We’ve all heard the tried and true advice for keeping your closet clean, such as “if you haven’t worn it for a year, it’s time to get rid of it.” But in closets, like in life, sometimes those hard and fast rules don’t apply – or at least need a little tweaking.

When the temperatures warm up and we finally throw open the windows and shake out the rugs, it can be extremely satisfying to fill up a bunch of big bags of clothes to donate. Here are a few tips from Klinke Cleaners to help you be smart and savvy about what stays and what goes when it’s time to spring clean your closet. Keep in mind the three Fs: it’s all about Fit, Function and Fashion.

FIT. Can we have a show of hands? Do you have a favorite pair of jeans (or ten) that sit on the top shelf of your closet, awaiting the day when they fit again? A good rule of thumb is to keep only those items that are favorites, that have fit recently, or that only are too big or too small by one size. Also, anything that frequently gets tried on and rejected because there is an aspect of the fit that “isn’t quite right” is ready for the donation pile.

FUNCTION: We all have our functional favorites: the versatile leggings that go with everything or the tanks and tees that are perfect foundation under a variety of tops. These items are the staples of our closets, but they also tend to get the most wear and tear. Make a point to update these basics every year or two as needed, and then free yourself from those that are worn or overtired. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with keeping an item longer if it is in good shape and you feel good wearing it.

FASHION: Trends come and go, and they usually circle back around. After the 1980s, we probably should have guessed that if we waited long enough skinny jeans would be back in fashion! That said, anything that represents a fad or phase you’d rather forget needs to be pulled out and donated. Where do you think Goodwill gets all those great Halloween costume pieces? Some items stand the test of time, of course, and filling your closest with a good mix of classic styles can help alleviate the need for more frequent purging.

Finally, caring for your classic favorites is a great way to ensure they have a long and useful life in your closet. Ensure those favorites are ready to wear by bringing them to Klinke Cleaners for a good spring cleaning of their own.

(c) Can Stock Photo / 4774344sean