Decluttering Cure

This 5-Step Method is the Best Way to Declutter Your Clothes

published Sep 25, 2021
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Credit: Lula Poggi

Apartment Therapy’s Decluttering Cure is a free two-week decluttering program, guaranteed to leave you with a lighter, leaner home. Sign up here and get all 14 assignments delivered to your inbox.

What’s your signal that it’s time to declutter? For me, it’s when my supply of things is overflowing the space I’ve dedicated for them.

It happens in the kitchen, when I run out of space to store my coffee mugs. It happens in the junk drawer, after I’ve tossed so much junk in there that it piles over the boundaries of my well-intentioned drawer dividers. And it happens in the bedroom, after I’ve done a mountain of laundry and realize that I can’t close my t-shirt drawer anymore.

Instead of trying to find more space (which may or may not be possible), the better move is always to cull that collection of things down to only what fits in the space you have to store it. And there’s one fool-proof method for doing that kind of decluttering — a method I want to share with you today.

It works especially well for decluttering your clothes storage, so that’s what we’ll do today — either in one small part, or all at once…

Credit: Look Studio/Shutterstock

Day 6: Declutter your clothes.

If you don’t think you can get through all of your clothes in the time you have available today, it’s OK to focus on just what’s hanging up, or just what’s in the drawers, or maybe even just one drawer.

What’s important is trying this “everything out” method so you can make the best choices about the things you love having in your life and in your wardrobe. There will be time for everything else later.

  1. Take everything out: Everything! Lay it on the bed, or on a sheet on the floor. 
  2. Sort into piles by category: For your clothes, that might be: jeans, tops, dresses, etc. Do whatever makes sense for your wardrobe.
  3. Choose two or three favorites from each pile to keep: Put the things you want to keep back into the closet or dresser. Instead of thinking about what you want to live without, we’re being mindful of what you want to live with.
  4. Keep going, picking favorites until your storage is full: Once you’ve got just the favorites in place, keep adding favorites from each category, one by one, until your previously-empty storage area is full.
  5. Get rid of everything left in the pile: You don’t have room for it, and you don’t love it as much as you love everything else.

I know this is a big one for some people, so I want to stress that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. This everything-out method is smart, but it does require a commitment, so if you want to work space by space and stop when you feel finished, that’s ok! We’re all about progress, not perfection.

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure: