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    Most of us have spent months cooped up in our houses — without restaurants, movies, or weekly happy hours — all things we previously spent money on regularly. 

    Now, as restrictions ease and more businesses open up, those pent-up funds are burning a hole in many consumers’ pockets.

    Are you in this boat, itching to get out there, get shopping, and start spending? If so, you’re not alone. Just remember: You only have so much space in your home (and your closet).

    If you’re eyeing a shopping spree or a little pandemic revenge spending, take some time to declutter, pare down and do a serious closet clean-out before bringing in anything new.

    Closet clean-out tips for a fresh start

    1. Reassess your needs.

    Are you still working from home? Are there plans for you to go back to the office any time soon? If not, you probably don’t need a closet full of pantsuits, pumps, and slacks. Consider donating these to a local Salvation Army or sell them on Facebook Marketplace or your neighborhood Nextdoor app. Not only will this make space, but it will give you more cash for that shopping trip, too.

    2. Think about style and size. 

    Let’s face it: It’s been a really long time since most of us were going out fully dressed on the daily. Has your style changed since those early days of the pandemic? More importantly, has your size changed? If so, you’ll want to ditch the ill-fitting, outdated styles still taking up space during your closet clean-out, and make room for more updated outfits that fit the current you.

    3. Consider climate.

    If you’re one of the many people who moved during the pandemic, then this is a big one you’ll want to think about. Is your current clothing functional in your new location? If you’ve moved to Florida, you can probably kick those old parkas and puffer jackets to the curb. On the flip side, if you’ve headed north, a closet full of shorts and tanks probably isn’t your best bet.

    4. Carve out some COVID space during your closet clean-out.

    We’re almost out of the woods, but we’re not quite there yet. Because of this, you may want to carve out some closet space for your pandemic wear — i.e., masks. Can you empty out a drawer for yours? Dedicate a hanging rack for them? Keeping them all in a central place can make them easier to find on the go.

    You can expand, too

    Cleaning house isn’t your only option. You can also consider adding extra closet or storage space at home. Need help financing these upgrades? A cash-out refinance could help. Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans office in your area to discuss your options.

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