Tips to Help you Simplify & Minimize your Closet

Living in a small space has really improved my efficiency when it comes to my closet organization. A few years ago I lived in an apartment with a walk-in closet and easily thoughtt I was in heaven. However, as time went by, each shelf became jammed and overflowed with clothing, coats, shoes, and junk. It was actually a nightmare.

Naturally, when I moved into a much smaller apartment with a much, much smaller closet I thought I would never survive. This was it. My Sex in the City dreams of closet glamour was shattered. Little did I know at the time but this was the best thing that could have happened to me.

After a few months of jamming all of my clothes anywhere that I could manage, I realized that the clutter and the heaps of clothing were stressing me out. I know, took me long enough, right? I began to hate being in my bedroom, I was having difficulty sleeping in there and I was so overcome with options that even getting ready in the morning was a stressful activity.

Thankfully I began to clue in that more stuff was not making me happy. Not one bit. My mindset began to evolve and change and I was better able to reprioritize what mattered most in my life. I began to embrace simplicity and through that my closet benefited.

I now clean out my closet at least twice a year and my wardrobe is slowly becoming more of what I want and less of what I don’t. Easy transitional pieces that are good quality and last longer is what I am striving towards and in time as I get there I am better able to be mindful of my buying habits and material needs.

In all honesty those first few times I decluttered my closet was hard. I could only manage one or two items. But over time I have become a decluttering and purging machine. Now when I clean out my closet I can get a full garbage bag worth of stuff out of there in an afternoon. A far journey from where I started as a beginner hoarder.

My system is fast and efficient which is why I thought I would share it with you all. I urge you to take a Sunday afternoon to try out these tips and begin a new fulfilling journey of simplifying your closet and life!

Take everything out:

You are probably going to hate me for this but you need to take it all out. Everything.

Emptying your closet and laying it on your bed has two main purposes. The first being you get to see how much clothing you actually have. Which if you are anything like how I used to be will be a little shocking. The second is having all of your clothing out on display will allow you to touch and connect with your items before returning it to your closet. A tool that works better then you may think.

 

Organize:

Once you have everything out of your closet and your bedroom is a complete mess its time to make some piles. Try to use your gut reaction or the questions below to help you create the piles you need.

Keep:

Items to place here include items you love, wear often or are less than a year old.

Seasonal Storage:

Depending on the season; store away dresses in winter or sweaters in summer. My seasonal storage consists of bins placed under my bed.

Maybe:

In between the keep and the trash pile items can go in here… for now.

Donate:

Items that can be donated to charity or to friends.

Trash:

Underwear, mismatched socks, unsavable stained clothes. These items cannot be saved or are just not worth saving, its better to part ways.

Questions for Contemplation:

Have I worn this in the past year?

If you have not worn an article in a long time but are hanging onto it in the hopes that you will one day then chances are you will never wear it. It might be better to give it to someone who will get better use out of it.

Does this article do what its intended to do?

Sweaters are meant to be cozy, blazers fashionable, jeans to fit right. Be honest with yourself here. Did you buy this hoping it would do something for you but it’s failing miserably? Face it, if you bought beautiful expensive, stylish jeans but every time you wear them they make you feel uncomfortable and unconfident then it is failing you. Let go of it so it doesn’t remain a constant reminder of insecurity for you. Again this article may be better suited for someone else.

Can I style this more than 3 ways?

Styling something three ways is kind of a golden rule. Keeping items that are transitional can help you minimize and better utilize what you do keep in your closet.

Is there someone else who can better benefit from this?

If you have friends that share your taste then why not give them a gift of a new article of clothing? Your clothes may move onto a home where they are better loved and used. Additionally, if you have items that can be donated to a charity that you know will be utilized like a coat or shoes, don’t wait around, donate them!

Rehang & Reorganize

By the time you get to this step you should have a better idea of what you want to keep, donate, trash and a little maybe pile also. Start with your keep pile and begin to rehang your clothing, keeping items in groups. Grouping your clothing together in your closet will help you easily find and see what you need going forward. Oh and help you dress faster in the morning.

Before hanging each item from your keep pile, hold it and examine it asking yourself the questions above. You should be able to get rid of a few more articles during this process. Now it’s onto your maybe pile. Ask yourself the same questions, be cutthroat and honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to let it go.

However, if you are really not sure about an item you can always place it back in your closet and reexamine it again during your next closet clean up. Keep your eye on those items that barely made it this time, because if they did not get properly used by the next haul then they need to go.

Store away your seasonal clothing with a fresh dryer sheet and bring your donated clothes to their new homes. Then Bam! You are done.

Lastly, grab your calendar and commit to another closet freshen up in 6 months time.


Attachment leads to a lot of pain and suffering in our lives and society. Having items in your home that take up minimal space and that you love and use will bring you so much more happiness. But hey, you can start small. After a little practice, you will get better at letting go and you might even learn to like it.

If you are feeling in the mood to do more decluttering then check out my post 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Masha | 15th Feb 18

    Great post, you inspire me to go clean out my stuff.

  2. thegentlemanracer | 15th Feb 18

    I am gearing up to move and had to do this. It is amazing how much stuff we can collect over the years.

  3. Msddah | 16th Feb 18

    My closet is a hot mess and I cant wait to adopt all these tips. Great post!

  4. Amber Marie | 16th Feb 18

    I agree, sometimes having a smaller space is better for us because it forces us to analyze what we really need. I love the suggestion of asking yourself if you’ve used the item in the last year. If not, it’s got to go!

  5. Claire Saul (PainPalsBlog) | 16th Feb 18

    I started to do this the other day! feeling quite smug!!

  6. Via Bella | 16th Feb 18

    I love the question of how many times you can style something! I am going to keep that in mind as I do purge mine!

  7. Ritu | 17th Feb 18

    I need you to come and sort my closet out… I can’t let go.of things lol!

  8. Snuffy | 17th Feb 18

    This is SO timely for me! I am currently cleaning house to make room for my soon-to-be-husband and although I have gone through my closet, I know there is more to do. My takeaway from your post that I haven’t done is to take everything out, I’ve just been filling bags to get rid of as I go through the hangers and drawers. And I love your tip about whether or not it can be styled 3 ways. This one is definitely going to help be purge a bit more!

    • stephaniewp | 19th Feb 18

      I know this system has helped me a lot. Taking everything out works surprisingly well! Good luck!

  9. kiara | 17th Feb 18

    I love clearing out my closet, but I can get quiet attached to my clothes if I bought them in a special city or someone bought them for me. Great tips!!

  10. Lutheranliar | 17th Feb 18

    Great advice! To the list of questions I would add ‘Does this make me look like a little old lady?’ Which doesn’t pertain to you. But if you’re my age, makes you seriously reconsider animal prints.

  11. simplysensationalfood | 17th Feb 18

    This post is so good and I really need to declutter and clear out clothes that I have never worn in months, I just need the strength to do this.

  12. notebooksandglasses | 17th Feb 18

    Some great advice in this post. It’s common sense stuff but when you’re faced with doing such a task you tend to forget the common sense approach and your mind goes blank. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Amelia | 18th Feb 18

    This was exactly what I needed to read right now, thank you! I recently lost 20kg and I’ve been so lost when it comes to cleaning out and starting again

  14. kavita singh | 18th Feb 18

    Must say such a great post!! I am very organised and completely agree with you on the front of having a smaller space is better

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