I Won’t Be Spring Cleaning My Closet This Year—Here’s What I’m Doing Instead


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not spring cleaning my closet this year"
not spring cleaning my closet this year
Source: Lauren McCaul for The Everygirl
Source: Lauren McCaul for The Everygirl

It’s that time of year again: My Instagram feed is inundated with spring cleaning hacks, inspiration, and words of relief for the newfound space cleaning out a closet leaves. These creators have successfully purged themselves of anything that doesn’t spark joy, Marie Kondo-style. And nearly every year, I fold under the pressure. I quickly feel like I, too, should be spending an afternoon clearing my closet of the things that are still on backward hangers.

I’ve noticed over the years that spring cleaning my closet tends to feel really good in the moment. But weeks or months down the road, I find myself replacing and spending money on the same things I used to own. The “oh crap” moment realizing I got rid of something I would’ve liked to have, has hit one too many times. This year, I won’t be spring cleaning my closet. Here’s what I’m doing instead to stay organized, save money, and use what I already own.

Why I Won’t Be Spring Cleaning My Closet

Several weeks or months after my closet purge, I always find myself in a familiar situation. I’m panic searching for the one clothing item that is perfectly on-trend. Or for the piece that would round out my outfit, ensuring that I am styling instead of just wearing my clothes. Then it hits me: It was one of the several items I said goodbye to. Now, I head to Target to pick up the piece I already had in my closet once upon a time. The thought of spending another dollar on something that I already owned became a game I was sick of playing year after year. So, this year, I decided to stop.

What’s ‘In-Style’ Comes and Goes

Once I realized that what’s in style comes and goes, it made more sense than ever to hang on to certain things. What goes around nearly always comes back around—hello, skinny jeans and capri pants! But more than that also came the realization that my own style preferences may shift as time goes on. Something that I bought at one point but haven’t worn in a while may end up being something I reach for in the future.

Some Pieces are Worth Holding Onto

Trends aside, in some of my previous purges, there were sentimental pieces I remember letting go of that I’d love to have now. When I was in college in the mid-2010s, crewneck sweatshirts were everything. So much so that I got rid of nearly every hooded sweatshirt I owned—even the ones I received from major events throughout the years. Now—especially in a post-COVID world where comfort is my number one priority—I find myself buying hooded sweatshirts because, let’s be real, they really are the coziest option. If I hadn’t been so quick to toss aside the old ones I had, I wouldn’t be replacing them now (OK, at least not as often).

My cherished hooded sweatshirt collection is just one of many examples. And I started thinking about how there may be some pieces I’d actually love to pass on to my kids one day. As a kid, I loved playing dress up with my mom’s old clothes. I even added some of her pieces from the ’90s into my own wardrobe at one point. I like the idea of giving my future daughter the option to do the same.

At this stage in my life, it makes more sense to hold onto things instead of getting rid of most of them. Of course, I don’t want to end up on an episode of Hoarders, and lots of times, there are reasons to part with things. But, instead of mindlessly purging, I’m attempting a more creative approach this year.

What I’m Doing Instead

All that being said, there’s some real benefit to spring cleaning. To keep the hoarding tendencies in check, we need to objectively look at the things we hold onto. But for this year, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. In an effort to keep my space organized without having to replace everything I get rid of down the road, here’s what I’m doing.

not spring cleaning closet
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Season Switching

It may be an obvious hack that people have done since the dawn of time. But, admittedly, swapping my clothes by season is actually a new notion to me. Living somewhere that has dramatic seasons means I don’t need 100 percent of my wardrobe easily accessible 100 percent of the time. This year, I’m trying out simply taking those chunky sweaters off of their hangers, putting them in storage, and replacing them with the short sleeves that haven’t seen the light of day since September.

Getting Creative with Storage

The main purpose of spring cleaning is to free up space and feel more organized. Even though I’m not purging my closet this year, that doesn’t mean the way I organize couldn’t use some TLC. What I’m doing with that in mind is getting creative with how I store my clothes and accessories.

Outside of seasonally inappropriate clothes, there are items I don’t reach for every day but don’t want to get rid of. In this case, I’ve found some creative storage options to purchase that have been a game changer. I realized the right storage containers can help me achieve both optimal organization and solidify my efforts to not get rid of everything. Plus, they can look really nice, too!

My two favorites have been sliding under-bed storage bins and decorative bins that can be placed on a shelf. The sliding storage bins have been great for bulkier items like sweaters, sweatshirts, and jeans. The decorative bins are nice for accessories like scarves and hats.

not spring cleaning closet
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Trying New Styles with Clothes I Already Have

There are certainly things that have seen better days and need to be let go of. But most of what I was getting rid of in my previous spring cleaning binges were things that were in perfectly fine shape. I just didn’t “like” them at the time. There’s also been a mindset shift I’ve come to. Just because I don’t “like” something right now doesn’t mean I won’t see it styled in a new, fun way at some point and want to recreate it.

This strategy has also challenged me to try new things with the clothes I already have. I used to have to buy something each time a new style idea piqued my interest. Now, I’m first trying to achieve it with what I already own. With a new approach to my closet spring cleaning endeavors, I’m learning to be more mindful and intentional about what I buy and what I part with.