Arts & Culture Business

On Fashion: Spring Closet Cleanse

(Image courtesy of Flickr/MCar)

The arrival of spring in Boston is a much welcomed opportunity to put away your snow boots and winter jackets! I use it as an opportunity to clean out my closet by getting rid of old styles and making room for the new. Doing this once a year if not twice a year is a cathartic experience that will keep your closet organized and clutter free. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but trust me once you are done you will feel renewed and your closet will thank you.

My clients and friends often ask me to come over and help them tackle this project. All you really need is a couple of hours and someone you trust to help you honestly critique each item. Start by pulling out clothing that you haven’t worn in one year. Create three piles donate, tailor, and keep.

Often times you will find that you really like something but don’t know how to wear it or what to pair it with. Keep these items and bring them with you when shopping so that you can put together outfits. Use your closet cleanse as an opportunity to reconnect with your wardrobe and try new things, as well as discover the holes in your wardrobe. Once you have finished don’t let those donation bags sit there forever! Be sure to make a trip to donate your items to the charity of your choice.

Alison Barnard writes about fashion trends and is owner of Twilight Boutique at 12 Fleet St. and in-jean-ius at 441 Hanover Street in Boston’s North End. She is also a board member of the North End Waterfront Health & Beauty Alliance (NEWHBA).

5 Replies to “On Fashion: Spring Closet Cleanse

  1. Perfect article and simple instructions, Alison. Now, if you would just bring on the warmth of Spring and promise it will last.
    At one time, I ran a Thrift Shop for a non-profit I was involved with as a volunteer and chapter president, MSPCC.
    At least twice a year I would send out the word to members that it was ‘closet-cleaning’ time, usually Spring & Fall. Men’s closets were to be included in the purging. If an article of clothing hadn’t been worn in 2 years, they were urged to ‘fuggedaboudit’ and bring it to the shop. Most styles were not going to make a resurgence, would cost too much to alter and by the time they lost the weight to fit into that great outfit they loved, it would be too youngish for them and look silly. I was brutal and it worked. I did this for 5 years and met all our goals.
    Now I know what my mission is, as soon as the weather get’s warm enough to put away the coat that makes me look like the Michelin Tire man. Warmth trumps all!

  2. Here’s a great opportunity to drop off those bags of clothing right near South Station! Tax Deductibility!
    Earth Day 2014 Clothing Drive for Second Chances
    Second Chances provides free clothing to hundreds of homeless and lower income people in our community each year so that they can create brighter futures for themselves and their loved ones.
    Your used clothing, shoes and accessories can make a positive difference in another person’s life. Please help people in need in our community and support a local nonprofit by donating your un-needed clothing, shoes and accessories to Second Chances.
    Dates: Tuesday, April 1 through Wednesday, April 30, 2014
    The NonProfit Center lobby is accessible to the public Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Help us by letting your friends know about the clothing drive!
    Bring your clothing to: The lobby of The NonProfit Center | 89 South Street | Boston, MA 02111 (near South Station).
    What to donate: Second Chances can use just about anything that is still wearable – clothing, shoes and accessories for infants, children, teens, women and men in any size; casual, work and dress styles. We can even make good use of household linens like towels, sheets, tablecloths, and cloth napkins, as long as they are in decent condition. In season, last season, last decade, vintage, unusual clothing – what we cannot use will be recycled or sold to support our operations.
    To donate: Place your clothing, shoes and accessories in a plastic garbage bag (no hangers, please). Second Chances recycles all plastic bags and paper packaging from these drives as well, thanks to the City of Cambridge’s Recycling Program.
    Questions? Email Andrea from Second Chances at or Julia from Third Sector New England at
    Tax-deductibility and documentation of clothing donations
    KEEP AN INVENTORY with the type, condition and number of items in your donation. We cannot provide receipts for donations at clothing drives or donation bins, but the IRS recognizes this. For more information on the tax-deductibility of your donation and documentation requirements, please see IRS publications 526 and 561, or consult with a tax professional.
    Thank you for your support!

    Some places within MBTA or walking distance where you can drop off gently-used clothes:
    New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans
    17 Court St, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 371-1800
    The Salvation Army South End
    1500 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
    (617) 536-5260

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