How To Clean and Edit Your Closet

Closets exist to help you keep your clothes in order, but if your closet is a disorganized heap of clothing that's bursting at the seams, it may not be performing its function. It might be time to go through your closet and do some major purging. A little more room in your closet will help you find your favorite clothes easier, or it may just give you reason to go shopping! Whatever your reason for a closet makeover, here are some tips on how to clean out and edit your closet.

Step 1

Start with a little organization. To make your closet cleaning and editing endeavors a success, it's best to be organized. A few labeled bins will help you sort your clothes quickly and efficiently. Find three large bins and give each a label of ‘keep,' ‘donate,' and ‘sell.' (If some of your wardrobe is quite old, you may want a fourth additional bin labeled ‘toss').

Step 2

Do a quick sort. When you decide to clean and edit your closet, you need to do a quick initial sort to take some of the bulk out of your closet right away. Start taking things out of your closet one by one and quickly (within 5 seconds) decide whether to toss it in the keep, donate or sell bin. Do this for everything in your closet - clothes, shoes, purses and bags, and belts. Give yourself no more than a half hour for this entire process.

Step 3

Go through your 'keep' bin again. Once you've done your initial clothing sort to edit out the clothes you know you don't want to keep, do a second sort of your keep bin. Think long and hard about how often you wear each piece of clothing in the bin. Will you continue to wear it in the future, or are you just keeping it because you paid a lot for it? Keep clothes that you'll wear often, and edit out the rest.

Step 4

Reorganize your closet space. Your closet probably got messy because it wasn't organized well. Before you begin to put the clothes from your ‘keep' pile back in your closet, take some time to create a functional closet space that will work best for you. Perhaps you want to purchase a closet organizer that comes with built-in shelving, drawers and racks. They provide much more storage than a simple rod ever could. A great closet has lots of racks and shelving to help keep the closet tidy and clean.

Step 5

Put your clothes away neatly. Now you can begin to put your clothes away in your closet. If you can, purchase a matching set of good-quality hangers. You'll appreciate the clean look they give your closet, and their sturdy design will last for years. Hang clothes according to type (pants/shirts/dresses), and fold clothing that can't be stretched (like wool sweaters and tops with elastic straps). Keep your purses and bags in a bin to help keep them from falling down or getting dusty, and keep your shoes on a rack. A clean closet has a floor you can see!

To clean and edit your closet, give yourself a day. Depending on the closet, you may need more or less time. Don't forget to schedule a time to drop off your donated clothes. Get your girlfriends to come over to buy your ‘sell' clothes before you take them to charity. If you can set aside time to clean and edit your closet each season, your closet will always look neat and organized.


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