The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet
We don't know of a single person who doesn't want more closet space. But the truth is that space is not always the problem when it comes to an overflowing closet.
With too many fashion options (some of which haven't been used in years), poor storage solutions, and a plethora of accessories, it's no wonder your closet is always full.
Beforehand, here's an expert to get the best guide to cleaning your closet: Jimmy Seifert is a Dallas, Texas-based cabinet shopper at The Container Store. He has been with the company for 7 years.
Try these tips and suddenly you don't want more closet space.
How often should you clean your closet?
Whether it's every spring, New Year, or before your birthday, annual closet cleanings are a great way to stay organized. Seifert tells us, "Use the one-year rule for cleaning: If you haven't used it in the last year, it's probably safe to give it away or sell it."
Cleaning the closet once a year will prevent the accumulation of clothes, shoes, and accessories from spiraling out of control.
However, it is not subject to annual debugging sessions. Semi-annually, weekly, or as needed will keep your closet tidy. Signs that you may need to get rid of items include:
- You have doubles (or triples) of the same item.
- You try on items that do not fit.
- Stained, torn, ripped, or discolored items are often removed.
- Your closet doors won't close.
- You have piles or extra storage to accommodate your overflowing closet.
How to properly clean your closet
Step 1: buy your wardrobe
Take everything out of your closet and, one by one, assess the condition, fit, style, and usability of each item. Seifert says, "Keep the basics like neutral shirts and tanks."
Consider throwing away torn, stained, and discolored clothing. Any broken or missing pair of accessories and shoes can also go to the release pile.
"If you're really struggling to let things go, give yourself permission to keep some sentimental items," he adds. However, consider storing these things in a labeled file box or weatherproof bag in another area rather than taking up valuable closet space.
Step 2: have a plan
Responsibly recycling your new and used items with care is not only good for the planet, and helping those in need, knowing that they are destined for more than just collecting dust, will motivate you to get rid of them.
"Clothes in good condition that no longer fit your style can easily be donated to a local charity or sold on consignment," explains Seifert.
He also says that a great tip to stay motivated to donate is to keep a trash can in your closet. “That way, everything is in one place and can be donated when the garbage is full,” he says.
Step 3: make it seasonal
If your summer dresses often get lost behind your winter coats and your scarves get tangled up in your bikinis, it's time for some seasonal rearrangements.
"Don't waste precious hanging space on clothes that you won't be wearing for several months," says Seifert. "Instead, store out-of-season items like bathing suits or winter sweaters elsewhere for now. Replace them when it's time to bring them back to life."
Step 4: Be strategic with storage
Finding custom storage solutions for your specific needs is critical to keeping it clean and organized. Do you need more space to store shoes than space for coats? Keep this in mind when organizing your closet space and invest in shoe organizers.
Seifert also adds, "Don't forget to add hooks, drawer organizers, and stackable trays to hold accessories and jewelry."
Tips to keep your closet cleaner for longer
Once everything is organized in its designated place, it will be easier to stay clean in the long run. Seifert recommends keeping everyday items within reach and out-of-season or special-occasion items in the back so you're not looking for work clothes.
She also adds, "The best way to keep your closet efficient and organized is to get rid of an old piece every time you buy a new one." Finally, labeling a shelf or container will keep you accountable and help you keep things in their proper place.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about 20 ways to clean, purge and organize your closet:
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