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How to Declutter and Organize Your Home: Closet

Decluttering your closet can bring forth a lot of feelings of letting go: of your past, of a time when you were thinner or happier, of things that were a symbol of your youth.

Maybe you’re still keeping those jeans that you wish you’d fit again someday… what would happen if you got rid of them, would you be giving up on that goal?

And what about that sweater that you used to wear in your college dorm and it reminds you of a time when you were carefree and having fun?

Or that expensive jacket that they didn’t have in your size but you loved it so much that you bought it anyway, and now you never wear it because it makes you look like a clown?

What about that dress that was gifted to you by a family member and even though you didn’t like it, you’ve kept it out of obligation?

Having the courage to work through all the emotions that keep coming up is hard work. In that pile of clothing lies a lot of memories, of keepsakes, of longings…

Letting go of a piece of clothing has a much deeper meaning than its financial value, it will bring forth a lot of feelings to the surface, to be felt again, to be dealt with again…

How to Start Decluttering Your Closet

There are several tips that you can use to make this process simpler and faster:

  • Use 3 boxes: one will be for items that you’ll keep, the second one for items that you’ll get rid of (either donating, selling, or throwing away), and the third one will be for items that you have to try on before deciding.
  • Get support: get someone on board to help you sort through your clothes faster. You’ll avoid procrastination and you’ll have a second opinion that’ll be very helpful when being undecided about what to do with an item.
  • Start small: one category of clothes at the time, one drawer at the time, one shelf at the time. Don’t throw all your closet into your bed and start sorting from there. It will make the task seem too daunting and you will very soon feel overwhelmed and hopeless.
  • Declutter by type, not by color: take all of your t-shirts, divide them into their respective boxes and then fold the ones that you’re going to keep.

Try on the clothes that you put in the third box and ask the following questions:

  • Do I still like it?
  • Is it damaged, with holes, or faded?
  • Does it fit me?
  • Does it represent who I am at this stage in my life?
  • Is it out of style?
  • Would I buy it again?

When you’re done for the day, clean the shelves thoroughly before putting back the clothes that you’re going to keep well organized in their respective closet space.

Things to Declutter in Your Closet

  • t-shirts, shirts and blouses
  • pants
  • skirts and dresses
  • suits
  • ties
  • promotional clothing
  • jeans
  • underwear
  • sportswear
  • loungewear
  • pajamas
  • seasonal clothes
  • shoes
  • socks
  • hats
  • belts
  • scarves
  • jewelry
  • handbags

How to design and organize your ideal closet space: once you’ve decluttered your closet, take a good look at your design. Can your available space be more efficient? Can you redesign it by making some small adjustments, like changing from a single to a double closet rod? Or by adding some organizing baskets or a couple of extra shelves?

DIY Closet Organization System

You can custom design your closet by going to a Home Store and choosing the shelves, rods and accessories that you’ll need to create your own closet. Before you go shopping, remember to measure the space and draw a floorplan on a piece of paper.

They’re very easy to install and customize because you can choose the size of the shelves and the rods can be expanded. You can begin with a simple layout and then add more shelves in the future if you need to.


  • Replace all wire hangers with more sturdy ones and keep them all consistent. Different hangers create visual clutter.
  • Use hangers that collapse so that you can hang 5 items in the space of 1.
  • Turn all of your hangers backward, and when you’re going to hang something that you just wore, hang it on the right side, that way you’ll be able to see in 6 months the items that you never wear.
  • Pull out hangers are great for keeping folded pants.
  • You can also get a handbag holder with clear pouches on each side.

Closet Rods

Using double rods will immediately double your hanging space.


  • The ideal shelf height is around 10 inches or 25 cm. When it’s taller, it’s hard to keep your shirts neatly organized.
  • The shelf length can vary, but if it’s too long, it’s very useful to add some acrylic dividers, they make your sweaters stay straight.

Shoe Storage

  • You can store your shoes on the lower shelf where you hang your dresses.
  • You can have hanging shoe organizers behind the door.
  • You can use a shoe rack or a cube organizer.
  • Or you can use shoe stackers, where you put one shoe on top of the other.


  • Use bins to store seasonal clothes.
  • Label all baskets and bins.


  • Buy fabric dividers to keep your underwear organized.
  • Roll the t-shirts if they’re inside a drawer, that way you’ll be able to see them better.


  • Have a full length mirror.
  • Have a box or tray with scissors, double sided tape, stain remover, needle and thread.
  • Use vacuum bags for flattening the space needed to store extra comforters or linens.
  • Have a command hook for the outfit of the day.
  • Add additional hooks for coats.


  • Store your jewelry inside a drawer with an organizer.
  • Hang your necklaces in a belt rack and put them on a wall in your closet for easy access.


  • Tie scarves around hangers so that you’re able to see each one, or use shower rings in the rod and hang each scarf separately.
  • Use a tie hook for tank tops.
  • Use a belt hanger for belts, hang them with command hooks on the wall or roll them and store them inside a drawer.

Maintenance Tips

  • Keep a donation bag in a hanger at all times, that way you’ll be able to put the clothes that you want to give away on an ongoing basis.
  • Keep a second bag for items that need alterations or that are going to be Dry Cleaned.
  • Have the one in, one out rule: if you buy something, get rid of something.
  • Have a yearly decluttering of your closet, and don’t forget to tackle the seasonal clothes that you might have stored somewhere else.
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Written by

Ana Maria Matamoros

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