Do you have a closet packed with clothes, shoes, purses, and other stuff? Is it time to declutter your overflowing closet? This is for you if you’re not a self proclaimed minimalist, but you realize that your closet needs some focused attention.
I was recently staying with my sister who loves clothes…and who has a hard time getting rid of clothes.
- Her walk in closet was overflowing.
- Her dresser drawers were full.
- Her bench at the foot of her bed held a pile of clothes that she had recently worn.
I (naturally) asked her if she wanted help decluttering her closet while I was there. Doesn’t everyone want to help people declutter! She was game since she had been meaning to donate some of her clothes so we did it in one evening!
Declutter Your Overflowing Closet in Baby Steps
My sister isn’t interested in having a uniform for work. She isn’t interested in a capsule wardrobe. She isn’t interested in minimalist living.
She is interested in having a functional space.
She is interested in clearing the floor space in her closet.
She is interested in donating clothes that haven’t been worn and most likely won’t be worn in the future.
My sister has clothing for:
- Working out
- Going out – fancy
- Going out – casual
- Lots of shoes
- Lots of handbags
She is a perfect example of decluttering in baby steps. Our goal wasn’t to donate half of her things. Our goal was to clear the floor, find space for her luggage, and to go through her shirts and see what she was willing to donate. She moved within the last 3 years so she had donated a ton of stuff already, but she still had plenty of clothes.
Step 1: Declutter the Easy Stuff
We first went through the section of her shirts that she knew she hadn’t worn in a long time, and probably wouldn’t. It was relatively easy for her to decide that she could let the shirt go when she saw it. She didn’t really hesitate at all.
We pulled out about 50 blouses. I ended up taking about 10 of them after trying them on.
My sister’s main hesitation to giving her clothes away was the guilt from spending the money and not really wearing the items. We talked about how the money was already spent and how it will bless someone else instead of sitting in her closet.Do you have an overflowing closet? Here are some before and after photos of a recent #declutter! #declutteryourhome #simplify Click To Tweet
Step 2: Organize Whats Left
Next, we switched out her random plastic hangers with her nice thin velvet hangers. By the time we were done, all of her clothes were hanging on the same black hangers. I rearranged the blouses and grouped them by color so she could see all of her white blouses when she wanted a white blouse.
My sister had 3 “nesting” suitcases. I zipped the middle sized one into the largest one and we stored the carry on size at the top of her closet shelf which wasn’t being used. There was space in the row with her newly decluttered blouses to place the suitcases inside the closet rack so it wasn’t on the floor in between the two shelves.
Step 3: Clear the Floor and Make Decisions
Next, we moved all of the bags lined on the floor out of the closet. There were a lot of gift bags – which we went through and decided where they would go. I folded the tissue paper and the bags and handed them to her to decide if she wanted to keep them or not. We tucked the boxes of shoes onto a shelf. We also put the clothes hanging on the door back in the closet now that there was room.
Step 4: Revisit the Other Items in the Closet
If you’re anything like my sister, and have a walk in closet, you most likely have lots of other things besides clothes in there. Take the time to look at each item by category and see if you can let one or two things go.
The next day we went through her purses and she did agree to let go of three. I’m working on her to let go of some of her jeans, but she’s not making any promises. I did fold them nicely and rearranged by size. Like a lot of us, she has a variety of sizes but she’s not ready to donate the ones that don’t fit her perfectly now.
I’m pretty sure that the jeans she loves and wears are not on this shelf – they’re most likely on her bench at the foot of her bed because she’s wearing them frequently.5 helpful hints to declutter an overflowing closet. #declutter #simplify #declutteryourhome #babysteps Click To Tweet
Five Helpful Hints when Decluttering Your Overflowing Closet
- Pick a person or charity that makes you excited to give stuff away.It was easier for her to give the item away when she knew it was going to me. Letting go is easier when we know it will bless a loved one or goes to a cause we value highly.
- Get a friend to keep you company. Making decisions is easier when a friend helps. Even before I arrived to my sisters, she was saying that she had been meaning to declutter her closet. It took a friend to actually make it happen.
- One In, One Out Rule. I’m hoping my sister will choose to keep the one in, one out rule. When she buys something something new, she’ll put another item of clothing in the donation bag. This is something new to her, so I’m not sure this will catch on quickly, but it’s a helpful practice!
- The Container Rule. If you have a walk in closet but you’re clothes don’t fit in it, it’s time to donate some items. If you have a dresser but the drawers won’t shut, it’s time to donate some items. The size of your closet and your dresser are natural limits. Sure, you COULD get a larger dresser…but you could also decide to bless someone else with those clothes that you probably won’t wear.
- Declutter from a place of abundance. If you have an overflowing closet – you are abundantly blessed. You either have the money or the friends who have blessed you with beautiful clothes. Take a minute to sit in gratitude for that abundance. Carry that feeling with you as you consider your clothes that you haven’t worn for over a year. Don’t hold onto it out of fear. You have enough. You are enough.
Is your closet overflowing? Did any of these helpful hints help motivate you? What other helpful hints would you add?
Angela – your sister’s stack of jeans almost made me break out in hives. You did a wonderful job on her closet. The after picture is wonderful.
Thanks Adrienne! I love before and after photos – they’re usually so encouraging.
Melinda J Mitchell says
Such a beautiful floor! lol
Great job!! You helped her declutter not only her closet, but her mind as well. I’m sure all that was weighing on her.
You are a terrific sister!
Ahh thanks Melinda. I’m not sure if it was weighing on her, but she was certainly glad to see her floor again! I know I’ve found clutter to weigh on me in many ways. I always feel better getting rid of things.
judee@glutenfree A-Z Blog says
Good suggestions and good reminders ! I always have clothes that I’m still hoping to get back into after 5 years! I also have things I just don’t wear or are worn out..
Thanks for reading Judee. I hope it encourages you to take a small step in letting go. I bet you won’t regret it!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Good job, Angela! And you’re so non-judgmental. I admit, like a previous commenter, that “stack of jeans almost made me break out in hives.” 😀
Thanks Jean. It is a lot of jeans, but everyone has different wants and needs. Baby steps!
Closet cleaning is not a fun chore, but everyone needs to do it. I love the one in one out rule- I need to remember that to prevent the closets from getting overstuffed again.
The one in one out rule is so important for maintenance of a space!
This is so me! I have stacks of jeans like that too. For me it’s the hope that I’ll lose those 15lbs and fit into them again. Donating them feels like I’ve given up hope. In the meantime my closet is bursting at the seams.
It’s hard to let go of the past – our past weight or shape. A suggestion might be to box them up and store them somewhere outside of your closet with a clear label, that way you have more space and you’re not giving up hope!
Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle says
Wow. You worked a treat on your sister’s closet. She must feel like she has a new home. Angela, we will feature your helpful post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop. Congratulations.
Blogger’s Pit Stop
Thank you Kathleen! She does feel like she has a new closet! 🙂
“De clutter from a place of abundance” is great advice. I’m going to try and remove at least 10 pieces of clothing from my wardrobe, that don’t love me back any more! Found this through the Bloggers Pit Stop and will stop by often!
Thank you Priya! Thats a great next step – removing 10 things from your closet!
I’m about to move cross country with a family of five, and I’m reading your blog for inspiration for prioritizing what we take.
Thank you for the motivation!
Your welcome! Thank you for reading – and best of luck with your move!