Figuring out how to declutter your closet doesn’t have to be a nightmare! This easy step by step guide will have you done with this project in no time.
Whether you have a small closet or a huge walk in, one thing is for certain, if you don’t have it organized it will cause you daily stress.
The first step in organizing any space is to declutter it! Remove every shirt, shoe, tie, and purse that you no longer wear to make space for the stuff that really matters.
If you haven’t tackled your overstuffed closet in years, don’t worry we can take it once step at a time to reach your desired result. Trust me, it will be worth the effort!
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01 | MAKE YOUR BED
I’m sure you wondering what on earth? But yes, make your bed, and while you’re at it clean up the room of the closet you are decluttering.
Your mattress is going to be where you need to sort through your items and if it’s a heap of blankets and sheets, it will make organizing your stuff just that much harder.
02 | SCAN YOUR CLOSET FOR NON-CLOSET ITEMS
Before you do anything else in your closet, scan the items that are clearly visible and decide if anything does not belong in your closet.
A soccer ball can be moved to the garage, towels can be moved to the linen closet, the empty box from the ice cream maker you got from your wedding, can be thrown in the trash.
You get it… whatever you know right off the bat doesn’t belong in your closet, move it to its rightful home.
03 | TAKE IT ALL OUT & PLACE IN PILES
Tedious I know, but take out every single item from your closet.
Do not go crazy and just throw things all nilly willy onto your bed, but be mindful of where you are placing these items.
Takedown all the clothes and leave the hangers hanging (you will know why later). Then pile the clothes neatly and flat on the bed in one or two massive piles.
Collect all the shoes in a pile on the floor of your bedroom.
Pile all the bags together on the bed.
Pile all the random things together.
Empty any and all bins you might have so you have clean empty bins to work with.
04 | CLEAN YOUR EMPTY CLOSET
In reality this shouldn’t take too long.
Dust the shelves and those wire racks. Grab your vacuum and vacuum well and in the corners. Wipe down your closet door inside and out.
Lastly, spritz a little air freshener and just let your closet air out a little bit.
05 | TIME FOR AN UPGRADE
Now if you want to make a small investment in your closet, then do it.
Matching hangers is all that it takes to transform your closet and they are not that expensive. I use the plastic hangers that are all black. I get a large block of them for about $4 at Walmart.
I get that someone telling you to buy something is not fun to hear, but if you were ever going to buy anything for your closet it is new hangers. (I am begging you…lol)
OK so let’s say you cannot spend a penny on this project (which I truly understand), you left all your hangers just hanging in your closet. Do a hanger audit.
If you have a few sets of hangers that are matching but a few oddball hangers (wire, bulky, odd colors, etc.) then get rid of them, because you are going to be getting rid of a bunch of clothes today!
Here is a list of some other things you might want to consider getting to make your closet for organized.
- Containers for shelving.
- Shoe racks.
- Over the door organizer.
- Hanging clothes dividers.
- New lighting.
- Decorative item like a new rug or ottoman.
The Most Helpful Decluttering Guide Ever
06 | DECLUTTER & PURGE YOUR CLOTHES
You will need (hopefully) a couple garbage bags for donations.
Your clothes will take the longest, but I suggest you start with them first. Sometimes it is harder to make decisions about shoes and accessories because each item is so different. When you’re on your 40th article of clothing, learning to let it go will become easier and easier.
Before you declutter your clothes, remember the 4 following questions to ask yourself.
- When was the last time I wore this? (Over a year, donate it)
- Does it fit and is it flattering?
- Can I turn this into an outfit with things I already own? (If you need to buy new shoes, a different bra, and a new hairstyle to pull it off, let it go, nothing is worth that much effort)
- Will I actually want to wear this when that “special occasion” finally happens? (let go of the cocktail dress, if you’re ever invited to a cocktail party you will almost always prefer to buy a new outfit)
Now go through your clothes piece by piece and if you’re having trouble deciding whether to keep something or not… try it on.
Have yourself a little fashion show and if you need maybe you can ask your spouse what they think about an outfit if you want an outside opinion.
Only keep what flatters your shape, makes you feel good, and is in good condition.
Do not keep duplicates. You really only need one black tank top, not five.
Do not keep “projects,” you know the ones where you need to sew on a button, hem the pants, or sew a hole back together. Unless you pick a specific date and time you will be completing these projects, then let these things go.
