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How To Organize & Declutter Your Closet That Actually Works


Have you been struggling to create outfits from all the clothes you have lately? Or you head on over to shopping and come back with more clothes, but never feel excited to wear them after the first wear. Or maybe you look at all the clothes you have in your closet, and feel overwhelmed and disappointed in yourself because you have spent so much money, but you can never find anything that you want to wear. 

Then I am sure you will find this closet organizing guide helpful in looking and finally working on building that wardrobe you always wanted and the style you deserve.

But this is not going to happen overnight! All the stylish women who look effortlessly look good everyday have some things in common, they plan their wardrobe and their outfits. 

And to get to that, the first step you need to do is decluttering and organizing your closet. Its not magic, it is work and being conscious about how you shop and plan your outfits is what will let you gain control of your wardrobe. 

Some Common Problems we encounter:

  • A lot of procrastination happens in this step because let’s face it, we love what we shopped for and don’t want to part ways with any of it.
  • Or you just find it exhausting to organize, because you have already gone through the process that experts say.
  • You probably just folded all of your clothes nicely, or you just color coordinate the clothes that are hanging or stacked for your closet to look pretty and after the entire day of organizing, you pretty much ended up with the same pile of clothes. 

I get it, I have been there. But, in this post, I want to emphasize how you can declutter your closet so you will end up with pieces that you will ACTUALLY WEAR. And how you should organize so that you can find them faster to WEAR THEM A LOT.

What I am covering in this post:

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What Should You Declutter In Your Closet?

I want to share the benefits of doing a closet decluttering and of course organizing after that, just so that you feel pumped and excited about the process:

  • You will find out what you are missing to build those perfect outfits.
  • You will be able to see everything you have got and hence, it will be easier to come up with outfits.
  • You will no longer just fallback to only 1 or two outfits because you can never find anything else.
  • You would not be wasting your money on items that you absolutely don’t need.

These are some reasons that I personally like to do a declutter, but if you have any more reason to add to this list, please leave a note below in the comment section. I am sure other readers will benefit from it.

How to Prepare for Organizing

Like everything else, preparation is key. And the most important preparation, you need to do is have enough time. Depending on the size of your closet, this might take a day or two, so you need to pick a weekend for sure and dedicate it to just doing the decluttering and organizing.

I also highly recommend reading another post where I shared how you can build your dream wardrobe. What are the key categories of items you need in your wardrobe for that.

There is also a free workbook that you can download to help you through the process.

Take An Inventory Of What You Have

The first step would be taking out everything you have and making an inventory of all of it. I usually do a closet declutter at the end of every season because its the perfect time to check what I no longer want in my closet and also from the packed clothes for the new season. 

This definitely gives me a fresh start and perspective of what I need and what I have. 

While doing the inventory, its important to create 5 (4th optional) piles of sections of clothes:

  1. Keep
  2. Toss
  3. Donate
  4. Sell
  5. Pack Away

Yup, the 4th one sounds so good isn’t it. There is always pieces in our closet that you can totally sell and use the money towards your next shopping trip. Or you can save it for that investment piece that you are looking for.

If you have spare bins or baskets that you can literally use for this, its even better. I usually do this with my laundry baskets or any storage wicker baskets I have. But you can have a bag for Donation already prepared at this time. This will help you pack more efficiently. 

How to Sort Through Your Clothes

When you are sorting through you clothes to see what you keep, sell, donate or toss, its so important that you really focus on keeping pieces that:

  • You will actually wear (try and see if you even like it).
  • It fits you properly? This is a really important one, no matter how cute that item is, if it does notify you properly, you will never wear it. You might as well sell it and get the money to buy something that will.
  • Is it still in a good condition? Sometimes, there are stains or fading that makes a garment not wearable at all. This is the time to check that and depending on what the condition is, you can toss it or donate it. No matter, how sentimental the piece might be, if its damaged, its like rag clothes.
  • Completely out of style? We all have pieces like those in our closet, and its always a good thing to Donate or sell them, because if you did not wear it this year, you will most likely never wear it again. 
Exception Rule: There is only one exception to keeping pieces that does not fit you. If you have something that is loose and probably the only reason why you don’t wear it, try and see if you can alter it. This will make the clothing item way more desirable and the alteration costs are usually very low. Again, this is totally on the condition that its still in style and you love it.

How to Decide What to Keep

While, this is the whole reason why you are doing the closet organizing and decluttering, is to decide what to keep in your closet so that you can maximize your clothes and get the most wear out of each piece, it rarely happens that way. 

