You have too much stuff, girl. And worse than that, you don’t even know what you have. Figure that out, and declutter your life, by cleaning out and organizing your closet. Don’t worry! We’ll show you how!
1. Take Everything Out, So You Can Decide What Goes Back In: It makes no sense to start reorganizing your closet until you know what’s in it. Start by taking everything out — including all of the unused and broken hangers — especially the wire ones! — you’ve got wasting space.
2. Do A Wear & Tear & Would-I-Wear-That Inventory: Get ready, you’re about to get down to business. Make enough space for four piles of clothing and set aside an afternoon to visit your local tailor, consignment shop and Goodwill. As you begin evaluating the items in your closet, ask yourself if you can think of at least one or two occasions to wear the item to, and if you already have all the components in your existing wardrobe to wear the item out as is. Have you been holding onto a pair of jeans that require that you purchase a special length of boot? Or a skirt that needs a certain kind of belt? It might be time to think about getting rid of those things.
- Pile 1: Clothes That Need To Be Repaired. The next step is to start actually evaluating the items you’ve got. Do you have a bunch of things in your closet with holes or ripped hems? Have you been promising yourself you’ll take those things to the tailor? What’s stopping you? Remember that until you get those items repaired, they’re absolutely no good to you and just taking up dead space in your closet.
- Pile 2: Clothes That Can Be Consigned. Similarly, you need to evaluate the items in your closet based on whether or not you’d still wear them. It might take a tough look in the mirror to admit to yourself that you’ll never wear the Zara skirt you bought six months ago that still has the tags on it. Items that are in good shape and are fairly in style can be taken to your local consignment shop. Remember to keep your hauls relatively seasonable — consignment shops are typically looking for fall and winter items in August through October and spring and summer items in February through April. Whatever your local consignment shop doesn’t take can be thrown in with your donation pile.
- Pile 3: Clothes To Be Donated. You’ve probably also got some things that are in less-than-perfect shape, but might be better off going to someone else. They should be items you haven’t worn in at least six months. These items should go in your “donate” or “clothing swap” pile.
- Pile 4: Stuff You’re Absolutely Definitely Keeping. These are the no-brainer items you love and wear regularly that’ll definitely be going back in your closet.
3. Ask Yourself: “Are These Clothes Who I Am Now Or Who I Used to Be?”: Sometimes we hold onto items because they remind us of a certain time in our life — even if we’ll never ever wear them again. Stop doing that! Nostalgia is fine, but there’s no room for it in your closet! If there are old items that you don’t wear but must hold onto, consider archiving them someplace else, so that you don’t waste valuable time or closet space considering them when you know you absolutely won’t wear those garments again.
4. Organize What You’re Actually Keeping: Once you’ve figured out what’s staying and what’s definitely going, you can set about organizing the items in your closet. Put all of your dresses together, all of your skirts in one section and all of your tops in another. You can get as detailed in your closet organization as you like — grouping all long-sleeve shirts together, or arranging your closet by color (which I find particularly helpful). Pro tip: Put your most frequently worn items toward the back of your closet — that way you’ll be forced to look through the rest of your garments before coming to some of your favorite blouse or skirt. It’ll give you the opportunity to really see what else is in your closet and what else might possibly work.
5. Keep A Few Extra Hangers — But Not Too Many: If your closet is packed full with extra hangers, you might want to consider donating or throwing out some of them. Extra hangers just make us more prone to go “extra” shopping, rather than consider what we’ve already got in our closets.
6. Treat Your Closet Like A Cute Boutique: Clothes are clean and well displayed at your favorite store, so why not treat them with the same amount of care and attention to detail when they’re hanging in your closet? Iron your clothing when it comes out of the laundry, rather than waiting until you decide you want to wear something. It’ll make it that much easier to grab garments and throw them on when you’re in a hurry in the morning.
Got a helpful closet organization tip? Share it with us in the comments!