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Tips on Decluttering Your Closet

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UIC chapter.

At one point or another, all of us are guilty of having too many clothes, or straight up clutter accumulated in our closets. So much that it can be downright frustrating. There are a few signs that could indicate it’s time to declutter your closet, whether it’s full of clothes you no longer wear, you have everything so jam-packed that your clothes are wrinkly, you can’t possibly fit anything else in your closet, you have too many shoes, or it’s simply time to get rid of some things you no longer want/need.

  1. Ask Yourself Some Questions

One of the first things you can do would be to start asking yourself some simple questions. Do you still love it? How often do you wear it? Will you continue to wear it? Does it itch or scratch? Is it stained? Does it pinch or hurt your feet? Are the heels too high? Is it old or smelly? And lastly, does it still fit? I know I’m guilty of keeping things that no longer fit me, or for any of the above reasons, but this is how clothes, shoes, and other items clutter, until the next thing you know, you have a full closet, waiting to be emptied. So the next time you feel like clearing out your closet, make sure you ask yourself these questions, and be honest about what you should and shouldn’t keep.

  1. Sell Clothes Online

You may have a lot of clothes you continue to hang on to for the fact that they were on the expensive side, are name brand, or don’t just want to give away. For that reason, you should consider selling clothes online, as there are a lot of websites and apps that have allowed for just that. These can include places like Poshmark, Curtsy, Depop, Mercari, TheRealReal for the more expensive items you own, and many more. While for some, selling clothes online might seem like too much work, or it’s not something you think you have time for, then you can always sell clothes at a resale shop, such as Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, CrossRoads, or any local thrift shop near you. Make sure whatever it is you sell, is in good condition, has no stains, rips, tears, and has a lot of life left to it. 

  1. Commit to a Weekly or Monthly Sweep

The more often you commit to decluttering, the less time it will take, and the easier it will be. What this will actually look like depends on the person. It can take as little as 10-15 minutes, and can simply be picking up items that have fallen off the hanger, putting items in a donation box, re-hanging or refolding clothes, and whatever else you want it to be. If a weekly or monthly sweep sounds like it’s too often, then switch it up to every three, six months, or everytime the seasons change. Do whatever feels right for you, and won’t make you feel overwhelmed, because as we all know, the reason so many of us put off decluttering our closet is due to how time consuming and overwhelming it can be. 

  1. Evaluate Your Clothes Seasonally 

Depending on where you live, you might only have to worry about summer, fall, and spring, and not winter, or you might have all four seasons to think about, or only two. Regardless of where you live, think about which items are most useful, and frequently worn by you. If for example, you live in California, where it’s warmer throughout the year then there isn’t any reason to have more than one coat, and mountains of jackets/sweaters. On the other hand, if you live in a place like Chicago or New York City, where winters can be brutal, you’ll definitely want more than one coat, unless you absolutely know you only wear one coat. The point is that when you start getting rid of items you no longer need and find useful, the better you’re going to feel. If you aren’t ready to get rid of anything, then swapping out all of your fall clothes for summer ones, and then storing the fall clothes in a bin, can create less space in your closet. 

  1. Donate

Now, if you’re ready, and know exactly what clothes or shoes you don’t want or wear anymore, then donate them. Nothing feels better than donating gently used items you know would better serve someone else. Even if you’re not quite at the stage of donating, it helps to know where the nearest donation place is located. That way, once you’re done decluttering and purging your wardrobe, you can quickly take everything away, and be one step closer to having a clutter free closet. 

Gaby is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Communication and Psychology. In her free time, she likes to eat sushi, workout, and read books.