How to Clean Out Your Closet

While spending so much time at home this past year I, like many of us, have done a lot of organizing. One thing I like to do a few times of the year is to go thru my clothes and donate, sell or throw away anything that isn't working. I find that when my closet is organized, it is easier for me to put together outfits. I know exactly what items I have and I love every item! It is not about getting rid of a certain amount of items, but about only having items that you love and use. Everyone is different in the amount of items they have in their wardrobe and what they will actually use. Some like to wear the same things over and over and others need more variety. As long as items are being worn and used, they deserve space in your closet.

How to Clean Out Your Closet

There are several strategies to cleaning out your closet. If you have the time, I think the best one is to take everything out of your closet to begin. Then you only add back the items that you are keeping. This is the best way to make sure that you look at every item. How do you decide what to keep? I ask myself the questions below! If I say yes to most of the questions, then it goes back in my closet.

If you don't have time for a full closet clean out, start one category at a time. For example, one day go thru all of your dresses, then next time go thru your pants. This will take a bit longer but you will eventually have a clean closet full of items you love!

1. Does it fit correctly?
The first and most critical question is fit. Items that are too big, too small or misshapen do not have a place in your closet. After some wear, items can stretch or lose their shape. Although it takes some time, when I'm going thru my wardrobe I try on any items that I question their fit. If the item can't be altered to fit again, donate it. I also don't keep items that I've grown out of or are now too small. Keeping the pair of jeans that you hope will fit someday takes up room from items that you love!

2. Does it have a place in your current lifestyle? 
Some items are purchased for certain events, dress codes or lifestyles.  Many times a change in jobs can change the needs of your closet. If you believe this change will remain the same for the near future, your closet should reflect that. For example, you probably don't need 6 suits if your dress code at work is casual but one nice suit and a few blazers may fit your needs. 

3. Do you have several of the same or similar items?
Repeat items take up precious closet space. Consider how often you wear that type of item and decided if it makes sense to have several. This is completely personal as to whether you have a need for multiple similar items. I have 3 different black tshirts but I wear all of them and they serve different purposes so I have decided to keep all of them. 

4. Have you worn it in the last year or two?
When going thru my closet, I like to think about what I've been wearing in the last season and see if there any items I didn't wear. Then I think about why didn't wear them and assess whether they should be kept or not. If I haven't worn it for a year or two, usually that's an indication that I have items I like better and can purge the unworn items. There are sometimes exceptions to this question. With staying home so much this year, there are many dressy items I haven't worn. I am still keeping the ones I love because I know I'll wear them once we can go out and do things again.

5. If it was in a store now would you purchase it? 
This is my favorite question to ask. I find it really shows whether you like an item or not or if it fits your current style. Think about your current style and whether this items expresses what you want to project. If its outdated, the trend is over or just not "you" anymore, get rid of it! Keeping this question in my mind has also helped me to buy more classic items. I know I'll wear them forever and won't be getting rid of them in a year or two. 

6. Do you have an emotional attachment to it? 
I allow myself a few items that I have an attachment to! If you are someone that has attachment to a lot of items this could be a slippery slope. For example, I still have the dress I wore to my college graduation. It's a dress I can wear again but I mainly keep it because I bought it for such a special event and it was one of the last items my mom and I went shopping together to pick out. 

Sometimes cleaning and purging can be a hard process. Remind yourself that having a closet of items that you love will make it easier to pick out outfits and get dressed every morning. It also makes room for fun new items!

Kara Krittenbrink


  1. Happy Wednesday! Wow! Great tips, Kara! Thanks for sharing! I've just cleaned out my closet a couple of weeks ago! :)
    Hope you have a great day!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  2. I just clean up my wardrobe too!

  3. Such great advice for cleaning out your closet! I do it a couple of times a year and have the hardest time letting go of pieces!