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Imagine walking into your closet to find a clean, clutter-free oasis. Not only will it be easier and faster to coordinate outfits, a tidy closet reduces daily stress and frustration. It can be overwhelming to start, but we promise once you get going it’s extremely motivating and worth the effort! This article will break down everything you need to know to clean out your closet.
Benefits of decluttering your closet
If you’re in need of some motivation to start the decluttering process, here are the reasons WHY you should tidy your closet.
- Decluttering your closet helps to declutter your mind—it frees up mental space (hallelujah!).
- You'll save time because the clothing you love and want to wear is no longer hidden by old, ill-fitting, tattered or torn clothing.
- A tidy closet = less stress in the morning when quickly trying to get dressed and out the door.
- Donating clothing allows you to feel good about helping others.
What to have on hand before decluttering
You’ll need three boxes, bins or baskets. You’ll use these to sort the items that no longer serve a purpose in your closet.
- One for items that belong elsewhere
- One for trash
- Another for items you plan on donating
How often should you declutter your closet?
To keep the chaos at bay, we would recommend decluttering your closet at least twice a year (in between big seasons). Ideally, we would recommend decluttering seasonally but that's not always feasible when trying to keep up with ALL. THE. THINGS.
Clothing in a closet
A full-length mirror may be helpful when deciding between “toss” and “keep” items.
If you have an entire day to dedicate to decluttering your closet, you can absolutely pull everything out at once and start with a clean slate. But, most of us don’t have that kind of time all at once, so we structured this section around allotting smaller increments of time over the course of several days or weekends to reorganize the clothing in your closet by type.
- First, scan the closet and put away anything that is visibly in the wrong spot (socks that go in your dresser, a dirty sweater that should be in the hamper).
- Start reorganizing your wardrobe by type of clothing. Choose ONE of these to tackle at a time (unless you have all day to do your entire closet): shorts, pants, skirts and dresses, shirts, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.
- Take everything that falls under that particular category out of the closet and spread them out so you can easily see what you have.
- Focus on what to keep first, rather than what to get rid of. Separate the things that you absolutely love and wear often from the items you’re unsure of.
- If you see any items that look dirty while you’re sorting through (assuming it’s something you’ll be keeping), put them in the laundry hamper.
- Look for anything tattered, torn, stained, hopelessly out of style or heavily worn and put it in the trash box.
- Put any clothes you’d like to donate in the donation box. These items should be gently used and still in good shape.
- If you haven’t thought about wearing something over the course of a year and its season has come and gone, donate it.
- Take a look at what’s left and think about:
- Do I actually wear it?
- Is it in style (not 1980’s acid-washed jeans!)?
- Does it project the image I want to portray (professional, put together, etc.)?
- Does it currently fit (not someday down the road)?
- Do I have others like it?
- If yes, decide which items fit the best, are in the best shape or are better quality and then donate, sell or get rid of the rest.
- Try to keep no more than TWO similar items (black pants, gray sweatshirts, etc.).
- If you plan to take anything to a consignment shop, create a pile for these items or use a separate box or bag.
- Organize everything strategically as you place it back into the closet.
- Group similar items/types together.
- The items you wear most should be front and center—think PRIME real-estate. This may rotate seasonally.
- Use the very back or the top of your closet for out-of-season items or things you only wear on special occasions, such as winter vests or formal shoes.
- Make sure the area you just organized is functional and motivates you to keep up with closet cleanliness and routine mess prevention/maintenance.
Once you’ve finished organizing your closet...
- Walk the trash in your “trash box” out to your garbage bin.
- Place the “give away” box in your car and carve out time in your schedule to drop the items off sometime THIS week.
- Grab your “put away” bin and return items to their rightful home.
- Most importantly, make it a habit to tidy up your closet every day. Take a quick scan of it and straighten up as you come and go.
Let's declutter our closets so we can build a wardrobe we love — together!
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie
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