Cleaning out your closet: what to keep?

Young woman throwing clothes in walk in closet. Mess in wardrobe and dressing room concept

Cleaning out your closet: what to keep?  We’ve all been there; looking at item after item, swearing we will use it again.  It doesn’t matter that it has been sitting there gathering dust for the last 7 years…Or what about those pieces we fit into when we weighed 20 pounds less? Or the ones we might want to keep just in case we gain our weight back?  Cleaning out your closet can be a daunting task, but with a systematic approach, it can be manageable and even enjoyable. OK, let’s not go overboard, we’ll leave it at manageable. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you:

Set Aside Ample Time:

Depending on the size of your closet and the amount of clutter, set aside a few hours or even a whole day to complete the task.

Gather Supplies:

Collect supplies such as garbage bags for trash, boxes for donation items, cleaning supplies for wiping down surfaces, and storage bins for organizing.

Empty the Entire Closet:

Take everything out of your closet and lay it out in a designated area. This step helps you see everything you have and makes it easier to sort through.

Sort Items:

Create piles for different categories such as keep, donate/sell, toss, and maybe. Be ruthless in your decision-making process. Ask yourself if you’ve worn or used the item in the past year, if it fits, if it’s in good condition, and if it aligns with your current style and needs.

Clean the Closet:

While the closet is empty, take the opportunity to clean the shelves, walls, and floor. Wipe down surfaces and vacuum or sweep as needed.

Organize Keep Items:

Once you’ve decided what to keep, organize these items back into your closet. You may want to consider organizing by category (e.g., tops, bottoms, dresses) or by season. Use storage solutions such as bins, baskets, or hangers to keep things tidy.

Dispose of Unwanted Items:

Take the items you’ve decided to donate or sell and put them in boxes or bags. If you’re donating, research local charities or shelters that accept clothing donations. Also, be sure to get a receipt as most donations are tax deductible. If you’re selling, consider online platforms like eBay, Poshmark, or local consignment stores.

Address Maybe Items:

If you’re struggling to decide on certain items, put them in a separate box labeled “maybe.” Store this box out of sight for a set period of time (e.g., six months). If you don’t find yourself needing or missing these items during that time, it may be easier to let go of them.

Maintain Regularly:

To prevent clutter from building up again, commit to regular maintenance of your closet. Set aside time every few months to go through your clothes and purge items you no longer need or wear.

Celebrate Your Accomplishment:

Finally, take a moment to admire your newly organized closet. Treat yourself to something small as a reward for your hard work.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean out your closet and create a more organized and functional space. Now, go treat yourself to those jeans you’ve been eyeing for a while now!



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