How to Declutter Your Closet

Use these time-tested tips to keep your closet organized and your clothes in tip-top shape.

Whether you're just settling into your new space or you've lived there for years, chances are you could use some guidance on how to organize your closet. Follow these best practices to keep things nice and organized.

How to Declutter Your Closet

  • 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.
  • 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? Take this empty closet opportunity to address any structural changes you might make, like adding another hanging rod, cubby organizers, or shelving. Then, clean and vacuum the closet.
  • 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. Grabbing a few empty laundry baskets makes this sorting process easy.
  • 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.
  • Use decorative baskets, bins or robe hooks to store items that can be worn again before washing. Keeping these items separate from clothing already organized in your closet will keep the clutter to a minimum, and keep clothes from wrinkling in a pile on the floor.
  • Set a calendar reminder to revisit this process once or twice a year.

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