How to unclutter your closet reminds many women of the mess that has accumulated behind the closet doors. There are a few pieces near the front that are worn over and over again. These are the dress pants that fit just right and the blouses you wear to the office every day, your favorite jeans and tees, and the summer dresses you love. Behind them are the pieces that are worn less often, but still useful wardrobe pieces that are brought out from time to time; the dressy dresses, the jumpsuit that makes you look oh-so-slender and the print leggings that might have been a mistake but are fun to wear. Beyond that lie the unworn pieces, the forgotten items, and the clutter that seems to fill your closet by spontaneous generation.
The end of the season is the perfect time to unclutter your closet to prepare for fall. It’s time to thin out, trim down and rearrange your closet so everything fits and makes sense. To get to the back wall you haven’t seen for a year or more, take everything out of your closet. You’ll be surprised to find how much actually is in there. Put it all in one big pile on your carpet or your bed. When you can finally see the closet walls, ceiling and floor, you’ll be sure you got it all out. Now the task of sorting begins.
You are now going to separate the pile you have made into four smaller piles. The first pile will be those pieces you wear, use and want to keep. The second pile will be for pieces you don’t want to keep any more, but are really good items. The third is clothing, shoes and accessories that are a bit worn but still have some use in them and the fourth, pieces with little or no worth that are of no value. Think carefully as you sort your closet into four piles. Ask yourself it you have used a certain piece during the past year. If not, you probably do not need to keep it. If jeans have become too tight or if you have lost weight recently and have clothing that is too loose, it might as well go.
The first pile of things to keep should include all pieces that you wear on a regular basis, slacks and jeans that fit well, out-of-season apparel, boots and scarves that will be worn again this fall and winter, and seldom-worn special occasion wear, cocktail and formal wear you use occasionally. As you begin to put these pieces back in your closet, hang blouses and shirts together, skirts and jackets together, pants and jeans together and dresses together. Put your special occasion apparel in a clothing bag to protect it and keep it fresh and clean, Fold sweaters and put them in a plastic box on the floor of the closet. Keep pairs of shoes and boots together on the floor on a shoe rack.
The really good items you don’t want might find a home at a consignment shop where you can earn extra money by selling them. If you have designer labels and high-end apparel, consider taking it to Revente, Roundabouts Consignments or Curious Closet. If you’d like to sell online, you can do so from your home on therealreal.com luxury consignment or threadflip.com, a top brand consignment website. You may be surprised to find that designer jeans that don’t fit, new blouses that were a mistake and platform heels you can’t really wear are saleable and in demand. Check out these possibilities for an unseen opportunity.
The third pile, the clothing and shoes that are Walmart and Kmart house brands, things that are a bit faded, stretched or worn, and styles went out of date several years ago, will be donated to Goodwill, Stepping Stones Thrift Store, His House Ministries or your favorite thrift shop. Items that still have wear in them will be resold at very reasonable prices to low-budget shoppers and those looking for real deals. Fold your items and put them in cardboard boxes or plastic trash bags. If you have too much to carry easily or too much to fit in your car, charitable thrift shops will often send a truck to pick them up. Just call and ask if this is possible.
The fourth and last pile should contain those items that have little use left in them, are hopelessly worn and of no value. These pieces are destined for the trash or, in some cities, for recycling. Check to see if your city has a drop-off site for recycling apparel; sadly, many cities do not. If there are tee shirts in the pile, you may want to keep them for dusting and polishing cloths. They are wonderfully soft and work with Pledge or Liquid Gold to clean and shine your wood cabinets and furniture. If there is an animal shelter in your town or city, see if they can use clothing for bedding. Cats love to curl up in cozy old sweaters with holes and puppies can play for hours with old shoes and socks. Shabby plush robes make excellent pet bedding.
When you’re done, step back and look at your closet. Everything is hanging neatly, sweaters are in a plastic box, shoes on a rack or neatly lined, and you can actually see the ceiling, walls and floor. What a change! As you begin to fill the spaces with new pieces for fall, challenge yourself to keep it neatly arranged and clutter-free.
As always, maximize your style and minimize your spending~