Decluttering your closet may seem daunting at first. It’s always been a challenging task for me. I could perhaps attribute this to the emotional attachment I have to my clothes where the hardest part is finding the courage to acknowledge that. For a long time, my closet could have literally burst at any given moment due to how full it was at all times.
So, I tried various techniques to declutter, and the one I’m utilizing now honestly kind of feels like cheating (see number 4 in tactics). It works for me though! And with that, I give you an exhaustive list of ways to declutter your closet, specifically targeted at my fellow clothing-hoarders. I promise you will feel brand new afterward.
- Turn the hanger around
When putting away clean clothes, turn the hanger around the opposite way so you know that you have worn that item already. It encourages you to wear other clothes you haven’t touched in a while. It also allows you to challenge your style by pairing new items together to get the chicest look you didn’t realize you had on hand! At the end of the month, take a look at the items you didn’t wear, and you might be able to decide it’s time to let it go.
You can continue this process for up to a year, and at that one year mark, if that hanger still hasn’t turned around, it really is time to say “bye-bye.” I know it can be hard. I’ve been there. You can try selling on Poshmark, Mercari, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, to friends, at a local consignment shop, and more! I have personally made some success with Poshmark and the more I sell, the more encouraged I am to sell. If you don’t want to sell your clothes, donate to a charitable organization like the Lupus Foundation or St. Judes. You’ll get a tax write-off as well.
- Color code your closet
I started doing this initially because I wanted my closet space to be more organized, but it actually helped me shop less. That’s because when I was in the store, I thought about whether I had any items similar to that specific style or color. This was often a valuable way to deter me from buying something I didn’t need, so I regularly use this tactic. I realize this is more of a preventative measure. In order to declutter by utilizing this method, you can try to get rid of some items of which you own the same color or style. After all, you really don’t need fifteen black cardigans.
- Have an at-home fashion show
Bare with me now: When you have some spare time, pick an item you don’t typically wear, and try to pair it with a newer item. Maybe you’ve never tried a certain combination, and it turns out to be something you really like. This helps me declutter a lot. If I attempt to pair a blouse with every pair of pants I own and nothing looks right, it encourages me to get rid of it because there’s a zero chance I’ll actually wear it.
- Store old items that you still kinda dig elsewhere for six months
If your drawers are starting to overflow, take out some items you rarely wear and pop them up in the attic or to a high, uneasily reachable shelf in your closet. Set a reminder on your phone for five months later. Forget about those clothes. When the five months are up, retrieve your beloved oldies and watch how fast you treat them like you just went shopping. If you still hate it, list it or give it away.
I made a small fortune consigning old brand-name clothes I barely wore and put the money towards school and my car payment. If you have minimal expenses, you can spend your cash on an experience or perhaps even an investment. I mean, who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? I personally prefer to consign in high paying and/or touristy areas because the people there are willing to pay top dollar for my items resulting in a fatter paycheck.
- Host a clothing swap party
Okay, I know we are decluttering here, but if it’s as hard for you as it was (is) for me, then baby steps are key. Sometimes getting one new item helps you let go of multiple old ones, via a swap with friends. At the end of the swap, if some of your items are left unclaimed, resist the urge to take them back. You put them in this pile because you decided you no longer can use them. Collectively decide where or whom you wish to donate the excess items to, and then do it! You’ll feel good about giving to people in need. I know I always do.
Decluttering helps you enjoy your living space more. You deserve to live in a clean, organized space and devote your time to advancing your career and personal development. A messy closet and drawers can make people feel lazy, unorganized, and in extreme cases, unmotivated. With these tips and a little will power, I promise you got this!