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How to clean out your closet in one afternoon




My family’s closets are overflowing with clothes. My high-school aged daughter still has outfits from third grade. My husband has holey tees that haven’t seen daylight in years. If you’re fed up with your family’s overflowing closets, or just can’t stuff one more thing in yours, it’s time to make a change.

Parting with that shredded band tee or those once-perfect jeans that are now unwearable is tough. The reward for decluttering though is a closet full of items that you actually want to wear. And, you won’t have to keep digging through your closet every time you’re looking for your favorite shirt. Here’s how we cleaned up our act, and you can, too.

Take inventory

The first step to cleaning out your closet is cleaning it out completely. Remove everything and plop it on your bed or floor. You want to start completely fresh, like you’ve never had clothes before and the pile you made is your shopping area.

Grab some bags

Next, you’re going to need to grab some trash bags, a marker and some tape. Put a strip of tape on the first bag and write on it with the marker “Trash.” On the second bag, place a strip of tape on it and label that bag “Charity.”

Fight closet congestion with some simple rules

OK, now that you have the preparation done, it’s time to start being ruthless. You’re going to make four piles: Keep, Repair, Trash and Charity. The trash pile and charity pile are the labeled bags. The keep and repair piles can be on top of your dresser, a chair or somewhere separate from the rest of the clothes.

Start sorting with these rules in mind:

  • If you haven’t worn it in a year and it’s still in good shape, it goes in the charity bag.
  • If it has holes, worn-out elastic or rips that can’t be repaired, throw it in the trash bag.
  • If it needs a button or has a hole you or a tailor can easily fix (and you vow to actually fix it) put the item in the repair pile.
  • If it’s not your style, it goes into the charity bag.
  • If it’s fantastic, you love it and you wear it, put it in the keep pile.
  • If it has stains put it in the repair pile and try these tricks to remove spots.
  • If it doesn’t fit, donate it.

These rules go for shoes, too. Got holes or extreme wear on the soles? They’ve got to go. Haven’t worn them in a year? Off to charity. Love ’em and wear them? They’re keepers.

If your shoes are just a little dirty, you can easily clean them.

Finish up

This journey is almost over. Now you just need to put everything from the keep pile back in your closet.

For the rest, it’s important you get to deal with them right away. Taking action will prevent those items from taking up space and potentially making their way back into your closet.

Put the trash bag in your bin right away. Drive the charity bag to your local drop-off point right away. No waiting!

Finally, get to work on the items that need to be repaired or cleaned. If you don’t have time, take them to the tailor or cleaners right after you drop off the charity bag.



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