Decluttering Your Closet


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There is nothing like an organized closet and drawers.  If you are like me, you might attack your closet twice a year, just to see it go back to shambles a few weeks later.

I decluttered my closet using the steps below about a year ago.  I just revisited these steps yesterday, and it was incredible to see how much stuff I have accumulated even after being mindful about collecting “stuff”.   I’ve found that you have to keep coming back to manage your clutter every once in awhile.  After the initial “purge” I am going to recommend, maintaining will only take you a half hour once in a while.

Anyway, waking up this morning and looking at a closet that has a minimalist look without anything I don’t use made me feel calm and happy.

Here is my guide to decluttering your closet:

  • Either do one of two things:  Do it in small chunks or set aside a few hours to do it.  Set aside just 15 minutes to declutter just one shelf one day, then tackle another shelf for 15 minutes the next day. Starting small is better than not starting at all!  I like to set aside part of a morning to declutter a closet or room. I do it all at feels amazing.
  • Take everything out of your closet. Everything.  Then clean it using whichever product you choose. Then, take the pile and sort it (see next tip), and put back just the items you want to keep. Then tackle the next shelf or drawer.
  • Sort through your pile, one item at a time, and make quick decisions. Have a trash bag and a give-away bag next to you.  Pick up the item, and make a decision: trash, give away, or keep. Don’t put it back in the pile. Go through your entire pile like this; don’t re-sort or anything like that.  You should have 3 piles now.  Note:  You can split the give-away bag into “give-away” and “sell”, if you prefer.  My wife is incredible at selling clothes on eBay; I found it too tedious.  If you have a ton of clothes to get rid of, I highly recommend selling them and paying off some debt!
  • I am pretty hardcore about what I toss.  If I haven’t used it in six months it is gone (obviously adjust for the seasons). You may want to use one year as your guide, instead of six months.  Toss it if it’s garbage, and give it away if it’s in good shape.
  • Some people recommend creating a “maybe” box. If you are on the fence about an item it goes in the “maybe” box, which then goes in the back of your closet.  If you don’t open the box over the course of 6 months, the box goes to give-away.  I didn’t make a “maybe” box, since I cannot imagine not being able to buy something later if I absolutely need it.
  • When you are done with your closet, keep it open and admire its neatness!

PS.  This project goes perfect with a glass of wine or beer.  Just saying…

Other great articles on decluttering anything:


Declutter Guide: Where Do I Start?

How To Declutter Your Life

Zenhabits: Mindful Simplicity

Unclutter Your Life in One Week



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