11 Creative Ways to Clean Out Your Closet and Boost Your Organization Game!

This post is about transformative ways to clean out your closet, offering you the ultimate guide to reclaiming space and embracing simplicity in your life.
rules for cleaning out closet

Cleaning out your closet can often feel daunting, yet it stands as a powerful step towards a more organized and serene living space.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the essential steps, from finding your motivation and understanding the golden rules of decluttering to implementing practical checklists and embracing the wisdom of Marie Kondo.

Whether you’re struggling with an overflowing wardrobe or simply seeking a fresh start, these insights will guide you toward a clutter-free closet that reflects your ideal lifestyle.

This post is all about how to clean out your closet and let go.

Motivation to Clean Out Your Closet

how to clean out your closet marie kondo

Get Focused:

  • Set aside dedicated time for sorting your wardrobe.
  • Empty your closet completely for a thorough assessment.
  • If pressed for time, focus on one category or season of clothing at a time (e.g., workout clothes, professional attire, summer clothing).

Navigating through mounds of garments to kickstart your day is undeniably one of life’s lesser joys. The sheer delight of stepping into a clutter-free closet, where you’re not dodging piles of clothing, and can effortlessly reach for the outfit you need, serves as powerful motivation to get your closet organized. Imagine having immediate access to attire you love, that’s season-appropriate, and fits you perfectly — this alone can save you an astonishing amount of time and energy each day.

But where do we begin? The first step is to carve out some time specifically for sorting through your entire collection of clothes. This means emptying out your closet completely. It’s a time-consuming task, no doubt. In my role as a professional organizer, working with clients to sort through a wardrobe can take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours, often with a team of us tackling the project.

However, there’s an organizational hack for those with limited time: tackle your clothes by season or category. Dedicate one evening to organizing your activewear, another for your work or formal attire, or perhaps sort through your summer clothes over a weekend. This segmented approach can make the task more manageable and less overwhelming, guiding you step by step toward that orderly, frustration-free closet.

Closet Declutter Checklist

closet clean image

What You’ll Need:

  • Clear Donation Bags/Extra Boxes: Keep these within reach to easily separate items you wish to give away.
  • Sticky Notes: Use these to label categories, sections, or to make notes on items that need special attention.
  • Boxes and Laundry Bins: Designate these for different categories of clothing (e.g., casual wear, formal attire) to help with sorting.
  • Extra Bins for Accessories: Have additional bins or baskets on hand for organizing accessories like shoes, belts, gloves, and scarves.
  • Tape Measure: Handy for measuring space in your closet or the size of storage solutions.
  • Hangers: Ensure you have a variety of hangers suitable for different types of clothing.
  • Clear Storage Containers: Ideal for storing items you want to keep but don’t regularly use, such as seasonal clothing or special occasion outfits.
  • Label Maker: A quick way to label shelves, bins, and containers for easy identification.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Include gentle cleaning agents, swifter dust cloths, and a small handheld vacuum to clean shelves and drawers.
  • A Full-Length Mirror: Useful for trying on clothes to make decisions based on fit and style.

Preparing for a closet declutter involves more than just a willingness to let go of the old; it requires the right tools and supplies to streamline the process and ensure everything has its place. Start with the basics: donation bags for items you’re parting with and sticky notes for categorizing and making quick notes.

As you dive into the task, use boxes or laundry bins to sort your clothing by type. This not only helps in making decisions but also in visualizing the volume of items you have in each category. Don’t forget about your accessories—extra bins can help keep these smaller items organized and prevent them from getting lost in the shuffle.

Measuring tape is a must-have, allowing you to maximize your closet space by planning storage solutions that fit perfectly. Incorporating clear storage containers can be a game-changer, especially for items that aren’t used daily but still need a home. Label everything clearly, either with a label maker or simple handwritten tags, to maintain order.

Lastly, keep cleaning supplies at hand to freshen up your space once it’s empty, and a full-length mirror to ensure the items you decide to keep are those you feel great wearing. 

The Best Amazon Closet Organizers

1. Matching Hangers

motivation to declutter out closet

You have several choices when picking hangers for your closet, but the fastest and easiest way to reduce visual clutter is to use one style of hanger.

To find the ideal hangers for your closet, check out my review that compares price, space-saving capability, durability, and practicality across wood, plastic, velvet, and wire hangers. Discover the best fit for your needs in my detailed comparison here.

2. Hanging Closet Organizer

closet declutter
Utilize every inch of your closet with a Hanging Closet Organizer. These organizers are brilliant for making the most of your closet’s vertical space, allowing for instant additional storage. Perfect for clothes better suited to folding or rolling, such as sweaters, they can also be used to organize a week’s worth of outfits in advance.