07 | ORGANIZE YOUR CLOTHES
Arrange your clothes by style. TANK TOPS > SHORT SLEEVE SHIRTS > LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS > JACKETS > SHORTS > PANTS > DRESSES
Then color code each section. WHITE > PINK > RED > ORANGE > BROWN > YELLOW > GREEN > BLUE > PURPLE > GRAY > BLACK
A fun little trick to play is to switch the hanger backward, so If you wear something you turn the hanger right side around. At the end of the year whatever hanger has never turned the right way, you know you never touched for 365 days… that’s long enough to know it is time to donate it.
08 | DECLUTTER & CATEGORIZE YOUR ACCESSORIES
Decluttering your accessories can be a bit of a challenge since we do not use these things as often, but in all honesty, they are nice to have.
So when you declutter through these items try to donate duplicates, anything that does not fit, or anything out of style.
Unless you wear hats a lot, you probably only need one of each type.
Try on your belts, try to keep only one or two. Ditch the hundreds of handbags and night time purses.
Keep neutral accessories that will match with multiple outfits, so you don’t have so many.
Whatever organization system you end up using, bags, boxes, containers, etc. we all have that shelf at least at the top of our closet. This is a great place to store the accessories you want to keep.
Here are some mini-sections you might need to create to help you organize your accessories
You can create very generic and broad bins. WINTER > SUMMER
Or if you have the space you can make very specific bins. SCARVES > HATS > BELTS > GLOVES > CLUTCH PURSES
Remember your closet is yours. I know we often store so many random things in there because we have space, but try to keep only your clothes, shoes, and accessories in your closet! Make it an organized paradise for you and your wardrobe.
09 | SHOE DECLUTTERING & ORGANIZATION
Letting go of shoes is not easy.
We need so many different types for so many different kinds of occasions so I understand why we collect so many pairs.
Keep in mind if you do have multiples of the exact same type of shoe, there really is no reason. Ware down one pair of shoes before you go out and buy another similar pair.
You do not need three kinds of black flip flops (hello Old Navy $1 flip flop day… it gets me every time!)
You do not need four different pairs of running shoes.
Think in the future when you buy shoes to try and find something neutral so it goes with more outfits, thus bringing in fewer shoes into your limited space.
As you decide which pairs you want to donate and which ones you want to keep, take a moment to clean your shoes.
Warm soapy water does wonders for plastic flip flops. All fabric sneakers can run through the washing machine and air dry. Replace dirty shoes laces with clean new ones.
Take care of what you own and you will be more inclined to keep cleaner nicer looking shoes more organized, than dirty ones. (It’s a mental trick and I know it works from personal experience)
When you organize your shoes back into your closet, hopefully, you have a shelving unit of some sort and line them up by style and again by color coordination!
Create mini sections. FLIP FLOPS > SANDALS > FLATS > WEDGE HEEL > SPIKE HEELS > FLAT BOOTS > HEELED BOOTS > CASUAL TENNIS SHOES > SPORTY TENNIS SHOES
Now take each section and coordinate it by color. WHITE > COLOR > BROWN > GRAY > BLACK
10 | TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR CLOSET CLUTTER FREE
Now that you have decluttered, organized, and only allowed the elite of your items back into your closet, use some of the following tactics to keep it organized.
- Keep a hamper in the closet to catch dirty clothes.
- Keep another hamper in the closet to catch clean clothes that need to get hung up, but you don’t have the time.
- Use over the door organizers to hang robes, purses, belts, or tomorrow’s outfit for more organization.
- Add something decorative. A night light fixture, a pretty mirror, a plush ottoman, a rug? Little details like this can help make you want to keep your closet a clutter-free zone.
- Do not use this for anything other than clothing-related items. Store your wrapping paper somewhere else.
- Do a declutter session once a month. Run through your stuff again (no need to pull it out again) just a generic look through of anything you might be ready to part with now.
I know that with our closets all of this may seem like a lot of work and for what exactly?
Well, we use this space every single day. We often dictate how we feel based on how we dress. We often let this small space upset us when it’s messy. We can lose valuable time by sifting through our clothes trying to find something to wear.
When our closets are clean, organized, and decluttered we have a little more control over our lives.
Often with the chaos of life, just that little bit of control can help us get that much closer to a more peaceful and balanced life.
Isn’t that what we are all searching for? Peace.