Closet decluttering doesn’t need to be overwhelming – in fact, with these tips, it can even be easy!
Organizing professionals ranked bedroom closets as the number two most cluttered area in the home, coming in only behind linen closets. So don’t feel bad at all if you’re in need of some closet decluttering advice!
It is very easy to allow clothes clutter to accumulate over the years, and bedroom closets can also become storage space for many other items too.
So don’t worry if your clothes closet is an overwhelming mess – you’re in the right place to get some real actionable solutions right now!
Free Decluttering Checklist
To get started on your own closet decluttering project, be sure to download the Ultimate Decluttering Checklist from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library! With over 140 items you can quickly declutter from your home, this list is a quick guide to help you see what things you have around that are the biggest clutter culprits.
Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission if you click through or purchase at no cost to you. For more information, click here.
1. Declutter, don’t organize
Before we go any further it’s really important to make a big distinction here:
Organizing is NOT the same thing as decluttering.
To organize means to rearrange, or to put things in a different order.
Decluttering, on the other hand, means removing unnecessary items.
Decluttering requires that you actually get rid of stuff. It is the act of purging and letting go.
If you’ve tried to declutter in the past and feel as if you’ve failed because your space didn’t stay “decluttered,” it’s likely that you probably did a great job of organizing your closet – but didn’t actually declutter.
Decide now that you will actually declutter this time around. Be like Elsa and let it go! (I know, I know. I couldn’t resist!)
2. Prepare mentally to declutter
Decluttering your clothes closet can definitely be trickier than decluttering your laundry room or kitchen. We rarely have sentimental or emotional attachments to a pair of kitchen shears, but these types of attachments can occur frequently with clothing.
Read this article for a detailed look into eleven different reasons why we hold onto clothes we never wear – and how to get past them!
Before you begin decluttering your closet, it’s important to decide that this project is about deciding what to keep, NOT about what to give away. While that may seem like an incredibly subtle distinction, it can make a huge difference!
Focus on the things you really want to keep. Do you want to keep them because they boost your confidence? Or because they’re comfortable? Or they’re very functional or versatile?
For example, if you hold up a dress you bought a year ago that still has the tags on it, you may realize the only reason you’ve been keeping it is that you spent good money on it. If that is the case, holding onto the dress won’t bring the money back.
To learn more about how to mentally prepare to declutter (and get a step by step plan to declutter your entire house!), check out my affordable online course, Decluttering Simplified!
3. The 3 bin system for closet decluttering
Before you declutter, you’ll want to gather 3 bins, boxes, or bags. It’s okay if they’re all different shapes and sizes! Use whatever you already have on hand.
Next, put all of your clothes on your bed – seeing them all together can be hugely motivating to make a big decluttering cut.
The first thing to do is put all of the clothes that you wear regularly back in your closet ASAP (but read Tip #4 about evaluating your closet space first!).
Once you’ve selected your favorites, it’s time to sort the remaining clothes. You may end up putting some things back in your closet as you sort, but many of the clothes will belong in one of the three bins.
Here’s what each bin is for:
- This container is for anything that would not be a blessing to anyone. If an item is too broken, stained, old, scuffed, torn, etc, it should go here. Also, if you’ve been holding onto items that have needed to be repaired for more than 30 days, get rid of these too. (If that item was truly important to you, you’d have made the necessary repairs already, right?!)
- This bin is for anything that is in good repair that you are ready to give away. Expect that this pile will be very large.
- It is also a great idea to choose a person or organization to give your donations to before you actually start decluttering!
- This container is your insurance. If you’re having difficulty deciding whether or not to keep or purge an item, put it in this container for now. Then put this box out of sight, possibly under a bed or in the attic. Set a reminder in your phone to check it in six months’ time. Items that you haven’t missed at all are now ready to be donated too! (The wait box can really help you to keep moving quickly and give you some peace of mind. Try to keep this pile very small.)
4. Evaluate your space
As mentioned in Tip #3, it’s a great idea to get everything out of your closet. That may seem like a huge task, but it is THE very best way to consider the closet space you have available to you!
Pay attention to things like the location, length and height of hanging bars, the size and height of shelves, drawers, etc.
Decide on the best location for storing these categories:
- large accessories (scarves, hats, belts)
Ask yourself where you can create more storage spaces. Could you put fabric bins on the top shelf to hold sweaters? Or install an additional hanging bar for your trousers? Do you need more shoe storage? Do you have a lot of large accessories, such as hats, scarves, or belts? Where do you want to keep your jewelry? Where will you put handbags?
If you really want to optimize your closet space in the best way possible, check out the amazing services from Easy Closets! You can get a free design consultation for every last inch of your closet. They’ll build what you need, ship it to you, and then you can easily install it. To get 5% off of your order and FREE shipping, click on the image below!
Having a custom closet designed for my wardrobe has been THE key to keeping my closet decluttered for the past four years! Everything has its perfect place, and any time I add a new item, it has a home waiting for it already.
5. Choose the best hangers for the job
One incredibly simple way to keep your closet looking beautifully decluttered is to purchase all matching hangers for your clothes. Mismatched plastic or wire hangers can quickly give your closet a messy appearance.
Here are my top recommendations for clothes hangers:
Nothing says upscale for your closet like these gorgeous wooden hangers.
