are still functioning. According to Nylon Magazine, the companies have adopted initiatives to ensure users' health and safety. If you’ve utilized either one before, their sell and buy policies may be different, so you may want to review them.

You could also sell to individuals by featuring your clothes on social media. When delivering though, you should always practice social distancing. You can mail or drop off the clothes in a designated spot agreed upon by you and the buyer.

A lot of what’s happening outside right now is chaotic and out of our control, but organizing your closet may help you to gain some sense of order in your life.