The Closet Detox: How to De-clutter Your Closet in 5 Easy Steps

{As featured in Parents Canada Magazine}

I recently read that 7 out of 10 women waste more than half their closet space with clothes they no longer wear. Talk about excess baggage!

Well ladies, the New Year is upon us and there’s no better time to take inventory of what’s in our closets. It’s time to trim the fat. A little cleansing, if you will. How will you know if your closet is in need of a makeover? Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your closet feel cluttered and disorganized?
  2. Is it hard for you to put outfits together?
  3. Is organizing your closet something you’ve thought of doing, but keep putting off?
  4. Have you recently lost weight or had a baby and find that your clothes aren’t fitting you correctly?
  5. Do you have dust collecting on your closet shelves and on the tops of your hangers?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then it’s definitely time to clean out your closet! To help get you started, I’ve listed my top 5 tips on how to edit your closet for the New Year.

  1. Go through your clothes. Do any items have stains, faded colour, pilling fabric or have rips that you can’t fix? Chances are you’re in the 70% of women who haven’t analyzed their entire wardrobe in several months, or maybe even ever. You’ll be surprised at how many items you may have in your closet that falls under this category. Please get rid of these items, as they are no longer serving you.
  2. Have I worn this item in the past twelve months? Ladies, if the answer is no, chances are YOU’LL NEVER WEAR IT AGAIN! I have done it many times, tried on an item looked in the mirror, and never made it out the door. It’s a sign, don’t ignore it ~ the piece is simply not meant for you anymore. You should love everything in your closet TODAY. As women, we fluctuate with our weight, pre-baby, post baby, stressful lives, I understand and have certainly been there myself, but holding onto excess items only creates unnecessary chaos and clutter. As a result, we can’t “see” the items that fit and flatter us. So as my daughter would say, “Let it go, Let it go”!
  3. Is this item ill fitting? Does this item flatter my shape? Try on your pieces and stand in the mirror. You need to feel confident and comfortable in your clothing ~ your intuition will let you know whether the item needs to stay or go. Listen to it! If the item doesn’t fit or flatter your shape anymore please eliminate it and set it aside.
  4. Every time you buy a new item, remove one from your closet and give it away. This is something I have been doing for years, and it’s a great way to remove excess clothing and clutter. With the arrival of a new season, most of us are excited with new purchases so it is much easier to eliminate items you no longer need.
  5. Categorize and organize – Now that you’ve gone through your entire closet put the items that you want to eliminate into piles; one for charity, one for friends and one for consignment. Luckily, there are plenty of options. For charitable donations, consider organizations such as Value Village, Good Will, and the Salvation Army. There are also organizations specifically geared towards helping women obtain employment. Dress for Success is a global organization dedicated to helping their clients find jobs and remain employed. Consignment stores are usually reserved for higher end, gently used fashion items. Stores such as Consignary, or Extoggery will accept your used items on consignment. When the item sells they’ll give the seller a percentage of the sale price. As you can see, there are many options for where to donate your excess clothing. You will feel liberated! I promise!

I hope you found these tips helpful. Here’s to cleansing our closets! Start off the New Year fresh, cleansed and empowered. Good Luck!