Cleaning out the Closet-Keep, Donate, Dump or Delusional?

Every Spring and Fall I take on the laborious task of cleaning out the closets.  Since FTD and I share a mid-size walk-in closet there is just not enough room to hold all of our stuff year round. To alleviate the clutter I keep what we will need for two seasons in the closet at any given time. I do this to our coat closet and now Oliver's closet as well. It's annoying, but it is necessary.

Here is how this whole thing works. I have two or three storage tubs for each of us and two for our coats as well. I start by emptying out the storage tubs into four piles; Keep, Donate, Dump and Delusional. Let me explain...


This is of course the clothes I plan on wearing for the season. This pile also has the Spring Break t-shirt from 1996 that holds too many memories to part with, the tops I spent too much on, that I have never worn because they require an "occasion," and the hideous grandparent gifted sweaters I have to keep readily available for surprise invites and drop-ins.


This is the pile of clothes I love, but know the time has come for them to belong to someone else. This pile also holds the Christmas, birthday and awful baby clothes I will NEVER EVER put on my body or my child's. What?  My trash is someones treasure. After all, someone bought these fine specimens of clothes thinking they were superb. These same people are also on


This pile is the worst of the worst.  While it is meant for the city dump, it should be burned to ensure these articles of clothing never see the light of day again.  This one holds the clothes I painted the wall and myself in, things I wore until they fell apart. Literally. Things even the Goodwill will not take. You know it is bad when Goodwill throws the bag back in your car, screaming "LEAVE!"  Again, for examples go to


This happens to be a very special pile. This pile is beautiful. All of my favorite clothes that I cannot fit into anymore, but love so much I cannot part with are piled, very high, here.  Why do I call it the delusional pile and keep it separate from the keep pile?  Because I am so incredibly delusional I think I will be a size 4 again, or that somehow I will be able to pull off that twenty-something look at thirty-something. No, really, I think it possible!  What if this whole, "Wait until you start chasing a toddler, the pounds will melt off," is true?  Granted the whole, "Breastfeed and the pounds will melt off," proved to be a load of horse turds. But, maybe, just maybe, the toddler marathon will get me into my pre-teen denim!

I'll tell you exactly what I tell FTD every time he questions this pile, "I will NEVER give these clothes up. I will wax nostalgia with them every year and then be buried with them."

Side Note: Before baby, marriage and grown-up bills I had a consignment pile. Until consignment shops start buying Target, that pile will remain non-existent.

Ok, so once the bins have been sorted, I start doing the same with the clothes in the closet. I fold the keepers and delusional items and put them in the tubs, then bag the donates and dumps. I do the same with the shoes and coats.

 A trick a friend taught me was to hang all of the new clothes with the hanger hooks facing me, once I take the garment off the hanger I turn the hanger back around. This way, at the end of the season what ever has not been turned around should be donated or dumped. Truth be told, 75% ends up folded in the delusional pile.

Ten hours, a war won in "F" bombs and 44 "Really?"s from FTD and I'm finally finished. I step back and admire my hard work. While the task is laborious and time consuming, once I am finished I am filled with my favorite thing, self-gratification.

I have a feeling I am not the only one undertaking the closet swap each or every other season. What are your tips or tricks for making this process less laborious and time consuming? Or do you just say screw it and keep the same clothes all year long?

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit