8 Steps to Declutter Your Closet Efficiently

One thing I love with every New Year is the fact that I can hit restart in many aspects of my life. It is also a great opportunity to declutter my life, my computer, and my house and get rid of the things that I am not using as much as I would like or didn’t work for me at all. I usually start with my closet, because for some reason, even though I have cut down on buying clothes, I still find it full of stuff, for which I rarely reach for. This is why I believe cleaning it out often is crucial. I have been doing this a few years now, thusfar I can confidently claim that I have pretty much mastered it. I finally am in the position to share with you, my 8 steps to declutter your closet efficiently!

Steps to Declutter Your Closet Efficiently

8 Steps to Declutter Your Closet Efficiently

If you are someone like me, that likes fashion and dressing up, then I am pretty sure your closet has looked like a nightmare at some point. This probably happened because you have more stuff than you actually use and you are not ready to get rid of old or unworn ones, because who knows? Maybe someday you will wear them. Even though you know that this is never the case, you still keep filling your space with unloved things.

If you are sick of this, and owning many useless items is not your thing anymore, then you are in the right place! I used to be one that valued quantity over quality in clothes and it got me anywhere. Yet owning less and better quality has proven to be much better! I can be more creative this way and wear all the things I own. No hidden gems at the bottom of the last drawer anymore. 😛

So ready to finally create the closet of your dreams? Keep reading for the steps!

Step 1. Completely empty your closet(s) and toss everything on your bed

In order for your decluttering to be successful and efficient, you need to start from the beginning. The first step is to completely empty all the places you have clothes in and toss them on your bed or the floor. Don’t forget to remove the hangers, the compartment boxes etc. It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you own a lot of things, but it will worth it when you are done. You decided to declutter your closet in the first place, so there is no turning back now.

Step 2. Clean, repair, and rearrange your wardrobe

The next step is to clean the inside of your closet. It hasn’t seen the light in a long time and it has probably gathered some dust, which you need to clean. If it needs some repairs now is the time. You are doing a new start here, so it needs to be perfect. You can even rearrange if you have the chance ad believe it will work better.

Step 3. Create 3 different piles

You need to create 3 different piles to distribute all of your garments. These are the:

  • “Keep it” pile
  • “Need time to think about it” pile
  • “No way I am wearing this again anytime soon” pile

You need to be brutal and honest with yourself. For the “Keep it” pile you need to ask yourself if you still love and wear this item, to this day, and if you can’t see yourself not loving it anytime soon. If any of these questions have a negative or uncertain answer, definitely resist the urge to add it to this pile. If you are not 100% sure, just add it to the second one for now. last, throw to the third pile every item that you haven’t worn in years, or you can’t see wearing in the near future.

Step 4. Retry everything in your “Need time to think about it” pile

After you finish it is time for round two. 😛 Revisit the second pile and go through it again. Usually, I end up putting the majority of my clothes here, in the hopes that I will wear them someday. But this never happens, I can reassure you. I recommend trying on every single piece from this pile and see how you feel when wearing it. If it makes you feel good, then you can keep it, but if you are not feeling sure if you like it or not, chances are that you will never wear it. Toss it on the “No way I am wearing this again anytime soon” pile and move on.

Step 5. Do a last check of what you are keeping and what not

Before you start putting everything back into your closet, do a last check of what you have kept. Is everything you kept going to be worn by you? Did you maybe cheat and hold on to something you don’t really need? If your answers are negative, then you can move on, and start putting everything back.

Step 6. Don’t forget the accessories

It is time to repeat the same process for the accessories. Bags, shoes, hats, scarfs etc. Clear out everything! This way you will be able to get the most out of the things you own. No need for a great bag to be hidden behind others you haven’t touched in years.

Step 7. Time to deal with the “getting rid of it” pile

Now that you have finished with what you are keeping and what not, it is time to decide what you will do with the clothes you are saying goodbye to. I used to give all away to charity, however, this time I decided to distribute them in 4 ways. I have some that are never or rarely worn which I will put for sale, some others I will exchange with friends that I know will love them, some that are very old and not in great quality, I will repurpose, and the rest will go to charity. You can do whatever comes to mind with this pile, just don’t throw them in the garbage. It would be irresponsible and bad for the environment.

Step 8. Try to keep it tidy

The last and the hardest step is to keep your wardrobe this way as long as possible. In order to do so, I recommend reducing your new purchases and adding something new only if you are entirely sure that you’ll wear it. One rule I recently adopted is “when one comes, one goes”. So if I want to purchase a new coat, for example, I need to get rid of an older one. It is not always easy, nor I apply it everywhere, but I try to do it when possible. Also, I like to revisit my wardrobe and do a mini tidy up every 2-3 months. This way I do not need to deal with a messy wardrobe anytime soon!

