How-To: A Successful Closet Clean-Out

Picture of woman thinking what to dress in walk-in closet

Everyone has been there. The closet is full, shelves are stuffed, there isn’t one empty hanger, but most days finding an outfit to wear and feel good in seems nearly impossible. It’s obviously time to clean out the closet, but that dreaded task is an easy one to procrastinate. 

You can take on this project yourself, enlist a friend to help or hire a professional to finally get the closet organized. Whatever you decide, an organized closet is around the corner. A professional organizer guides you through the process, helps eliminate what no longer serves you, and will arrange what you are keeping for optimal organization and function. If tackling the closet on your own is on the agenda, these guidelines will have you keeping only what you love or items that are certain to be used.

Ready.  Set.  Go! 

Begin by removing EVERY item from the closet. Spend a few minutes dusting the shelves and hard to reach areas and vacuum. Every individual item will receive attention with the following six questions (if you answer “no” to any part of the first question you don’t need to go on, you can immediately place the item in the pile to be discarded):

6 Questions for Closet Purging

  1. Does it still fit? Is it free from stains and in working order?
  2. Is it in good condition?
  3. Is it still in style, would I buy it again today?
  4. Is it MY style?
  5. Do I feel good when I wear it?
  6. Have I worn it in the last year?

If any answer is “no” it’s time to donate, when the answer is “yes” the item is returned to the closet to keep. 

It’s common to have feelings of guilt and uncertainty when deciding what items you no longer want to keep. When struggling with an expensive purchase, shirt that still has tags on it or any item that isn’t a definite keeper the 6 questions are extremely helpful.  Paying attention to every item by asking the six questions about every piece of clothing will lead to the organized closet you’ve been looking forward to. —Lauren White, Intentional Edit – Professional Organizer, @intentionaledit,

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