How many times have you struggled to find something to wear in your jam-packed closet? Clothes are one of the easiest things to accumulate in our homes! It might be a great time for you to read this step-by-step guide to declutter clothes efficiently.
For years, I used to have a closet full to the brim! It was full of clothes, some of which I would never wear.
The funny thing is that I used to struggle a lot finding what I wanted to wear every morning. And I always ended up wearing the same clothes anyway.
How ironic is it?!
Going through my wardrobe has helped me make room for the clothes that I love and wear regularly.
I no longer have a hard time figuring out what to wear in the morning and I enjoy every piece I own.
Organizing a closet declutter will benefit you in many ways! Most of all, it’s a great way to simplify your life and live intentionally.
Not to mention that decluttering and giving a new life to your clothes is the right thing to do if you want to make your wardrobe more sustainable!
I created this closet declutter guide to help you easily transition to a clutter-free and tidy wardrobe.
If you want to declutter other areas of your home as well, check this full blog post about 11 decluttering hacks that will help you embrace minimalist living.
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Closet declutter: step-by-step guide to declutter clothes efficiently
Get ready to declutter your clothes
1 – Know why you want to declutter your clothes
Before you do anything, reflect on why you want to go through your clothes and get rid of some of them.
Do you want to spend less time getting ready in the morning? And you want to easily find the pieces you love and that fit you well?
Or do you want to be able to take better care of your clothes?
Is it because you have very small closet space and struggle to fit everything in it? Are you moving soon?
Knowing why you want to declutter your wardrobe will motivate you to tackle the piles of clothes.
It will get you going when you feel overwhelmed.
2 – Choose the right time to do it
Once you know why you want to go through your clothes, you need to plan when you’re going to do it.
Decluttering can take a long time depending on how many clothes you own. So set yourself several hours in your day to be able to tackle your closet.
The best time to do it is probably on the weekend or when you have a day-off.
Whether you assume it will take you a few hours or a whole weekend, set that time aside.
And keep in mind that it always tends to take longer than expected. So be realistic with the timeframe you give yourself.
3 – Make sure your room is tidy and clean
Before you start your closet declutter, take the time to clean and tidy your room. It will make decluttering less overwhelming and stressful.
If you have many other things lying around while you are sorting through clothes, it will drive you crazy.
We often have way too many clothes and tackling this decluttering project will create a big mess.
So, do yourself a favor and tidy your room beforehand so that you can entirely focus on your clothes.
This way, you won’t start thinking about all the other things you want to declutter in your bedroom.
You’ll be less likely to get overwhelmed by the whole task and to find yourself in a decluttering rut.
4 – Gather all your clothes together
The last step before you start decluttering is to gather every piece of clothing you own into one room.
Do not forget about the clothes you have in storage, or in other rooms in your home.
Once you’ve done that, sort them into different piles depending on the type of clothing. Tshirts, sweaters, pants, coats, socks, underwear, bras, shoes, accessories.
Sorting them into categories will help you see how many pieces you own in each of these categories.
This way, it is easier for you to decide whether you own too many pieces of a given category.
Now, it’s time to declutter your clothes!
5 – Tackle one category at a time
Decluttering a lot of clothes at once can be very overwhelming. That’s why you should tackle each category separately. One at a time.
Do not try to do everything at once or you might burn yourself out.
I recommend that you choose the easiest categories first. By this, I mean the ones in which you immediately know what to get rid of.
It will give you momentum and motivation to keep going and to tackle more difficult categories afterward.
6 – Ask yourself questions
While going through each piece of clothing, ask yourself a set of questions.
- When was the last time I wore this item?
- Is it in good condition?
- Does it fit me?
- Is it my style?
- Do I love it?
- Is this piece comfortable?
- Do I feel confident wearing it?
- If I were in the store at this current time, would I buy it again?
- Is it flattering?
These are a few questions you might want to ask yourself. But many others can help make a decision!
The key is to declutter clothes efficiently, without making decisions you might regret later.
7 – Put your clothes in different piles
After each decision you make, put the piece of clothing in a specific pile.
I recommend that you have 6 different piles: to donate, to sell, to upcycle/mend/alter, to recycle, to trash, and a “maybe” pile to revisit later.
According to what you want to do with your clothes, those may differ for you. But I think they’re a great place to start.
8 – Clothes that are hard to let go of
Some pieces of clothing might be harder to declutter than others. This might be the case for sentimental clothing for instance.
Please leave sentimental clothing for the end. If you tackle them first, you might get overwhelmed and lose all your motivation.
Same thing for clothes that were expensive and that you regret buying.
You may realize that buying them was a money mistake, but you cannot go back in time.
If they hold financial value, try selling them. If you could recuperate some money out of them, it would be easier for you to let them go.
Generally, if you’re unable to make a decision, put the item in the “maybe” pile.
Also, consider asking a friend if they could help you make a decision. They might offer great advice with an external point of view.
