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  • Writer's pictureCathy Borg

Declutter your Master Closet: When You Need to Part Ways with Clothes and How to do it.

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

As a professional organizer, I've spent a lot of time in closets. I love making them look their best! I've swapped out those ugly wire hangers for something more stylish, folded up mounds of clothing (knowing the trick to make a perfect fold is key!), and helped my clients decide which of their 20 pairs of black pants looks the best.

Putting together the perfect wardrobe for my clients has to be one of my favorite things to do. It feels good to know that I'm helping to create positive changes in their lives!

"If you want to improve your life immediately, clean out a closet. Often it's what we hold onto that holds us back"

- Cheryl Richardson

A well-organized closet makes a big difference when getting ready in the morning – imagine starting your day with everything you need to wear - ready and waiting for you.

Having a closet that's tailored just for you full of pieces that make you look and feel your best is a great way to enhance your self-confidence. And it's achievable.

Decluttered and organized, any closet space can become amazing!

In this article, you'll find all the decluttering steps and 5 tips that can help you make the most of your closet!

When is the Right Time?

Not sure when the right time is to get around to clearing out your closet? Realistically, the best time to do it is before your closet is overflowing with too many clothes and items. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the clutter and need a fresh start, it's time to give your closet a clean-out!

Try this test!

Do you answer yes to the following?

  1. Are you struggling to find something to wear in your cluttered closet?

  2. Is dressing in the morning taking too long?

  3. Do your clothes not fit, or do you feel uncomfortable wearing them?

  4. Are there always heaps of clothes lying around?

  5. Is it true that your closet door doesn't close?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's time to part with some of your clothes.

Declutter Your Closet Step-by-Step

Ideally, it's best to declutter your closet in one go. However, for most of us, this is not possible. In the latter case, divide your closet into three parts: the floor, the shelves, and the hangers or by category: shoes; handbags; hats; scarves; pants etc.

Apply the following steps to one part of your closet or one category at a time!

1) Gather all your closet items and place them on a bed, a table, or a sheet on the floor--it's time to get a better look at what you have.

2) Start sorting: group together like items so it's easier to figure out what you need and what you don't.

3) - To each item, make a decision. The ones you want to keep should fit your current size and look great on you. Put them back in the closet. Anything that doesn't fit nicely, or you don't find flattering in any way - disperse!

• Resell - Give your wardrobe some breathing space by taking good but unwanted items to a resale shop or putting on a rummage sale.

• Pass it on - Is there something you love, but no longer wear? Consider donating it so someone else can enjoy it.

• Store away items you wish to keep but are not presently using - Gather your items into boxes or bins with a secure lid and label them accordingly - whether it be by size or season.

• Discard - If it's torn, stained, threadbare, bleached, or faded, it's time to say goodbye. Use textile recycling programmes to increase sustainability, or create extra rags for cleaning your home.

• Repair - If something you love can be salvaged, have it mended and give it a second life.

4) Stay focused - Keep your attention on the task at hand. if possible, don't leave the closet area until the part you are focussing on is completely finished. Secondly, if you come across any items that need to be put away elsewhere, gather them all together in one spot – and put them away once the job is done.

5) Store it where you'll use it often - Make sure the closet is filled with items you'll actually use in that space! Clothing should be kept in the bedroom closet, rather than having it scattered in every closet of your home. Organize the items in the closet in a way that makes them easily accessible - put the things you use most frequently within easy reach. Put the things you use less frequently on the shelves that are harder to reach.

6) Maintain your boundaries! - To keep your space neat and tidy, it's important to establish a routine of upkeep. Once you've decided where each item belongs, that spot becomes the designated area or boundary zone for that particular item. If your designated area becomes full, remember that the only way to add more is to make room for it whether through resale, donation, or recycling.

With these steps, you'll be living in a space full of functionality and style in no time!

Some Tips to Help you Declutter your Closet

Congratulations on understanding the basics! Here are some helpful tricks and ideas to help you declutter your wardrobe, and develop a style that expresses who you truly are.

Tip #1- Clutter Basket

If you're short on time for decluttering your closet, why not toss any unwanted items into a bag, bin, or basket you keep inside? That way, you can quickly keep your closet from becoming cluttered!

Tip #2 - Seeing Double

Look through your closet quickly for any duplicates. Go through your wardrobe and see if you have any doubles. If you have a lot of the same items - 5 white t-shirts, 8 pairs of black pumps, and 3 jean jackets - pare down the excess. Not only will it help you make decisions quickly in the morning, but it'll also clear some space for something new!

Tip #3 - Seasonal Clothing Clear Out Each

As the new season emerges, clear out your old wardrobe and give your closet a fresh update! Take a moment to assess the pieces of clothing you wore, for example, during the winter months - are there any items that you didn't even get the chance to put on once? Get rid of them, and make room for the new!

Most of us wear 20 percent of our clothing, 80 percent of the time!

Tip #4 - Find out Which Clothes You are Using

To keep track of what clothes you've used, try the Reverse Hanger method. Just take all the hangers in your closet and turn them around so the hooks are pointing backwards. Whenever you wear a piece of clothing and put it back, turn the hanger the right way. Do this for a month or season and you'll know what you've worn and what you still haven't used!

Tip #5 - One-in One-out

When you want to freshen up your wardrobe, why not try the one-in-one-out rule? For every new piece you add to your closet, identify something that you can give away or donate. It's a great way to keep balance in your wardrobe, while also giving back to your community.

Final Thoughts

You don't have to feel overwhelmed by cleaning out your wardrobe. By following these simple tips, you can make the closet cleanout process much easier and more enjoyable. First and foremost, try to be realistic and honest with yourself when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. If something hasn’t been worn in over a year, chances are it’s time to let it go. Also, try to organize your closet by type of clothing and by color. This will make it much easier to find the pieces you’re looking for. And don’t forget that there are so many options for dispersing your clothes.

Now is the perfect time to start resetting and freshening up your closet.

A whole new wardrobe awaits you after a thorough cleanout - so start sorting through your clothes and watch the transformation unfold!


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