Guide to Cleaning Your Closet


Whether you've got a small wardrobe or a roomy walk-in space, knowing how to clean your closet is essential throughout the seasons. As we move through spring and into summer, we're looking for warm-weather wear, and we need to make room for those styles and new pieces. But going through your closet can seem overwhelming, and doing it every season could make it an even more daunting task.

With help from this guide to cleaning your closet, though, you'll be able to complete the task in no time and maybe even make a bit of room for new items for the season. Learn how to organize your closet and how to figure out what to keep or get rid of with this closet cleanout guide.

1. Know What to Keep

Know What to Keep

Take everything out of your closet or go section by section and make a tough choice — what do you want to keep? If you've gathered a lot of clothing in your wardrobe, you may have to make a lot of cuts, especially if you plan on getting new pieces for the season. Try to limit what you keep and focus on the following.

  • Wardrobe staples: Keeping staples in your closet will help you create a variety of outfits with the new clothes you get. Neutral colors and simple textures are generally the right styles for wardrobe staples, but you should also base it on what you usually wear. For instance, jeans may be a staple for some, but if you don't wear them often, you won't need to keep all your denim.
  • Versatile pieces: Light fabric, shorter sleeves, layering pieces and more can transition from season to season. Hold onto these valuable clothing items that you can and like to wear year-round, so your wardrobe is still functional.
  • Favorites: Cleaning out your closet doesn't mean you need to get rid of all your clothes. If you have pieces you like, whether they're comfortable or sentimental, keep them in your wardrobe, since you know you'll wear them.
  • Seasonal pieces: While the weather is warming up now, the temperatures will drop again, and you'll need your sweaters and bulkier items. Sort what you like and know you'll wear once the seasons change. If you have the space outside of your closet, store your out-of-season wear somewhere else to open up space in your wardrobe.

Check your clothes or try them on, even if they fall into the categories above, to make sure they're still wearable. If not, you'll have to get rid of them along with other pieces.

2. Know What to Get Rid Of

One of the most useful tips for cleaning out your closet is saying goodbye to some clothes. If, after going through your wardrobe, your pile of clothes to keep is larger than what you want to get rid of, you may need to go back through. Part ways with any pieces that meet the following conditions.

  • You haven't worn them in a year: One of the most common rules for cleaning out your closet is that if you can't remember wearing an item of clothing for over a year, it's time to say goodbye. One way to keep track is to hang all of your clothes with the hanger facing backward. When you wear them, turn the hanger around. At the end of the year, get rid of clothes with reverse-facing hangers.
  • They don't fit: Maybe something shrunk in the wash, or it's just not your size anymore. You may be able to get rid of clothes that don't fit based on what you haven't worn in a year, but you can always double-check and try on pieces you aren't sure of. If they feel uncomfortable, it's time to ditch them.
  • They're out of style: If you fill your wardrobe with bold trends each season, you may eventually find that a section of your closet looks like it's stuck in the past. While there's nothing wrong with reviving trends from a year or two ago, you'll likely want to make room for this year's fashionable pieces. You may also need to revamp your style if you have new needs, from formal to professional wear, so make room and get rid of styles you no longer wear.
  • They need repairs: Sometimes, we feel tempted to keep pieces that need a hem or a patch, but unless you have the sewing skills and the time to get around to it, it may not be worth taking up valuable space in your closet. If you do repair your clothes, only keep pieces that need minor fixes.

With a new season, you may be digging out shorts and other warm-weather wear you haven't seen in a year. Have a try-on session and separate your clothes into "keep" and "donate" piles. If your clothes are in good condition, but you don't want them, don't forget about the possibility of giving them away.

3. Donate What You Can

We all have a section of our closet that we didn't get much wear out of. But that means a pile of clothes can go to a new home, and that's a win-win. You get extra space in your closet, and someone in need can get clothes that are new to them.

Have clothes you've worn for a bit, but no longer want? Check the guidelines for your local donation centers to make sure they're in the right condition. Gently used clothing that's free of damage or stains is probably OK to donate, but it's always best to double-check. Remember that our Spanish Fork location has our consignment section where you can bring it your like-new clothing and earn money when those items sell. It's a great way to recycle clothing which ends up being good for your budget and the environment.

You can also host a clothing swap with your friends to encourage everyone to clean out their closets and discover new pieces on a budget. Donate whatever's left to still benefit your community and avoid taking more clothes than you have room for to help you stay organized.

4. Keep It Organized

Keep It Organized

Don't go through the organization process only to end up with a cluttered closet again after a few weeks. Stay on top of things with a few tips on how to organize your closet once you have more room. First, start with how you hang your clothes.

With an organization system, you can reach in and know where everything is, meaning you won't end up with piles of clothes you grabbed, didn't need and didn't put back. It'll also be easier to put your clothes away after doing the laundry once you implement an organization system. Find a way that works for you with these tips.

  • Weather: Base how you hang your clothes on the weather where you live. Sort warm-weather wear together with shorts, skirts, short dresses and short-sleeved shirts to one side and have cooler-weather items on the other. If you have versatile pieces that you can wear and layer in different temperatures, keep those in the middle.
  • Color: If you put together your outfits based on the color you feel like wearing, hanging your clothes by color is a great — and satisfying — way to stay organized. When you have a particular clothing item you want to wear, you can look in that color section. It also makes putting clothes away easier, since everything will have a clear place.
  • Purpose: With a different wardrobe for work, evenings, weekends, workouts and more, your closet can become a bit jumbled. Separate your clothes based on why you wear them, and make them more or less accessible as you need. Keep work clothes front and center to make it less of a chore to get ready in the morning, and put other styles, like formal dresses, to the side if you don't need them as often. If you have pieces you wear for multiple purposes, put them between the sections to keep your categories clear.

Figure out what works for you or combine organization tips to make your closet more efficient. If you've got accessories or a lot of items to hang, consider DIY closet organizer ideas. Attach hooks to a wooden hanger to hold your belts or use soda can tabs to stack your hangers for more hanging space and more room for new clothes.

Get New Clothes for Spring With My Sister's Closet

If you've managed to say goodbye to many pieces from your wardrobe, replenish it with new clothes from My Sister's Closet. With fashionable boutique clothes at everyday prices, you can replace sections of your wardrobe with our trendy and easy-to-wear styles.

Browse our clothing selection today to find new pieces that will fit in perfectly with your newly organized closet. Whether you're looking for tops, bottoms, dresses or more, you'll discover your next fashion statement with My Sister's Closet!