Free printable check list at the bottom!
I truly believe the closet is the hardest part of a home to organize and clean. We have such emotional attachments to clothing! Almost every piece comes with some sort of memory. Where or why you bought it, who you bought it with, where you wore it, how it made you feel, and so on and on. It's daunting!! I know. So here are 7 simple steps to help you move out old, unused clothing, organize your closet, and make room for new and fresh!
Step 1. Put it on the calendar!
Pick two days you have nothing going on, and set them aside as the "Closet Clean Out" day. How many times did you just push something off because it wasn't something that excites you? I feel if I put large tasks that will take a day or two on the calendar, I can mentally commit to what needs to be done! and it doesn't get pushed to the next weekend, then the next, and then the next!
Step 2: Laundry
Make sure ALL clothing is out of those laundry baskets and cleaned! I find if I leave anything in the laundry, it becomes an after thought. You can't fully clean out/organize your closet if you don't have all the elements! so I take the week before to take extra care on making sure the laundry is finished!
Step 3: Start taking everything out
If you have the room, take out EVERYTHING at one time. Its much easier to get rid of something if it is already out of your closet. I have a fairly large area in our living room that is open and mostly unused where I take everything to. Once that's done, categorize into groups. Personally I do dresses and skirts, pants, blouses and tops, sweaters, cardigans, basics (plain tees, tanks, and leggings), then misc (any type of specialty item. for example I have a bridesmaid dress from my mother's wedding in my closet still).
If you don't have the room to take it all out at once, then do it in categories.
Step 4: Keep and Discard
Now comes the fun! figure out where your keep and discard are going to go. Personally I have two bins with "sell" and "donate" as my discards. But if you arent into the hassle of selling, go ahead and just get one large bin for the discard. Then I also have a small bin for repair. I have items I LOVE but maybe a strap broke and I just havent made the time to fix it. now is that time!
Start by picking a clothing category and going through it using the check list below.
- Take Items you know you wear often (multiple times a season) and put those in the keep right away. that makes the rest less daunting.
- The rest ask your self the following:
- Do I have duplicates or similiar items? If so which do I like the most? I once had 4 black and white stripe long sleeve tees. great staples! but I didn't need all 4. so I kept the two in the best shape, and most comfortable!
- Does this pair with anything else in my closet? If this is not a favorite, and the answer is not really, or you might have to buy something to just wear with it, might as well get rid of it.
- Is this in good condition, or is it starting to lose its shape, color, etc? If it's something that needs a simple fix, but you loved to wear, put it in a fix pile to be fixed right away. If not, discard it
- Is it comfortable? does it itch a bit, so you avoid it? or maybe it tugs at just the wrong spot. If so, discard!
- Has it been out of the closet in the last year? This one is big! If you have not worn it in a year, you are not going to wear it.
There are some exceptions that I make that most spring cleaning gurus are going to tell you not to make, but I'm no guru, so I don't care! If it is a very well made piece that I invested in, then I keep it wether I wore it or not that year, or even if it doesnt fit. Here's why. My grandmother and mother kept a few pieces that fit that category, and my vintage heart is SOOOO grateful they did. I actually wear some of those pieces and love telling people that it was my mother or grandmothers. BUT this does not include cheaply made items that are going to fall a part if kept. High quality items that will stand the test of time ONLY!
Step 5: Clean your closet
First, make sure your closet is CLEAN. That means dust the shelves, sweep/mop or vacuum the floor, wipe down the walls, etc. What's the point of taking all the time just to put everything back into a dirty closet? yuck!
Step 6: Organize
Now, there are a multitude of ways you can organize everything you've now kept. the two most common are by color or by category. personally, I do by category, otherwise things like sleeveless tops and such can get lost in between things. So for me, I go sleeveless, short sleeves, long sleeves, sweaters, cardigans, jackets, skirts, dresses. then all basic tees, tanks, leggings, and pants are folded and put on the shelves above. All those items I don't wear, but make exceptions for, I put in a tote and store below my clothing.
**Other items to think about folding instead of hanging: Work Out clothing, Pajamas, Out of Season Sweaters or basic crew neck sweaters, Scarves and accessory clothing
Step 7: Discard
Most items I discard get donated to women's shelter, a church, or salvation army. If you are into selling a few good items, depending on how much you have, I always suggest the bulk options to people, especially if its not heavily worn. Things like "$20 for all these short sleeves" or "$50 for all these blouses". you be the judge on how best to discard. but if you are on a time crunch, I highly suggest women's shelters or churches! All you have to do is call first, then set up a time to drop off!
Printable Checklist link: file:///Users/meganreimnitz/Downloads/Closet%20Clean%20Out%20Checklist.pdf