The No-BS Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet

  • Style
    The No-BS Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet


Whether you live north or south of the equator, there’s no doubt that the new season has well and truly kicked in. And with the new season comes new trends, new purchases and… Nowhere to hang them because your closet is a hot mess. Ahead, a (near-painless) guide we’ve put together to make that essential wardrobe clean-out quick, easy and even a little fun.

Step 1: Pull it all out. Yes. All of it.

Consider your new wardrobe like a piece of art - you’ll need a blank canvas to start! Choose a day (or night) where you can dedicate your full attention to the task, as you’ll need to literally take everything you own out before you can start editing. If your closet is empty but your floor/bed/sofa is now strewn with clothes, you’re doing it right.

Step 2: The tough questions.

Now that your wardrobe’s empty, you can start slowly refilling it. Instantly put back any new season purchases, as we’re assuming you bought those to wear ASAP. With the remaining pile of clothing, hold up each piece individually and ask yourself a few questions:

“Have I worn this in the past 12 months?” - If not, ditch it. Chances are you wouldn’t have worn it in the next 12 months anyway.

“Is this piece beyond repair?” - While cuffs can be hemmed and waists taken in, there’s really no coming back from yellowed whites, awkwardly shrunken denim or food stains - as much as we try to deny, nothing gets chocolate out. Ditch it.

“Is this piece really ‘me’?” - And not some alternate version of ‘you’ that was two years ago or potentially in the future. Do you love and wear this piece right now? If not, it’s time to go. There’s no point giving up precious closet real estate for pieces you don’t currently wear.

Once you’ve gone through every item and asked these three questions, you should have a few new piles of clothes: ones that you’re definitely keeping, ones that you know need to go, and ones that are being a little bit awkward about it.

If it looks like this, you're doing it right... Source: Pinterest

Step 3: Weeding out the awkward in-betweeners.

This is where the process gets a little messy/lazy/optimistic/sentimental. You have a pile of clothes that you don’t instantly wear and love, but can’t immediately put in the ‘toss’ pile either. Go through every item in this pile and really figure out what it is that’s holding you back. Was it a gift from someone that you don’t really wear but would feel bad giving away? Did you wear it on a particularly amazing first date/interview and don’t want to part with the good vibes? Did you make a snap splurge on something a little exxy and don’t want to flush those dollars down the drain? All legitimate reasons to stall, but if you’re serious about a wardrobe clean-out, you have to be honest - repeat step two with these awkward in-betweeners, and keep on repeating until you’ve whittled this pile right down to zero.

Step 4: Refill time.

Now, the fun part. With everything that’s going back in your wardrobe, hang them facing the same way. Every time you wear a piece, hang it back facing the opposite way when you’re done. This is a super simple way to tell what you’re actually wearing versus what you thought you’d be wearing - making your next closet clean-out even easier. For items that are out of season (eg. bulky coats or summery dresses), store them in dust boxes or vac-seal bags to free up more hanging space. If you really want to ace this step, hang items by category and ensure all buttons, zips and fasteners are done up, and nothing’s hanging inside out. You’ll feel a lot more lush about the whole thing, so trust.

Step 5: Sort out your floor-drobe.

With the clothes that didn’t make the cut, go through and decide which are worth re-gifting (this is where younger siblings or thrifty friends come in reaaaaal handy), which are good enough to donate to charity, and which should never see the light of day and are best recycled. Once you’ve done this, action it! Piles of clothes on your floor are no better than an over-stuffed wardrobe, so the quicker you get moving, the quicker you’ll be able to bask in your own Marie Kondo-ness. And that’s what we’re all here for, right?


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