Spring-Cleaning Your Closet? Expert Tips to Know Before Diving In

There’s something kind of therapeutic about cleaning out your closet, whether it’s a big purge or a little squeeze to make room for something new you had to have. I probably go through mine once every couple of weeks to rearrange or part with something I’ve decided I can live without. Fanny Moizant, founder of online resale site Vestiaire Collective, gave me some advice to keep in mind the next time I want to get busy (psst—that’s her with an impressively cleaned closet).


On deciding it’s time to do a closet clean-out:

“My first step always starts with a fashion crush when I want to buy something new. I challenge myself to take something out of my closet before I even make the purchase and immediately spot pieces that I haven’t worn over the past season or year. A closet cleanse has to come from a need, whether a need for space or because you’re moving, spring-cleaning, or making room for new purchases.”

On how much time to devote to cleaning:

Fanny’s approach is to weed through things at your own pace, even if that means taking a few hours over a couple of weekends. “You have to be ready to choose and decide what stays and goes. Do it slowly and progressively so it’s not overwhelming and doesn’t consume a lot of time.”

On how to physically do it:

Tidy up before you start so you’ll be able to see what you have. If your closet racks are jammed with stuff, make your bed and lay pieces out. “You’ll have to ask yourself some hard questions as you go, so having it all right there in front of you, not tightly on the racks, will help you get a better scope of it all.”

On deciding which pieces are too sentimental to get rid of:

“I’m not very attached to items. The only pieces I can’t be separated from are my mum’s Alaia vintage pieces and my jewelry that my two daughters will eventually inherit. The rest of my wardrobe is made to be lively and come and go. Photographs are how you remember those fashion sentiments! You don’t need to physically hold on to the item because you’re likely never going to wear it again, especially if it was from a special event.”

On the questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to keep or toss/resell/donate:

“Ask yourself the hard questions: ‘How many times have I worn this? Is it still on trend or is it timeless? Does it still fit? Can I wear it in different ways or with different outfits?’ If one of these answers is not, it’s time to separate. From there, judge the resale value. For us on Vestiaire Collective, pieces sell for 30 to 50 percent of their retail price value. Then decide if you should donate or sell.”

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