What is it about a closet that makes it such a magnet for random odds and ends? Maybe it’s because it’s an easy place to stash all the stuff you don’t have a spot for when your parents text that they’re stopping by in ten minutes! If your closet could use a good spruce up, don’t feel like you need to go out and buy an expensive closet organizing system. You can often whip your closet into shape just by weeding out some of the things you don’t really need.
So if you’re feeling like it’s time to give your closet a healthy spring (or summer, or fall, or winter) cleaning, check out our tips on how to declutter!
Empty everything out
Yes, if you really want to declutter the best possible place to begin is by completely emptying out your closet space. Not only does this give you a preview of just how much inventory you have in there, but it also gives you a chance to really deep clean your floors, walls, and any shelving. No declutter really works if the closet doesn’t actually get cleaned while you’re at it!
Sort everything into four piles
Sorting all the items from your closet is key to actually achieving a real declutter. While you might think we mean to sort your clothes by season or by type, we have something else in mind. You need four piles, a keeper pile, a donate pile, a long-term pile, and a maybe pile.
The keeper and donate piles are fairly self-explanatory. Anything you know you want to keep or donate goes in those. The maybe pile is for items you’re not sure you want to dump, but you’re also not sure you want to keep. We recommend snapping a picture of your maybe pile so that the next time you do a closet declutter you can cull the items that wind up in the maybe pile again.
Your long-term pile is for clothes or accessories that you may not use often but that you do occasionally use and would be expensive to replace. Think of items like formal coats, ski pants, or hiking gear. Things you do use but rarely. Those items shouldn’t be in your regular clothes closet taking up valuable real estate. If you don’t have another linen closet or storage space for those items, consider buying under-the-bed storage bins to stow them away.
Try to delete half your maybe pile
If you really want to declutter, you should try to keep only half your maybe pile. This can be tough, but we promise you probably won’t even remember you owned some of these items in a month. One way to make these tough decisions is to ask yourself when the last time you wore or used each item was. If it’s been more than a year, your decision should be easy.