10 Simple Ways to Clean Your Closet BETTER! ❤️

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These creative decluttering approaches will help you clean your closet and more easily decide what to keep and what to purge.

Here are a few more helpful organization tips we think you’ll enjoy – Hair Bow Organization, How to Organize Manuals and Warranties, and School Paper Organization,

wood cubbies in a closet with folded sweaters

What to Keep and What to Purge

Here are 10 ways to help you determine what to keep and what to get rid of – 

1. Close Your Eyes – Only keep what you’d be excited to wear if you closed your eyes and grabbed it. If you grab something and immediately think, “I don’t love this color” or “this needs to be ironed every time I wear it” or “It’s too tight around my arms” – get rid of it!

2. Hospital Help – Imagine being in the hospital and asking a friend to run by your house and grab something for you to wear home. What clothes would you be disappointed that she brought you? What wouldn’t you be able to fit in? Get rid of anything that comes to mind.

3. Hanger Experiment – Turn all your hangers backward. After wearing the item, hang it the right way. At the end of the season, anything still backward can be donated.

and organized closet with few items hanging

4. The Space Limit – Rather than deciding on a set number of items to keep, allocate a set amount of space for each clothing category. (ie. jeans, shirts, etc.) Not focussing on a set number might make you feel less restricted. While your feelings about various belongings are vastly important, it’s ultimately the space you have that should decide what or how much stays and goes. Overcrowding only decreases the accessibility to all things, limiting your ability to get to the items you truly love and need.

5. The Five-Second Test – When you pick up an item, decide in 5 seconds whether you should keep it or let it go. Trust your initial instinct.

6. Would You Buy it Today? – Rather than focusing on how long ago you purchased something, or how much it cost, it’s most beneficial to evaluate your belongings through the lens of the present. By asking yourself if you would buy something today, you’re able to clarify whether it still truly appeals to you. If you wouldn’t purchase the item again today, it’s a sign to declutter.

wood hangers hanging in a closet

7. Limit Your Hangers – Only keep a set number of hangers and don’t purchase any extras. If you buy something new, get rid of something old in order to hang it up. Take it one step further and try to get rid of 5 hangers (5 items of clothing) every month!

8. Let Go of the Guilt – Ask yourself, “If I didn’t feel any guilt getting rid of this, would I still keep it?” Working through emotions definitely takes time, but keeping something out of guilt is not a good reason to keep it.

9. Will You Wear This week? – Most people think that the best question to ask when decluttering is “When was the last time I wore/used this?” While that question is certainly a good starting place, the answer is usually vague at best. Using the past as a measure of whether or not to keep something doesn’t guarantee we’ll gain a definitive answer about an item’s necessity. Asking yourself if you will wear or use a particular item now is ultimately more revealing of whether or not it should stick around.

10. Does Owning and Wearing it Make You Feel Good? – This question is the bottom line when it comes to decluttering any space in your home. Any material belongings you bring into your home, you do so on a voluntary basis. With that in mind, it’s silly to surround yourself with anything other than what makes you feel great about yourself. Surround yourself with things that make you feel beautiful, that remind you of happy memories, and that make your life simpler.

a white closet with organized clothes

Closet Cleaning Tips

Making your closet look amazing is done in 4 simple steps – Clear, Clean, Sort, and Style! I’ll walk you through the steps in detail below, but here are a few things to consider:

Make Time – Schedule a block of time in your schedule to get your entire space or entire category done without being interrupted. Don’t pull out more than you can accomplish unless you want to feel overwhelmed and burned out.

Splitting it Up – If you decide to do your closet in intervals, split it up by working on one category at a time – tops, dresses, pants, socks & underwear, etc. Make sure you have enough time to get through the entire category so you don’t leave a bunch of clothing strewn about for days and days.

All at Once – Although closet cleanings can be done in intervals, doing the whole thing in one push has it’s benefits, too. Seeing all the clothes in one day allows you to quickly rank the best and worst, making it easier to purge what is poisoning your closet.

light colored clothing hanging in a closet

Get Pretty. Cleaning out your closet can sometimes be an intense procedure, so let’s do what we can to make it as lovely as possible. Wash and style your hair and slip on any shapers that you regularly wear, under some loungers. You want to give all the clothes in your closet their best shot at not being tossed when you try them on!

