Oh, friend. You need an easy closet clean-out, don’t you? You need a way to quickly cut the clutter of things you don’t wear without feeling guilty. Maybe you need to actually see the floor of your closet for the first time in months. Or maybe you just need a complete overhaul.
Well, if that last part is the case, then you need more help than I can give you.
However! I totally have you covered if you’d like to clear your closet of stuff you don’t wear, keep it sustained from season to season, and want to do it in a timely manner. Here is the before and after from when I cleaned out my own closet a few days ago. I promise, I spent no more than a couple hours on it and that includes packing up everything I was getting rid of.
Now let’s get to it!
Step One: Start from the bottom up.
If you are anything like me, the bottom of your closet it covered in mismatched shoes. I’m not sure why I can’t be bothered to take a few seconds to put my shoes where they belong 99% of the time, but I am who I am, I guess. So step numero uno of clean up for me is just to get the floor cleared.
To do this, I match up my shoes and put them on the nice shoe rack thingies I bought (but rarely use). Then, I make sure to pick up any trash or dirty clothes that have piled up. Just that little bit makes me feel a whole lot better. And if I actually vacuum? Holy moly, it feels like a whole new space.
After the floor, I move onto the top of the super fancy plastic dresser where I keep my sweaters and workout clothes. (Don’t be jealous, y’all. For $50 and a trip to Target, you, too, can be the owner of such fine home furnishings.) In my closet, that’s the catch-all spot for anything I’ve tried on that I decide not to wear, accessories I’ve taken off but couldn’t be bothered to hang back up, and tags that I’ve popped off new clothes.
When that’s been done, it’s time for the hanging racks.
Step Two: Sort it out piece by piece.
When I go through my hanging clothes, I do so piece by piece. Hanger by hanger, I move down the line asking myself the following questions:
- Does this actually fit me?
- Do I actually remember the last time I wore this?
- Do I see myself wearing it again in the foreseeable future?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then I remove it from the hanger and throw it onto a pile on the newly cleaned floor. Now you see the method to my madness, yes?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, then the piece deserves a little more thought. If it fits, well, thank God! That means I haven’t gained too much weight recently. Seriously, though, that’s when the answers to the next two questions become even more important. If I can remember when I wore it last or if I can envision myself wearing it in the future, then I leave it where it is and move on.
Now, friend, I get it. You’ve got some sentimental attachments to some clothes and that’s OK. Keep that bridesmaid dress from your sister’s wedding seven years ago that you’ll never fit into again! It’s OK! But a random stretched out white t-shirt that has a stain on the boob, but you wore it for that fun day that one time and maybe it’ll be OK if you wear it under a cardigan — no, ma’am. Make like Elsa and let that thing go.
Step Three: Turn it around.
Guys, if you pay attention to nothing else in this post, THIS is the tip you need to follow. My Aunt Cyndi suggested it to me years ago and it has been a game changer. A game changer, I tell you! Here goes.
Once you have removed the clothes you aren’t going to keep, turn all of your hangers around backwards. Look at the picture. Do you see how the hangers aren’t coming in towards the wall normally? This is the key.
Now that all of my hangers are turned around, I have a reliable basis to know exactly which clothes I wear and which ones I don’t. Once I’ve worn something and I hang it back up, I put the hanger back on the rack in the normal way. (Look up at the black and white photo. Do you see how the hangers are mixed up? Can you tell which clothes I’ve worn and which ones I haven’t?) This way, at the end of a season or once a year, I can quickly look at my closet and assess what I actually wore!
Isn’t that genius?!
I tell you, it has made a huge difference in how quickly I clean out my closet because if I haven’t worn something in an entire year, I’m probably not going to wear it again. A backwards hanger is a very clear sign as to what pieces need to go.
Step Four: Donate!
Once I’ve got everything cleaned out, I fold up the pile of discarded clothes and do one of two things. First, I try to give pieces to friends who might be able to use them or I sell them at a local consignment shop. Whatever doesn’t get sorted out that way gets donated! I’ll take things to either Goodwill or our local thrift store that benefits a home for moms with troubled pregnancies. Either way, once they’re folded up, they leave my house quickly! That way, I’m not tempted to feel guilty and hang them back up knowing full well that I still won’t wear them.
And that’s that!
Well, I hope this has served as some inspiration to get your own closet situation under control. Someday, I’d love to do a consultation with an actual stylist like Megan Ashley or something. For now, though, just making sure that everything in my closet is stuff that fits and that I actually like enough to wear is good enough.
But now I want to hear from you! What are your tips for keeping your closet clear of clutter? Drop a note in the comments here or on Facebook or Instagram!