How I Clean Out My Closet + Organization Tips

Starting a new year always makes me want to CLEAN and PURGE! I love being able to start the year more organized. And while I’m pretty good at not holding on to junk, there’s always room for improvement and there’s always something I can get rid of. So I’m sharing how I clean out and organize my closet!

Closet Clean Out and Organization Tips

My Closet “Before” Organization

I did a little clean out/organizing last year but there’s still lots of room for improvement. And there’s still a lot of things I need to get rid of! Here’s what it looks like now.

I have a mini walk-in closet with two hanging racks for clothes on either side. On top of the racks there are shelves where I’ve added expandable shoe racks. On the door I have a hanging shoe rack. On the floor, below one of the racks, is a shelving unit where I have jeans and sweater. Even with the current organizers I have in my closet, there’s still a lot of overflow onto the floor – which means I need to get rid of more stuff!

How I Clean Out + Organize My Closet

Marie Kondo Method

I read Marie Kondo’s organizational book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up awhile ago, and while I think she’s kind of insane, there were some things that I was able to take away. I agree with her method of taking everything out of your closet to evaluate it. She says that you need to hold each item in your hand and ask yourself the question “Does this spark joy?”. If it doesn’t, then it goes in the trash, donate, or sell pile. There is A LOT more to the KonMari method but that was the one tip I thought was easy to incorporate into my closet clean-out.

I would add to this that if an item has been sitting in your closet for a year and you haven’t worn it, then you should also get rid of it. There’s probably a reason WHY you haven’t worn it in so long. Ask yourself – “Do I not like the fabric? Style? How it fits?” Even if it “sparks” joy. I’ve noticed that there are items in my closet that I still really like (in theory) but for some reason I never wear them. It could be that it no longer fits my lifestyle, or it doesn’t fit quite right. The exception to this might be items that you “need” to have in your closet just in case – like a special occasion dress, evening dress, a formal outfit for interviews, etc.

One In, One Out Method

In the new year, I’d like to start incorporating this method more often. The idea is that when you add a piece to your closet, you have to get rid of an item in your closet to make room for it. This helps you evaluate what you really want to have in your closet. Is this new item worth getting rid of something you currently have in your closet?

How do you decide what to get rid of?

I keep these questions in mind when I’m doing a closet clean out:

  • Does it fit? If the answer is NO – GET RID OF IT!
  • Is it in good condition? If an item is worn out, has holes, etc. and can’t be fixed then GET RID OF IT!
  • Does it fit your current style? Even if you like an item but it doesn’t fit your current style, you aren’t going to end up wearing it. GET RID OF IT!
  • Does it fit your lifestyle? For example, if you’ve recently changed jobs and no longer work in an office environment, you probably don’t need a wardrobe FULL of suits – even if you like them!

Cleaning and Organizing

Once you have all the items out of your closet and you’ll need four piles: KEEP, SELL, DONATE, TRASH (Actually – recycling is the best way to go. Throwing in the trash should be your last resort!). As you go through each item of clothing, place it in one of these piles.

Check out my post: What to Do with Unwanted Clothes: Resale, Donate, + Recycle Options

Now that you have everything out of your closet, it’s time to vacuum and wipe down surfaces.

Items I use to Organize My Closet

The items you need to organize your closet might be different depending on your closet layout and needs. But I definitely recommend velvet hangers for everyone!

My Closet After Clean Out

Here are the photos from after my closet clean out! The thing that makes the biggest difference is getting rid of all the clothes I don’t wear anymore so that I have room for the items I DO wear. I actually have space on my hanging racks for more clothes now and room for a few more shoes. I also cleared out a lot of jewelry on the hooks on the wall to make space for some bags to hang.

Closet Clean Out Photos "After", Shelving for sweaters and jeans

I also organized the shelving unit that I use to organize my sweaters and jeans/pants. I would loved to add another shelving unit like this on the other side of my close but I currently have all of my long dresses on that side so there isn’t enough room.

I have ALL of my clothes in this closet – spring, summer, fall, and winter. I don’t store off season clothes anywhere because I don’t have room. The exception to this is my maternity clothes which I have stored in a clear container under my bed.

Closet Clean Out "After" photos, thin hangers, shoe racks

I do have a small dresser where I keep my underwear, socks, activewear, sleepwear, and some jeans/pants that don’t fit right now but will eventually fit me once I go back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I folded the jeans using the Konmari method.

konmari method jean folding

I highly suggest that you ask for organizational advice from an expert if you are serious about organizing your closet. My friend Brenda is a professional stylist and organizer and she helped me with my closet clean out! She actually was able to do it all virtually – I showed her photos of my closet and she gave me options for how to organize it. She also gave me links for products to shop (like the shoe organizer and shelving unit). You can contact Brenda through Instagram (@barefootinla).

Watch My Closet Clean-Out on YouTube!

Check out my YouTube video to get a closer look at my closet and see how I decided what clothes to keep and what to get rid of!

If you need suggestions on where to sell, donate, and recycle – Check out this post!

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    1. Thank you! I need to be able to see my jewelry/bags or I forget I have it! I feel like this is the best option for me 🙂