How to Clean Out Your Closet

How to clean out your closet, plus the before photos!

I know I’ve shared about my ultimate minimal closet before (and again), but I still have never made the time to sift through and really pare my closet down. Yesterday I spent quite a few hours trying to hone in on which items bring me joy, and which don’t. Today I’m sharing some tips for how to clean out your closet using some of the information I’ve picked up on along the way.

How to clean out your closet, plus the before photos!

The Before List:

6 Tank tops
2 Camisoles
8 Shorts
14 Tee shirts
2 Long sleeve shirts
6 Blouses
4 Sweatshirts
7 Sweaters
5 Long Dresses
13 Short Dresses
1 Blazer
5 Pants
9 Denim Pants
1 Skirt
9 Outerwear

2  Athletic
6 Boots
7 High Heels
9 Sandals
10 Flats

126 items total. What?! As you can see, my closet was pretty full. I excluded workout clothing, swimwear, and other specialty items like snowboarding pants. Some items I fell in love with when I purchased and didn’t end up wearing often, while others I’ve had for a long time just in case. Often companies will send me items to feature or review, so those accumulate easy as well. Below are some of the tips I used to clean out my closet.

Define yourself.
My life is a mix of slow days at home (and working in my pajamas) and fast paced travel. I constantly juggle being a mom with attending events, jetsetting and working on the go, so my wardrobe needs to be anything from casual to more dressed up. I tried to envision what I want my personal style to be, something you’d find in the middle of modern, casual, luxurious, and minimal. I don’t know that such a style exists, but I’m attempting to create that feeling with my closet. Often I gravitate towards neutral colors like blacks, grays, whites, olive, and navy with a little blush thrown in. I like natural fabrics and more timeless pieces with a modern flair.

The Try On
Next I tried on each item one at a time and asked myself a few questions to try to determine which items to keep or donate. It took forever, but it really helped me tremendously when it came time to make the decision:

1. First glance, does it bring me joy to see it on the hanger?

2. Is it in good condition? Does it need repair?

3. Does it fit well and is it flattering?

4. Does it bring me joy while wearing it?

5. Do I have something similar already?

6. Would I buy it today?

Even I am surprised at a few that didn’t make the cut. While I originally thought I liked them for one reason or another, they ended up in the sell pile because they didn’t bring me more joy while wearing them instead of just on the hanger. I’m using my tips for after cleaning our your closet list to sort through the rest. In the next few days I plan on listing quite a few on my poshmark account, so keep an eye out.

In the coming weeks I plan to share a detailed breakdown of what actually made the cut, but for now I’ll just tell you that I ended up with about half of what I started with.

Have you ever done a major closet clean out? What tips did you use to narrow yours down?

16 thoughts on “How to Clean Out Your Closet

  1. OK, this is just the sign I needed to start purging my closet, too. The questions you asked yourself were really helpful. Thank you!

  2. I’ve been planning a capsule wardrobe so I was excited to see this article! I’m dreading the try on but I like your questions for deciding what stays and what goes. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is something i’ve needed to do since “Spring Cleaning” Lol. Needless to say I’ve put it off. This post is motivating me to jump on it this weekend!

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