How to Clean Out Your Clothes Closet in 2023: A Step by Step Guide

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Where should I start when cleaning out my clothes closet?

When it comes to cleaning out your clothes closet, it’s important to have a plan in place before diving in. Here are a few steps to get you started:

1. Set aside dedicated time

Begin by setting aside a specific block of time for the task. Cleaning out a clothes closet can be time-consuming, so make sure you have enough time to complete the job without feeling rushed.

2. Empty the entire closet

To effectively clean and organize your clothes closet, start by emptying everything out. Take all of your clothing items, shoes, and accessories out of the closet and place them in a designated area.

3. Sort through your items

Once your closet is empty, go through each item one by one and decide whether to keep, donate/sell, or discard it. Consider factors such as fit, condition, and how often you wear each item.

Effective strategies for decluttering and organizing a clothes closet

Cleaning out and organizing a clothes closet can be overwhelming if you don’t have a clear strategy in mind. Here are some effective strategies to help you declutter and organize your clothes closet:

1. Categorize your clothing items

A helpful way to approach decluttering is by categorizing your clothing items into groups such as tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, etc. This will allow you to see how many similar items you have and make decisions about what to keep or let go of.

Tips for categorizing:

  • Create separate piles for each category
  • If you have a large collection of a particular item, further subdivide it (e.g., separate tops into t-shirts, blouses, sweaters)
  • Consider creating a “maybe” pile for items you’re unsure about

2. Use the “one in, one out” rule

To maintain an organized closet in the long run, consider implementing the “one in, one out” rule. This means that for every new clothing item you bring into your closet, you must remove one existing item. This helps prevent clutter from accumulating over time.

Tips for implementing the “one in, one out” rule:

  • Regularly assess your wardrobe and identify items that are no longer being worn or loved
  • Donate or sell these items to make room for new additions
  • Be mindful of your shopping habits and only purchase items that truly add value to your wardrobe

How to decide which clothes to keep and which ones to get rid of during the cleaning process

Deciding which clothes to keep and which ones to get rid of can be challenging. To make this process easier and more efficient, consider the following factors:

1. Fit and comfort

If a clothing item doesn’t fit well or isn’t comfortable to wear, it’s a good indication that it should be let go. Clothes that don’t flatter your body shape or cause discomfort are unlikely to be worn regularly.

2. Frequency of wear

Ask yourself how often you actually wear each item. If something has been sitting untouched in your closet for months or even years, it’s probably time to part ways with it.

3. Condition and quality

Take a close look at the condition of each item. If something is damaged beyond repair or heavily worn, it may be time to say goodbye. Similarly, consider the quality of the garment – if it’s poorly made and unlikely to last, it might not be worth keeping.

Tips for deciding what to keep:

  • Be honest with yourself about your style preferences and lifestyle
  • Consider whether an item can be easily replaced if needed in the future
  • If you’re unsure about an item, set it aside in a “maybe” pile and revisit it later

Practical tips for efficiently sorting and categorizing clothes while cleaning out the closet

1. Set aside dedicated time:

When tackling the task of cleaning out your clothes closet, it’s important to set aside a specific block of time to focus solely on this task. This will allow you to fully commit to the process without interruptions or distractions.

2. Create categories:

To efficiently sort and categorize your clothes, create different categories based on factors such as season, occasion, or type of clothing item. This will make it easier to find specific items when you need them and maintain an organized closet in the long run.

3. Use storage bins or dividers:

In order to keep your clothes neatly organized within each category, consider using storage bins or dividers. These can help separate different types of clothing items within a category, making it easier to locate specific pieces.

Should I donate or sell unwanted clothes? How to go about it

When deciding what to do with unwanted clothes, there are two main options: donating or selling. Both options have their benefits and it ultimately depends on your personal preference and goals.


If you choose to donate your unwanted clothes, consider finding local charities or organizations that accept clothing donations. Research their guidelines for accepting donations and ensure that the items you plan to donate are clean and in good condition.

Tips for donating:

  • Wash and fold the clothes before donating them.
  • Check if any specific items are needed by the charity or organization.
  • Determine if they offer pick-up services or if you need to drop off the items.


If you prefer to sell your unwanted clothes, there are various platforms available such as online marketplaces, consignment stores, or hosting a garage sale. Research the best option for your needs and consider factors like convenience, potential earnings, and time investment.

