Closet cleaning is not something that we want to do, but it’s just one of those that we have to do from time to time ya know? Because if we don’t things can (and will) get out of hand really fast!
I like to think of closet cleaning as a passage to a new beginning. A fresh start. If you are over your closet clutter and ready to finally change your space for the better, keep reading to discover my top tips on how to purge your closet (the RIGHT way)!
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How to motivate yourself to clean out your closet
Doing a closet cleanout is…a lot to say the least. So how can you stay motivated throughout the whole process? Here’s my number one tip:
Don’t do it all in one day
As much as you may want to get it done and over with, trying to tackle your entire closet in one day can lead to some serious burnout.
If you make a plan to space your closet cleanout over the span of a couple of days, you’ll be more likely to actually finish, and you won’t be so worn out at the end!
The Ultimate Closet Cleanout Guide
Step 1: Create a Master Plan
Before you start your closet purge, you want to go in with a plan. Creating a plan before diving into the abyss of your messy closet is seriously the fastest way to clean out a closet.
Will you be dividing your closet purge over the course of several days? If so, you need to know what section of the closet you will be tackling each day.
Here are a set of pre closet cleaning questions to ask yourself before you get started:
1. What is my current clothing style?
If you haven’t gone through your closet in a while, there are probably a lot of clothes from years ago that don’t fit your style. When I purged my closet, I still had clothes in there from MIDDLE SCHOOL (yikes)!
Be sure to have a good idea of what your current style is to make the closet purging process much easier when you get there.
2. What is my current closet situation?
Do you have lots of room in your closet, or is it packed to the brim? I promise it’s more than possible to clean a closet with too many clothes. Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you lack space in your closet, you have to go into it with a mindset that is more towards donating and throwing items that you no longer need.
If you aren’t struggling with closet space, you can probably be more flexible with pieces that you want but don’t necessarily need.
3. How do I want to feel after this closet purge?
Let’s be real, most of us aren’t doing this closet clean out because we actually want to. There’s a reason behind it.
It could be that you’re tired of not being able to find anything to wear. Or maybe you’re over looking at a pile of clutter every time you open your closet door.
Whatever the case may be, your reason behind it is what is going to push you forward to keep going when things get overwhelming and appear to be never ending.
Closet clean out essentials
The next step in creating a master plan is getting all of your closet cleaning essentials together to ensure this is a smooth process. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rolling rack: This will help you see what you are keeping, what you have too many of, etc.
- Box: This will be your donation/giveaway box. (If you are giving away to multiple people and/or organizations, be sure to label each box.
- Trash bags: Damaged clothing items that are going to be thrown away
- Storage bins: For out of season clothing
- Laundry bins: To help better organize yes, no, and maybe piles
- Cleaning supplies: to clean shelving and racks
- Matching hangers: trust me, your closet is going to look like an entirely new space when you use the same hangers throughout.
Step 2: The Closet Purge
1. Take everything out
In order to see everything you have, you have to take everything out. As you are taking things out of your closet, try to put them in their designated “keep, give, trash” piles as you go. This will cut out extra time spent going back through everything.
If you have any “maybe’s”, you don’t have to make a decision just yet. Place them to the side and we’ll get to them here in a second.
2. How to Decide What to Keep
This is probably the most crucial part of your closet clean out, and will make or break the effectiveness of closet cleaning. Just kidding, it’s not that deep, but let’s chat about what factors should go into what you decide to keep.
These are the pieces that you can wear day in and day that go with different outfits. Basically these are your tried and trues. Think basic tees, bodysuits, everyday jeans, etc.
Clothing worn in the last 6 months
Clothes that you don’t necessarily wear on an everyday basis, but you’ve worn in the last 6 months are perfectly fine to keep.
3. How to get rid of clothes in your closet
I love donating and selling clothes I don’t wear anymore because it gives me the opportunity to bless others with nice clothing. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what clothes you want to give away.
Clothes that don’t fit anymore
Clothes that don’t fit are a no brainer to throw into the giveaway pile.
Things you don’t wear anymore
If you haven’t worn it in the last 6 months, you probably won’t be wearing it at all. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For example, if you find something that you used to wear all the time and haven’t worn it because it’s been lost, it’s fine to keep.
4. How to Decide What to Trash
Clothes that are damaged in any kind of way are fine to go in the trash. If you wouldn’t wear it in that state, no one else probably will either.
Try on your maybe’s
I told you we were going to be getting to that maybe pile. When you are feeling indecisive if something should stay or go, try it on to see how it looks on you.
If you love it, keep it. If you don’t love it, give it away.
Step 3: Time to organize
Whoop Whoop! You’ve almost made it to the light at the end of the tunnel. This part is the most fun for me. Now that you know exactly what you have, it’s time to get organizing.
Here are some of my favorite closet organization tips and methods that I know you’re going to love.
1. What to Hang in Your Closet
Here’s a quick guide on what to hang in your closet:
- Sweaters & Cardigans
- Flowy tops/blouses
- Dressy pants
2. What to Fold in Your Closet (Closet shelves, storage bins, Closet dresser)
Here’s a quick guide to use to determine what you should be folding in your closet.
- Activewear (leggings, tanks, etc)
3. Closet organization methods
Let’s chat about different closet organization methods. You can easily pick whichever one fits best with your day-to-day routine and needs. But you can also combine all three methods (which is what I do).
Method #1: By Type
This is the classic closet organization method and probably the easiest one to do. All you have to do is simply establish different sections in your closet for each clothing type.
I like to keep jackets in the back, then dresses, sweaters, then pants, and finish off with the clothes I wear on a day to day basis.
Method #2 By Color
You can organize your closet specifically by color so that you are able to find certain colors easier. The best way to do this is using the rainbow method (ROY G BIV) to help you maintain it.
I’m a neutral girl and find myself reaching for my whites, blacks, and tans more often than my colors. You are like this as well, try keeping your neutrals towards the front and then start on the rainbow method.
Method #3 By Season
If you opt to organize your closet by season, you can easily do this a couple different ways.
- In season at the bottom, out of season at the top: This will work best if your closet has really high railing
- In Season at the front and out of season at the back: This method will work best for closets that are deeper than they are wide.
- In season towards the middle, out of season on the sides: This method works really well for standard reach-in closets.
Method #4: All Three Methods
Now this is where the magic can really happen and you can take things on a whole different level.
You can organize your closet by type, by color, and by season all at once! This method may be a bit more time consuming but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Ready to tackle other spaces in your home?