how to keep your closet clutter-free

As a new season approaches, I take the time to clean out my wardrobe, pulling out the pieces that can’t be worn as seasons change, whether it’s because of the colors or the weather change. This helps me to ensure that I wear all of the things in my closet. So, as part of this almost-minimal-capsule-closet thing I have going on, I’ve decided to talk about how to keep your closet clutter-free.

I mean, let’s be real here, we all have random items thrown into the deepest, darkest corner of our closets.

Sometimes it’s that sentimental piece from high school (hello old high school hoodie!) or something we bought but can’t ever bring ourselves to wear (AKA those combat boots I thought I’d want because everyone else had them). And, other times, it’s something that we don’t even like anymore; but, for some stupid reason, we can’t seem to part with them (back to those combat boots I don’t wear).

But, with a change in season, there comes a chance to go through your wardrobe and clean it out.

Step One: Create two piles.

Almost everyone talks about creating three piles: one to keep, one to donate, and one to toss. I say that you need to start out with two piles. And, just like the shopping rule I swear by (click here to find out more) there are no maybes.

You have two answers per item. Yes or No.

Yes, you will wear it during the upcoming season. No, you won’t.

So, create those two piles (I usually toss the “no’s” on the bed and hang the ones I’m going to keep back up). Now, pull the out the clothes you wore all summer, one-by-one, trying them on if needed, and answer the following questions:

Does it fit? Is it too trendy (e.g. will it still be in style next summer)? Do you like it?

After you’re finished, put all the “for keeps” back. Leave the other pile there for now. Don’t worry, we’ll get back to it later.

Step Two: Pull out the clothes that were packed up last time.

After putting all of the clothes that I’m going to wear across seasons back where they belong, I pull out all of the old storage containers. Ok, by “all of the old storage containers” I mean the under-the-bed-storage-thing I use to store my seasonal clothes.

Sifting through those clothes, I make sure I still like the item before putting it back in its place, whether that’s folded in a drawer or hanging in the closet.

Sometimes, I get rid of an item if I don’t like it or if it’s too small or too big. Then, I move on to step three.

Step Three: See what’s needed for the upcoming season.

Next, I take stock of what I have left. This time, I had two sweaters, a few cardigans, like five long-sleeve tops, and a few button-downs.

After looking through those items, I noted that I needed a few more sweaters, a mix of regular pull-over-your-head sweaters and some open. I noted that I really like the ones that are over-sized. Usually, when I have to wear a sweater over something for work, I gravitate toward the big, cozy, loose ones.

I also noted that I needed a few more work shirts, since most of the ones I had were more appropriate for the spring and summer seasons. And finally, I noted that the pair of tan/beige pants I had didn’t fit me anymore (too tight – insert sad face) and I needed to start looking for a new pair.

(I also noted that I like the word noted. Yeah…I’m lame.)

Step Four: Create a list.

Obviously, it’s best to go shopping with a list. If there isn’t a semblance of a list, you’re going to end up making whim purchases and those aren’t good, especially when you need something.

I have a list app on my phone that I use for groceries. I also used it to organize my shopping list for the upcoming fall season.

Step Five: Deal with the rest of the mess.

Now that you know what you’re going to wear for the upcoming season and what you need, it’s time to go back through the rest to decide what’s going to be packed up for next year and what’s going to get tossed/donated.

As usual, the YES/NO method is what I recommend.

Step Six: Celebrate!

Now that it’s all done with, celebrate! You’ve accomplished a big feat! Take a nice bath, plan out your budget for this season’s items, or reward yourself by baking a delicious treat!

Either way, YOU DID IT!!

And I hope that you keep doing it, because there’s nothing that makes me happier than a clean, clutter-free closet.

So, do you guys clean out your closets? If so, how often?

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