The 30-Minute Timer Tip I Swear by for Cleaning My Closet

published Jan 9, 2024
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 18-day program that’ll help you reset your home for the year ahead. Sign up here and get all assignments delivered to your inbox.

Closets can be the main storage spot in your home — especially if you live in a small space. And because these spaces can be filled with an assortment of stuff — from clothes for all seasons, to shoes, to storage bins — they can quickly become cluttered and chaotic. 

So, let’s rein in some chaos!

Day 5: Do a closet cleanout.

Today’s assignment is to do a closet cleanout. It can be your dedicated clothes closet in your bedroom, the storage closet by your front door, or the closet in your office. Pick one that needs the attention. 

First, gather your tools: a vacuum, a trash bag, your outbox, and a timer (or just your phone). You’ll be dedicating at least half an hour to decluttering the closet. Once the timer goes off you can choose to stop and assess what’s left to do (and add it to your to-do list for another day!) or continue on to finish the job. This is totally up to you and what time you have.

Then, follow these steps to do a proper closet cleanout in 30 minutes.

  1. Straighten things up, like errant hangers or bins that have been left open, and take things off the floor.
  2. Vacuum and dust the floor and other surfaces.
  3. Spend some time decluttering, deciding if there’s anything that needs to be put into your outbox. Aim for at least five things and keep going on. You’ll spend the most time doing this.
  4. When the timer goes off, assess what’s left to do and decide if you feel good stopping it and scheduling another “declutter date” on your calendar, or if you want to continue decluttering and cleaning things up. 

PRO TIP: Invest in game-changing organizers, like storage bags, shelf dividers, or dresser drawer organizers, to improve your closet. You can find more storage gems in our 2023 Organization Awards.

What did you declutter in your closet? Tell us in the comments below.

More ways to participate in the January Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.