Does your closet look like it’s about to explode? Is it full of clothes that you haven’t worn since high school? Are you having a hard time finding what you need?
If you answered yes to even one of those questions, it may be time to declutter your closet. Here’s how you can clean up your closet in six steps:
Step 1: Take Everything Out
Take everything out of your closet. This includes your socks, scarves, shoes — basically anything that you would wear. Throw everything on your bed or the floor. Doing this lets you see how much you actually have. You might even find clothes that you forgot existed! If you skip this step, chances are, you will still end up with unused clothes in your closet.
Don’t forget to gather the clothes that aren’t in your closet. You may have out-of-season clothing in your garage or outerwear in your coat closet. It’s important to be able to see every piece of clothing that you own.
Step 2: Go Through The Pile
On average, each piece of clothing is worn only seven times. This means that it’s highly likely that your closet is full of clothes that you’re never going to wear again.
Go through your pile of clothes and determine which pieces to keep, toss, or donate. You should be making super-fast “yes or no” decisions — if you hesitate, put the item in your “maybe” pile.
During this step, it is crucial to distance yourself from your emotions, otherwise, you may never be able to let go of your clothes. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re unsure about an item of clothing:
Would you buy it again?
Do you have clothes that you’ve never worn? Do you have clothes that you said you would wear one day, but that day has never come? If you would never buy a piece of clothing again, it probably belongs to the “toss” pile.
Will you be able to take care of it?
Some clothes require more care than others. If you come across a piece of clothing that requires hand-washing, needs to be dry-cleaned, etc. ask yourself if you’re willing to go through all of that trouble just to wear it. Not everyone has tolerance for high-maintenance clothes.
When will you wear it?
The clothes you own should reflect your actual life. For example, if you have a lot of party dresses but you rarely go out for a night of drinking and dancing, then it may be time to trade them for clothes that you would actually wear. If your daily schedule consists of going to the office and then turning in for a night of Netflix and wine, then your closet should mostly have work clothes and lounge clothes.
Are you keeping it just because it’s expensive?
This is a common dilemma. Many of us keep clothes that we would never wear simply because they are expensive. If you spent thousands of dollars on a dress that doesn’t fit you anymore and its resale value is low, you’re better off selling it on Poshmark or The RealReal.
Did you move recently?
Long-distance home moving can be a reason to get rid of clothes. For instance, if you moved from North Dakota to Miami, you probably don’t need as many jackets anymore. Toss the clothes that no longer suit your lifestyle.
Step 3: Try On Your “Maybe” Clothes
After dividing your clothes into three piles (keep, toss, and donate), it’s time to deal with the remaining pile: the “maybe” pile. This pile has the clothes that you’re still not sure what to do with.
To decide what to do with your “maybe” pile, it’s important to try on every item of clothing. Ask yourself critical questions such as, “How does wearing this make me feel?” and “How do I look in this?” Keep in mind that how you feel in it is more important than how you look in it.
Step 4: Inventory Your “Keep” Pile
You can still reduce the number of clothes that you’re going to keep. Before putting your clothes back in the closet, do a final inventory of your “keep” pile. Do you need five cardigans? Do you need ten pairs of jeans? If possible, ask a friend for their brutally honest opinion — sometimes, all you need is someone else’s perspective.
It’s worth mentioning that this step will be the most difficult, as your “keep” pile likely has items of sentimental value. If you’re having difficulty parting with clothes that have memories attached to them, here are a few things you can do:
- Give them to close friends and family
- Repurpose them into blankets, pillowcases, etc.
- Use them for DIY home improvement projects
- Wear the piece of clothing one last time for “closure”
- Take photos of the clothes before donating them
- Remember that you’re parting with the item, not the emotional value
Step 5: Clean the Closet
Wait! Before you put your clothes back in your closet, take the time to quickly dust the shelves, wipe down the baseboards, and so on. While your closet is empty, take advantage of the opportunity to give it a deep clean.
If you’re living in a humid area, the chances of mold growing in your closet are much higher. To ensure that your clothes remain clean, it’s important to maintain a dry closet. Consider putting silica packs in your drawers, staying away from plastic garment covers, and replacing wood shelves with wire.
Step 6: Re-Arrange the Clothes You’re Keeping
How you organize your closet is ultimately up to you. Whether you want to arrange your clothes by color or by occasion, what’s important is that you stick with the system that works for you. Here are some tips and tricks for arranging and re-organizing the clothes you’ve decided to keep:
- Hang delicate items (e.g. gowns and skirts) and structured pieces (e.g. blazers and suits)
- Use matching hangers
- Stack thick pieces of clothing such as cardigans, sweaters, and jeans
- Roll t-shirts, pajamas, workout clothes, etc.
The Bottom Line
Your closet has very limited space. This means you should keep only what you need. While it may be challenging to part with your clothes, wouldn’t you rather have a clutter-free closet that’s filled with clothes that you actually love?
At Luxury Property Care, we offer house cleaning and organizing services, which include professional closet organization. Let our certified organizers declutter your closet so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. Also, check out our blog for practical home organizing hacks to declutter your space and keep your home organized.