The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Closet

It’s never too early to indulge in spring cleaning fever! But if you’re intimidated by that hot mess of dresses, shoes, bags and bulky outerwear you’ve got in your closet, just relax. Like any massive project, decluttering your closet works best when you have a plan before diving in. Here are seven tried-and-true tricks to help you get your closet reorganized and fashionably efficient, plus a few essentials you can get with Cash Back at Rakuten to get to the job done right.

1. Host a Clothing Swap

One girl’s “leave it” is another girl’s “love it.” Kill two birds with one stone and invite your besties over to take some gently worn items off your hands while you help yourself to some of theirs. It’s a fun (and cheap!) way to kick-start your spring wardrobe.

2. Take It One Section at a Time

Rather than pull everything out of your closet and find yourself instantly overwhelmed, work on one area at a time. That way, you can even spread the project over multiple days. Maybe start with shoes first, then the top shelf, then the bottom drawer and so on. Baby steps, ladies.

3. Apply the One-Year Rule

If you haven’t worn a piece in a full 365, consider getting rid of it. If you never got the itch to mix it into your outfits that whole time, chances are you never will. Say buh-bye. Also, try hanging all your clothes in one direction. As you wear things, put them back hanging the opposite direction. These huggable hangers will help all your clothes stay on the hanger and off the floor. In another year, you will easily see what stay haven’t worn so you can get rid of those items too.


4. Put Things Away in Groups

After the big purge, restock your closet by grouping things into categories. All sweaters go in this drawer, all dresses hang in this section, etc. These drawer organizers are a dream when it comes to organizing your dressers, expanding all the way to 18” so you can customize the configuration. Another option is to group by color. Consider your thought process in putting outfits together and do what makes sense for you.

5. Get a Belt Rack

Even if you don’t have a lot of belts, this hanging belt rack is great for hanging bags and scarves that would otherwise likely take up floor space.

6. Store with Space Bags

If there are some items that need to be taken out of your seasonal rotation and are taking up precious real estate right now, get some large space bags to vacuum pack these pieces. It’ll keep them safe from moisture and dust, and most importantly, it will shrink them down to size.

7. Basement Storage with a Bag of Chalk

If you’re storing clothes in a chest or basement, put a few pieces of chalk (it doesn’t have to be colored) in a cloth bag to add to your clothes. This will soak up excess moisture in the air and keep your clothes fresh and dry.

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  1. Azucena Chang

    Good tips!
    But If you have to consider going down to the basement then you still have too much stuff?

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      True, Azucena!

  2. Very Mary

    I have a super big rolling suitcase that came with my 5 piece set that I hardly use so I use it for out of season items.

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      I didn’t even think of that! Great tip, Mary 🙂

  3. Robin

    Sorry but I have too much neat vintage stuff to part with. As I don’t go out hardly and my size stays the same I keep. Hopefully will retire soon in a walkable town. I’ll get out more and wear my beautiful clothes. I actually have parted with a bunch.

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      Awesome, Robin! Some vintage clothes are indeed too stylish and valuable to part with.

    • Pat Gonzalez

      Robin, I feel the same way! I have beautiful suits and dresses I have not worn for years but do not want to part with them. I once weighed 135 and wore a size 8. ( I’m five -two) but from illness I dropped down to 106 and a size 2.
      I’m still hanging on to them! I do have about 40 pairs of shoes boxed up to take to a consignment store. Some I have never worn, but intended to! My New Years resolution is to organize my closet so that when I am looking for something, I can find it!

      • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

        That’s a great goal, Pat! Sometimes it’s fun “shopping” your own closet 🙂

      • Lauren

        I hope you feel better.when you get well you will wear them again. God bless.?

  4. Jo Ann M

    Can u use chalk if you store clothes in an outside shed?

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      Hi Jo Ann, I think you can as long as the shed is closed 🙂 It might not work as well, though, unless you have a ton of chalk because the space might be too big.

  5. Victoria Volpe

    I so need to spend time doing this at some point!