How to Clear Closet Clutter

Five Simple Steps to Getting the Closet You Desire

Step 1.
Schedule a full day (or even a weekend).

Step 2.
Take everything out of your closet (yes, everything!). Make sure you have room to put things temporarily. A bed works great.

Step 3.
Pick up one article of clothing at a time and make a decision then and there. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I worn it in the last year?
  • Do I love it?
  • Does it fit me now?
  • Does it make me feel good?

If you answer yes to all of the above questions... hang it back up. It's a keeper!

However, if you answer no to any of the above questions... it's time to let it go. If it's still in good condition (gently used), put it into a donation box (a bag will work, too). Give it to a friend or your favorite charity. If it's stained, has holes, or needs a zipper repaired (and you don't think you'll ever get around to fixing it), toss it.

As you're making decisions, keep in mind that your end goal is to only have clothing in your closet that suits your life now! There's no sense in keeping clothes that you might fit into some day, or clothes that you liked at one time, but not anymore, or clothes that were given to you as gifts that don't match your style. Make space in your closet for the clothes that are useful to you now!

If you absolutely cannot bear to part with it, put it in a box, date it 6 months from now, and store it out of site. The next time you encounter the box, look at the date. If the date has come and gone and you haven't missed it (be honest!), then it's safe to let it go. Do not open the box. Take the box directly to your car. The next time you're in town, drop it off at your favorite charity.

Step 4.
In your closet, group similar items together. Essentially, categorize the 'Keepers' for fast grab-n-go. Sample categories might be: blouses, slacks, skirts, dresses, casual shirts, casual pants, jackets, etc. Once they're sorted into categories, sort them again by no sleeve to long sleeve, short skirts to longs skirts, and by color. This will give you an instant visual of everything in your closet. You will always know what you have and where to find it, making getting dressed in the morning (or anytime) a breeze.

Step 5.
Clearing closet clutter is great; however, keeping it clutter free is another. Maintenance is key. Remember to always hang your clothes back up where they belong, keep a donation box nearby at all times, and once or twice a year (preferably at the change of the seasons) go through the steps again (yes, again!) You'll be glad you did and you'll feel free and fabulous!


  • For visual appeal, buy all white plastic hangers, or better yet, splurge on all wooden hangers (no more wire
    hangers - they're great for dry cleaners only).
  • Make sure you have proper lighting.
  • Hang all of your clothes facing the same direction for a tidier look.
  • Button the second button on all shirts or jackets. This little trick will prevent hanger slip & slide.
  • Store seasonal clothes in a less accessible location. For example, in a clear labeled tote under the bed, in an empty suitcase, or in a clear labeled tote in the garage.
  • And if you're super motivated, paint the inside of your closet with a fresh coat of light-colored paint.


  1. Great tips here, going through your closet can be fun. You find stuff you forgot you had.

  2. That's one of the great benefits of getting organized... finding stuff you forgot you had.