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Closet Clean Out and Organization Tips

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If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, rearranging your closet might just help you get a fresh start and feel like you’re doing something productive! These closet clean out tips will help you get started.

**Hope you’re enjoying catching up on some of these older posts while I’m on maternity leave. This one is a good one, if I do say so myself. :)

Who is ready for a new week?! Try to contain your enthusiasm, ha! Just think, we’re one day closer to “normal”, right? (Right?) Hang in there, we can do this! (2021 update – HAHAHAHAHA)

When I asked you a while back for things you wanted to see here during this time of global chaos, you said to continue as normal, for a little escape from it all. And specifically, some of you asked for help with cleaning out and organizing your closets!

If you happen to have a little extra time at home these days (and I know you do), tackling that closet might be a good project. Just think of how much easier it will be to get dressed for work/church/errands/a night out once we’re all cleared to do so! Let’s get started with a few closet clean out tips.

closet clean out tips - JK Style

3 Closet Clean Out Tips

1. Just take it all out

Start in one section of your closet and remove everything. (If you can and you have the space, you can do it all at once!) You’ll want to find a large open area for sorting and making piles. For me, it’s usually the bed. (This is a good reason to do a section at once. If I run out of time and am doing the whole closet, I now have to move alllll the clothes to somewhere else before I can go to sleep!)

While you can definitely just grab things from the closet as you spot them to remove, I suggest yanking it all out so everything gets a good hard look! (This is going to save you time in the long run, I promise!)

Once you’ve got a nice pile of clothing, you’re ready to edit.

2. Does it fit?

Yes, it was on sale. Yes, you’ve had it for 22 years. Yes, it was expensive. But does it fit? If the answer is yes, keep it in the “maybe” pile. (We’ll come back to it.) If the answer is no, ask yourself a couple of questions.

  • Would tailoring make it fit? (having it hemmed, letting out or taking in the waist band, shortening the sleeves, etc.)
  • Is it likely to fit soon? – Maybe you recently had a child or started an intense workout regimen that you know will change your body. If that’s the case and you’ve got items that *might* fit later, go ahead and move them to that “maybe” pile too.
  • Do you like how it fits? Maybe it zips but puckers in weird places. Maybe it looks like a decent length until you sit down. If it fits but doesn’t flatter, give it a toss.

Please do yourself a kind favor and get rid of clothes that don’t fit your body as it is now. Yes, you might lose weight, gain weight, change in some way, but you also might not, and that’s OK. You don’t have to fit into the jeans you wore in college to deserve to wear jeans you love. Toss the old ones and find a new pair that look great and make you feel great.

For those items you think could be altered in some way, answer this honestly. Will you actually get them altered? Will you at some point drive to a tailor or sit down at your machine and make the alterations? If so, great. If not, toss them. They’ll sit in your closet for the next decade untouched.

Now that you’ve got a “toss” and a “maybe” pile, lets look at those maybes.

3. Do you actually like it? (or even better, LOVE it?)

I’m not saying that every item in your closet has to be the most amazing purchase you’ve ever made, but even things like a simple tee or layering tank should be things that you like how they fit and that work well for you.

If you’ve got some sweaters you love and some that you just don’t, well, get rid of them and wear what you love!

If you only leave with one tip today, make it this one: You know that shirt (or sweater, dress, whatever) that you keep putting on and then taking it off because it just doesn’t work? Get rid of it. Quit trying to make it work on you. If it doesn’t fit you right or feel like “you”, or make you happy, find something that does!

Why settle for OK if you know there are things that are GREAT? This is your opportunity to curate a closet that you actually love and feel excited to step into each day. 

Now that you’ve got your “toss” and “keep” piles, here are a few more tips before I tell you what to do with them!

More Closet Clean Out Tips

*Have a top that goes with your favorite skirt but don’t love it? It’s OK to hang on to it (if you’re wearing it) until you find the perfect replacement.

*I’m not one of those people who think that every item in your closet has to be practical or go with 15 different outfits to justify keeping it. I have plenty of items that I wear one way and one way only. That works for me, but if it doesn’t work for you, that’s OK too.

*Cost shouldn’t be a deciding factor in keeping something, but I know it can be. Don’t think about the price you paid for the item, think about the emotional cost of keeping it in your closet and making you feel bad every time you don’t wear it. Sell it or donate it (if it’s in good shape) to help ease some of your guilt.

*Keep a separate pile for items that need care – need dry cleaning, need a button replaced, etc. Try to tackle that pile quickly before they sit there for months!

*Have an item that doesn’t fit/flatter and that you know you won’t wear again but it holds strong sentimental value? If you’ve got storage space put it there, if you don’t, limit yourself to just a few sentimental items so your closet is more function than museum!

What to do with your toss items

  • Donate items in good condition
  • Trash items that are not in good shape or are stained. (If you wouldn’t give it to a friend, don’t donate it.)
  • Sell items that are trendy, in excellent condition, and/or you’d like to recover some of your cost. *Don’t want to mess with selling? Just donate it all! 

What to do with your keep items

Back in the closet/dresser they go! With a system, of course.

Here’s how I organize mine:

Dresser: t-shirts, sweatshirts, cotton or knit tops (that don’t wrinkle easily), pajamas, workout clothes, jeans/casual pants, and sweaters.

Closet: blouses, jackets, cardigans, dresses, skirts, dress pants

I organize my closet into sections: jackets/blazers, cardigans/kimonos, short sleeve tops, long sleeve tops, dresses, skirts/maxi dresses, and pants. Within each section I sort them by color (using good ol’ ROYGBIV). Need to quickly find a blue long sleeve blouse? I can locate it immediately.

Undergarments, accessories, and shoes could be a whole other post (though I did already write about jewelry) so I’ll save that for another day! For now, I hope these closet clean out tips help you get in your closet and clear some space. I’m 99% sure you’ll feel so much better after you do!

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1 Comment

  1. The love it or leave it is my best guide.

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