Time to clean out your closet? Here’s how to declutter


This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Do your closet doors barely close or do you trip over clothes and shoes every time you open them? Maybe it’s time to declutter.

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It can be hard to get rid of pieces that you’ve had in your closet for a long time, even if you haven’t worn them for literally years. But amidst the usual chaos of full-time life and work, the last thing we need is a cluttered closet that keeps us from quickly finding that specific blazer or belt. The silver lining is that it only takes an afternoon to go from an overflowing closet to an organized closet.

Some items can be hard to part with, even though you know you’ll feel better about having a decluttered closet in the long run. And sometimes we just need a little nudge or advice to get started. That said, here are four simple and effective tips you can use to organize your closet, at least until next year. (If you’re on a cleaning kick, also consider organize your fridgeget rid of gunk buildup in your Keurig coffee maker and clean your makeup brushes.)

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1. Get everything out and take inventory

The first step in cleaning your closet is to completely empty it and give it a thorough cleaning. I recommend taking everything off, including clothes, hangers, and shoes, and laying it on your bed or floor. Also, don’t forget to collect items from shelves, bins, and drawers.

Not only will this give you the opportunity to dust your shelves and easily vacuum the floors and baseboards of cupboards, but it will also force you to start from scratch. Now you can be thoughtful and attentive to each piece you decide to keep.

pile of clothes lying on a bed

Stack all your clothes and start inventory.

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2. Prepare your decluttering supplies

Then you will need to take garbage bags, a marker and tape. Put a strip of masking tape on the first bag and write “Trash” on it with the marker. On the second bag, place a strip of masking tape over it and label that bag “Donate.”

If you have a lot of trendy or designer clothes, consider getting a third bag for items you can sell at a consignment store.

3. Start purging your clothes

OK, now that you’re done preparing, it’s time to start being ruthless. You will make four piles: keep, repair, discard, and donate (or sell). The trash pile and the donation pile are the labeled bags. Conservation and repair piles can be on your dresser, a chair, or somewhere separate from the rest of the clothes.

What to throw away, give away, record or keep:

  • If you haven’t worn it in a year and it’s still in good condition, it goes in the donation bag.
  • If it has holes, worn elastic or irreparable tears, throw it in the trash bag.
  • If it needs a button or has a hole that you or a tailor can easily fix (and promise to fix), place the item in the repair pile.
  • If it’s not your style, it goes in the donation bag.
  • If it’s faded or the fabric is pilling, throw it in the trash bag.
  • If it’s fantastic, you like it and you wear it, put it in the reserve.
  • If it has stains, put it in the repair pile and try these tricks to remove stains.
  • If it doesn’t fit, give it away.

Identify the things that worry you

For many of us, we have that one item that we always keep as our “goal” outfit, a dress or jeans or a swimsuit that’s too small, but keep it as our motivation to lose weight.

While encouraging ourselves to adopt a healthier lifestyle is rewarding, keeping an item that makes us feel ashamed of our body shape or size is not. Clothes should make you feel more empowered rather than making us feel bad about ourselves. If you have an object that you keep as motivation to grow to a certain size, consider giving it away so you don’t trigger compulsive or unhealthy behaviors. And if you reach this milestone, you can always reward yourself with a shopping spree.

Still in trouble? Try this cleaning method.

For clothes you’re having trouble deciding what to do with, pull out a KonMari Method page. Ask yourself, does this bring you joy? Are you happy with how it fits your body? If the answer is no to both, discard it. These rules also apply to footwear. Do you have holes or extreme wear on the soles? They have to go. Haven’t worn them in a year? On the way to charity. Do you like them and wear them? They are guardians.

And if your shoes are just a little dirty, you can clean them easily.

4. Reorganize and take action

Your closet cleaning journey is almost over. Now all you have to do is put everything back in the closet.

For the rest, it is important to take care of it right away. By taking measures, you will prevent these items from taking up space and potentially returning to your closet.

Immediately put the garbage bag in your garbage can. Immediately drive the donation bag to your local drop off point. No waiting!

Finally, get to work on the items that need to be repaired or cleaned up. If you don’t have time to work on them yourself, take them to the tailor or dry cleaners right after dropping off the charity bag.

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How often should you declutter your closet?

Now that you’ve decluttered your closet, when should you see it next? This will mostly come down to personal preference based on your cleaning habits, but I would recommend at least twice a year between the warmer months of spring and summer and the cooler months of fall and winter. winter. And if you’re really into it, you can sift through your wardrobe seasonally so you can donate or consign items when they’re in style.

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