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The Great Closet Purge

Fall is almost here, and the time has come to declutter that black hole we call a closet. Things go in and get lost, and you If you feel like you never have anything to wear, the time has come to work on clearing out the junk and creating the perfect wardrobe. You won’t get that if you can’t find anything in your bedroom closet because it’s overstuffed with clothes you never wear. So today is step one, where we start by making some room in there.

organizing closet, clean out closet

How to clean out your closet


1. If clothing outdated, old, or in bad shape, toss it in the garbage. Poor people deserve nice things too, not your torn or stained clothes, so resist the urge to donate yucky clothes. You got your money’s worth over the years, so only donate clothes that aren’t right for you but are still in good shape for someone else.

2. If an item of clothing doesn’t fit, and likely never will again, take it out of the closet. Maternity clothes, clothes you wore in high school or when you were 100 lbs heavier, it should all go. Someone will appreciate them, so bless them with your no-longer useful clothes.

3. It it’s the right size, but the wrong style, take it out. Clothes are made for all shapes and sizes. If it doesn’t suit your shape, don’t make yourself feel bad. Shop for your body shape, and forgive yourself for past shopping booboos. You can’t change from a pear shape to an hourglass shape, so don’t torment yourself. Get rid of it. Just because it’s your size (or a great price, or new with tags) doesn’t mean you should keep it. And I hear the “around the house” argument all the time. How many ugly, old, poorly fitting outfits do you need for around the house or to paint? When do you ever really paint? And shouldn’t you look and feel good at home, with your family? (Forget that company may pop over unannounced.)

fashion crimes

These have to go…now. Right now!

4. If it’s the wrong color, toss it. If everytime you wear something people ask if you’re feeling sick, get rid of it. It doesn’t matter that it makes you look slim or that it’s cashmere. If the color doesn’t flatter you and make your skin glow, and instead makes you look tired, sick, or whatever, get rid of it, it’s a bad color for you. Give it to someone that color looks great on. If you wear something that makes people tell you that you look great, healthy, energetic, it’s a good color for you. Remember that color for the future.

5. If you don’t see yourself ever wearing something, put it on the side to sell or donate. Keep a special section in your closet for gowns, costumes, and special event clothing that you actually wear (even if only once a year) but otherwise, you can donate them or sell them. A few of these items can stay, but out of the way, and not the first things you see when you open your closet. When you open your closet doors, only the clothes you actively use and wear regularly should have prime real estate.

6. After you pared down your closet, you should only see clothes remaining that you will wear, and look good on you. You may only hve 5 outfits left, but that’s ok, because you’ll be rebuilding your wardrobe again soon. Make sure there is nothing left in your closet that is unflattering, or makes you feel bad, or needs repair. Be ruthless.

how to organize closet with room for clothes

7. The ideal closet should have space between the hangers and clothes, so your apparel can swing freely and allow air to circulate. This keeps clothes in tip top shape, longer, and prevents odors from developing on clothes and transfer between them. Now that your closet is roomier, hang some nicely fragranced sachets inside your bedroom closet to delicately scent your clothes and make your closet smell nice every time you open the doors. Buy quality wooden and padded hangers for your clothes.

Stay tuned for tips on how to organize your wardrobe closet now that it’s cleared out, and how to build up a flattering wardrobe with clothes you’ll be ecstatic to have!

  • Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy

    I definitely have some items that need to be tossed. We just went through the children’s closets and got rid of tons of stuff.

  • Heather

    Great advice. I figure, if I lose weight and can fit into X Y or Z when I do, then I deserve a new wardrobe!

  • Alicia

    You just motivated me to do this!!! I am way overdue!

  • Kelly

    Great tips! My closet looks no where near those in the pics but reading this has definitely encouraged me to purge some more. I keep items with sentimental value and camping/painting clothes all the time and need to break that habit.

  • All of the clothing in my closet is really old, but that’s because I stopped buying clothes since I’ve had kids! Too poor and no time 😉

  • Joanna

    Thanks for the info, I seriously need to do this!

  • Jennifer

    I absolutely love this post! Great, great tips and advice – especially the #1! I’ve seen people attempt to donate dirty tube socks and old bras! Eeew! And the excuses we use? Oh yes, I so totally relate!

  • Oh girl mine looks like it may have puked over and out the door .. lol

  • monique

    I like the 2nd set of pictures the best. I am cleaning out my closet this weekend. I’ve been moved for 2 months and still have boxes, so once the closets are cleaned out the boxes will get sorted, tossed, put in their place, etc.

  • I have a closet cleaning phobia so ours are always gorgeous lol. I actually donate a lot and store end of season clothes. I need some shelving though!

  • Annie @ Mama Dweeb

    My husband just purchased like 6 more work shirts, so it is def time to toss out the ones with stains and holes. It always feels so good to get rid of the junk!

  • Jessica

    Amen!! Every few months I go through my closet and if I know it’s something that makes me self-conscious because I know it’s not flattering, in good shape, etc. I donate it, or if it’s really hideous, cut it up to use for dusting and cleaning rags. Great way to utilize those 5K Run/Walk shirts that shouldn’t be worn after race day!

  • April Decheine

    Been working on my closet for my big move in September, I really need to get rid of some awesome blazers that I think I will take out the shoulder pads one day because it says Ralph Lauren or something fancy inside. Also I have all these beautiful pencil skirts that I just knew would come back in style! LOL

  • You’ve inspired me! I plan on doing this project this week. Thanks for the tips.

  • Kasandria Reasoner

    Awww I like that last sweater lol. Seriously I do this quite a lot and every time I end up throwing something away of my husbands and get ito trouble for it lol

  • Shop with Me Mama (Kim)

    Great tips. I definitely need to give my closet a makeover!! Oh, and that girl in the picture with the muffin top, that is totally ME!!! LOL..

  • Mother Mayhem

    I share a closet with Cap’n Chaos. He never gets rid of ANYTHING. LOL

  • Penelope

    I find that reeeaally hard to believe, you hottie 🙂

  • Anne - Mommy Has to Work

    I finally got my husband to do some purging!! Now I need to do my side! I love it, though!

  • As much as I know that there should be space between my clothes, I never allow it. My stuff is packed in sooooo tightly!!!

  • Rebel Chick Jenn

    I clean my closet out ALL THE TIME. I always donate to the Vietnam Veterans…I am constantly donating my old stuff and clothes that my teenage daughter has outgrown.

  • {Not Quite} Susie Homemaker

    Great post! Cleaning out my closet has been at the top of my to-do list for like, 6 months now. It’s time I finally did it! {and convinced Hubby to let go of his skater clothes from high school…}

  • I just did this when we switched bedrooms and what makes it easier is I heard a rule of thumb if you haven’t worn it in the last yr (and you haven’t been preg than get rid of it your not going to wear it. )

  • Jackie at Color-Coded Organizing

    Super tips! I especially love the pictures of what to get rid of. LOL

  • Virginia from That Bald Chick

    I try to purge my closet twice a year. It’s been done a bit more frequently this year, though, with the weight loss. LOL.