Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Declutter Your Closet

Whenever you look through your wardrobe, you should be excited with the options you have. The clothes you choose have the ability to express who you are like nothing else. But actually going through and organizing it all? It can be painful, frustrating, and sometimes, emotional.

We associate our clothes with moments and past feelings in our lives; that shirt you wore on your first date with your husband or those skinny jeans you're waiting to get into again. It's no wonder we put off going through it all and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.

Now's the time to start fresh and make room for a new (more confident) YOU!

And let me tell you - in the end, purging your closet is freeing. You're not just freeing the clutter from your closet, you're freeing the clutter from your mind too! It's just getting around to it. And I'm here to tell you how. First, set aside at least half a day and follow these simple steps...

Take everything, and I mean everything, out of your closet and any dressers. Go through each item and sort into three piles - KEEP, MAYBE, and NO WAY. Remember to only put items in the KEEP pile that you absolutely love - no ifs, ands, or buts. If you're even just a little bit unsure, chuck it into the MAYBE pile.

Now it's time to go through that MAYBE pile, and if you're anything like me, that pile is big. I'd even go as far to say gigantic. But anyway...
As you look through your items, be honest and ask yourself: When was the last time I wore this? How did I feel when I wore it last? Does it still fit? Do I want this for sentimental reasons? Can it be re-purposed or altered? Do I have too many of this item? (Fun fact: I had 8 pairs of sweatpants. Eight. Who needs that many sweatpants?!)

Try things on if you have to. Get a full length mirror. Stand on a chair in front of a mirror if you have to! It's amazing how many pieces I came across that I completely forgot I had. (It happens, okay!) But chances are if you haven't worn something within a year (or more), you're not going to again.

After you've successfully gone through this process, put all of your unwanted items into bags and always remember to give to charity rather than throwing them away. Another person's junk is another person's treasure, remember? ;)

Lastly, it's all about making your life more manageable. It's being unorganized that causes us to lose track of some of our best pieces. Sort items with like items. That means dresses hang with dresses, skirts with skirts, dress pants with other dress pants, dressy shirts together, casual shirts, the list goes on and on. Colour-code if you're feeling adventurous.

If you have some pieces of clothing that you love but are unsure of how to put it together with an outfit, display it somewhere where it's visible. That way, as you look through and choose your outfits, you can start to visualize what you could pair it with.

TIP: Purging your closet works best when accompanied by your favourite music and maybe even a glass or two of wine.

When you're all done, not only will you feel accomplished, you'll be able to start your mornings by quickly picking an outfit that you're absolutely in love with. (Win-win!)

While sorting through all my clothes on the weekend, I got rid of a whopping two garbage bags full of clothes! And my cats were also very pleased with the comfy bed I made - which was so obviously meant for them.

When's the last time you purged your closet? Did it go smoothly? I'd love to hear your tips on how to get through it!

P.S. I'm over at Tragic & Lovely today, answering the burning question "Who do women dress for?" Head on over to find out my answer!

(Top photo; source)


  1. forgot to mention how AMAZINGLY SUPER FANTASTIC this is for the guy you share a closet with!

  2. great tips! my closet is in DESPERATE need of a purge! :)

  3. I really need to give my closet an overhaul. Its a project that's long overdue. Thanks for the inspiration and tips! Your closet looks great and your cat is so cozy!

  4. oh geez i ABSOLUTELY need to spend some time organizing my closet.

    ps: i LOVE the opening statement, "you should be excited with the options you have." my thoughts exactly!

  5. hahahahah I nearly split in half at the anonymous comment. So funny. I think my boyfriend would share the exact same sentiment.

    Great tips, thanks for sharing. Now, just to get myself to clean my closet.

  6. Awesome advice!!

    Twice a year, my church does a Goodwill drive, which is a perfect time to purge my wardrobe. Goodwill gives vouchers for my church to distribute to people in need, so everybody wins! A tip I read somewhere is to put all the hangers backwards. Then, the next time you purge, you can start your "No" pile by just grabbing everything still on a backwards hanger.

  7. @seashmore That's a fantastic idea!

  8. I usually purge my closet once a year. I still have yet to do that this year. It feels so good to have a clean closet with open hangers and space. :)

  9. Great tips! I moved just three months ago, but I'm already getting to a point where I need to go through everything again.

  10. This is just the kind of post I needed to read today!! I'm going to go thru my closet & de-clutter when I get back from vacation. Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I will def. keep them in mind while cleaning & de-cluttering. Oh, & I love the bit about enjoying a glass of wine or two while doing so. :)


  11. @Jamie Yes! Freeing up hangers was my favourite part, hahaha.

  12. I have a hard time purging, instead I tend to get rid of a few items at a time, so that I'm constantly editing bit by bit. But I never thought of adding wine to the mix, that makes the whole situation seem far more enjoyable!

  13. Oh man, I definitely have to get around to doing this soon. Love how you broke it all down though -- I definitely always take EVERYTHING out and separate into piles, too!

  14. OMG - I definitely need to declutter my closet before buying anything else!

  15. I love your blog, it's amazing<3 i read your post and i love the tips you shared :)

  16. Okay here's the thing-- you are the cutest thing ever and I am newly obsessed with your blog. I'll be emailing you about ad swapping next month, alrighty? :)

  17. goodness i need to sort through my closet, thanks for the inspiration!