11 In Get Crafty / DIY/ Organization

How To Clean Out Your Closet – Tried & True Formula + Cheat Sheet

In many ways, I’m a minimalist.  The major reason I say this is that my home decor is minimal; I prefer to add just enough decor to have a happy and cozy home, but not so much where I have knickknacks and extra photos everywhere. Some people may think my home is a bit stark. But honestly, I want it to be just as it is: minimal. To me, I feel more comfortable in a clean home with a light to moderate amount of decor. See a picture of part of our family room below. More pictures of our home are found here, herehere and here.

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THE PROBLEM WITH EXCESS

When it comes to clothing, I’m working on becoming more of a minimalist, but don’t get me wrong, being a minimalist doesn’t always have to mean “LESS.” Granted, that is what many people feel minimalism is, but it doesn’t have to be the case.  To me, being minimal means getting rid of the things I don’t or won’t use.  You can still have 5 pink sweaters because if you wear them all the time and they are put to good use, there’s no need to get rid of them.

The problem arises when you have 3 pea green sweaters (a hue that looks terrible on my skin tone) and keep them all hanging in your closet because “Hey… one day I might use it!” but haven’t worn them in years, if ever.

Waste is huge is our society. It can be as simple wasting food or in this case, wasting money on clothing and accessories you don’t LOVE. It’s hard for me to understand why I bought some items I’ve previously had in my closet years ago! Was it just because they were a “good deal”? Maybe because they were a trend that I wanted so badly to implement in my wardrobe?

Burnout is another issue that we may succumb to when we have excess.  If you have 20 black sweaters, how long does it take you to pick the right one to wear that day? It can get tiring!

In any case, this waste and burnout can easily be fixed.

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image via Pinterest

HOW TO CLEAN OUT (DETOX) YOUR CLOSET THE RIGHT WAY – A TRIED & TRUE FORMULA

At LEAST twice a year I go through and organize my main clothing closet that’s located in our master bedroom (the other closet is in my home office.. we’ll get to that). Here are some tips on what to do first:

• Take everything out of the closet and lay it out on the bed and floor

• Decide on how you’d like to organize.  I typically organize by type of clothing item then within those I sort by color. For example – all tank tops get grouped together, black ones are first, then white, then grey, etc. Then long sleeved tees are next, sorted by color… and so on.

• While you are sorting into piles, BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF and ask yourself these questions on every piece to determine what you should do with it:

  1. Is it damaged or stained?  Beyond repair?  Damaged items that you like that can be fixed, SHOULD be fixed.  Start another pile for those (the TO FIX pile).  Damaged beyond repair? Those should be put in the trash.
  2. Is it your style? Do you like the color/pattern? If you don’t immediately say “yes” then this needs to be put in a TRIAL pile at most.  If your answer is “no” put it in the DONATE/SELL pile.
  3. Do you like the material? You can love a style but hate the material. It’s happened so many times for me.  I can’t wear wool. It itches me like crazy. If you don’t like the material. It goes in the DONATE/SELL pile.
  4. Does it fit? You shouldn’t guess on this one.  If you haven’t worn it in a while, make sure to try it on. If it doesn’t fit – it should go or make the decision to get it tailored immediately (put in TO FIX pile).
  5. Have you worn it in the past year? Will you wear it within the next few months? This one can be tricky. If you haven’t worn this piece in over a year, chances are you don’t need the item. Here’s what I do… I take the item and put it in my second closet (in my home office). If I don’t wear it and another year passes, it absolutely needs to go (DONATE/SELL).
  6. Is it for this season? If it is, try to start wearing it now.  If it doesn’t work with any of your outfits, then it’s probably a good idea to let it go. If it’s not for this season and your closet is lacking space, find another closet or space to store it until the season comes.

HANDY LITTLE CLOSET DETOX CHEAT SHEET FLOWCHART / DECISION TREE

Closet Detox Cheat Sheet

Feel free to pin this image to Pinterest!

>>CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FREE PDF OF THE CLOSET DETOX CHEAT SHEET<<

 WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU DETOXED?

After you have separated all of your items, take a look and gather thoughts on why the items made it into those different piles. For instance, are there certain colors, fabrics, or styles in those piles? What types of pieces did you keep? Are there similar colors that you are drawn to and wear on an ongoing basis?

Use this new knowledge to make better purchases in the future.

Feel like you are missing a lot of closet staples? Stay tuned! A guide to purchasing decisions is coming soon to the blog!

AmandaSig2015

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    GlamKaren
    01/25 at 6:53 pm

    I am totally going to do another closet cleanse this weekend- you’ve inspired me!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  • Reply
    Preeti
    01/26 at 1:38 pm

    love that PDF! I too clean mine out twice a year and its so refreshing! i’m working on buyer smarter this year, as well!

    xoxo, Preeti
    http://www.ninesto5.com

  • Reply
    Darcy
    01/26 at 2:05 pm

    This is great! I clean my closet about 3 times a year and always enjoy it!
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

  • Reply
    Anna
    01/26 at 3:26 pm

    This looks like an amazingly helpful PDF! I have been trying to do the same – cleaning out my closet of all the things I do not need any longer. I have a “if I haven’t worn it in 12 months, it’s got to go rule” but I am considering moving it up a few months. Great post! XO

    Anna
    alilyloveaffair.com

  • Reply
    elle spann
    01/26 at 4:12 pm

    it’s on my “to do list”. I need to get it done like yesterday!
    elle
    Southern Elle Style

  • Reply
    thefrugalfashionistacdn
    01/26 at 8:30 pm

    I clean my closet all the time and my next clean out will be in the spring. Loved this post!
    Charlene xo
    The Frugal Fashionista

  • Reply
    Amanda
    01/26 at 9:36 pm

    I usually do a closet clean in the fall and spring! This was so very information- I just pinned both images!

    xx,
    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  • Reply
    Tami
    01/26 at 10:51 pm

    I have so many clothes in my closet that have distasteful patterns, yet I can’t seem to let go. This guide might just help me do that!

  • Reply
    Adaleta
    01/27 at 1:48 pm

    Sadly I don’t have this problem of too much in my closet. I really wish I did, so if I ever get to this point I will definitely look back on this email 😉 xx adaatude.com

  • Reply
    Christina Beauchamp
    01/28 at 1:05 pm

    This is such an informative and helpful read! I love nothing more than an organized closet!!

    xo, Christina

    Christina | Fashion & Frills

  • Reply
    Emily Bastedo (@emilydbastedo)
    01/31 at 11:53 am

    This post is awesome! I totally agree with you about minimalism in my closet – I love clothes too much to try and do a 20-piece capsule wardrobe, but I am trying to be better about clearing out items that don’t fit or just don’t get worn. Thanks for the great cheat sheet!

    xx, Emily from Something Gold, Something Blue

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