Tips for selling:

  • Take clear and attractive photos of the clothes to attract potential buyers.
  • Research pricing guidelines to set reasonable prices for your items.
  • Promote your items through social media or local community groups to reach a wider audience.

Storage solutions and tools to maximize space in your clothes closet

1. Utilize hanging organizers:

Hanging organizers with multiple compartments can be a great way to maximize vertical space in your clothes closet. These organizers can hold smaller items like socks, accessories, or folded t-shirts, keeping them easily accessible while freeing up shelf or drawer space.

2. Invest in slim hangers:

Slim hangers take up less space than bulky plastic or wooden hangers, allowing you to fit more clothing items within the same area. Additionally, they help prevent clothes from slipping off and getting wrinkled.

3. Use under-bed storage containers:

If you have limited closet space, consider utilizing under-bed storage containers. These containers can hold out-of-season clothing or rarely used items, keeping them neatly tucked away while maximizing precious closet real estate.

How often should you clean out your clothes closet to maintain organization?

To maintain an organized clothes closet, it’s recommended to clean it out at least once or twice a year. However, the frequency may vary depending on factors such as the size of your wardrobe, how often you acquire new clothes, and personal preferences.

Factors to consider:

  • The changing of seasons: Cleaning out your closet at the beginning of each season can help ensure that you have easy access to appropriate clothing and prevent overcrowding.
  • Purge after shopping sprees: If you tend to shop frequently or make impulse purchases, it’s a good idea to clean out your closet after each shopping spree. This will help prevent clutter and maintain an organized space.
  • Assessing wear and tear: Regularly inspect your clothes for signs of damage or excessive wear. If an item is beyond repair or no longer fits properly, it’s time to let go and create space for new additions.

Mistakes to avoid when cleaning out a clothes closet and how to overcome them

Cleaning out a clothes closet can be overwhelming, but avoiding common mistakes can make the process smoother and more effective.

Mistake 1: Keeping items out of guilt:

Overcoming this mistake involves being honest with yourself about what you truly need and use. Consider whether an item brings you joy or serves a practical purpose in your life. Let go of items that no longer align with your current style or lifestyle.

Mistake 2: Lack of organization strategy:

To overcome this mistake, develop a clear plan before diving into the cleaning process. Create categories, designate specific areas for different types of clothing items, and invest in storage solutions that suit your needs. This will help maintain organization in the long run.

Mistake 3: Holding onto sentimental items:

Sentimental items can be difficult to let go of, but it’s important to assess their practicality and space they occupy. Consider taking photos of sentimental clothing items before parting with them, allowing you to preserve the memories without cluttering your closet.

Recommended methods for folding or hanging different types of clothing items

Properly folding or hanging different types of clothing items can help maximize space and maintain their condition.


  • T-shirts: Fold t-shirts in thirds lengthwise, then fold in half horizontally.
  • Pants: Fold pants vertically in half, then fold in half again.
  • Sweaters: Lay sweaters flat and fold in half vertically, then fold sleeves towards the center.


  • Dresses and suits: Hang dresses and suits on sturdy hangers to prevent wrinkles.
  • Blouses and shirts: Use hangers with clips to hang blouses and shirts by their shoulders.
  • Skirts: Hang skirts by clipping them onto hangers with adjustable clips or use skirt hangers specifically designed for this purpose.

Maintaining cleanliness and organization in your clothes closet on a regular basis

To ensure long-term cleanliness and organization in your clothes closet, establish a routine that includes regular maintenance tasks.

1. Regularly declutter:

Set aside time every few months to reassess your wardrobe and remove any unwanted or unused items. This will prevent unnecessary accumulation of clothes and maintain an organized space.

2. Clean the closet surfaces:

Dust shelves, wipe down surfaces, and vacuum or sweep the closet floor regularly to keep it clean and free from dirt or debris.

3. Return items to their designated places:

After doing laundry or trying on clothes, make a habit of immediately returning items to their proper places in the closet. This will prevent piles of clothes from accumulating and maintain an organized system.

In conclusion, organizing and decluttering your clothes closet is a simple and effective way to create more space and maintain a tidy living environment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily clean out your clothes closet and enjoy a refreshed and organized wardrobe.

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