7 Steps to Cleaning out Your Closet ...

Right now, as I type this intro, my tiny closet is perfectly organized, cleaned out, and I’m so proud of my own little efficiency, I could burst. Yes, I know it’ll likely be a mess again in about three minutes, but for now, it’s completely tidy, and I did it all by myself (I’m such a big girl!) … it wasn’t easy, though, so I thought I’d share my tried-and-true process with you. Here are 7 steps to cleaning out your closet. Beware! It does entail tossing a few items!

1. Set Time Aside

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This is going to take a while, so set aside at least two hours to clean out your closet, maybe even an hour more if you have a very large closet, or if it’s been a couple of years since you’ve done it.

2. Grab Some Bags

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You’ll need a few garbage bags: one for trash, one for donating. You’ll also probably need a box, for the things you know you should probably get rid of, but just can’t seem to donate or toss just yet.

3. Remove Everything

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Now comes the actual work: empty your closet completely. I use my bed for all of the clothes and my floor for all of the accessories and shoes. I keep the clothes on their hangers… for now.

4. Make Piles

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Now that everything’s out of your closet, sort through everything and put them in piles. If you haven’t worn an item of clothing or used an accessory for more than one year, it should go. For instance, if you’re cleaning your closet in July, and you didn’t wear that summer dress or those sandals at all LAST summer, it can go. Also, if something is way too small or way too big, it needs to go. If it’s stained, torn, or just plain ratty, throw it away. If it’s still got a lot of life in it, either donate it, or see if you can sell it to Plato’s Closet or another upscale resale shop. If you just can’t part with something that you suspect you really ought to get rid of, add it to the box, and if, by the next time you clean out your closet you still haven’t worn it, put the box out on the porch on the next Goodwill pickup day.

5. Vacuum or Sweep!

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Wow, doesn’t your empty closet look big? It’s also probably dusty and in need of sweeping or vacuuming. Take care of that, and now you’re ready to put everything back!

6. Hang Everything Back up!

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I’m kind of a neat freak, so I hang everything back in according to type (tees with tees, pants with pants) and then by color (see, total neat freak). Make sure you replace bent or broken hangers, and if possible, use rack for your shoes, so they don’t get crushed or damaged.

7. Repeat Every Spring

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How tidy your closet looks! I wonder how long it will take to start looking cluttered and disorganized again? For most people, that’s about a year, so add a thorough closet-cleaning to your spring cleaning routine and tackle it every year, so it doesn’t get out of hand.

Now, my dear, you can have a closet as organized and tidy (to the point of complete OCD) as me… hopefully you’ll have the restraint to keep it that way, unlike me… ! Which of these closet-cleaning tips did you find most helpful, or most painful? Or do you have another tip to share?

Top Photo Credit: *midtownsky* is on hiatus

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