How To Clean Out Your Closet

How To Clean Out Your Closet

The new year will approach soon, reminding us of all the things we planned to do but didn’t get around to because we got stuck on Pinterest, looking up recipes for diet food that doesn’t taste like diet food (sorry, we found no pins that matched your search). So, to start the new year feeling like an Effortless Bitch, you need to learn how to clean out your closet like a Fashion Stylist.

As many of my regular readers know, I’ve been on a cleaning/decluttering rampage as of late. My partner is now living with me and to be frank there’s shit everywhere and getting everything organised has never been at the top of my priority list more than it is now that I’m sitting in my office surrounded by things that are yet to be designated to a home.

I live in a gorgeous two bedder in Sydney and I like to surround myself with a pretty and organised space as a few days/evenings a week I work from home. In order for me to be productive, I have to have a tidy space and at the moment, things aren’t how I like them. So in the spirit of spring cleaning, I wanted to run over how to clean out your closet so that you actually do a proper cull on your wardrobe and not a half-assed cull, as a rule of thumb you should always use your full ass when completing tasks.

Knowing how to clean out your closet properly is a huge time saver. If you only have to spend a few hours every six months to ditch that mental and physical clutter and speed up your dressing process when you open those wardrobe doors of a morning, isn’t that worth the hard work? As you may have guessed, this isn’t like the other spring cleans you’ve done. Nope. This is the real deal and something that I, as a Stylist, do regularly. The first thing you’re going to need is some time to plan, you’re going to need a few things before you start so you can truly get the wardrobe makeover you deserve.


  • Garbage Bags
  • Cedar Blocks
  • Non-slip hangers all in the same colour
  • Tackle boxes
  • A tie hanger

Allocate Time:

Once you’ve got these things ready, you’re also going to need some time to yourself. It’s really important that when you clean out your closet that you don’t have any distractions. This means letting your partner look after the kids and switching off the television. Put some music on to make the time pass faster and get yourself a drink because you’re going to be in your wardrobe for at least two hours, but it’s so going to be worth it when you know that you can wake up each morning with a clean wardrobe full of things that you love and fit you well.

How to clean out your wardrobe | declutter | closet organisation

Create Piles:

Start up one end of your wardrobe and look at each item, remove the things that need altering and put them in a separate pile then go back to your wardrobe and pull out those sentimental pieces that you don’t wear anymore but you just can’t part with and allocate those to another pile. Your third pile should be for things that you don’t like or don’t fit into and your fourth pile should be for the things you’ve worn less than three times in the last 12 months. This fourth pile is what I call the maybe pile, the maybe pile is what you keep aside for the next three months. If there are items in your wardrobe that you’re in two minds about getting rid of, this is the pile for them, if you haven’t gone back for any of the items in that three month period, you need to get rid of the remaining items in your maybe pile.

Once you’ve got your piles, everything left in your wardrobe should fit, feel good wearing and shouldn’t be dated. Now that you’ve got that part out of the way, put the things you need altering in a bag and take them to your local alterations shop, if you’re a Sydney sider, I recommend Mimi’s Alterations in Pitt Street Mall or Queens Alterations in the QVB. If you’re out of the Sydney area and still need a good alterations place, visit a suiting or higher end fashion store and ask the shop assistants who they would recommend, but don’t just take one person’s recommendation, ask around!

Like this post? You’ll like: How To Care For Your Suede, it’s the perfect accessory when learning how to clean out your closet!

Remove What You Don’t Need:

You should bag up the items that you’re donating from the third pile and put them in the boot of your car, or by your front door so you don’t forget to take them to the charity shop, the remaining pile should be your sentimental pile. Your sentimental pieces have memories and love ones attached to them, so it’s no wonder you don’t want to throw them away. What you should do with them though is store them somewhere that isn’t your wardrobe, your wardrobe is just for the clothes you wear, that fit you, not for things that don’t. Store your sentimental pieces under your bed or in a storage container with some cedar blocks and acid-free tissue paper in your garage.

How to clean out your wardrobe | declutter | closet organisation

Spread The Love:

Now that your wardrobe only has what you love in it, you should give your wardrobe a bit of love back. Start by removing everything that’s left in your wardrobe and placing it on your bed. Give your wardrobe a good clean out by vacuuming and wiping down the shelving, floor and rails. Next, you’ll want to separate your knitwear, t-shirts and jeans from the rest of your clothing and store it on your shelves or in your drawers. Remove the hangers from your clothing and replace them with the space-saving hangers, honestly, when I used these for the first time on my own wardrobe, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had so much more room in my wardrobe, and because all of my hangers were the same, my wardrobe looked much neater.


Hang your clothing back in your wardrobe either by style (long dresses, short dresses, sleeved tops, sleeveless tops, jackets, skirts and pants) or by colour (lightest to darkest), this helps you to create new habits when picking your clothing from your wardrobe and should be rearranged every six months. As a finishing touch, hang your belts and scarves from your tie hanger, sort your jewellery into tackle boxes and store them on your shelves and place your cedar blocks in your wardrobe. The best areas to place these are in the more cramped areas of your wardrobe so around your coats, near your knitwear, up the back on the floor of your cupboard near your shoes and in the higher, hard to reach areas too.

This may seem like a big job and the first time, it can be, but if you clean out your closet every season, the job gets easier and easier and can even be done in one hour with regular editing. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and keep your cat, kids and snooping non-effortless bitches out of your wardrobe!


  1. Avatar for Lorraine Foster

    Thank you for the advice on the wardrobe make over!
    At almost 70 and a pack rat with clothes from 1960 to date I am yet to find my mojo to tackle this project!
    With your article in hand this and weight loss is my new year project God help me!

    1. Avatar for Alarna Hope

      That’s fantastic to hear, Lorraine! With pieces from the 1960s in your wardrobe, I’m sure your clean out can even make you a little money on the side. If you’re getting rid of any vintage pieces, consider selling them to a local vintage store! Happy New Year and good luck on your wardrobe clean out!

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