With the start of a new year comes a recharged enthusiasm for, well, almost everything. The phrase “out with the old and in with the new” becomes a way of life as we start frequenting the gym more often, dropping our bad habits, and clearing the basement of all the junk we’ve accumulated over the last 12 months. Though we’ve already announced our New Year’s Resolutions for Marketers, here’s one more to consider: Clean out your content closet.

Creating original content that people want to read on a regular basis is hard work. In most cases, one person along can’t do it all. It’s easy to fall into a stagnant slump, struggling to develop new ideas and articulate them with finesse.

A popular trend right now is to “recycle” ideas by picking apart someone else’s inspiring blog post and to then ice the cake with obvious or generic opinions. Voilà! Instant blog post!

Recycling content isn’t wrong, but there is certainly a wrong way to do it. Instead of regurgitating someone else’s ideas in a shoddy, hastily written blog post, try a new approach: apply the same rules you use to clean out your closet to recycling your best pieces of content.

The one year rule: Say good-bye if you haven’t worn it in a year.

Okay, so you don’t wear your content like you do a blouse or button-up, but you do share it multiple times across many social media platforms. Just as fashion trends change over time, so do marketing and business trends. Some exceptional pieces of content are evergreen and will never go bad (just as outfit staples like the little black dress never go out of style), but the majority of blog posts have a shelf life. If a topic hasn’t trended or made news in more than a year, it’s time to stop blogging about it.

Try filing it somewhere else.

Sometimes a dress gets hung with the cardigans, which means when you’re standing before your collection of dresses looking for something to wear for a night on the town, you’ll never consider the one that got accidentally misfiled.

Similarly, if you positioned an article about Snapchat to focus on the impact it’s having in social media and the debate about its valuation, you probably didn’t have time or space to dig into the specifics of the startup itself — how it originated, the legal battle ensuing between its founders, and the multi-billion-dollar offers some big businesses have proffered for its purchase.

Each article idea is about Snapchat and would require essentially the same amount of research, but each would also attract different audiences seeking different types of content. Write a new blog post on something you already know a lot about with a new message that will speak to a different set of people.

Have a clothing content swap party.

Every so often, my girlfriends and I get together to swap the gently used items in our closets. It affords us the thrill of new, hip clothes without having to spend a dime.

You can do this with content ideas, too. Grab a few work buddies (or industry contacts in your network) and sit down to discuss the things you’ve blogged about in the past year. Through dialogue about your past work, ideas begin to snowball: follow-up opportunities arise, debate occurs, and critiques will surface. Find inspiration to write in the work and feedback of your confidants.

When in doubt, ask yourself: If I were out shopping, would I buy this?

Love has the uncanny ability to blind. When we fall in love with an article of clothing because it holds sentimental value, we continue to let it hang in our closet long after we’ve stopped wearing it. Because maybe one day that band you used to follow will announce a reunion tour and you’ll need that raggedy old concert T-shirt for the show, right?

We also fall in love with new marketing concepts and pie-in-the-sky ideas. We read books about innovative management techniques and develop our own radical social media strategies. These things can be exciting to you (just like that band you used to follow back in the day), but they might not appeal to the greater audience you’re writing to.

When you’re unsure whether your blog post idea will attract a lot of attention, put yourself in the shoes of a co-worker who is similar but also different from you. Ask yourself, “If they were browsing headlines, would this article catch their eyes?”

Out with the old and in with the new. In other words, keep what’s working, get rid of what isn’t (or give it a facelift), and look to others for inspiration and guidance.

What creative techniques do you have for recycling content?