The hook can swivel 360* and the sizable notch keeps tops and dresses in place. The crossbar is perfect for hanging pants, leggings, and skirts.
I kept my seasonal capsule wardrobe on these hangers for more than four years now. You’ll love how pretty they look in your closet!
If you are looking to save space, keeping everything looking uniform, and keep your clothes from sliding off the hanger, these pretty black velvet hangers will do the trick!
I’ve used these all through the clothes closets in my house and they’re perfect for so many different items because nothing can slide off of them!
If you have a lot of scarves or if your spouse has a large necktie collection, you NEED this hanging scarf organizer! The fact that you’ll be able to see all of your scarves at once is so helpful.
This hanger is the absolute best way to stop your camis and tanks from sliding off other hangers.
Also, if you don’t have room in a dresser drawer to store your bras laying flat, this hanger is a fantastic solution.
There are many different options for space-saving pants and skirts hangers, but I really like this one with the large foam piece that surrounds each rung. Because it’s so cushioned, wrinkles are kept to a minimum – hooray!
6. Store shoes neatly
The question about how to store your shoes is definitely an important one in designing your decluttered bedroom closet! There are tons of great options for storing shoes in an orderly way.
Here are some of my favorite options.
If you have a lot of shoes and you want to see them all at once, this shoe rack can definitely hold a lot!
The really great thing about this shoe rack is that you can easily customize it. Simply omit one of the shelves to create a place for boots and high-heeled shoes.
These hanging shoe shelves can hold up to 30 pairs of shoes (although you can fit two pairs of flat sandals or flip flops in once cube if you need to!).
If you have extra room on your hanging bar in your closet, this is a great option to use the space and create vertical storage.
This shoe shelf is particularly awesome because you can choose to display your shoes either flat or slanted for a more aesthetic appeal.
Plus, these shelves are stackable, so if you need more storage and have the room to go vertical, do it!
If you are extremely limited on space, consider an over-the-door storage solution like this!
Or, if you have an open wall with no room for shelves (like my bedroom closet when we lived in Japan!), you could hang this organizer with wall anchors and screws straight into the wall!
7. Keep your sweaters organized
Sweaters can often be tricky to store neatly. They’re often too big and bulky for many dresser drawers, and while they look pretty neatly stacked, they don’t always stay that way!
These storage bins are perfect for storing your sweaters for several reasons. First, you can easily see what’s inside thanks to the convenient mesh front and side panels.
Next, these bins have a metal wire frame – so they won’t bow outward or lose their shape over time!
Third, the lid keeps your sweaters from getting dusty during the months that you’re not wearing them as often.
8. Store jewelry neatly and conveniently
Regardless of how often you wear jewelry, it is a good idea to have a way to keep it organized and looking its best! To keep your closet looking decluttering, you may consider getting rid of a jewelry box on top of your dresser and opting for a way to store your jewelry elsewhere.
Here are a few good options:
If you have drawer space
These jewelry trays are perfect for keeping your necklaces and bracelets from getting tangled, and keeping your earrings organized.
Be sure to measure the drawer you want to put these in first!
If you are short on space, this awesome hanging jewelry organizer has 80 pockets to store all of your earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces. There are pockets on both sides and the pockets at the bottom are larger than the others.
If it weren’t for the hanging jewelry organizer I had in Japan, I don’t know how I’d have kept my jewelry looking decent!
9. Find solutions for storing accessories
Once your clothes, shoes, and jewelry all have a home, it’s finally time to have a storage solution for your accessories, such as belts, hats, and handbags.
Here are my favorites for each:
This is a great little storage rack for you belts!
(I use the second rack for holding long or chunky necklaces.)
If you don’t have the wall space, consider a hanging belt organizer instead.
If you wear hats such as fedoras, beach hats, cowboy hats, and more, this is the perfect hat box! The zip-top keeps your favorite hats dust-free and in good shape when they’re not in use.
There are lots of storage options out there for a great baseball cap organizer, too!
If you love a beautiful handbag, you know that you want to keep it dust free and looking its best!
This hanging handbag storage is ideal for handbags of many shapes and sizes!
10. Try the hanger experiment
After you’ve gone through all your clothes and decided what to keep, it’s a great idea to try the hanger experiment. When you put your clothes back in your closet, put them on hangers and put the hanger on the rod facing backwards.
Then when you wear an item, put it back into your closet and switch the hanger around so it’s facing the correct way.
After a few months you’ll be able to take a quick glance at your closet and see which pieces you rarely wear!
11. Do small closet decluttering projects regularly
Once you’ve had the hanger experiment going for about six months, take a look at the things you’ve haven’t worn at all. If you haven’t worn them because they’re out of season that’s fine.
But if they are in season, ask yourself whether they are worth keeping. (In all likelihood, it’s probably going to be best to declutter them since you haven’t worn them at all.)
Every few months, do a quick inventory of your clothes, shoes, and accessories to see if anything has fallen into disrepair and needs mending. If these pieces are important to you, take care of them promptly!
Final thoughts on closet decluttering
To help you get through the process of decluttering your closet, I have a completely free mini-course called The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rid of Closet Clutter! I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and cheer you along your way!
To learn more about the free closet decluttering mini-course, click here or on the image below!