How to Declutter the Clothes in Your Closet

organized closet

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

There are a few sure signs that indicate it's time to start decluttering your wardrobe: It's full of clothes you no longer wear; you can't find what you need; and it's so jam-packed that your clothes get wrinkled. Sound familiar? Now might be a great time to whip your wardrobe back into shape.

These tried and true tips to remove clutter will help you clean up your closet once and for all.

  • 01 of 07

    Ask the 7 Key Closet Decluttering Questions

    clothing hanging in a closet

    The Spruce / Julieanne Browning

    Ask yourself the following about every item in your closet:

    1. Do I love it?
    2. Do I wear it?
    3. Does it project the image I want?
    4. Does it itch or scratch?
    5. Does it pinch my toes? Are the heels too high to walk in?
    6. Is it moldy? Smelly? Stained?
    7. Does it fit?

    Number 3 is the real "light bulb" question for many people. Even if you love it, do you want to wear it in front of other people? Be a brutal critic. If necessary, enlist a friend to tell you if something is wrong for you. Closet space is limited, so don't waste your prime real estate on something you're not crazy about.

  • 02 of 07

    Know Where You'll Donate Clothes

    donation box

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    It's easier to declutter your closet if you know where you'll be donating your clothing ahead of time. This way, once you are done decluttering and purging your wardrobe, you can quickly whisk the items off to a deserving recipient making the process much easier.

    Another option is consigning your gently used or pricey clothing.

  • 03 of 07

    Use a Donation Box for Easy Decluttering

    donation basket

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Make decluttering your wardrobe easier by having a donation bin, bag, or basket right in your closet. This allows you to declutter your closet and toss items you no longer want whenever you happen upon them.

  • 04 of 07

    Commit to a Weekly Sweep

    neatly rehanging clothing

    The Spruce / Julieanne Browning

    The more often you declutter, the less time it will take and the easier it will be. Committing to a weekly clutter sweep means spending 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a week in your closet placing items in your donation box, re-arranging clothing that has fallen out of place, and re-hanging and folding clothes that may be strewn about your bedroom and bathroom. All of this will take much less time than you think if you tackle it regularly.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Evaluate Your Clothes Seasonally

    deciding where to sell clothing

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    There are four easy-to-follow steps:

    1. Take everything out of the closet. Then, wipe down the shelving, dust, and vacuum.
    2. Do a quick purge of anything you're going to donate and items that need altering or dry cleaning.
    3. Put everything back in the closet hanging and sorting by color with most-worn items in front.
    4. Take alterations and cleaning to the tailor and dry cleaner; bring donations to the resale shop or your charity of choice.

    Do a thorough closet sweep once a season, or monthly if you live in an apartment with limited closet space.

  • 06 of 07

    Maximize Storage Space

    utilizing storage shelves in your closet

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Are you taking advantage of your closet's nooks and crannies? You can fit more by maximizing the storage space available by purchasing the best closet storage products. Utilize the closet door by installing hooks and hanging your most-worn jewelry and scarves at eye-level. Consider adding inexpensive shelving if your closet doesn't already have it or use hanging drawers and shoe organizers to make the most of your space.

  • 07 of 07

    Reign In Hoarding Before It's a Problem

    closet clean out

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    This may be the hardest skill to master. Ask yourself if you're holding onto clothes for any of these reasons:

    • It holds sentimental value.
    • You spent a ridiculous amount of money on the item.
    • You may wear it someday––but who knows when that someday will be?

    These are all understandable reasons to hold onto a garment, but the fact remains that you have limited space to store your clothes. If an item is too special to let go, like a wedding dress, find a place to store it other than your closet. For the other two categories, if you haven't worn the item in over a year, get rid of it. While it may be difficult, wouldn't you rather have these clothes in the closet of someone who loves them and wears them often?