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How to Organize Your Closet and Get Rid of Old Clothes

MH Bonham is an award-winning author and editor. Bonham is also the author of more than 50 books as well as thousands of articles.

Your closet could look like this!  Rubbermaid Homefree Series Closet Kit 3P40

Your closet could look like this! Rubbermaid Homefree Series Closet Kit 3P40

Looked in your closet lately? If you have and cringe at the sight of some your clothes, it's time to start going through your closet and getting rid of the old stuff. After all, you don't need to become a clothes hoarder, and you'll have an excuse to shop for the latest fashions. Here's how to go through your closet to decide what you'll keep, what you'll toss, and what you'll sell or donate.

1. Separate Your Clothing By Season

You don't need all your clothes all the time—in the height of summer, you're not going to need that thick sweater—so separate your clothing into five stacks: summer, fall, winter, spring, and year-round. You'll want to put the out-of-season stuff in bags or totes so that they won't become moth-eaten or dirty when you're ready for them. If you have room in your closet, you can also put them in the back, so that when it is time to use them, they're already staged and ready.

Does your closet look like this? Maybe it needs organization!

Does your closet look like this? Maybe it needs organization!

2. Go Through Your Clothing

Now is the time to decide what to do with your clothes. You need to pick up a piece and look hard at it. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • If I were to see this on a rack today, would I buy it?
  • Does it fit me?
  • Do I wear it?
  • Is it soiled or damaged beyond repair?

These questions are good because they help you decide what you should keep. If the clothing is too small or too large, consider selling it or donating it. There are no guarantees you'll gain or lose weight to fit in those clothes, and if you do, chances are they're already out of style, and you'll want new clothes. So, don't fret and find a new home for them.

What Do I Do With My Old Clothes?

If you've been honest with yourself, chances are you have a stack of old clothes you need to get rid of. Look at the clothing and make a decision depending on the shape of the clothing:

  • Clothing in good condition should either be sold online (such as eBay) or donated to charity.
  • Clothing that is soiled, torn, or worn should either be torn up and used as rags or tossed.

Again, it's not a question of whether you want to keep this clothing, but whether you really are going to wear it or not. If you haven't worn it, it doesn't fit, or it is too ratty to wear, it is time to get rid of it. If your closet is still bursting at the seams and you've cleared out your unwanted clothes, maybe it's time for a remodeled closet?

3. Keep Your Closet in Good Shape

Here's a handy trick: When you hang all your clothes up, hang them with the hangers backward on the rod so that when you use a particular piece of clothing, you turn the hanger forward. Hang the item back on the hanger when done, or after you wash it. At the end of the season, or end of the year, those clothing items which have not been used should probably go into the unwanted pile.

Does Your Closet Need Organizing?

© 2016 MH Bonham


Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 12, 2017:

I need to get busy organizing my closet. I hang on to comfortable clothes and shoes forever. Thanks for the good tips.