Professional organizer method to declutter clothes in 9 simple steps

Organized Closet

Do you have too many clothes that you would like to reduce and looking for a guide on how to do so? We’ve created the best method in our opinion, that will help you declutter clothes, and it is how professional organizers do it.

1. Where do I start clothes decluttering?

sweaters folded on the bed

Before you declutter your clothes, you’ve got to do one thing – take everything out of the closet and place it on your bed in a large pile. Now, group clothes into categories, so you can see how many pairs of jeans, shirts, skirts etc. you have. Seeing the number of items you have, will help you make decisions, especially if you have a lot of similar stuff.

Does that sound like a big project and a lot of work? You can break it into small fun tasks, like pulling out and going through all the dresses today, jackets tomorrow, shoes the next day, etc.

Don’t forget your pajama, you don’t need 10+ of those. Five presentable, in good-condition sets, are more than enough.

 2. What clothes to declutter right now with no regrets whatsoever?

declutter clothes

 The fastest way to declutter clothes is to get rid of the items on this checklist below:

  • Clothes that are worn out or stained
  • Clothes that are too small for you
  • Clothes that are too large for you
  • Clothes that itch or feel uncomfortable
  • Old clothes that you don’t wear anymore
  • Clothes related to a job or hobby you no longer do
  • Items that lost a partner (socks, gloves, earrings etc.)

3. Have a high standard for yourself of looking presentable always

organized shoes and bags

 It takes the same amount of time to put on something presentable that suits you well, as something crappy that makes you feel not so well. So why even have it in your closet in the first place? 

There are two important things to know about yourself when it comes to dressing well

Colors that look good on you

 You already know this, people compliment you when you wear these colors (note: they compliment you, not the color). I’d say limit yourself, pick 3-5 colors that work absolutely stunning on you, and stick to shopping only for them in the future. 

For me, it’s definitely green, white and blue. No black or red, although I love those colors, but not around my face.

Fit that works best for you

You know this one too. One time I wore flare jeans, and I got so many compliments, I wear them all the time now. Pick one or two silhouettes and rock them. Things that look ok, are not good enough for you, you want the best. 

 4. Questions to ask yourself when deciding what clothes to declutter

girl trying on clothes

Imagine wearing each item and running into someone you would like to impress or even your nemesis. Would you want to be wearing this thing?

  • Does it project the image I want?
  • Do I feel good in the item? Is it comfortable?
  • Do I look good in the item? Do the color and style flatter me?
  • When was the last time I wore the item?
  • Does the item work with my current lifestyle?

Be ruthless when you declutter clothes. You don’t have a place in your life for things that are not up to your high standards. 

 5. How do you emotionally get rid of old clothes?

girl choosing what to declutter

I like to think of this rule when it comes to decluttering emotional items: “if everything is special, nothing is”. So 5 pieces of clothes that are very sentimental for you are indeed special and can be kept in a box, out of sight. 

 6. Evaluate clothes seasonally and separate/put away out-of-season clothes

clothes hung on hangers

You can either hang out-of-season clothes on the other side of the closet, if you have space, or put it away in canvas boxes. You don’t want summer tops mixed with winter sweaters. Also, when you don’t see your clothes for six months, you miss them and it feels very exciting to pull them out again (especially when it’s spring).

 7. Set a limit for the number of clothes in your wardrobe

rack with clothes

Give yourself a set number of hangers

Making up a rule and limiting yourself gives you a guideline and really helps when you declutter clothes. I’d say 75 to 100 hangers are more than enough, but you decide.

Decide on a limit for each category of clothing

How many pairs of jeans does one need? It depends on your lifestyle, but do you really need more than five? What about other categories? It’s all up to you, but let me give you a guideline: 3-10 items in each category is a good ballpark. 

8. Places to donate clothes

jeans going into a box

It’s easier to declutter your closet if you know where to donate your clothes. Here are a few places I recommend.

  • Local donation stores, like Salvation Army or Value Village. 
  • Donation bins are all around the city, wherever you live, they are everywhere. 
  • Online consignment store Thred up. They will send you a box to pack and ship your clothes, shoes, bags and accessories.
  • Consignment store near you, like Style Encore or Plato’s closet. Keep in mind, you’ll need to wait for them to go through your things and they won’t give you much money, so definitely harder than just dropping it off at Salvation Army. 

9. Keep track of what you’re not wearing

You’re done, congrats! Now, make a point of wearing every item in your closet that you kept. You can turn hangers around to keep track of what you’re not wearing. If you didn’t wear it for a season, consider decluttering it. 

For more tips on decluttering, check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in: The Ultimate Room-By-Room Decluttering Checklist | Redfin

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