I’ve been cleaning out my closet regularly since I was 10 years old. I remember my mom sitting me down at the beginning of every season to go through my toys, desk and wardrobe. She would have me create 3 piles; Keep, Donate, and Trash. When people ask how I stay so clean and organized today, it is without a doubt because of this system which began at such a young age!
Marie Kondo has made cleaning out your closet a “thing” and shown a light on the importance of de-cluttering. I love that she’s made it mainstream and helped me so many people feel more light, organized and SANE! It’s amazing how you can feel so unproductive, stressed, and foggy surrounded by clutter and junk isn’t it? I always say, I can never get anything done until everything is put away and my house feels neat + tidy.
Having less STUFF of course makes cleaning WAY easier. Being a blogger, I am constantly inundated with STUFF so I have to be really strategic about how I utilize my space, which is why I routinely clean out my closet. Living in NYC, and being short on space makes being neat, organized, and selective even more crucial! I wanted to share tips on How To Clean Out Your Closet and what specific things I’ve learned over the years!
How To Clean Out Your Closet
How Often To Clean
I clean out my closet every 4 months at the beginning of a season. This allows me to get rid of anything I didn’t wear, make note of anything I’ll need for the upcoming season, and push pieces to the front or back of my closet depending on the weather/frequency they’ll be worn. I usually spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. So about 5-6 hours really sifting through everything.
How To Physically Do A Clean Out
I go through everything one by one on hangers, in drawers, and on shelves. Anything that I’m not 100% sure of, gets draped on my bed/chair near a mirror so that I can try it on once I’m done. I place everything in 3 piles: Keep, Sell, or Donate. The Keep pile gets immediately hung up again and put out of the way. The Sell pile stays in the corner until I have enough natural light to photograph them for Poshmark, and the Donate pile goes in a shopping bag that I put by my front door which reminds me to get it OUT of the house!
How To Decide What To Get Rid Of
If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it. I used to hold onto things and make up scenarios of when I would possibly wear it, and 99.9% of the time, those scenarios never happened. Be realistic with yourself and your life/lifestyle. Seriously though, if you haven’t gotten use out of it in a year then sell it and make room for something you will wear regularly! Also, if you’re holding onto things that are too small, you should probably get rid of them. I’m all for motivation, but I don’t think staring at a closet of clothes that are too small is healthy. Trust me, I know!
Embrace your figure and be proud of your body. It is beautiful. Outfit your wardrobe with pieces that celebrate your size and body right NOW, not the body you wish you had or you used to have. As women, our bodies and sizes do fluctuate depending on hormones, the time of the month, holidays, etc. so I’m not saying throw everything that’s a little snug out, but if it’s 2-3 sizes too small, it’s probably time to let them go. Lastly, this is a Marie Kondo tip, and something that I’ve always adapted. Ask yourself if that item brings you joy. If it doesn’t feel good or brings up negative feelings for WHATEVER reason – get rid of it. I did a MAJOR closet purge right after my breakup and it felt AMAZING!!!!
What To Do With Unwanted Items
I first ask my sister, mom or friends if they want my Sell/Donate items. I sell whatever is left on Poshmark. I’m obsessed with Poshmark and LOVE how easy it is sell things. I also love My Sister’s Closet consignment store in my hometown Scottsdale, The Real Real for luxury designer items, and Buffalo Exchange. Anything that’s not in selling condition, gets placed in shopping bags and I ask my cleaning lady if she wants it, or I donate it to a local shelter. I’m a huge supporter of Dress For Success, Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Less Is More
I’ve always held this philosophy when it comes to both fashion and decor. Like I said, I can’t think straight if there’s clutter around me. I try to be really conscious and mindful about everything I have and bring into my home. It’s so important to invest in fewer, better pieces, rather than tons of trendy, cheap items that will go out of style immediately the next season. Not only does this save you money in the long run, it really teaches you to appreciate what you have, and get creative by mixing and matching items together. Do you ever look at your closet full of clothes and exclaim, “I have nothing to wear?!” If the answer is yes, it’s time to do a major clean out so you can actually SEE what’s in your closet and put together thoughtful, beautiful outfits.
I love the Ikea Billy bookcase for storing bags + shoes, these black velvet hangers for clothes, these lucite bins for accessories, old shoe boxes for office supplies, and wicker baskets/bags for miscellaneous items and as decor. I use these Serena & Lily baskets as my hampers and they’re currently 20% off!
It wasn’t until this past year that I realized how AMAZING professional organizers are!!!! I personally love organizing my own closet/wardrobe, but hate organizing my pantry, so for my LA kitchen I used The Home Edit team (they were incredible!!!!), for my LA to NYC move I used Straighten Up by Janelle (she was soooo gentle with my fragile/expensive handbags, hats, and shoes), and for my NYC pantry I used Louisa Roberts from The Neat Method. I highly recommend all of them.
Importance of Closet Clean Outs
I truly cannot stress enough how important it is to do regular closet clean outs. Don’t get bogged down with junk and clutter! Chaos in your home creates chaos in the mind. Also, being surrounded by things that aren’t enhancing or adding to your life, but are just taking up space, is just not healthy. It sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth. Get rid of anything that has negative memories attached to it, donate the stuff that’s too small and making you feel bad about yourself. Basically, purge anything that doesn’t make you HAPPY. Your closet should be full of things that make you smile when you look at them! Life is too short to have it any other way!!!!
Out with the old and in with the new. Less is more. Fewer, better. Say goodbye to the clutter! Let’s all be more mindful about what we buy and allow in our homes! Happy spring cleaning!