How to Clean out Cluttered Closets
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How to Clean out Cluttered Closets

Cleaning out closets can be an overwhelming task, but there are simple steps to take to get rid of the clutter.

Most advice on cluttered closets begin with getting rid of anything that hasn't been worn in a year. A better way to judge whether something should be donated might be if something hasn't been worn in more than two years. Many articles of clothing can wind up being neglected for a year if they are buried in the closet or dresser. These same articles of clothing may be worn several times the next year because they were no longer buried.  Whether seasonal clothing has been worn in the last year depends on the weather.  An article of clothing that is only worn when it is very cold might not be worn during a year with a mild winter.  Clothing meant for very hot weather might not be worn during a year with a cool summer.  The next year, the weather could be very different, and the seasonal clothing will be worn several times.

Ask for advice from friends or family about any pieces of clothing that either do not get worn much, or do, but never get compliments. Some clothing that gets worn often because it is convenient may not be flattering, in which case it can go. The same goes for clothing that does not get worn as often. On the other hand, a piece of clothing that often gets neglected may be something that is very flattering, in which case the clothing should be kept, and a new favorite outfit may be born. A friend or family member can also point out clothing that is getting too worn or stretched out-- it can be easy to miss these signs on one's own favorite piece of clothing.

Winter clothing can be bulky, and take up a lot of space, so putting away clothing that is not in season can free up a lot of space in closets and dresser drawers. Get plastic tubs with lids, and label them with the person's name whose clothing is being put inside. It may be a good idea to label that it contains clothing as well, as plastic tubs work well for storing a lot of things. As the seasons change, move the clothes from the closets and drawers to the tubs, and the clothes from the tubs to the closets and dressers. Fluff the clothes from the tubs in the dryer with a dryer sheet to get rid of wrinkles and freshen them.

When buying new clothes, try to take someone along who will give her or his honest opinion about how something looks. This will help keep clothing that is not flattering, or is just “in style” at the moment out of the closet, preventing future clutter.

Photo by anagold12 on MorgueFile.

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