How to Declutter Your Closet in 4 Easy Steps
Use these time-tested tips to keep your closet organized and your clothes in tip-top shape.
We’ve all been there, when closing your closet door becomes an all out war. It’s time to go through your closet, organize and get rid of some things. Decluttering can feel overwhelming, but by breaking it down into smaller steps can lighten the load. Take an afternoon and follow these easy steps to declutter you closet!
Assess Your Closet Space
To start, pull everything out – yes, everything. Even the shirt you just wore last week. Part of decluttering and cutting down is knowing exactly how much you have to begin with. This will give you a fresh start in your newly organized closet.
Next, assess the setup of the closet for the clothing you own. Does it fit your wardrobe? Do you need more space for hanging clothes, or do you have more casual items that can be folded? With the closet empty, think about structural changes that might need to be addressed. Would you benefit from adding another hanging rod, cubby organizers, or shelving?
Finally, before you put anything back into the closet, use this opportunity to clean and vacuum it.
Sort Your Clothing
Sort clothing into four piles – keep, try on, give and seasonal. Everything you own should fit into one of these four categories, and breaking the bulk into smaller piles will make the task friendlier. You can use a few empty laundry baskets or other storage containers to help make the process easier. If you don’t have four baskets, that’s fine, just use your bed, the couch, the floor, etc. to sort clothing.
- Keep – Before putting an item back in your closet, ask yourself this: Does this fit? Have I worn it in the last year? Is it still in good, clean condition? Do I feel good wearing it? If the answer is no to any of these questions, consider redirecting it to another pile. Hang or fold any keep clothes and put them back in the closet.
- Try On – Trying on all undecided clothing at once is much easier than each piece as you sort through it. Keep any clothing that fits and you still enjoy. Put the clothes on a hanger or fold them neatly and put them back in the closet. Anything else should filter down to the Give pile. If necessary, keep a small pile of undecided items and return to them at the very end where you might have an easier time making a decision.
- Give – Unwanted and unworn clothing clutters up your closet for no reason. Considering donating used clothing or hosting a clothing swap with friends. Remember, just because it’s a great shirt, it doesn’t mean you’re ever going to wear it – but someone else might love to.
- Seasonal – Clothing specific to one season has no need to be in your closet the rest of the year. Store these items away until the right season in storage bins, under bed boxes, garment racks or spare closets. Make sure when you take your seasonal clothing back out, you remove any past-season clothes from your closet, always keeping some in seasonal storage.
Don’t forget to go through your clothing storage outside of the closet – follow the same process with dressers, trunks and coat closets. If dresser drawers have become cluttered, use fabric or spring-action drawer dividers to keep smaller items organized.
Create Space for Clothing That Doesn’t Need to Be Washed
Clothing that you’ve worn that doesn’t need to be washed just yet can create clutter. To prevent that, use decorative baskets, bins or robe hooks to store those items before washing. Not only will that help keep clutter from building up, it’ll keep those clothes from wrinkling in a pile on the floor.
Repeat the Decluttering Process Regularly
It’s best to accept the fact that your closet is going to get cluttered again. But to help manage the problem, it’s useful to do this again on a regular basis. The easiest way is to set a calendar reminder to revisit this process once or twice a year, but if you have another system for making regular reminders to yourself, just plug in closet decluttering to the list.