3 steps to a decluttered closet for National Clean Out Your Closet Week

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

If you are an on-air television personality, you might have a full closet.

If you love shopping for clothes, you might have a full closet.

If your mother loves to shop and totally gets your sense of style, you might have a full closet.

For my client Catherine all three of these statements are true. She is a young woman living in a tiny apartment with limited closet space; however, I have clients with three times the closet space also bursting with too much stuff. At our first meeting Catherine told me, “I’m so frustrated every morning trying to decide what to wear because everything is jammed in there so tight. The rolling rack in front of my washer and dryer makes me dread doing laundry. This space is stressing me out!”

In company with people all over the U.S. tackling their closets for National Clean Out Your Closet Week, and using these pictures for inspiration, commit to ending your daily clothing aggravation once and for all! I’ll walk you through the process by getting you started today and keeping you moving with a fresh tip everyday this week.

Very cramped and crowded before we started organizing.

Organized and functional!

Gather Your Tools

You’ll need large bags to collect items to give away, smaller bags for trash/clothes to be altered or pieces for dry cleaning, and a box or basket to collect non-clothing items you find tucked away in your closet. Decide in advance what you will do with the things you are ready to part with — you might have friends/organizations in mind or like one of these options. But I caution you to make donating easy on yourself. I’ve seen clients get so bogged down by trying to find the perfect place to donate their goods that they sabotage themselves.

Make The Big Decisions

I recommend a three-step process.

1. The Lightning Round

Very quickly look at every item and pull out anything you immediately know you don’t want to keep. Don’t belabor the decisions at this point, just go with quick gut feelings of “keep” or “go.”

2. The Take a Deep Breath This is the Hardest Part Round

Examine each item more slowly and carefully. Try on pieces that you feel unsure about giving away to see how they fit. For things that haven’t been worn for a year or more, think about what would have to change in the future for you to start wearing them again--and how likely it is that change will occur. Be honest about which clothes work well for you.

· Which pieces make you feel confident?

· What has irritating seams or never fits comfortably?

· Which outfits always earn compliments from others?

· Are there things you purchased based on trends or the advice of a friend but that don’t reflect your true personality?

3. The Let’s Get Real Round

Sort everything into categories and color schemes. You’ll see how many similar or identical pieces you own. Pare down to a reasonable amount.

· How many t-shirts supporting your college or favorite sports team do you need?

· How many pairs of black tights can you really wear between laundry days?

· Do you truly love and wear pink enough to justify the number of pink shirts you own?

Whew, you did it! The worst part of the project is over. The rest of the week I’ll share tips with my subscribers on the best ways to organize everything for efficiency and sustainability. I’ve got ideas on hanging and folded clothes, shoes, purses and accessories. I’ll also tell you how to handle the non-clothing things you found in your closet. If you don’t already get my Thursday emails sign up here to keep your project moving all week long!

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