A Cozy Home

Rules to Declutter Your Closet Today

Spring is my favorite time to start clearing out the house.  There are parts of spring cleaning that I like more than others.  Going through my closet is a winner, washing the windows is a looser.  The first time I really did a clothes clear out as an adult I had no idea what I was doing.  I just stood in front of my closet and started tossing things into a trash bag to drop off a charity shop or into a tub to stick in the garage.  I didn’t keep classic pieces, I didn’t even keep what I would need in the next season.  These days I am a bit better at sorting my closet.  I still count as a clothes hoarder but I no longer toss things out at random.  Last week a friend of mine asked for me for tips on how to decide what to g3et rid of.  First – I did a little squee of excitement that she asked for my opinion.  Then I jotted down a list of rules for her to follow – Rules to Declutter Your Closet.  She called me yesterday and told me she spent 3 hours going through her closet and clearing it out.  Now she is planning on clearing out her hubby and kids closets as well.

The rules to declutter your closet are easy.  If you start at the beginning and work your way through (depending on the size of your closet) you should have everything sorted out in a couple of hours, and plenty of space to organize your closet any way you want.  The hard part is to keep yourself from going on a shopping spree to fill it right back up!



Rules To Declutter Your Closet Today

  • Damaged, Stained, and Worn Out: I know you love that hoodie you bought your freshman year of college.  Problem is it has a huge pizza stain, a rip under the arm, and the hem is ragged.  Why don’t you order a new one and let that one go.  You never feel your best in ratty clothes and you know you would die of embarrassment if someone you want to date saw you wearing that thing at the grocery store.
  • Uncomfortable:  You can’t look awesome if you are always tugging your pants up because the hem is to long or tugging your shirt down to keep it from bunching under your arms.  Worse is when your waistband digs into your sides or a shirt that keeps falling off your shoulder.  If you have clothes that are driving you crazy 30 minutes after you put it on – stick it in the donate bin.  Life is to short for uncomfortable clothes.
  • Can’t Remember The Last Time You Wore It:  If you can’t remember the last time you wore something put it in the front of your closet and commit to wearing it by the end of the month.  If you don’t wear it – and love it – then add it to the donation box.  The obvious exception is if it is sweater and your in the middle of summer.  I am talking about that red skirt with the cute little flower print.  It may still fit, and be in good shape, but if your over wearing tiny prints then let it go.
  • Tags Are Still On It:  So you bought that shirt you were not sure about because it was such a good sale.  You got it home, but there was nothing to match it.  You stuck it in the back and started looking for some pants to match.  Time goes on but you never find just the right pair and you forget about the shirt all together.  Now you have clothes in your closet you have never owrn and probably never will.  Sell them and make room for clothes you will actually wear people.  Face it that shirt would have gone with any of the 15 pairs of jeans also taking up room in your closet.
  • Never Going To Wear It Again:  Everyone has that one thing that you are just never going to wear again.  It could be a neon blue prom dress or a taffeta nightmare of a bridesmaid dress.  Maybe those clubbing dresses you are not going to wear now that you have so many pairs of yoga pants – and you spend your Saturday nights folding laundry and catching up on your favorite shows.
  • You Have Already Replaced It: Don’t roll your eyes.  You know what I am talking about.  For me I have been trying to replace one pair of black flats for years.  I bought the originals a pair of black pleated silk flats by Rocket Dog that were perfect in every way possible when I still worked in offices over 7 years ago.  I wore them constantly for 3 years.  Now they are loose and showing their age.  I have bought at least 4 other pairs of black flats trying to replace them.  The problem is the orginials and all the replacements are still in my closet.  So I put the original pair on while debating which of the replacements to keep.  Honestly I just tossed out the originals, and donated the first three pairs of replacements.  If they were what I really wanted I would not have kept shopping for black flats.


Exceptions To The Rules

There are always exceptions to any rule.  With your wardrobe there are plenty.  These are my top 5 – not counting keeping the clothes your kid grows out of for the next in line or keeping your out of season wardrobe that you have already decluttered.

  • Formal Wear:  If you have that one awesome black dress that you spent years looking for – awesome stick it in the back of your closet where it won’t get snagged or wrinkled and you are set for your next romantic night out.  You get bonus points if you have shoes, a wrap, and a little purse to go with it.  Don’t hold onto formal wear your not going to wear again sell it and make room for things your actually going to get use out of.
  • Junk Clothes:  You need one outfit that you can wear when you paint the living room, repair the fence or what ever in.  Hang both pieces on the same hanger in the closet.  What you don’t need are 50 tee shirts that you got as freebies from festivals or home improvement stores.  Unless you have a manual job where you go through junk clothes quickly keep one or two outifts you can get messy in and get rid of the rest.
  • Next Sizes:  It is a fact of life that your weight and pants size are going to change.  If your like me that change happens a couple of times a year.  I keep the basic pieces I need in a size smaller and a size larger than where I am now in tubs in the garage.  You don’t need to keep everything.  If you loose weight and keep it off your going to want  a whole new wardrobe to celebrate.  Don’t keep clothes that are way to big either.  You lost that weight already and you are not going back.
  • Maternity:  If you know that you are going to try for another baby for heaven’s sake stick your maternity clothes in storage.  You already know they will fit and this way you don’t have to try on clothes when you can’t see your toes.  Bonus because you can use that money for massages instead of replacing your maternity jeans.
  • Sports:  If you play a sport then you need to keep the clothes and gear for it.  There are so many different sports out there I can’t even try to cover what to keep and what to toss in this area.  You know if you still need it or not.


You don’t have to wait for spring to declutter your closet.  You can do it if you are moving, get a new job, loose weight, or just want to change your personal style.  All you need are some trash bags, storage totes, and good music on your playlist to keep you motivated.  You are going to kick yourself that you haven’t done it sooner.



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