Set the Mood. Put on some music and grab a beverage! Make sure you have a full length mirror or go one step further and invite an honest friend over to help. Also, lighting is super important! Mornings with the blinds drawn provide ample natural light, but if you only have time at night, ensure you have great lighting.

front view of a closet that has just been cleaned and organized

How to Clean Your Closet

Let’s dive into our closets and see how they can be organized and optimized. Here are specifics on how to clean your closet to ensure a safe, successful procedure:


Clear everything out! (If you’re just working on one category at a time, clear out that entire category.) This might sound like a lot of extra work, but if this is the first time you’re organizing your closet in a while, it’s mandatory!


Because getting everything out ensures nothing can hide. It also allows you to tackle step 2 more easily and efficiently.

As soon as you get things more under control, you won’t have to clear it out each time you organize this space. I clean my closet out twice a year, but I only empty everything every 3-4 times.

and empty white closet


With your closet now empty, you have a clean slate to work with before you sort it and put it all back together!

  1. Clean. Wipe down shelves and rid the dust from walls and in the corners. Wash the mirrors and windows and vacuum the floor.
  2. Organize. Grab some handy organization systems and supplies. You are aiming to provide a place for everything- nothing scattered across the floor or stuffed on a top shelf. Consider new laundry baskets, shoe racks, hooks for accessories, closet dividers, etc. Here’s a link to some of my closet organizing favorites.
neatly folded pile of shirts and sweaters


Grab some boxes, trash bags, or wheelbarrows and start sorting into 5 piles-

  1. Keep Pile: When you walk by the mirror in these items, it should compel a brief pause, during which a smile flutters across your face. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to flatter.
  2. Archive Pile: Archive all that is tired, seasonally inappropriate, or just inconclusive. Then reassess in 3-6 months, and ditch anything you’re still not ready to wear immediately. If you don’t plan to wear it within the calendar year, get rid of it.
  3. Repair Pile: You have exactly five days to go to the dry cleaner, cobbler, or tailor with these items. If it’s not urgent, it’s not important enough to fix.
  4. Give-Away Pile: Donate items that don’t fit your body or style but are in good condition. If you are having a difficult time parting with an item that no longer flatters your figure, find a specific friend to give it to.
  5. Throw-Away Pile: Items that are stained, torn, or otherwise beyond repair. Enough said.

Here’s what to do with each pile –

  1. Keep Pile: Put all items from this pile back into your closet in an organized fashion. You might have to arrange and rearrange the space several times to get it looking exactly like you want it to.
  2. Archive Pile: Put this pile into a nice basket that is mostly out of sight, but not out of mind. Revisit this basket in 3-6 months and if you still don’t have plans to wear it, get rid of it!
  3. Repair Pile: This pile needs to go directly into a bag and that bag needs to go into your car right now. You have 5 days to make it to the dry cleaner or tailor, otherwise you need to get rid of it!
  4. Give-Away Pile: This also needs to go directly into your car. Next time you are out and about, stop by the thrift store and unload your donation.
  5. Throw-Away Pile: Take this pile straight to your outside trash. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
pastel colored clothing hanging in an organized closet


Now that you have everything put back and in its place, it is time to add a personal touch and create an area that makes you smile.

Add baskets to hold purses, hang some artwork or a mirror, or swap your old hangers for all matching new ones. Do something you love that makes you smile when you open your closet door. Have fun with this!

close up of women's blouses hanging on wood hangers

Now you have a lesser, neater, easier to manage closet. Your own personal boutique in which everything fits and flatters!


  1. I have a horrible closet setup. One straight rod across the top…tiny weeny thing. But, that is condo living with a beautiful view, so I put up with it.

  2. I have been trying to save enough to get new closet stuff. We rent in a pre-war apartment with badly set up closets, so this is needed.

  3. My closet is such a mess! I don’t know why I hang on to old clothes that no longer fit or flatter, I think I have some clothes in there that haven’t been worn in 3-4 years! It makes mornings very difficult, deciding what to wear. I need help in my closet for sure!

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