WITH TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE CITY beginning to rise—and fall, and rise again—you may be reaching into the back of your closet, behind your sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, for something slightly springier. It’s a seemingly simple task, transitioning into spring, but for many of us that may have ignored the further regions of our closets for the last few months, finding what we need in a less-than-tidy wardrobe can be problematic. Shoes, clothes, and accessories strewn about, with no clear vision of what items you even like anymore, can easily raise your stress level. This looks like just the time for some spring cleaning and organization—and maybe a Claritin or two.

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IMAGE: COURTESY OF THE CONTAINER STORE


Cue the Eminem.

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IMAGE: COURTESY OF IKEA


1. Clear everything out

If your closet is too small for your wardrobe (or your wardrobe is too vast for your closet), the best strategy for embarking on this process is to clear everything out, down to the last sock. Stand before your closet and revel in the emptiness, because it won’t last long.

Once you have the contents of your closet laid out before you, organize them by type and season, building a donation pile along the way. This gives you a straight view of what items you’ll actually need to organize, and in what capacity. If you’re having trouble finding pieces to either throw away or donate, hold each questionable piece of clothing in your hand, and wait to see if it brings you any joy, a la Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Emily Gilmore. If there’s no use for it—or if you haven’t worn it in a year and a half—the suggested course of action is to be rid yourself of it once and for all.

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IMAGE: COURTESY OF THE CONTAINER STORE


2. Take advantage of the empty space

Once you’re ready to refill your closet, it’s best to start from the bottom up. Be strategic with your floor space by finding properly fitted floor storage and by hanging dresses and scarves with enough room to drape.

Instead of simply piling your belongings sky high on the shelving above your hangers, pick up a few stylish storage boxes or some run-of-the-mill space bags to manage your out-of-season apparel. Organize the pieces to allow for the most efficient use of space, putting your years of Tetris experience to good use.

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