There have been times that I feel too tired or I look at an item and jus think that I will for sure wear this pretty soon. But, it would rarely happen and let me tell you, that is 100% correct every time. 

If you haven’t worn a piece in the past year and a half with the seasonal cycles, you will never wear it. Yes, there might one in like a lifetime where you will look at it and give it shot, but is that even worth you holding on to the item.

I usually get really direct with myself and follow a specific mindset that I want to share here for you while doing the closet decluttering.

Closet Organizing Mind Map

This helps me to stay focused in decluttering and organizing my clothes and more importantly getting rid of items that I will honestly never wear.

Use this mindset map when you start your closet organization right when you are sorting what to keep and what not to. 

I usually just lay them all in different piles and keep a tab of what is what. 

Here is a checklist of how you can sort your clothes in different categories.

Clothes Sorting Checklist

How to Organize & Maximize Your Closet

Now That we have mapped out and sorted all our clothes that we are going to keep now in our closet. This is the best time to reevaluate your existing space and see how you can organize to make your clothes more visible so you can reach for them easily even when you are in a hurry. 

A pretty closet is really of no use, if you cannot find the right clothes in time for the right occasion. Unfortunately, a lot of us get hung up on making our closet look instagram worthy just to prove that we have a nice closet. But the purpose of your wardrobe is to store your clothes properly so that you can optimize your clothes and your style. 

Whether you have a $1000 Custom Closet, or builder grade closet, if you organize your clothes properly, it will work for you. 

Best Ways to Organize Clothes in a Closet

These are the exact techniques I use to organize my closet so that I can get the most wear out of my clothes. 

  1. Shelving T shirts: I always stack all my T shirts on a shelf. This helps keep the neckline of the t shirts intact and they are easier to fine. If you hang them you literally will be lost for hours finding them. But, even when I stack, I ensure that I have my most worn T shirts at the top, so that I don’t have to fish them out and in the process make a mess.
  2. Rolling Jeans: This is something I started doing recently, and if you have a shelf, try that technique. You will have double the space, and they look really neat as well. Plus, its easy to take them out and put them back in because jeans are a sturdier material.
  3. Separating Tops and Jackets: This is crucial. I used to hang them all in the same place, and then I realize that I could never find my blouses or shirts because the jackets are thicker. Now, I can find my tops easily. If you don’t have different hanging space, use a divider.
  4. Store Bags in One Place: If you are like me and you love coordinating your bags with your outfits, then its a good practice to keep all your bags in one hanging space, so you can quickly pick what you need rather than wasting time looking for it.
  5. Use Velvet Hangers: This was a game changer for me. Velvet hangers are thinner than plastic hangers and hence will use less space, which means you will have more space to hang. Plus because velvet hangers are non slip hangers, they won’t stretch out any of the clothes that usually might and neither will they slip.
  6. Use Baskets for Neat Storage: I love keeping my not so frequently worn shoes in cloth basket above my closet where it is difficult to access in general. Since I don’t have a closet door, that organization keeps my closet clean and I know exactly where to look for them.

Care for Non Seasonal Clothes

I also wanted to share some tips for storing seasonal clothes that you are not using in the current season. Even if you have a huge closet and you can keep all your clothes in it without having to store it away, its always a good practice to still store them separately. 

You want to keep the clean and organized for when the season arrives. You will also not waste time in fishing for clothes that you want to wear from the pile that you won’t. 

You can easily find out what you will need for the next season when you go through that stored list of clothes. 

There is no rule of how you should organize clothes that you are storing for the next season, except, you want to be able to keep them clean and smelling clean when you take them out.

  1. Avoid putting them in damper places, like garage or Laundry rooms. That might cause fungus or make your clothes smell bad.
  2. Clean your clothes before packing. This is the best way to increase the longevity of the clothes and also make them feel like new when you take them out. But make sure you use the proper cleaning method recommended.
  3. Try to Store them neatly, because when you repeat this process after 6 months, and you see a crumpled piece of clothing item, you might just toss it. You don’t have to steam or iron them, but folding them neatly would do.

I hope this post was helpful for your next closet organizing endeavor. If you have any questions, please leave a note, and don’t forget to save the post to your pinterest so you can come back to it when you need it.

My Favorite Organizing Essentials

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About Suchi

A Techie turned Fashion blogger, I have been in your shoes. I have gone from looking like I was trying to fit into my teen clothes, to now a stylist and blogger known to be classy and elevated style. I can help you look your best without spending too much time, effort and money into your wardrobe. 

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