Published: Dec. 12, 2023
clothes on a rack

Now that the temperatures have dropped and we’ve had our first snowfall of the season, sweaters, cardigans and jackets are go-to items in the wardrobe. These clothing items tend to take up more space, potentially crowding your closet. That makes this the perfect time to slim down your wardrobe and declutter your closet. Here are a few tips and tricks on cleaning out your closet and getting ready for winter! 

Make a plan

When deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, having a plan can simplify the process. You can sort clothing into a “keep” pile, a “donate” pile and a “maybe” pile. Think about what you like to wear, where you go most often and how much space you have. Having a mix of options in your wardrobe is ideal. 

“One thing in, one thing out”

This approach ensures that your closet doesn’t become overcrowded with clothes. For instance, if you bring in or buy a new shirt, consider donating an older one that you don’t wear much anymore.

Be realistic

Know that you can’t keep everything just as you can’t get rid of everything. Think about how many items you want to clear out of your closet. It’s okay to take out just three or four items. When choosing what to keep, ask yourself: 

  • Would I buy this if I saw it today?
  • When was the last time I wore this?
  • When will I wear this in the coming months? 

Give your “maybes” a chance

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


When it’s all said and done, the clothing you decide to remove from your closet can find a new home through donation. There are many different ways to donate your clothes. The Environmental Center’s fall 2023 fashion swap is an opportunity for CU Boulder students to clean out their closets and revamp them with something new! Pre-loved clothing collected from students will be available for other students to take for free. Additionally, this event is an educational opportunity to teach students about upcycling and mending their clothes, where to find used clothing in Boulder and about resources on campus for students to meet their needs. We hope that we can inspire students to be more environmentally conscious in their closets and provide them with some cool, new (to them) clothing.

You can bring clothes to the Environmental Center in UMC 355 Monday–Friday, 9-5 from Nov. 27–Dec. 5 , or to the UMC Ballroom on the day of the event. As you wrap up your closet cleanout, remember to make the process fun!