Spring clean in style

Joey Clark

Spring cleaning isn’t just to declutter your space, but your mind as well.

To help with that, one local shop owner has invested her time into a closet concierge service that does everything from showing you what to keep, toss, donate and/or sell, to the most methodic ways to hang, color coordinate, and store items. And it’s all as stylish as it is efficient.

Joey Clark has owned the chic Kin Boutique since 2017 after setting out to “create a space and shopping experience that felt like you were getting dressed with your best friend.” So, that means taking the pressure out of shopping and putting the spotlight on diversity and community as well as style. This atmosphere of the store Clark also describes as a “clubhouse,” but where everyone is welcome to join no matter what size you are or budget you’re on… And there’s much more there than just clothes. The boutique also sells accessories, products for the home and gift items.

The closet concierge service happened organically after Clark helped friends and clients who were coming in to the store asking questions about streamlining their wardrobes. So now, Clark has added that service to the list of Kin’s offerings. 


Where can people find more information about the closet concierge service?

JC: When I realized there was such a great demand for it, I decided to add it as an actual service through the boutique. We can get so attached to our closets, and sometimes you just need someone who can be objective with you. It’s evolved over the years to include personal shopping for men and women, as well as a lookbook I create with the items in your closet. The lookbook references the clothing you already have and how to style pieces differently, depending on the needs of your lifestyle. We have a section on our website homepage with more details about the service and you can schedule a consultation by calling the store or emailing us at [email protected]. You can also just stop in whenever you want. I think it’s good to meet in person first and make sure it’s a good fit for you. Closet cleaning is really personal and I want my clients to be completely comfortable with the process and with me. 

What tips would you have for those who are looking to spring clean their closets and spaces out? 

First of all — have an open mind, and if possible an extra set of eyes that you trust to give you an unbiased opinion of things you might be on the fence about. It’s really important to be honest with yourself. (No matter how much you love that one dress you wore once six years ago, chances are you will never wear it again.) When you’re assessing your closet, categorize each item into “keep,” “donate,” and “maybe” piles. Right off the bat, the “keep” piles are the things you can’t live without or are every day staples or investments in your wardrobe. These are your heavy rotation garments, your “go tos” if you will. If you’re unsure about whether to “keep” or “donate” ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have I worn this in the last three months? (This can be a tough question since most of our wardrobes have adapted to the current stay at home climate, but think objectively if they are pieces you frequently wore in the before times.) 2. Does it fit me comfortably? 3. Can I create at least three outfits to wear this item with?

If the answer to any of the above is no, you should seriously consider adding it to the donate pile. Fit is also key. Pieces that used to fit back in the day have no use taking up space in your closet. If you can’t wear a piece of clothing comfortably chances are you won’t wear it. You’re perfect regardless of the size on a tag and you should only keep clothing that makes you feel good. Once you’re done with your keep and donate piles, clear a small section in your closet or a drawer in your bedroom for the things that end up in the “maybe” pile and for some reason or another, you can’t let go of. Make sure it’s a small space, so you can fully utilize the rest of your closet for the things you actually wear.

For the items you are keeping, first, decide what to place in a drawer and what to hang in the closet. (FYI sweaters should always go in a drawer and should never be hung.) You should fold your denim into thirds; separate each pair by style and store by wash, with dark wash at the bottom and light wash on top, and then it’s on to hanging. The ideal closet is a functional closet, so I try to keep that in mind when organizing my client’s wardrobes. The perfect outfit is created by mixing colors and textures, so the best way to accelerate getting dressed is by categorizing your closet as such. Organize your hanging items by category (dresses, jackets, tops, bottoms, etc.), material (keep like fabrics together within each category) and then color.

Assembling your wardrobe by color allows you to actually see and find your pieces with ease. I use the classic ROYGBIV, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, when hanging and folding clothing; not only is this aesthetically pleasing but also encourages you to put your pieces back in the same order. Start with red on the left side of your closet and then end with violet. 

Is there anything in particular that people should do to prepare to spring clean? 

Cleansing is a process that you should take one season at a time and you should focus on the task at hand. Begin by storing your fall and winter wardrobe away, before you start sorting your spring and summer items. Small to medium sized baskets are also always great for storing accessories like hats, bags and scarves, so you might want to grab a few of those before you start.

Are there specific products they can buy to help organize small spaces as well? 

When storing large fall and winter items, one tip I recommend is using large, clear and flat sweater boxes that can be slid under your bed and out of the way. If you’re short on space, reusable vacuum sealed bags help too, and can be used when you switch from season to season. You should also always use felt hangers—they save space and are easier on your garments. There are also a ton of adjustable shoe racks that can be used to fit whatever size area you need and can be made larger if you eventually update to a bigger space. And don’t forget the back of your closet door. With smaller closets, all real estate is valuable and this is an often forgotten area. There are many organizational products designed to hang on the door. It can be great for extra shoe storage or a place for sunglasses and other small accessories. For recommendations on where to donate we love the below organizations, but there are plenty of online resources for donation centers that need support as well: ourclosetpa.org,  phillyaidsthrift.com and broadstreetministry.org

For more info on Kin Boutique and their closet concierge service, visit shop-kin.com