As fun as it is to accumulate lots of clothes, accessories, and jewelry, most of these things all need our care. Clothes get stains, accessories sometimes break, and jewelry gets tangled and tarnished. When this happens, we often shove the problem to the back of the closet instead of just dealing with it when it happens… which often means that we end up with a bunch of clothes and accessories that can’t be worn or used until they are fixed.
So, every once in awhile I like to do a closet clear out and figure out what I can put back in commission with just a little fix. When you properly take care of what’s in your closet, you are ensuring that everything will last longer and look even better. Especially since all of the items in our closet are actually things that we invested money in, they shouldn’t just go to waste.
Lots of things can even be repurposed to suit you in a new way. Here are my hacks for taking care of everything in your closet:
If you were to tally up how much money you spent on clothes in a year, you’d probably be shocked (I know I would be!). This is why learning how to properly take care of and fix our clothes is essential in getting the most bang for your buck — and there are a ton of preventative and practical solutions that will keep all of your clothes looking brand new.
First things first, the old adage that “you get what you pay for” is almost always true.
You can’t expect cheap finds and trendy items that you don’t pay a lot for to last you a long time. But that’s okay!!! There are lots of items I don’t spend a lot on (fun t-shirts, seasonal wear, etc) and therefore don’t expect to get years out of. Then there are also items I’m okay with splurging on because I know they are an essential, timeless classic. These are the pieces that you should expect to last you a long time, and with the proper care, you can make sure they do last a lifetime. This is because quality pieces fit better due to thicker fabrics and better construction.
One of the biggest things you should look for on your clothing item is its laundering instructions. We’ve all been there — spent tons of money on something, not paid attention to how it should be washed, and then completely ruined it in the washing machine. If you’re not up for dry cleaning or hand washing your items, make sure you avoid buying these things in the first place. Otherwise, wash pieces according to their instructions and you will ensure your items last a long time.
I also try to put my clothes in the dryer as little as possible — athletic clothes like leggings or sports bras should never go in the dryer, as well as most jeans because they wear down the quality much more quickly. And as hard as it is, the best way to take care of your clothes is to wash them less and try to avoid sweat stains when possible.
Another unavoidable part of owning clothes is things ripping, buttons falling off, or a thread coming loose. If you learn how to repair these small things, you will make your clothes last longer and save a ton of money. A simple sewing kit and a helpful YouTube video will go a long way in helping you save your clothes.
Let’s face it: all of us could us a jewelry clean out. Life gets busy, and many of us end up just throwing our jewelry into a drawer, letting it get tangled up in a jumbled mess. Apart from detangling it, lots of jewelry also likely requires cleaning it once in awhile.
Every 6 months or so, I suggest giving your jewelry collection an overhaul. This means taking out each piece, reorganizing it, and cleaning the things that have tarnished so you can bring them back into rotation. You should likely even clean those pieces that you always wear, because you get so used to them slowly wearing over time that you don’t notice the changes (and let me tell you, when you finally clean one of your necklaces, you’ll be amazed at how big of a difference it makes).
Most jewelry is okay to wash, but it depends on different metals, gemstones, and other embellishments. You can give your jewelry a wash using warm water and a tiny bit of dish soap — simply put a drop of dish soap in a small bowl with warm water, and let your jewelry soak in it for a few minutes. After the time is up, use a soft cloth to wipe it clean. Another alternative for removing tarnish is using silver cleaner. The biggest thing to note here is to be gentle, follow instructions, and avoid harsh cleaning methods. You can do more harm than good if you’re not careful!
Another aspect of jewelry care that is often overlooked is how it is stored. Putting all of your pieces together in one drawer is not the best way to ensure that they last you a lifetime. Your jewelry should also never be stored on top of a dresser or bathroom counter, because it will undoubtedly get scratched, lost, or damaged.
The best way to store jewelry is individually, or sorting like with like. If you buy jewelry that comes in its own pouch, using those bags are an easy solution. Otherwise, store similar metals together but in a way that prevents them from getting tangled. If you have a jewelry box that has many little compartments, that is ideal — and apart from protecting your jewelry, it also makes getting ready easier because you can see what you have as everything is laid out neatly in front of you.
Overall, as cheesy as it sounds, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it can make a big difference in the lifespan of your goods. Take care of the things in your closet and you will find that your favorite items will last forever.