It always feels great when, after a long winter, we can finally pack up bulky cold weather gear, throw open the windows and shake out the rugs. One of the most satisfying spring cleaning tasks of all can be giving your closet a thorough cleaning. It’s not always as simple as tossing items that are worn out into a garbage bag or removing the unworn remnants ill-fated fads. Use the following questions from Klinke’s, Your Neighborhood Dry Cleaner, to help you get organized for the changing seasons.

What purpose does this item serve?

Be judicious about all articles of clothing, as well as shoes, accessories and jewelry. It’s OK to keep as much stuff in your closet as want, as long as it fulfills a need or purpose.

When is the last time I wore/used this?

It’s a good rule of thumb that anything you have not worn in a year doesn’t belong in your closet. Of course, we need to use a different standard for formal wear as opposed to day-to-day wear.

Will this ever fit again?

And the second part of this question – even if it does fit again in the future, do I still want it? Sometimes we hold on to those old “skinny jeans” more out of nostalgia than anything else. Many of us have a wide range of sizes in our closets, but anything that is too big or too small by more than one size should go.

Will a repair help save this item?

A major closet frustration? Grabbing something we want to wear only to remember with dismay it has a small hole or is missing a button. Our Zip n Stitch service can give these items new life.

What’s the best way to donate or recycle?

When it comes to keeping as much as possible out of landfills, clothing is no exception. In Madison, St. Vincent DePaul accepts clothing and household items, as well as scrap fabric for recycling (just make sure it is in a separate bag marked with a “scrap fabric” tag). Community Action Coalition, our long-standing Koats for Kids partner, runs a free clothing center on the city’s northeast side that accepts clothing, shoes and books that are distributed to community members in need at no cost. There are USAgain receptacles placed in locations around the city, as well, and they even have a running tally on their website of items saved from landfills.

Happy spring and happy cleaning from all of us at Klinke Cleaners!

(c) Can Stock Photo / GeorgeRudy