"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
Recently, I spent some time decluttering my closets, yes, I said closets, plural. Do not judge me, they are tiny. Apparently, the home builders didn’t think women would live in these houses. Anyway, I digress. So, I set about decluttering my closets, one is completed, and the other has about 15% left to go. Nevertheless, here are a few tips to use when next you decide to declutter your closet, along with a few life lessons.
Tips for decluttering your closet
1. Take out everything - yes, this may seem daunting at first, but it really isn't. Make sure you have the time to commit to it, then put on your favorite playlist and get jiggy with it.
Note: if you have a huge walk-in closet you may want to tackle this in stages...that way it’s more mentally and physically doable. You must commit to it, so make a schedule and get it done.
2. Clean it out - next, vacuum, dust, and wipe down the closet...walls, shelves, and floor. You'd be surprised how much dust can gather in there.
3. Sort. Now, this is the tricky part and, I think, the longest part as well. You’re going to carefully sort through your clothing and put them into 3 piles - keep, donate/sell, and trash. DO NOT PANIC! Just keep listening to that playlist and dance your way through it.
a. Immediately put the trash items into your garbage - these are the tattered, stretched-out, don't look wearable items that you keep hanging onto.
b. Next, place the donation items into another garbage bag and put them in your vehicle. These are the items that no longer fit you, your current lifestyle, or the ones you haven’t seen in years because your closet is way too full to notice them. DO NOT LEAVE THIS BAG IN YOUR HOUSE! You will get the urge to go through it and start putting things back into your closet. Remember, someone else can benefit and seriously, you haven't worn them in years and may never, ever, wear them again. Be kind to yourself and others. Donate them!
c. Now this is the fun part, put back what’s left in the closet. You can choose to sort by color, which I do, or by type, which I also do. For example, all my dresses are together and sorted by color, my blouses are together and sorted by color, etc. You get the gist. This makes getting dressed so much easier and it limits the chances of you buying the same item multiple times.
d. Then, keep staring at your marvelous handiwork - how nice, light, and neat it looks. Yeah, happy dance!
4. The closet floor. This is where I believe we collect and store the most junk. Lord have mercy! This too must be decluttered, sorted, and then repacked. I keep my shoe boxes here and as painful as it got, I had to put on my big girl panties and face it. I threw out the ones that don't look wearable or safe anymore and put some in the donation pile cause honestly...why did I even buy them. Then I repacked the ones I was keeping in storage boxes according to color.
Tip: if you can, invest in clear plastic shoe organizing boxes like the ones below. It makes storing and finding your shoes so much easier and you're more likely to wear them more.
5. Hangers. Purge your hangers. Get rid of all those wire hangers that look like they've gone to battle. You may also want to get rid of the heavy, thick plastic ones too, they take up valuable closet “real estate” space. I invested in slim-line hangers like the ones below. They take up much less space and make your closet look so much more organized. You can even get the colored ones for that additional pizzazz in your closet.
6. Seasonal changes – if your attire changes based on the seasons, make sure you have storage containers that can help you organize your out-of-season clothing and shoes. That way you free up space in your closet. Thankfully where I live I don't have to do that.
"The Simpler The Space, The Calmer the Mind." ~ Jennifer Noseworthy
7. Luggage - store these on top of your closet, under your bed, or in your garage or attic. They take up valuable space in your closet. Also, consider using them to store your out-of-season clothing instead of buying storage containers. The only drawback will be when you're ready to travel and need that luggage. My thought is to worry about that when the time comes.
8. New clothing. If you've just gone shopping, or planning to, use the one-in-one-out method. For every new piece of clothing you put in, take one out. I did this while decluttering and reorganizing my closet recently. I removed items I had not worn in years and possibly will never wear again. I didn't overthink it, I just did it because I wanted to make room for the newbies and I remembered my goal…a lighter, nicer closet space with easy-to-find items. And to be fair, sometimes, as we age our taste changes a bit and our timeless pieces become just that, “time-less.”
9. Clothes that need altering. Show of hands how many of you have multiple items like this in your closet, yet you don’t have a seamstress/tailor, or the time, and you can’t remember the year you bought it? Hmmm…solution? Yup, you guessed right – donate it, it has no more business in your closet, I don’t care how cute you think it looks. Note to self – that jacket needs to go – crying!
10. Do a quick run-through once you're done and if anything pops out of you like, “What are you still doing here?” Take it out immediately and drop it in the donation bag.
11. Then, do all the above and thank me later...wink, wink.
Once you've worn an item, washed it and about to put it back into your closet, use the reverse hanger method. Many persons have said that this is a good way to get a better idea of the items you keep repeating and the ones that keep getting left behind. It’s a good way to start wearing the not so popular guys.
Lessons Learned While Decluttering My Closet
1. We spend way too much money on things we don’t need.
2. Less is more - as I get older this resonates even more. Get rid of the unwanted things that no longer fit you well or make you happy. Simple!
4. You will learn what your favorite colors are if you didn't realize them before.
Note: What does your clothing color say about you? Well, check out what the KewlShop Blog has to say about that.
5. You have the time to declutter you just don't want to.
6. Decluttering is mental freedom. Period!
Your closet doesn’t have to be the “bane of your existence.” Yes, I know it’s hard to keep it clutter-free and organized, but it isn’t impossible. Trust me, make the time, get it done, and tell me just how wonderful you feel afterward.
As always, remember, #ClutterAttractsClutter. Start decluttering today!
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