Published: Nov. 7, 2022

clothes on a rackAs the cold weather creeps into Boulder, you’ll soon turn to sweaters, cardigans, and crewnecks. Those are some bulky clothing items, and your closet may be cramped for space, which makes this the perfect time to slim down your wardrobe and the pieces you have in your closet. Here are a few tips and tricks on cleaning your closet and getting ready for winter! 

Make a plan

When deciding what to keep, what to get rid of or deciding on your “maybe” pile, having a plan to follow makes it easier. Think about what you like to wear, where you go most often and how much space you have. Having a balance of different options is best. 

One thing in, one thing out

Adopting this mentality ensures that your closet is never overflowing with clothes. If you bring in a new shirt, donate an older shirt that you simply don’t wear enough to keep around. 

Be realistic

Know that you can’t keep everything, or get rid of everything. Think about how many items you want to clean out from your closet. It’s okay to only remove three or four items. When it comes to deciding what to keep, think about these questions:

  • Would I buy this today?

  • When was the last time I wore this?

  • When will I wear this in the coming months? 

Try the “maybes”

Put your “maybes” at the front of your clothing choices, and try to wear them at least once before deciding if you keep or get rid of them. You might be surprised by how much you like that shirt that you haven’t worn in a while, or that pair of pants that has been stuck at the bottom of your drawer. 


You can give your unwanted clothes a new home by donating them at any drop-off bins located around Boulder or second-hand stores like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

Remember, you can make your closet cleanout fun! Invite your friends to do a clothing swap before donating the rest of your unwanted clothes - play some music, listen to a good podcast and have friends over to give their opinions. The Environmental Center is also having a DIY Sweater Upcycling event: Turn down the heat, turn up the funk! This is a student-led workshop on how to upcycle clothing and mitigate climate change through behavior change. The event will start with food and a presentation about the fashion industry and energy consumption. Attendees will then be led through 101 machine sewing techniques and start doing patchwork on their sweaters. Bring any sweater or hoodie you need to either repair or want to add some patchwork to (fabric for patchwork will be provided).