Most women wear just 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time, and letting go of those unworn, ill-fitting items may be easier than you think. True, one of the toughest organizational projects is to purge your closet. Whether you’re working with a small space or a closet stuffed with too many items, keep on reading for the 6 simple steps to a clutter free closet.
- Grade your closet on a curve.
The first step toward a clutter-free closet is to try everything on. This will help you analyze how you look in the garment, not just how it looks on the hanger. According to David Zyla, Emmy award-winning stylist and author of “Color Your Style”, think of the color, fabric, and cut that can give you an A+ look. “When you wear those items, do you get more compliments from your friends or do you feel more confident? The ultimate goal is that eventually everything in your closet ranks an A+,” says Zyla.
- Place like with like.
If you already know which types of clothes flatter you, it’s time to take inventory of exactly what you have. According to Virginia Underwood, a professional organizer based in Hilton Head, S.C., place “like with like” to take stock of your inventory. “Put all pants together, all tops together, all dresses together, and then in order of color, light to dark,” she says. Then, create best-of lists for each category of clothing. Just pick your top 10 of each item as you’ll probably never wear the rest.
- Shop your closet.
Before going shopping, shop your closet first. According to Underwood, “check that you have a top that goes with each of your basic bottoms, in terms of color, pattern, sleeve length, weight”. Look for new ways to match your items and make what you already have look new and fresh. If you notice you’re lacking some staples, make a note of what you need more of to complete your wardrobe.
- Determine what should go.
You might have expensive purchases you never wear or items you’re emotionally attached to. “You’re not getting any use-value out of letting the expensive item hang in your closet, and you’re actually creating negative use-value by wearing it when it doesn’t suit you,” says Zyla. Remember, when it comes to your daily wardrobe, those items don’t hold value. Also, if you haven’t worn something in three years, get rid of it, unless it is a wedding dress, a ball gown, or your most favorite pair of leather pants.
- Maximize the closet space you have.
After tossing the ensembles that don’t serve you well, it’s time to restructure your closet to maximize the space. Think of raising your clothing rod higher so you have more room on the floor for a dresser, or adding a second rod to create double the hanging space. This way, you’ll maximize the space you have.
- Restock only what you need.
After cleaning your closet, don’t fall into the same traps of re-cluttering your space again. So, it’s time to get more organized before you buy. If you tend to buy all things that look great on you, keep a list of your personal banned items so you stop buying repeats of what you already own in your now A+ closet. By heeding our tricks, you’ll be able to clean your closet strategically and effortlessly.