how to declutter your closet

This is just like what you see in the magazines that tell you how to declutter your closet, huh?

I don't know about you, but when's the last time you looked at an article about decluttering and organizing your home – most specifically the bedroom closet – and saw a hugely stuffed, overflowing closet in the example photo?

That's right… never.

And when I look into my closet, the last thing I want to do is to shuffle through items, figure out which pair of black yoga pants are the best, and worst of all, take something out and have it smell “stuffy.” Ugh… the worst. Have you ever had that happen to you?

After decluttering my closet and minimizing my wardrobe, I treasure seeing how things hang with room for air circulation, good energy, and open space. It's really good for your brain! The problem is that so many of us are conditioned to keep clothing for one reason or another. It was expensive, or it used to fit, and if we only lost 10 pounds, someone gave it to us.

Instead of running out of space, or worse — going out to buy expensive organizers and storage solutions we don't need — there are some straightforward ideas on how to declutter your closet and keep the good stuff. No, this doesn't mean it's to make room for more stuff. But instead, enjoy the idea of opening up your closet, not having to search longer than it takes to put the thing you want on, and keeping a more minimalist wardrobe (without sacrificing your sense of style). Here are 7 simple tips to help you learn how to declutter your closet.

1. Start with the easy stuff when decluttering your closet.

You know you'll never get around to mending those jeans you ripped last winter. Nor are you going to patch up the sleeve on that blouse or work to bleach out the stain from the dress you spilled red sauce on when it didn't come out in the wash the first time.

So you'll first eradicate anything stained, ripped, faded, or otherwise no longer in wearable-as-is condition. Put anything salvageable (by someone else) into a donation pile. Done!

2. Seasonal items need to be rotated out.

If you didn't wear an item last season, get rid of it (donate if you can). But otherwise, if it's off-season and in good shape, store it in a separate closet or under the bed in a space-saving vacuum bag like these.

3. Ditch clothes that no longer fit.

If you're on a journey to get to a different size of clothing than you're at, you may want to use caution here. Yes, it's tempting to keep things if you're in between sizes, but if you're looking at anything from the early 2000s and the only reason you're keeping it is for “someday,” it might be time to let go.

Also, take note of clothing that stretched or shrunk, or even items that never actually fit just right. (Hello, online purchases that are too much of a pain to send back even though the seams make my boobs look like they're at my elbows!) Honestly, who needs that kind of negativity in their life? Ditch or donate to someone else in need who might feel better in them.

4. Shoe Hoarders BEWARE… You're next!

I've honestly never been a shoe hoarder in any sense of the word. I have one pair of winter boots, one set of slippers, a couple of “walking shoes” for whenever I'm going to be on my feet a lot, a strappy set of dressier shoes with kitten heels, and a pair or two of summer sandals/flipflops. No joke, y'all. Even this feels like a lot to me, just typing it out, and I know some of you have dozens upon dozens of shoes. Stoppit! Once you declutter your closet, look at what works with what you have, and ditch or donate the rest.

5. Speaking of accessories…

Like shoes, I'm a pro at having like one purse for warm weather and one for cooler weather. I'd rather not even have one, but it comes in handy as a mama. The old one heads out the door whenever I get a new one.

I've never spent more than $45 on a bag, either. I have more important things (for me) to spend my money on, and who the heck cares what my purse looks like besides me, anyway? (FYI – I've been rocking this baby for a few years now, all seasons, because it works in any light, and I get complimented everywhere I go if that's your kinda motivation…)

A note about scarves, jewelry, belts, etc. while decluttering your closet…

I love accessorizing, and I even make jewelry and have my art printed on scarves. But you don't need to have a ton to look amazing. If you need an entire armoire for all your jewelry, it might be time to thin things out. Sell it, pawn it, give it to a little one to play dress-up, or use it in art projects. Anything to free up some space!

6. Reminder to physically handle each and every item.

No, I'm not going to Marie Kondo this, though you can if you love her because she's incredible, but know that taking everything out and only putting back things you genuinely love is critical. I knew someone who wanted to know how to declutter your closet without emptying the closet or pulling everything out one at a time to asses! If that's you, it's essential to change your thought process on this one.

If you don't hold it in your hands, examine it, and decide, you're not doing a great job of decluttering your closet. Make the time and take it. You'll be so much happier in the end!

7. If all else fails…

I modified this tip from Joshua Becker… pick a number from five to ten. Thumb through the closet and only pull out that number of items you know you're ready to ditch or donate. Put them in a bag and immediately drop them off at their next home. Don't stuff the bag in your trunk, don't pile it in the corner or on the floor of the closet. Put the items in, tie it off, and drive it wherever it's going.

Bonus Tip: Consider a “capsule wardrobe” with no more than 30-ish items that you can mix and match.

Benefits: More space in your closet, less chance for indecisiveness, less laundry to fold at once, easier to own simple clothing, and accessorize to snazzy up if you wish!

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