How I cleaned my closet

It’s a lot of time, like an entire intensive weekend, but totally worth it in the end when you look at your neat, organized closet.

So here’s how I de-cluttered my wardrobe:

1. Tossed the following items:

  • Organized Elfa ClosetTorn
  • Stained
  • Irreparable beyond belief
  • Unwearable

2. Sorted the rest into two piles:

  • Sell/Donate
  • Keep

3. I sold/donated the following items:

  • Items that didn’t fit
  • Colours I don’t wear any longer (like black)
  • Duplicates

The questions I asked while going through the rest of the pile:

I allowed myself to keep only 5 sentimental items – baby blanket, hand-painted t-shirts made by my mother, and hand-tailored garments she had tailored for me when I was born.

  • Is it something I’d really wear again? No – Sell/Donate.
  • Does it look good on me and my body type? No – Sell/Donate.
  • Does it fit any longer? No – Sell/Donate.
  • Have I worn this in the last year? No – Sell/Donate.
  • Is there a duplicate that I can get rid of? Yes – Sell/Donate.
  • Are there tags still on it? Yes – Sell/Donate.
  • Am I keeping it just for sentimental reasons?* Yes – Sell/Donate.

Padma Lakshmi's Closet

The sentimental part was difficult so I had another set of questions:

  • Do I really need to keep this?
  • Why am I keeping this?
  • Can I just photograph it?

4. I set the items to donate/sell out of sight and out of mind.

I didn’t donate or try to sell the items until a month or so later, just to make sure I didn’t want to wear it again. If I kept it out of sight, I wouldn’t be tempted to pull it back into my wardrobe.

5. I re-sorted again going through those questions above:

I went through the process again and again until I was satisfied with my super small keep pile’s goal of cutting it down by 50%.

6. I re-sorted my keep pile into:

  • Kept for sentimental reasons
  • Take to tailor (taking in the darts to make it fit better on the bust)
  • Repair at home (sewing button on)
  • Keep as a favourite

The result was that I’d keep only pieces that I’d truly wear on a regular basis, which is the main goal of any minimalist’s closet.

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.