Your step-by-step guide on how to declutter your closet fast!
Do you stand at your closet in the mornings and just stare? Or, are you like me and usually running late, so you are throwing out possible outfit ideas onto the bed, but nothing feels right? If your morning routine needs a change and you are tired of the getting-dressed battle, check out this step-by-step guide on how to declutter your closet.
Stop organizing your closet and make a real change. Get rid of the clutter. Learn to love getting dressed in the mornings.
Set goals when you declutter your closet:
There is always a reason we take on a decluttering challenge. Usually, it is because we are sick and tired of sifting through the chaos. It is overwhelming. We are always seeking calm and peacefulness, and when our closets are a mess, it makes something as easy as getting dressed in the mornings a stressful experience.
Write down your goals. Why do you want to declutter?
It sounds silly. I used to hate exercises like this. They reminded me of the stupid activities they forced me to do in the corporate world before I quit. But, stick with me.
If you write down why you want to declutter your closet and maybe even declutter your home, you will be reminded of it when you are ready to give up. Let me tell you now, getting rid of clothes you spent tons of hard-earned money on is not easy. However, trust me when I tell you it feels soooooo good when you finally accomplish the task at hand.
Benefits of decluttering your bedroom closet:
So many things will happen after you declutter your closet. You will have what resembles a capsule wardrobe. You will love, love, love everything that is left in your closet. Getting dressed in the mornings will be a breeze, and packing a suitcase for a trip will take you a fraction of the time it did before getting rid of stuff.
Be ready to be honest with yourself. Don’t cheat yourself when sifting through the mess. If you need a break, take it, but always come back to your goal and the “why?”
The first step to declutter your closet
Are you ready for this?
Take it all out.
Wait, did I just say take it all out? Yep. You want a blank canvas. You want to know what a clean and open closet feels like. Remember how spacious it looked when you moved into the house? Get that feeling back.
Take a quick break and remember your goals
Now, if you drink, you may want to go have a glass of wine now. This is where I choked up a bit. I was upset because I was so embarrassed by the sheer number of clothes I owned and the mountain of a task ahead of me. I didn’t set enough time aside, but I was not going to quit until it was done. A change was needed.
Remind yourself of your goal. Look at what you wrote down. (If you didn’t write anything down, go back and do it.) Say it out loud. You can do this.
If you are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothing items in your closet (now on your bed and probably overflowing to your floors), consider taking on a no shopping challenge. I did one for a year once (it started out as only 30 days). It was life-changing.
Sort the mess
Anytime you declutter a room, you need a sorting system for getting through it all. It seems basic, but if you don’t have the set-up, things can get confusing. Create three different sorting areas. You can use boxes, garbage bags or piles. You need:
- A sell/ give-away pile.
- A trash pile.
- A keep pile.
Notice, there is no “maybe pile”. Some will tell you to create one. If you must, for those items you think should go but pains you to part with just yet, put them in a container and place them in your garage or a far away closet. If you still don’t use an item in that container after a month or two, time to let it go.
You want to touch every item that goes back into your closet. This will force you to be intentional and purposeful about what makes the cut. Ask yourself if you really love what you are holding. Is it functional? Does it make you happy?
If you don’t like it, find the item a home where it will be loved. Don’t keep items you don’t love. These are clothes you wear daily. You deserve to feel good about the items you wear.
If you have stuff in your closet that doesn’t belong there, put it where it does go. Give it a specific place, somewhere that makes sense in your home.
Create a Capsule Wardrobe
When you decide to declutter your closet, consider creating a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe will help you narrow down your clothes to just the ones you love. It will make your mornings easier, you will save money, and your closet will look amazing!
Items that should go when you declutter your closet:
Clothes with tags
Any pieces with tags on them you have owned longer than a month should go. You bought these items, but you still have not worn them. It’s ok. It is a sunk cost now. Time to admit it was poor buy and time to let it go.
Clothes and shoes that don’t fit
Stop making yourself feel guilty for not fitting into an item of clothing that you had before you pushed out a child or from your college days.
It was so uplifting to look in my closet and not see the dress that made me feel like a frumpy mom. I have good memories in that dress, I don’t want to hate it anymore.
Also, toss the shoes that make your feet miserable. It’s senseless to wear shoes that give you blisters. (OK, maybe keep the one pair of shoes that make you feel like a million bucks, but I count that as an item you love. Beauty is painful after all!)
Clothes that make you feel guilty
You know that sweater you got for Christmas or for your birthday that you never really liked from the day you got it? It’s OK to let it go. I won’t tell. In fact, I support you, friend.
Guilt is a powerful emotion that can be a person’s worst enemy when trying to clear the clutter. I will let you in on a little secret, most people will never know about the things you get rid of in your decluttering journey.
Unique clothing and unique shoe choices
Everyone needs a few unique pieces of clothing that make them happy when they wear them. However, even your unique pieces should be able to turn into at least three different outfits.
Take for example my purple pastel dress pants. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I never found anything to match them other than a white shirt. Even then, I hated wearing them because I was terrified of sitting on something dirty and it being obvious for the rest of the day. They did not make the cut when I decided to declutter my closet and create a capsule wardrobe.
Items that have extended their wear life
You know that shirt that is super faded? Or the pair of jeans that are so ripped you cannot wear them in public? It is time to let them go too. If you just want the memory, take a picture and save it to your photo cloud first.
Do not turn clothing items that are super worn out into pajamas or loungewear! You deserve actual pajamas, not clothes you don’t like anymore.
If you have duplicates of items, consider narrowing them down to just one. Get comfortable with the idea of one. Apply it to all categories in your closet. Find your favorite pair of black pants, your favorite white blouse, or your favorite handbag. Think if you really need multiples.
What to do if it is all too much
If you run out of time, or if the task to declutter your closet is too much to take on in one day, that’s ok. Don’t give up. Put the items you touched, decided you love, and want to keep on one side of the closet. For the untouched items, put them on the other side. Come back another day and start again.
Don’t let this overwhelm you. In fact, this is a task that will eventually take the overwhelm away! One day at a time. That’s all you can do. Decluttering a house from years’ worth of buying and storing takes time. You don’t have to do it all in a day.
Meanwhile, experiment with living with fewer clothes and fewer accessories. Only work out of the side of the closet with the clothes you already determined you love. Do you really need the other half of the closet?
After you declutter your closet
After you declutter your closet, go back and do it again in three months. Go ahead, set yourself an alarm or put it on your calendar.
I bet you need even less than what you saved the first round. Decluttering also gets easier with time. Letting go of items we purchased is hard. However, the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Let us know if you decide to declutter your closet. What worked? What one item did you have a hard time letting go of? Tell us in the comments. Good luck!