A Guide To Cleaning Your Closet So It’s Not Filled With Useless Sh*t

With a lot of us being stuck at home for the foreseeable future, what better time to get ahead on spring cleaning? Or, since spring is basically canceled this year… cleaning. When it comes to cleaning out your closet, mental discipline is key. Start by preparing yourself to say goodbye to a lot of crap. You might think you don’t have a ton of useless stuff, but trust me, you do.

Cleansing is a process that you should take one season at a time, and it’s best to focus on the task at hand—so begin by storing your fall/winter wardrobe away because it’s almost shorts season. (Although whether or not we will be able to spend extended time outside in our shorts is another question, but let’s be hopeful here.) When storing large fall/winter items, one tip I recommend is using large, clear and flat sweater boxes that can be slid under your bed and out of the way. They are great for bulky sweaters and larger winter items.

Rubbermaid Cleverstore Clear 16 QT Pack of 6 Stackable Plastic Storage Containers with Durable Latching Clear Lids

Rubbermaid Cleverstore Clear 16 QT Pack of 6 Stackable Plastic Storage Containers with Durable Latching Clear Lids

When assessing your warm weather wardrobe, categorize each item of clothing into toss, donate, or keep piles. Allow yourself one SMALL drawer for the clothes that you just refuse to let go of, even though you know you’re not ever going to wear them, or you’re delusional enough to think you just might. (And when I say small, I mean SMALL, so choose wisely my friends.)

Toss

Tossing clothing is easier said than done, but acceptance is key to a successful closet. If an item is stained, has holes, or is hanging on by a literal thread, toss it. Get rid of it, sayonara. There’s no point in having a damaged piece of clothing taking up precious real estate in your closet.  Also toss tube tops, tiny sunglasses, and wedge sneakers. You’ll thank me later.

Donate

Choosing what to donate takes a more diplomatic approach. Now that you’ve gotten rid of your pit stained T-shirts, I recommend asking yourself these questions and then ACTUALLY being honest with your answer.  

1. Have I worn this in the last three months? If yes, keep. If no, Donate.

2. Does it fit me comfortably? If yes, keep. If no, Donate.  

Donate all “goal weight” and “fat clothes”. You are PERFECT as you are, at the size you are right now.  Share the love and let someone else have that dress that used to fit in college, and rock the dress that fits your fabulous self now.  

Note: If you have a piece that you absolutely love but doesn’t fit, a good tailor is key, but also expensive. You want it to be worth the repair price, so only alter pieces that have true staying power. 

3. Can I create at least three outfits to wear this item with? If yes, keep. If no, Donate.  

My favorite quote when considering what to keep versus give away is: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” It might be helpful for you to keep that in mind as you go through everything.

Keep

You should love and utilize every piece in your wardrobe. The easiest way to organize your “keep” pile is to separate between what to keep in a drawer and what to hang. Denim, T-shirts, and sweaters should be folded and put in drawers. Sweaters lose shape on the hanger, and can pull, so they are safer folded; store in order of knit weight and color (darks on bottom, lights on top).  

Fold your denim into thirds, separate by style and store by wash, dark wash at the bottom to light wash on top.  

folded jeans

Hang the remainder of your wardrobe and organize it by category (dresses, jackets, tops, bottoms, etc), color (light to dark), and material (keep like fabrics together within each category). Use felt hangers—they save space and are easier on your garments. Once that’s organized, arrange each category by sleeve length, going from short to long, left to right, with the hanger facing towards you like a question mark. This makes it easier to “read” your wardrobe. 

The end goal is to have a functional, cohesive and thoughtful wardrobe so you can worry about spring fever (too soon?) and not your closet.

Joey Clark is a native of Tucson AZ.  In April of 2017, Clark focused all of her energy on opening her own boutique in Philadelphia, as the culmination of a decade in the industry. Through Kin Boutique, Clark has created a retail experience focused on inclusivity and community. Her strategy is to invest in everyday, staple items and fill in with lower priced trends. She believes in loving every piece in your wardrobe regardless of the size of your waist or your wallet. For more information visit www.shop-kin.com or @shopkinboutique on Instagram.

Images: Sarah Brown / Unsplash; Elena Mitusova / Shutterstock.com

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