Clean Out Your Closet and Make Room for New Ugly Sweaters

As you “fall” out of summer vacation mode and into the remaining months of the year, consider asking yourself the following questions: Will you be working more hours in this season? Have you made the gym more of a priority? Could you use some extra cash? Want your mornings to run a little smoother?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to clean out your closet. Any kind of lifestyle change, whether it be picking up more hours at work or choosing to make time for exercise, will require your closet to be more organized. With a busier schedule, you’ll need your clothes to be more accessible than they’ve ever been before. Whether your schedule has changed or not, decluttering your closet is never a bad decision – your mornings will run smoother and you could even make some extra cash in the process!

Your friends at Neighborly are here to help you transform your closet space. Check out this guide to cleaning out your closet and making room for ugly holiday sweaters!

First things first

Before undertaking a closet makeover, it’s important to assess your closet type. Have you been blessed with a walk-in closet space? Are you making the best of a reach-in closet? Do you have a freestanding wardrobe? Acknowledging your kind of space will help you determine the best organization solutions for your closet.

To clean out your closet effectively, it’s helpful to do a closet-wide cleanout. Set aside an afternoon to remove everything from your closet – clothes, shoes, bags – everything! This is the best way to get an idea of what you’re working with in terms of built-in shelving, hanging space and floor space. Take this opportunity to give your closet floor a quick vacuum or a swipe and shelves with a quick swipe of cleaner. Create labels for the following piles: “Keep,” “Donate,” “Sell,” and “Throw.” It’s time to clean up and clear out! Don’t forget, “handing down” is a great way to cultivate relationships, especially among high school and college students. Encourage your college student to think of a younger friend to pass along their old clothing to – you never know how much that might mean to them!

Closet psychology

Believe it or not, you might be emotionally attached to the items in your closet in some way. Cleaning out your closet can be a very psychological process! Here are some important questions to ask yourself in determining the items in your closet worth keeping:

  • Would I buy this at this very moment? If you wouldn’t buy it on your next shopping trip, there’s no use keeping it in your closet.
  • Do I absolutely love it? If you don’t wear an item often, it could be because it’s better fit for special occasions. However, if you had higher hopes for that shirt, yet you’ve never worn it, it’s time to get rid of it.

One great way to truly assess whether an item is worth keeping is to try the “hanger test.” Hang each piece of clothing on your hanger in the same direction, and when placing them on the rod, hang them on backward. If in six months (or a year, whichever you prefer) you haven’t turned the hanger, you don’t like the item enough to wear. Liberate yourself and pass it along to someone who will!

Organizing what’s left

Organizing your de-cluttered closet will take some time, but it will pay off in a smoother morning. If you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, you can hire someone – however, no one knows your closet better than you. Check out these organizational items for sorting what’s left after completing your clean out:

  • Shelf dividers – Shelf dividers allow you to organize your shelves like drawers! You can also store shoes on the closet shelves in baskets if you don’t have a designated shoe rack.
  • Closet door storage - Doors are perfect for hanging storage organizational items! Consider incorporating hanging bins or shoe racks.
  • Plastic bins – Have a Halloween costume or other seasonal item that you want to keep, but doesn’t need to be in plain sight? Invest in plastic storage bins to keep them protected and tucked away.
  • Hangers - Buying new hangers can help your closet feel fresher and more organized. Get rid of plastic/wire hangers from the dry cleaners and invest in hangers that look the same. This will make your clothes stand out! Consider categorizing clothes by occasion, season or color. Place your favorite items in the front to ensure your everyday items are more accessible.
  • Drawer dividers - Drawers can get messy—using drawer dividers will bring order to the chaos! Make these yourself or buy them at an organization store.
  • Hanging shoe organizers – Folding or rolling your heavier items like sweaters keeps them from losing their shape. Consider rolling them and placing them in a hanging shoe organizer – the pockets are the perfect size for sweaters!

Don’t head into the fall season with a cluttered closet! Use these tips to organize your clothing and life. Looking for more advice on all things home? Check out another Neighborly blog!