5 steps to Clean out Your Closet

Does your closet stress you out each morning? Are you not able to find what you are looking for? Do you have several “orphans” in your closet? You know that skirt or blouse you love yet you have never found anything to go with it. Do your clothes no longer fit you or your style? Do you have clothes that you love however you never wear them because they are itchy or uncomfortable? Is your closet stocked more like a department store in small, medium and large for the ups and downs of your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions it is time to do a closet overhaul. This is something you want to get on calendar and chunk for a 2 to 4 hour block of time. It is easier and more fun to do this with someone else such as a friend or a professional organizer who will be more objective and nonjudgmental about what to keep or not keep. If you are up to give it a go on your own then utilize these 5 steps to clean out your closet and step into a more enjoyable and calming closet experience.

  1. Take everything out of your closet. You heard me… Everything! This is for several reasons. Mainly because you really don’t know what is all in there until you see it all outside of your closet. Believe me, you will find things in there you either forgot about or have no idea how it got in there. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have said “I’ve been looking for that” when we are emptying their closet. This is also a good opportunity to do some housekeeping in your closet and vacuum and dust areas that haven’t seen the light of day since you moved in. Then you can really see your space and have better ideas of how you want to rebuild it. What items do you want in what areas from business to casual? You’ll want to empty all closets that have your closets in them. Now I’m not a fan of having clothes in different closets whenever possible as I find people only wear the closet they can see. So if you have to use other closets make sure all of your everyday clothes are in your main closet and you can further separate your clothes into other closets that are seasonal or special occasion wear.
  2. Start by either having your closet helper pick up each piece of clothing or you pick it up and look at it in the mirror to decide what stays or goes. There is something about seeing the clothing away from you that makes it easier for you to know if you are keeping it or not. This first round is to get rid of the things you know are not comfortable or don’t fit you or are out of style. Don’t spend a lot of time on the whys to keep it or not. You know what you are wearing or not and what you feel your best in. Go with your gut on those. This part should be quick and easy. We can set the “maybes” aside for round two. Have trash bags on hand. When possible I like to use the heavy black trash bags for the donations and the white kitchen bags for trash so you don’t mix them up when you take them out of your bedroom. I also use a reusable tote bag for any alterations or dry cleaning. Use your laundry basket for anything that needs to go into the wash.
  3. You are doing great! As you are clearing the clutter of what you don’t want you are making room for what you do want and bringing more calm into your space. Celebrate that! Next choose what hangers you like and have all of them the same for your closet. The uniform look will make you feel better and you’ll have a much better put together closet. Select what areas of your closet each piece of clothing that you are keeping will go. Group like things together such a business, casual, workout and special occasion. Then add them to your closet from lightest in color to darkest and from no sleeve to short sleeve to long sleeve.
  4. Go through the stay or go process for your sweaters, shoes, socks, belts and underwear. Put these items back in your closet or drawers depending on the size of your closet or availability of drawers. Again whenever possible given the room have as much visible in your closet as possible. You will wear it more.
  5. Lastly, go through your maybe stack and get very clear on what you choose to keep. Ask the key questions at this beginning of this blog to help determine what to keep or not. Most likely if you hesitated to keep the item the first time it doesn’t belong in your closet however if you are still unsure ask more questions. Are you keeping it because it doesn’t fit? If so are you actively losing or gaining weight? If you are then keep these clothes in a separate bin not hanging in your closet and mark them as inspiration clothes or happy clothes. If you don’t see yourself in those clothes again because you are redefining who you are then let them go as you will want new clothes that reflect who you are today. Are you keeping them because you spend a lot of money on them? If so think of clothes like a vacation. You spent a lot of money on the vacation and had a good time and have no expectation for further satisfaction from the experience. You had your fun in the clothes. It’s time to let someone else enjoy them when you know you’ll never wear it again. If you are keeping a handful of clothes for sentimental reasons put them in a keepsake box if needed for the memory.

It is ideal when everything in your closet is something you absolutely love, you love it on your body and it makes you feel good. Let this be your daily experience in your closet and it will reflect in so many other positive ways in your life. Trust me!

Yours from Clutter to Calm,