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Why You Need to Do a Closet Cleanout!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Most, if not all, of us have shouted from our rooms to ask our mothers where our favorite shirt is. When it’s nowhere to be found, we assume they’ll know where it’s hiding. However, more often than not, they find it in a split second because it’s lurking somewhere in our closets. This is then followed by a speech about how maybe if there were some order in the room, you’d be able to find everything easily. 

The term “closet cleanout” may not be all that unfamiliar to you. Your favorite lifestyle YouTuber may have posted a video doing a closet cleanout. You may have complained on the phone with your friend about how you are running out of closet space while online shopping. You may have seen a few series on Netflix about home decor and organization. Looking closely, it does seem that organization is becoming trendy. With shows like Get OrganizedTidying Up with Marie Kondo and Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo gaining more traction and popularity among more than just your modern-day Martha Stewarts, it is clear that making good use of your space is being prioritized. People are intrigued by the best practices for effective utilization of their space — and for good reason.

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If you haven’t looked too much into making the best use of your space, you may be interested to know that there are several psychological benefits of living without clutter. First, it can contribute to setting the tone for the day or even the week. To that effect, Psychology Today’s Alice Boyes cements in her 2018 article “6 Benefits of an Uncluttered Space” that “decluttering utilizes your decision-making and problem-solving skills,” therefore increasing your sense of self-efficacy. You will be more likely to think on your feet and have moments of insight. In this way, decluttering pulls you into a positive mind frame. This productive headspace can be a key factor in keeping you motivated to continue getting things done throughout the day.

According to 2016 U.S. News article “Why Decluttering Is Good for Your Health” by Kristine Crane, Darcey Rojas— wellness advocate and healthy home designer— believes that ensuring you live in a space free from disarray “leads to healthier habits.” In conjunction, Boyes furthers that “creating order relieves […] anxiety.” When everything is in its place and the order established makes sense, it is easier to know where to find something. Consequently, there is less scrambling when you’re running late because you slept in or because you made last-minute plans. 

A clean space is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for success. Just in relation to one’s closet, a closet cleanout will allow one to visualize what is missing from one’s closet, understand what staple pieces one needs to build a complete wardrobe and rediscover forgotten clothing items. Those hidden treasures will make the process all the more worthwhile.

Maximizing your closet space will do wonders for one’s productivity levels. One can avoid wavering concentration and remain zeroed in on one’s responsibilities, as clutter will not be an added distraction. While some stress is good and can even be healthy, too much of it can be harmful and debilitating. According to Web MD’s 2021 article titled “How Clutter Can Affect Your Health” medically reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, “women who saw their homes as cluttered had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day, while those who described their abode as a well-organized, restful space had lower levels.” Therefore, it is crucial to aim to create a home that allows one’s mind to be at ease.

When you’re ready to get started, follow a system that works for you. Go by a rule such as “if the clothing item hasn’t been worn in a year, then it has to go.” Tweak this to your liking to fit your needs but try to be as strict as possible for it to be a productive cleanout. Try on everything and make sure you still like how everything fits you. I recommend going section by section — i.e. going through tops first, pants next then shorts, etc. Lastly, make sure your old clothes get good use out of them. Throw out what cannot be given to someone else. Offer the rest to your friends and family and research donation sites you have nearby. Surely someone else can give them love and you can live in a tidier, cleaner space. It’s a win-win!

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Daniela is a junior majoring in Media/Communication Studies at Florida State University, with high hopes to live in a beautiful city one day. She loves James Patterson novels, pandas, going on coffee runs, and exercising- whether it be weight training, yoga, or walking. You'll almost always see her studying at Barnes&Noble, running laps around her neighborhood, or at home watching just about any reality TV show. You can find her on Instagram @dani.palacios