How to Declutter Any Closet in 30 Minutes or Less

published Jan 14, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

The January Cure is a long-standing Apartment Therapy tradition, helping you clean and declutter your home for the year ahead. We tackle one assignment each weekday throughout the entire month. Sign up now if you want to join. (It’s free!)

Sometimes the size of a task can be so overwhelming that you’re too scared to even get started. Oh, did I say “sometimes”? I meant: Always.

Decluttering a closet is like that. It’s an entire room (albeit a tiny one) dedicated to storage, so there’s A Lot in there to go through. And you might think it could take hours and hours and days and days to get it all sorted, but I want you to push through that assumption and just start.

Sorry, this list is no longer accepting subscriptions.

Feel free to subscribe to our other emails.

Credit: Kim Lucian

Today’s Assignment: Do a 30-minute closet cleanout.

Set a timer and get busy decluttering one closet—any closet—at home.

It can be your clothes closet, or the catchall storage closet. And it doesn’t have to be the messiest one, or the one you use the most—just choose any closet that will benefit from a little attention tonight.

Grab a vacuum, a trash bag, your outbox (or a temporary satellite version to dump into your main one), and a timer (the app on your phone will do just fine) and head to the closet. Set the timer for 30 minutes and get to work. Don’t worry about how far you’ll get or even think about whether it will be “finished” today.

Here’s your plan:

  • Straighten things up, like errant hangers and stuff that’s just sort of tossed around in there.
  • Vacuum up dust and dirt around the floor or other surfaces.
  • Go through the things inside and cast things you’re not sure you need to the outbox. Aim for five things. Then if that felt good, five more. Then just… keep going… until your alarm goes off at 30 minutes.

If you feel that you’ve left things unfinished when time is up, take a moment to assess what else needs to happen for the closet to be in really good shape, then estimate how much time it will take you to complete that on another day.

Because for today, we’re done! You made progress in the closet! Wasn’t it less scary than you expected?

Credit: Apartment Therapy

Sorry, this list is no longer accepting subscriptions.

Feel free to subscribe to our other emails.

It’s not too late! Here are a few ways to participate in the Cure:

The Cure doesn’t just happen in January. If you want to take your efforts to the next level, any time of year, pick up a copy of Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure book.