How to Detox Your Closet + Printable Cheat Sheet

Hello readers! How is your fri-yay going? Are you looking for a project to tackle this weekend? How about cleaning out and organizing your closet? It’s a perfect time of year for spring cleaning and detoxing some of the clothes you no longer wear.

I am definitely a hoarder when it comes to clothes. I always keep clothes that I think I might wear someday, things that no longer fit, and things with rips and stains. It’s a bad habit — I know. And the problem is, I keep acquiring more clothes without getting rid of the old. It’s getting to the point now where my closet is just about at full capacity.

So I’m going to walk you through how I’m organizing my closet and hopefully it will be helpful to you if you’re considering cleaning out your closet anytime soon.

Step 1: Take everything out. Remove all the clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, socks, everything from your closet and drawers. I just put everything on my bed in a giant pile.

Tip: It helps to do all your laundry before starting this process. That way you’ll be able to look at everything you own and get it all folded, hung and organized together.

Step 2: Decide how you want to organize. If you want to switch drawers for your socks, for example, you should plan that now before you get started. I find having an order for my hanging clothes is really helpful when you’re looking for a specific item or a matching piece. I have them organized like this: skirts, dresses, sweaters and jackets, work clothes, shirts (in rainbow order), t shirts and workout clothes. Use whatever system works for you.

Tip: Do you have enough hangers? Do they match? Are they broken? Get rid of any of the cheap dry cleaning hangers that may be lingering. If needed, go to Target and spend $5 on getting a matching set of hangers. This will instantly make your closet look more organized and put together.

Step 3: Make 3 piles: keep, donate, toss. (If you store dirty clothes in your closet, you might also need a wash pile if you come across anything you missed in the first round of laundry.)

Tip: I always get a little sentimental when I’m getting rid of clothes. If you also have a hard time letting go, I suggest getting big black trash bags or a box to put your toss/donate clothes in immediately. If I just set them aside to put in later, I find myself going through the pile again and keeping some of the items I already decided to get rid of. Which is counter-productive.

Step 4: Now it’s time to make the decisions. If it’s something you’ve worn recently and love, put it in the keep pile. Anything you haven’t worn in the last 3 months, try it on. It might look different on your body or may just be different than you remember. Anything that’s damaged or stained beyond repair should be throw out. If you’re having trouble deciding what to do with an item, I’ve made a handy closet detox cheat sheet that can help you decide:


Tip: For items you’ve decided to put in storage, for example a prom dress or t-shirt from a vacation, using those Ziploc space bags are really helpful. Or simply get a big bin and put it in the top of your closet or under your bed. These items shouldn’t be taking up valuable real estate hanging in your closet.

Step 5: By now, you’ve gone through everything in your closet and made decisions about what you’re doing with it. If it’s been about a year since you’ve cleaned out your closet, try to aim for getting rid of 10-20% of your items that you know you’re no longer using. Now it’s time to put it all back away. Start with things in drawers. Get everything folded nicely and make sure the drawers are able to close. Then hang up your clothes in the closet and organize shoes.

Step 6: For the accessories, you might want to invest in some extra storage if you don’t already have a system. I have fabric bins on my closet shelves to hold scarves, belts, hats and purses. For larger bags, I stack them all inside my suitcase and put that on the shelf as well. I also have hooks hanging on the back of my closet door for belts and purses I use often. You can also put small bins inside drawers to hold socks and whatever other small items.

Step 7: While your closet is already technically organized now, there’s one last step to make this detox really successful. That step is to take stock of what you’ve kept and what you’ve gotten rid of. Notice what types of pieces you love and what you regret buying or never wore. And take a look at what pieces you have a lot of. Is your entire wardrobe filled with navy stripes (like mine) or do you have and abundance of button up blouses? Be aware of this next time you go shopping and reconsider what pieces you’re drawn to.

Tip: A good rule of thumb is to get rid of one item for every new item you bring in. Following that rule will ensure your closet doesn’t get to the point of bursting at the seams anymore.


Do you have any other tips for cleaning out a closet? What item do you have an abundance of in your closet? Let me know, I love to read your comments!

As always, thanks for reading!





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7 thoughts on “How to Detox Your Closet + Printable Cheat Sheet

  1. I end up keeping a lot of t-shirts, even though I hardly wear more than the same five to seven unless I’m on vacation. Your flow chart is a good way to think about cleaning out the closet.

    Liked by 1 person

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