9 – Clothes you might want to declutter in your closet
There are many things you might want to declutter in your wardrobe! Here are a few examples:
- Worn-out clothes
- Clothes that do not fit you
- Fantasy-self clothing you never wear
- Clothing that is not your style
- Clothing that reminds you of a bad memory
- One-time event clothing (including prom and wedding dresses)
- Excess paint shirts
- Itchy sweaters
- Uncomfortable underwear
- Underwear with holes and tears
- Socks with holes or that don’t have a match
- Tights with runs in them
- Shoes that hurt your feet
- Tarnished or broken jewelry
- Broken hangers
Of course, if you own some of these and they give you happiness, please by no means you should get rid of them.
But if they’re collecting dust and taking up precious space in your closet without giving you any value, why don’t you let them go instead?
Once you’re done decluttering clothes
10 – Deep clean your closet
Before you put your remaining clothes away, it is important that you properly clean your closet. A lot of dust may have accumulated over the months!
Dust is bad for your lungs and health in general, so vacuuming and dusting is a great way to make your home healthier.
So I recommend that you vacuum your closet, and wipe the shelves and drawers to get rid of the dust.
Don’t forget to throw away any trash that may be around as well.
11 – Create an organizational system for your wardrobe
After cleaning, you can start organizing the clothes you kept. Decide which clothing you want to hang and which you prefer folded in drawers.
Sort by color or category (or both), it will help you find your clothes way quicker when you’re getting dressed!
I also recommend that you store out-of-season clothes away in a box that is out of sight. It will help you have a more organized and less cluttered closet.
This way, you won’t have scarves and gloves in the way of your swimsuits in the summer. And the other way around for the winter.
As far as shoes are concerned, keeping them on a shoe rack is a great option as you’ll be able to see everything.
And like for clothes, why don’t you store your out-of-season shoes in a box that is out of sight?
For the clothes you put in the mending pile, take action as soon as possible and try to mend them. And take the ones that need altering to the tailor.
Finally, if you had a “maybe” pile, store it away out of sight and write on your calendar when you want to revisit the items.
If you haven’t worn them by that day, please declutter them immediately.
You probably won’t use them again in the future and they’re taking up precious space in your closet.
12 – Get rid of the decluttered clothes ASAP
With the different piles you’ve made during your closet declutter, it should be easy for you to know what to do with each item.
Selling them is a great option! There are many ways you can do that.
Listing them on Poshmark, eBay, or Facebook groups. Bringing them to a consignment store. Selling them at your own garage sale.
Selling clothes to other people supports the second-hand market which helps the planet!
But many people do not want to take the time to sell their clothes.
In this case, a quick alternative is to donate them to charities, second-hand stores, friends and family, or to someone in need.
Also, consider organizing a clothing swap with your friends! It’s a fun way to declutter your clothes while getting new pieces that you might need.
You can also get creative with your clothes and try upcycling them! Why don’t you turn an old T-shirt into rags or a pillowcase?
If none of the above is possible, please recycle the rest. Many recycling centers take clothing to give them a new life.
Throwing clothes in the trash should always be the last resort as textile waste is very bad for the environment!
13 – Keep your closet clutter-free
Your wardrobe is now clutter-free, great job!!
The main goal now is to learn how to maintain it. You will always need to organize a closet declutter from time to time.
But if you work on keeping your wardrobe free of clutter, the process should be a lot easier in the future.
Stop impulse buying
One key element to keep your closet clutter-free is to stop impulse buying so that you don’t accumulate too many clothes again.
Only buy what you need and love, and replace clothes as they wear out. Also, try shopping as intentionally as possible!
It will help you have a clutter-free closet and will save you tons of money as time goes on.
Not to mention that giving up impulse buying is an amazing way to help the environment!
One in, one out
From now on, I recommend that you try implementing the simple “one in, one out” rule.
This means that if you buy a new item of clothing, you let go of another that is already in your closet and that you don’t love or wear enough.
Implementing this rule is a great way to keep the number of clothes you have at a stable number.
The hanger trick
Another tip is to turn all the hangers in your closet the wrong way around and turn them the right way as you wear them.
If after 6 months, some hangers haven’t been turned around, you can assume that you won’t wear these pieces of clothing in the future. Consider decluttering those.
Keep a donation bag in your closet
Keeping a donation bag in your closet for the things you want to declutter in the future is a great way to declutter as you go.
It will be easier for you to keep your closet clutter-free if you get rid of unwanted items when you come across them.
When it is full, it’s time to take the bag out of your home!
Also, recycle worn-out clothes immediately once you decide you can no longer wear them.
This way, you won’t be bothered with them anymore and can move on to other clothes.
Declutter clothes seasonally
A final tip is to do a closet declutter after every season.
This way, you know what you wore and what you didn’t wear during the last few months.
You can also reassess whether you still love the clothes you have for the following season. Are they still your style? Do they still fit you?
There you have it!
I hope this step-by-step guide to declutter clothes efficiently was useful to you and that you could go through your wardrobe more easily!
Closets can get very cluttered if we don’t consciously make the effort to go through our clothes every once in a while.
And it makes getting ready in the morning more stressful and overwhelming.
Practicing minimalism through decluttering is an amazing way to simplify your life!
If you want to tackle other areas in your home, check this list of 70 things you might want to get rid of in your home to embrace minimalist living!
What clothing items have you gotten rid of in your wardrobe? Did you struggle in some way during the closet declutter?
I’d love to know, tell me in the comment section!