So this is it for today! I hope my 8 steps to declutter your closet efficiently will prove to be helpful. If you follow any of them, or have some killer ones I didn’t mention make sure to share them in the comments section below!

xoxo kate logo



  1. Linda
    January 10, 2020 / 1:38 pm

    Wow. Thanks a lot for sharing with us such an amazing article. 

    It is enough to look at the picture you have attached to the article and I realize that the 8 steps you have described are very useful. How much I would like my closet to look like this. I always wondered how to make orders in this area but I never succeeded. I think the reason is that I was never organized and I did everything in a hurry. For example, in step 1, I never empty my closet. I always take things that seemed to me to not be ok. 

    I would like to write these 8 steps on a paper and stick it on a wall near the closet. They will definitely help me. Thanks again for this post. Wish you all the best! 

    • Kate
      January 11, 2020 / 3:21 pm

      I used to do everything in a hurry and it didn’t work. If you want to efficiently declutter your closet or any other space whatsoever, you need to start from the beginning. I hope you succeed in cleaning your closet with my tips. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yanna
    January 10, 2020 / 2:46 pm

    Hi Kate

    Thank you very much for this important topic, which must be faced at some time or another. We have closets that have not emptied for years, gathering dust and growing mold. It is important to periodically empty them and follow your suggestions that I think are great, but also very practical. The biggest problem is letting old favourites go, when they have go well beyond their usefulness. I know I must do better and reading your article has given to me the impetus to start this task as soon as possible.

    On average, how much money can you make selling clothes, as I know some can be valuable?

    Anyway a great and useful article.

    • Kate
      January 11, 2020 / 3:23 pm

      Hi Yanna,

      Yes, closets need a decluttering at least once a year, otherwise you’ll find stuff you haven’t worn in ages and you even forgot their existence. It depends on the clothes you have, but designer items that are a classic style can score a pretty good amount of money. The rest, probably not so much. I hope my tips helped!

  3. Benny
    January 10, 2020 / 3:07 pm

    Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article. Getting a tidy wardrobe is as important as making your bed and this has to be done orderly. The steps that you have given here will effectively help anyone clear and arrange his or her wardrobe well. Even mine needs a retouch, so this was a great reminder!

    • Kate
      January 11, 2020 / 3:25 pm

      Hi! Thanks for your kind words!

  4. Daniella
    January 10, 2020 / 8:45 pm

    Hi there,

    Wow, thank you for this useful post. I loved the reading!
    It’s been a long time now that I have not decluttered my closet. I need to take my courage in both hands and start with it today.
    It’s hard for me to get rid of clothes because I am always afraid I will regret it:) However, you gave me the strength to do it and I will follow your tips. I’ve read somewhere that when we get rid of something, it comes back to us in another way. Do you believe in that?

    Thank you for this great article! 

    • Kate
      January 11, 2020 / 3:31 pm

      Hi Daniella,

      I’ve been there! I was holding on to clothes because I was afraid that one day I might need them. However in 90% of the cases that never happened. Instead, they were filling up space. One thing I recommend doing if you have items you are not wearing, but don’t want to let go either, is to put them in a storage box and hold on to them for 2 years. If you don’t reach for them within this period, then you can let all go.

  5. PurpleLioness
    January 11, 2020 / 10:18 am

    I have tried 5 times to leave a proper comment but this phone keeps crashing. I just wanted to say how great and informative your article was. I will be using the tips you recommend to declutter my own closet. Thanks and again and sorry that this is not the comment I had in mind. 

    Kris PurpleLioness 

    • Kate
      January 11, 2020 / 3:46 pm

      Hi! Thank you very much! I feel very flattered! It doesn’t matter, I am glad you took the time trying!

  6. January 13, 2020 / 12:26 pm

    What great tips! I think for the last one it’s good to know that some places (like H&M in Australia) will accept stained or torn clothes as they recycle the fabrics, so nothing has to end up in a landfill which is awesome! 🙂 I try to declutter here and there but when I set up my wardrobe room I did a big clear through and got rid of things that no longer worked for me.

    Hope that you had a great weekend 🙂

    • Kate
      January 13, 2020 / 5:13 pm

      Hi Mica, Yes, you are completely right! There are some stores here that do that too! However, to be honest I usually try to find a new home for my unwanted clothes before I recycle them.
      Thank you for stopping by! I hope you’ll have a great week!

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