3. Shoe Bins

shoe bin

A cornerstone of closet organization, shoe bins offer an affordable and stackable option to make the most of your storage area. Whether placed at the bottom of the closet or on higher shelves, they adapt to your space. While I generally prefer individual shoe bins for their flexibility and capacity, a Door Hanging Shoe Organizer can ingeniously save space and organize additional accessories when you have a door to spare

4. Bins for Accessories

declutter closet

Tor items that aren’t suitable for hanging, such as belts, scarves, gloves, and handbags, open bins without lids provide an effective organizing solution. Available in various sizes, colors, and styles, matching bins can help minimize visual clutter. Budget-conscious shoppers can find great options at thrift stores or dollar stores, and big-box retailers often offer a wide selection.

Pro tip: measure your shelf and the items you plan to store before buying bins to ensure a perfect fit.

5. Additional Clothing Storage Containers

rules for cleaning closet

For clothing you’re currently not wearing, like maternity wear, costumes, or seasonal outfits, large storage bins with lids are essential. They’re particularly useful for “seasonal switches,” such as storing away shorts and bathing suits during the off-season to make room for winter apparel. This method not only optimizes your closet space but also narrows down your daily outfit choices to the most relevant items. For enhanced storage efficiency, consider compressing clothes in Space-Saving Bags before placing them in versatile storage solutions like sturdy IRIS Weather Tight Bins which are built to last. I like Ziploc Cube Totes because they are a combination of Space Bag and organizing bin in one product. For a more aesthetic option on closet shelves, mDesign Fabric Stackable Closet Storage Organizer Boxes are both practical and stylish.

Rules for Cleaning Out Your Closet

declutter closet


The journey to a meticulously organized closet begins with a single, crucial step: emptying your closet entirely. Merely pulling out items haphazardly won’t yield the satisfaction of a fully rejuvenated space. Instead, aim for a fresh start by relocating your clothing to bins or neatly stacking them elsewhere, like on your bed. I’ve even resorted to draping clothes over shower rods or door backs to clear the closet space completely. Remember, we’re reconstructing your wardrobe from the ground up.

The next pivotal strategy is to sort by category. This not only streamlines the reorganization process, allowing you to swiftly locate what you need, but it also establishes clear boundaries for each decluttering session. Given that it’s impractical to overhaul your entire closet in one go, breaking the task down into categories provides a tangible beginning and end point for each effort. This approach is a cornerstone lesson for budding professional organizers, emphasizing the importance of structured progress within limited timeframes.

When scrutinizing a specific category, such as jeans, workout attire, or summer dresses, pose critical questions to each item:

Does it fit?

Have I worn this recently, and if not, why?

Is it in good condition?

Keep your donation box within arm’s reach, aiming to lighten your collection by 20% to 50%, depending on the initial state of clutter.

For a more refined selection, I use a “ranking” technique with my clients. After narrowing down a category, we do a second review to determine the true essentials. For instance, if we’re evaluating summer dresses and are left with 30 after the initial cut, but storage space is limited, we’ll identify absolute favorites to ensure only the most cherished items make the cut. This method guarantees not just a decluttered closet but one that’s thoughtfully curated to fit your lifestyle and space, ensuring that what remains truly brings value to your daily routine.

How to Clean Out Your Closet Marie Kondo Style

best amazon organizer

3 Basic Steps:

  • Empty Your Closet: Begin by completely emptying your closet to start with a blank canvas.
  • Sort by Category: Organize your items into categories to streamline the decision-making process.
  • Joy Check: Hold each item close and determine if it “sparks joy” for you.

The KonMari Method™, introduced by Marie Kondo in her groundbreaking book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has transformed the way we approach home organization with its elegant simplicity. At its core, this method is both revolutionary and straightforward, making it accessible to everyone, from organizing novices to professionals.

To apply the KonMari Method™ to your closet, the initial steps mirror the traditional organizing process: empty your closet and sort your belongings by category. The magic happens in the next step, where Marie Kondo introduces the singular, powerful rule of joy: does holding this piece of clothing make you happy? As a KonMari Certified Consultant, I’ve learned to keenly observe my clients’ reactions to their items, which often reveals their true feelings more than words could. The “spark joy” criterion is about more than just the item’s aesthetic or function; it’s about the emotional resonance it holds for you. 

If you’re embarking on this journey solo, a useful tip is to observe yourself in a mirror as you assess each piece. Pay attention to your body language and the immediate emotional response you have. This introspective approach not only helps in making decisions that align with your personal joy but also fosters a deeper connection with your possessions, ensuring your closet becomes a curated collection of items that truly enhance your life.

Book a coach call to start your KonMari journey and get a personalized Trello declutter checklist. 

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This post was about how to clean out your closet.

Adhering to these essential rules for cleaning out your closet, and following the closet declutter checklist, you’re equipped to embark on a transformative closet clean out. With the right motivation and the best Amazon closet organizers at your disposal, your closet will not only be clutter-free but also an image of organization and ease.