How to Clean Out Your Closet

If you are contemplating putting your house on the market, or just need a fresh new beginning, now would be a perfect time to re-evaluate your wardrobe and make room for new, seasonal pieces. 

Cleaning out your closet can seem like a daunting task. Getting rid of your clothes, even if you haven’t worn them in years (and years, and years), isn’t easy. 

Now that summer is officially here, do a closet cleanse to make sure your best, most lightweight, summery pieces are front and center – you can do the same thing when the weather starts to get colder again in the fall and winter. 

Let’s get started.

Declutter

First, separate clothes into category by type. Then, sort clothing into two piles — donate or keep. 

Keep The Basics

The things you want to keep in your closet are staples and basics, or the everyday pieces you can incorporate with those trendy items that happen throughout each season.

When you’re looking at your closet and debating what to get rid of, take a good look at what you’re working with to determine which pieces are “seasonless.” 

For instance, denim, collared button ups, plain sweaters, T-shirts, leggings and tank tops are all items that won’t really go out of style.

Other items that are great to keep are layering pieces like thinner turtlenecks or long sleeve T-shirts that are can be worn under dresses or tank tops. Layering can add interest and texture to any outfit. 

A classic leather (or faux leather) jacket and at least one warm coat (if you live in an area that gets cold weather) are two other closet staples to keep.

Other pieces you can ditch are things you have duplicates of (except jeans). For example, if you’ve got five white button-downs in your closet, why not try getting rid of (at least) one or two. Once you’re done, there should only be items left that fit, flatter and look super great.

Remember: If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.

What To Do Next

Once you’ve determined which pieces to keep and which to ditch, there are a few things you can do with your “ditch” pile. 

First, you can donate your items to charitable organizations like Goodwill or The Salvation Army, as they’re always happy to accept gently used clothing. If some of the pieces you’re getting rid of are too worn out or damaged to donate, they can still be recycled and perhaps turned into new textiles or be used for insulation. 

You can also try setting up clothing swaps with your friends. If you’re looking to add some new pieces to your wardrobe after clearing some extra space, swaps are also a great way to find some gems.

Lastly, there’s always the option to consign your clothes, especially if you’re getting rid of any designer items in good condition that you don’t just want to give away.

Organize

After decluttering, you’ll need to create an organized system for all of the clothing and accessories leftover.

Fold Efficiently

See everything you own and make more room in your dresser drawers by folding your clothes the right way.

It’s amazing how simple folding techniques can save SO much space in a wardrobe or closet. Plus, with these methods, you’ll actually be able to see all of your clothes.

Use Shoe Storage Wisely

No matter where your shoe drop-off is — mudroom, entryway or bedroom — it’s important to keep these areas neat. Tripping over loose shoes every day is actually quite hazardous.

When it comes to shoes, they can have a pretty long shelf life, and much like items of clothing, can be defined as either classic or trendy. 

For example, a great pair of black pumps is a must-have, but those satin peep-toes with a 2-inch platform are probably safe to toss. 

Beyond that, shoes have the ability to transform even the simplest of outfits, so it’s easier to justify keeping them – unless, of course, they’re damaged beyond repair. Then you should toss them.

Style It

Now that you’ve decluttered and organized, make your closet look truly beautiful with some finishing touches. Hang mirrors to visually enlarge a small closet. Choose proper lighting to brighten a dark space, even if it’s just rope lights along the door frame.

Now that your closets are organized you can turn to other rooms in your house – good luck!!

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Charles McDonaldBy Charles McDonald - Charles, and his firm, Charlottesville Solutions, are known locally and around the world for helping people relocate to the Charlottesville area. His background (running his own engineering firm for 20+ years in the Silicon Valley) has given him the skills to not only develop this site but also to manage a stellar group of agents!
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