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Cleaning out your closet

Maris Callahan is the author of "In Good Taste," and, as an avid self-taught home cook, is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping women on-the-go cook healthy, delicious meals and snack...

Fashion tips from Nicole Brewer

Spring cleaning may not be the most enjoyable activity that you can think of, but there is one big benefit to cleaning out your closet: making room for the summer duds that you've had your eye on.

Woman going through closet

While it can be painful to part with some of your favorite clothing, such as the dress you wore on your honeymoon or your jeans with the big rip in the crotch no longer suitable for public viewing, it can feel good to clear out the clutter.

Nicole Brewer, a noted fashion stylist and style consultant for the wedding day one-stop shop, David's Bridal, provided us with some tips that will help make cleaning out your closet a lot easier than it used to be.

1Don't keep clothes that no longer fit you

If you managed to keep your New Year's resolutions to shed a few pounds this year and your summer dresses and shorts are too baggy, it's time for them to go. "If something is too big on you, you'll look bigger," Brewer said. "People are drawn to what they're used to wearing, but I always tell clients to get those bigger sizes out of their closets. Plus, it's motivation not to gain the weight back."

2Take inventory

Cleaning your closet doesn't have to be a rushed task. Carefully organize your clothing by type and hang your dresses together, your pants together, and your blouses together. "If you notice that you have eight pairs of pants but no shirts that fit, you'll know what you need to buy more of next time you go shopping," Brewer said. "Along the way, invest in a few simple, versatile pieces, like comfortable trousers and an A-line skirt that will never go out of style."

3Donate, donate, donate

It can be tempting to haul all of your old clothing out to the curb to wait for trash pick up, but before you purge, remember that there are plenty of charities for women who can put the clothing to good use. Whether you have a shelter in your area that serves basic human needs or a Dress for Success, you won't have to feel bad about tossing something you only wore once.

4Open your mind

"Have fun with it," said Brewer. "Cleaning out your closet doesn't need to be a chore. Think 'Sex and the City' style: invite a few friends over and you can enjoy cocktails while sorting through your clothing." If you think of it as a fashion show instead of a boring household chore, you might find that you enjoy cleaning after all.

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