Cleaning Your Closet: How to Get It Done Quickly and Easily

“Cleaning out your closet feels good,” said no one ever. But let’s be honest. It’s one of those tasks — like a professional teeth cleaning — that needs to get done at least twice a year. Why clean out your closet? To get rid of clothes you no longer wear, make room for new things, and focus on wearing clothes you actually feel good in. Before you start the closet purge process, we’ve got some tips for getting the job done.

1. Clear time in your schedule

An unorganized closet

An unorganized closet takes time to clean. | Thinkstock

Dedicate a Saturday to cleaning out your entire closet. Make a good playlist, get some beers, and set aside trash bags or boxes to go through every single item in your closet.

2. Take every single thing out of it

female clothes hanging on hangers

Take everything out so you can see what you have. | iStock.com/Kwanchai_Khammuean

The best way to begin cleaning out your messy closet is to get everything out of it. Dump your wardrobe on your floor or bed, so you can see what you’re working with. You’ll be able to immediately see how much stuff you have and start thinking about what to get rid of.

3. Separate your wardrobe into piles

an organized closet

Make piles to decide what you do and don’t want. | iStock.com

Start by making piles of shirts, pants, jackets, underwear, socks, accessories, etc. The point is to separate everything before you begin making decisions about what to toss and keep. Don’t worry about taking things off hangers. You’ll never finish if you stop to make things nice.

4. Go through each pile

Piles of clothes

Go through every pile and ask yourself questions about each item. | iStock.com

This is the toughest part of the whole closet purge process. Begin by going over each pile and asking yourself a few vital questions.

  • Does it still fit?
  • Have I worn this in the last 12 months?
  • Would I wear it again?
  • Is it damaged?
  • Do I look my best when I wear this?
  • Would I buy this at the store right now?
  • Do I love this item?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, get rid of the item!

5. Divide your wardrobe into three piles

a closet

Decide what to sell, donate, or toss. | iStock.com

Now that you know what you’re keeping and throwing away, separate your wardrobe into three piles: sell, donate, and toss. If items are damaged or are no longer wearable add them to a toss bag. Want to make some extra cash? Sell items in good condition that you no longer love to an online marketplace like eBay. For all other wearable items with no resale value, donate them to a charity such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army.

6. Organize what you kept

Young woman organizing her clothes

Neatly put back the items you want to keep. | iStock.com/Dutko

Start putting back the items you decided to keep. Neatly fold your shirts, get new hangers, and keep your accessories in order. Make a habit of putting items back as soon as you’re done wearing them. Enjoy your clean and clutter-free closet!

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