browse by category

3 Steps to a Quick Closet Clean-out

October 10, 2016

If your closet is starting to overflow and it feels more like a bottomless pit than a wardrobe, then read on to learn some of my tips to a quick closet clean-out, and leave your comments down below telling me what some of your favourite closet cleaning and decluttering tips are!

As the seasons are changing, I am taking this as an opportunity to clean out my closet, declutter and re-organize it. Let’s be real though! Considering my love and affinity for it, I would take any opportunity to clean, declutter, and organize. So, let’s get started! There are different ways to clean out your closet, and I will admit that every once in a while I take the (dreaded, but occasionally necesarry) “start-from-scratch-closet-purge” approach and pull everything out of my closet, put it on my bed, and allow only a few staple pieces back in after spending hours deliberating and considering. Although this method is effective, and I do suggest doing it at least once a year to get a nice deep cleaned base, it is very time consuming, and since time is money, higher value can often be found in a quick closet clean-out. Below are my tips.


1. Start with a  clean slate. Now this first step might seem obvious, but it is important nonetheless. Make sure that all of your clothes has been washed and put away into your closet and that none of it is lying around the house or apartment. Since we won’t be pulling everything out of our closet and throwing it on the bed, it is important to have everything cleaned and in the closet. There is nothing more annoying than looking satisfyingly at a cleaned-out closet and then realizing that the laundry basket is full of uncleaned clothes that you then will have to go through later. So step number one is to gather all your clothes into your closet, and always start with a clean slate. Now that all your clothes are clean and put away into your closet, you can start the clean-out shuffle.

2. Make five different piles. When doing a quick closet clean-out, set up five baskets, bags, boxes, or piles- whatever works for you. I usually just make piles on my floor in front of my closet, but if labelled boxes makes you feel better, then go for it. Whatever floats your boat!

  1. The first pile is for anything that needs mending, tailoring, or dry-cleaning. If you have pieces in your wardrobe that you absolutely love, but that need any of the afore-mentioned services, then put them in this pile. Now the most important thing to consider before putting something into this pile is whether or not the effort is worth the end result- do you love this piece enough to want to go through the trouble and effort of restoring it? If so, then put it into this pile, and get it mended, tailored, or cleaned as soon as possible. If not, then proceed to the next steps to read about your other options.
  2. The second pile is for anything you want to donate. If there is anything in your closet that doesn’t fit right, or that doesn’t make you happy (more about this later), or if there is anything in your closet that doesn’t make you feel like the beautiful human being that you are, then it is time to get rid of it. There are plenty of people who would benefit from your ill-fitting clothing, because what might not fit you right, may make someone else feel like a rockstar- so go ahead and donate.
  3. The third pile is for anything you want to toss. If you are ready to let go of a piece of clothing, but it is damaged beyond repair, then toss it. It might go without saying, but don’t donate things that are falling apart or that are unwearable. (If you have some old t-shirts though that you are wanting to get rid of, maybe consider demoting them to your pajama drawer before you toss them).
  4. The fourth pile is for anything you want to sell. To be honest, I usually don’t fiddle around with this one, but if you have any lightly worn clothing that you invested in at the time you bought them and you think someone else would be interested in buying them now, then try selling them online. There are several online platforms where you can post your lightly-used clothing for sale. The reason why I usually do not bother with this one is because more often than not, I don’t find that the results justify the effort needed to take pictures of the clothes, post it to the internet, deal with inquiries, and ship it to the buyer. So before you sell, consider if it is worthwhile to do so, and if not, then simply donate.
  5. The fifth pile is for anything you want to store. There is no need to keep summer clothing in your closet for fall and winter, or to keep big bulky sweaters in your closet during summer. Now, certain items, like my t-shirts and cardigans, stay in my closet year-round as they are easy to layer during fall and winter, and can also easily be worn during spring and summer, but if there is anything in your closet that is not season appropriate, store it until the season comes around that it can be worn in again. Likewise, if you have an heirloom, or an old sentimental piece that you don’t wear but that you keep for the sentimental value, then either put it on display in your house (my mom has several pairs of my great-great-grandparents’ shoes sitting around the house on display) or store it so it is not taking up space in your closet and distracting from the pieces that you really want to wear.

3. Always consider what makes you feel your best. Why have a closet full of clothes if only a third of it fits you well and makes you feel beautiful? While going through your closet consider what clothing makes you feel your best. Often I think we underestimate our intuition, when in reality it can have tremendous power, so if you pick out a piece of clothing and the first thought that comes to your mind is “frumpy” or “blah” and not “joyful” or “Yah!” then trust your intuition and get rid of it. Only keep things in your closet that make you feel truly beautiful- things that spark happiness. Having a closet full of pieces that you love will make your days and energy more joyful- or at the very least it will make your morning routine and getting dressed more satisfying and exciting and less discouraging. In my opinion, clothing should do us a service, and if it is not serving us by making us feel absolutely amazing and fabulous, then there is no need to hang onto it.closet

Congratulations! You made it through all of my tips, and are now ready for your very own closet clean-out and decluttering session! I hope that this post was helpful to you, and that perhaps it inspired you to do a quick closet clean-out of your own! In summary, when doing a quick closet clean-out;

1. Make sure that you have all your clothes cleaned, gathered, and put away in your closet before you start, 2. make five piles in front of your closet and 3. always consider what makes you feel your best. 

So! Now that your closet has been decluttered and cleaned out, you probably want to keep it that way! Follow my blog and stay tuned for my next post “3 Steps to Keeping a Clean Closet” to learn about how I keep my closet decluttered and organized between my (usually) quarterly clean-out sessions! Sign up using your e-mail below to never miss a post, and let me know in a comment below what your favorite closet clean-out and decluttering tips are!


A Passionate Perfectionist Embracing Average

(Or at least trying to)

Also check out my video below demonstrating the steps:

[mc4wp_form id=”35″]


filed in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *