Open Closet Packed With Various Clothes

10 Smart Closet Cleanout Ideas

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If you feel that your closet has reached its storage limit, there’s a considerable chance that it’s time for a cleanout. Whether you want to have your closet space more organized or simply make room for new fashion options, it’s important to deal with the problem of an overflowing wardrobe. Approaching the closet cleanout task systematically will ensure that you can get rid of unneeded items and create a better-organized space to find all your favorite clothes with minimal effort.

There’s no strict rule that you need to follow when it comes to the frequency of closet cleanouts. Most people should tackle this job once per year but, depending on shopping habits, it might be necessary to deal with closet cleanouts more often. The essential aspect of this job is to maintain a clutter-free closet that gives you great outfit options all the time. If you want to restore the sense of happiness experienced when opening the wardrobe, check out these smart closet cleanout ideas to keep your clothing organized.

1. Prepare the Closet for the Cleanout

Messy Closet Full of Clothes

Not everyone’s closet has the same size but it’s safe to say that cleanouts can take some time. It’s recommended to set aside some time for this project to do it thoroughly. Start by removing all clothes from the closet. Bring a vacuum cleaner and a dust cloth to refresh the space of the wardrobe. Consider removing all old hangers of different types and styles. Purchase cloth hangers in the same uniform look that will use up the space more efficiently while also giving the closet a curated vibe.

2. Get Rid of Anything That’s Damaged Beyond Repair

Damaged Sweater Beyond Repair

Now that you have a big pile of clothes and accessories in the room, it’s time to properly sort them for the cleanout. Start with the easiest part first. Search through the pile for all those items that are simply too damaged to be used, can’t be repaired, and are just unsuitable for donation. This includes any old clothing pieces that are dingy, stretched, saggy, or worn out and accessories that are frayed, ripped, shrunk, and grubby. If you have quite a few damaged items that need to be tossed, don’t be quick to reach for the garbage bin. Some old t-shirts can be transformed into household rags and many damaged clothes can still be recycled using local repurposing programs.

3. Make a Donation Pile

Pile of Clothes

After you eliminate all heavily damaged items, you’re still left with a big pile of clothes in need of sorting. Get a big trash bag or box and give it a “Donations” label. This is where you separate all the clothing items that you simply no longer wear for a variety of reasons. Maybe that old pair of jeans no longer fits you or a dress you used to like no longer matches your current preferences.

Trends come and go while your personal style of dress is constantly evolving. It’s safe to say that your tastes in clothes and accessories can become quite different after a few years. The donation pile should contain items that are still suitable to use but no longer wanted. Giving up these clothes can pose a bit of a challenge if you have an emotional attachment. Try to ignore that feeling and concentrate on your life right now because only your current preferences matter. There’s no point in letting old clothes clutter up the closet if they can be given a new life somewhere else.

4. Refine the Leftover Pile

Clothes Being Sorted and Folded

So you’ve finished the donation pile but you somehow still have a lot of remaining clothes that you wish to keep. There’s nothing wrong with that but you need to make sure that all of them go back to the closet. It can be quite obvious that some clothes are past their expiration date and need to go but others not so much. Test to see if you’re fully committed to keeping all the clothes in the leftover pile.

A great decluttering trick is to use the Marie Kondo method. Take each clothing item and accessory in your hand and ask yourself whether it brings you joy. Sometimes it’s much easier to decide just by relying on your emotions. The simplicity of this decluttering method is its greatest advantage. There’s no need to bother with a complicated analysis of each item’s attributes and practical advantages. Focus only on your favorite pieces that you truly love and decluttering will happen naturally in an effortless style.

5. Put the Clothes Back in the Closet

Neatly Arranged Clothes in a Closet

It seems like the closet cleanout comes to an end. Just add the sorted clothes that you wish to keep back into the closet. Sounds simple, right? It’s a good idea to take this opportunity and organize things in a better way. Group clothes with similar color tones together for easier access. Do this for all types of clothing. Once they’re properly sorted in a uniform range of color tones, you can go a step further and organize each color group according to type. For example, keep blue shirts together in the blue group and black jeans together in the black group, and so on.

6. Keep Seasonal Items Separately

Winter Gear Items Stored in a Closet

Winter coats don’t belong in the same place as summer dresses. Some types of clothing are only intended to be worn for a few months of the year. There’s no reason why they should take up precious wardrobe space all year long. Out-of-season clothes should be stored someplace else until the proper time to wear them. Your closet will become more spacious without those bulky sweaters that are only needed during the winter. When the time comes, it’s easy to swap out seasonal items to rearrange your closet more efficiently.

7. Opt for New Storage Solutions

Shoe Racks in Closet

A proper cleanout can significantly change the number of clothes and accessories left over in your closet. Another aspect to keep in mind is that you may end up with different ratios of specific types of items. That means you can invest in new storage solutions to organize things more efficiently in your closet. Save space with some added shoe organizers, hooks, or stacking trays. Take a close look at your stuff and decide on the best custom storage options to match your needs. Here’s a great shoes organizer for the closet to buy from Amazon.

8. Use a Clutter Bin

Household Bins Used for Storing Clothes

If you don’t like the idea of doing one big closet cleanout periodically, there’s another practical solution to consider. You can declutter the wardrobe continuously as you purchase new clothes with the help of a clutter bin. Put a designated basket or bag somewhere in the closet to store any undesirable items you find. It’s an excellent solution for those times when you suddenly decide that you need to dispose of some clothing item or accessory. Place it in the clutter bin and you can easily deal with all these discarded items at a later date instead of going through the hassle of a full closet cleanout. Check out this stylish storage bin that could be ideal to keep your closet more organized.

9. Stop Buying New Clothes Too Often

Woman Shopping for Clothes in a Store

Although a closet cleanout is supposed to free up considerable space in the wardrobe, this is not always the case. It might turn out that you still have a closet packed full of clothes even after donating or tossing out plenty of items. In that case, it’s recommended to slow down the frequency of buying new clothes to prevent overwhelming the closet space. Be more mindful about shopping decisions and set some boundaries or limits. It could be worth remembering that you already have all the clothes necessary and stop bringing in new items as often as you do.

10. Try Selling Clothes to Consignment Stores

Consignment Store

If you removed lots of valuable clothes during the closet cleanout, you might consider selling them instead of making a donation. The process takes some more effort but lots of consignment stores can accept your items if the garments are in great condition and from renowned brands. Bigger volumes of clothes can sometimes be sold more easily, especially if your items are fairly recent or designer pieces. Sites like ThredUp, TheRealReal, or Poshmark can be used to recover some monetary value when refreshing your clothes wardrobe.


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