If your closet is crammed and cluttered and you can’t find anything or don’t know what you have, there’s a problem.  Decluttering your closet, although sometimes it can feel like a feat of herculean proportions that could take weeks if not decades, is actually a really good way to simplify and bring order back into your life.

Here’s how to do it, simply.  We’re going to teach you to empty it of all but the essentials. 

1. Set aside some time, and get some boxes. You might need a couple of hours. Or a few, if your closet is huge. Set aside an evening, if you have time in the evenings, or half a weekend day. Get boxes ready. You might need half a dozen or more, depending on how much junk you have.

Set some time aside to clean out your closet

2. Take everything out, empty it into a pile. All of it. Alternatively, you could choose to do this one section at a time, which could be less overwhelming — but it’ll take a few extra steps, as you’ll have to repeat these steps for each section. Either way works.

Organise your clothes into piles; keep, donate/sell or maybe.

3. Quickly sort into 3 piles. Do not dilly dally, or sit on the fence. Here are the choices: keep, donate/sell or maybe. The maybe is only if you really really have a hard time deciding — you’ll put these in a box and store them for 6 months, getting rid of them after that time if you never needed them. The keep pile is for stuff you really love and actually use — if you haven’t used it for 6 months, put it in the toss pile. OK, 12 months for seasonal clothes (such as winter coats).

Figure out if you are really going to wear that item of clothing, or if you are really holding on to it for some other reason.

Clean, then put the keep pile back, organized. OK, everything sorted? Clean out the closet nicely. Put the keep pile back in the closet. Put it back neatly, organized. This doesn’t have to take long. Leave spaces between things if you can. If you wanted to be super organised, you could arrange it by colour ( use colour chart below), purpose ( work, dinner, party, beach).

Organise the rest of your piles. Take the maybe pile (I hope you kept this pile small) and put it into a box or two. Label it maybe, with today’s date. Store it somewhere out of sight, and don’t open it for 6 months. Toss the stuff in 6 months. Take the donate/ sell pile, and put it into boxes — places like The Attic are great as you can easily sell what you no longer need, earn back cash as well as help carefully selected causes.

Optional step 6: Breathe, and bask in the glory of your beautiful new minimalist closet. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and just admire. So minimalist, so pure. So lovely!

Friends enjoying hillside