How to Clean Your Closet

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Is your closet running out of space, and you don’t know what to do with all the new stuff? Cramming everything together in the closet without cleaning it isn’t just dirty but will also destroy all your clothes. Don’t worry!

We have summarized all of the answers in this ultimate guide on how to clean your closet from scratch.

How to Clean Your Closet

Everyone has their way of arranging their closet. However, if you are looking for something refreshing and new from scratch, then this guide will help you achieve your perfectly organized dream closet.

Empty space brown closet with mirror

The follow are the steps on how to clean your closet:

  • Make a Layout
  • Segregate Your Belongings
  • Recreate the Space
  • Use Wall Hangers and Hooks
  • Use Same Hangers
  • Stack Heavy Fabrics
  • Roll and Tuck Delicate Clothes
  • Make Space for Daily Wear
  • Go for Color Coding
  • Utilize the Vertical Space
  • One in One Out
  • Time for Final Goodbye to Old Stuff

Step #1: Make a Layout

Before you technically start arranging the closet, you need a plan to work upon. For example, you can make three sections on a piece of paper and name them- keep, donate and waste just like creating household chores list.

In this way, you will have a clear plan of action to work upon, and the outcome will not be hazy.

Also, mark a date on the calendar in advance. It’s best to pre-decide everything and write it down on a piece of paper to avoid any second thoughts on the day of action.

Step #2: Segregate Your Belongings

Sifting through your clothes by their type is a quick and easy approach to declutter. Because if you don’t, it will be tiresome to rearrange the pile of clothes in front of you.

Thus, pick your clothing one by one rather than dumping them on your bed in masses. It will be best to make sections for pants, dresses, accessories, innerwear, outerwear, etc. To make this process more ordered and effective, rearrange one pile at a time.

For instance, don’t start rearranging your pants and shirts all at once. First, arrange your pants, and when you are done with it, proceed to stack your shirts.

How is this effective? Piling similar clothing together in an ordered manner (summer to winter or vice versa) will help you find the appropriate attire at the right time without creating a mess.

However, if a few clothes are out of color and seem pretty ragged, separate them from the rest of the clothing and place them in a separate carton.

Since you’re aware that you have too much of something or don’t want it, make a final call to decide whether you can reuse these clothes or give them away to others. If anything causes you to hesitate, chuck it in a charity pile.

Empty space wooden closet with mirror

Step #3: Recreate the Space

If you are not on a budget and can afford a complete closet makeover like Carie Bradshaw, then go for it.

However, if you don’t have massive closets, don’t feel disheartened. There is always a solution in the room of creativity. Make a list of the best characteristics of your wardrobe: You might have plenty of vertical storage, built-in shelving, or many hanging rods. Make use of them.

As creativity is your savior, think about how you incorporate the leftover spaces in your room to make practical storage for your extra belongings that are overflowing your closet. Most closets have empty spaces above them and between the ceilings. Think of using that space to your benefit.

You can store fluffy blankets and heavy coats there, which otherwise would take up a lot of place in the closet.

Step #4: Use Wall Hangers and Hooks

Hanging your clothes makes it organized. If your shelves have a lot of space but fewer rods for hangers, go for wall-hanging hooks. The best you can do is screw a few of them in the closet.

In this way, you will utilize the extra space in the cabinet to clean, and you will not have to screw hooks on the wall.

There is no end to innovation. You can incorporate new ideas from Pinterest or Instagram to maximize the space as much as possible without making a compromise.

Step #5: Use Same Hangers

Nothing shouts a closet’s turmoil louder than a collection of wire and bright plastic hangers coexisting peacefully.

We advise you to use a similar color of hangers rather than using one of the different colors. Using different color hangers makes the closet look chaotic and disordered.

Meanwhile, using the same color promotes clarity and enhances the visual appearance of your shelf.

Just make sure you buy hangers that are appropriate for what you have. If you have hefty suits to hang, use durable velvet hangers over thin plastic hangers, and avoid wooden hangers if you have a lot of slick silk blouses.

Wooden hanger hanged inside the closet

Step #6: Stack Heavy Fabrics

Stacking is another way to sort things when your closet is running out of space. All you have to do is stack all those clothes that don’t fall off easily.

Clothes made of wool, jeans, or some heavy fabrics are suitable for stacking. You can also hide your hamper in the closet and put those dirty laundry inside of it to make your house look cleaner. Don’t stack clothes like silk tops or shrugs that can slip from their place quickly.

As discussed in step #1, stacking or piling imparts a more ordered view and helps you save time and energy (which you would have to waste to find ‘that dress’ otherwise).

Step #7: Roll and Tuck Delicate Clothes

In the previous step, we stacked those thick and heavy fabrics; but what about the others?

Well, if you have crumble-resistant clothes that you can store in small places, we suggest you go for the tuck and rolling technique.

Yes, you heard it right! Just like malls and supermarkets sell their towels and socks, you have to do exactly that with your clothes.

The logic behind rolling and tucking is to minimize the material’s surface area and enable people to store a large quantity of material in a limited space.

Fabric pieces made of cotton, leggings, or polyester are ideal for the rolling and tucking technique. You won’t believe the results of rolling and folding until you try it out. If done correctly, this technique can save up to half of the space in the closet.

All you need to do is take your clothes and gently roll them as you fold the chart paper. And that’s it! Your clothes are ready to be placed in the closet.

Use open boxes (excellent for sliding into drawers) or wire baskets or glass containers to store your rolled garments (perfect for shelves).

Step #8: Make Space for Daily Wear

Now here’s a question that arises where should you keep your daily wear clothes? The daily use stuff from clothing to other accessories, should be kept in the center of the closet or right in front of your eyes.

Keep frequently used items in the center of the closet and move away from them depending on how much you use them. For instance, your daily wear should be in the center while clothes that you wear on occasions should be hung on the sides.

Set of pastel clothes hanging on stand

Step #9: Go for Color Coding

Another great way to stack things up is to color-code them. For instance, stack up black pieces of stuff (scarves, shrugs, shirts, etc.) altogether. A more comprehensive way to do this is to place clothes from bright to dark or vice versa on the shelf.

However, if you don’t want to go with this, that’s alright! But, just in case this idea excites you, remember that even the most superficial color distinction will instantly make your wardrobe Instagram-worthy and easy to explore.

Step #10: Utilize the Vertical Space

Every closet has a hidden storage weapon: vertical space. When used correctly, vertical space can completely transform the arrangement of your wardrobe. This includes the space between your floor and the hems of your hanging garments, as well as walls, top shelves, and doors.

What are your strategies for maximizing vertical storage space? Hang an over-the-door shoe rack on a tension rod or over your, ahem, door. Installing DIY shelves to house jewelry boxes or handbags can also be done with excess wall space.

Step #11: One in One Out

How to keep things from spiraling out of control when you can’t resist buying something? You do what one of our subject matter experts, Mary Helen Rowell, a 90-square-foot apartment inhabitant, does and follow a simple, brutal rule known as the “one in, one out” policy.

What exactly is it? Just as the name suggests, you will have to get rid of one of these things for every new item you add to your closet.

Have you recently purchased a pair of sassy fall boots? Then you have to let go of those old boots that are ragged or on the edge of being threadbare. We aren’t asking you to dump them. However, they do indeed have to leave your closet because space is limited.

This method is simple, straightforward and ensures that your clothing collection never grows too vast to handle.

Step #12: Time for Final Goodbye to Old Stuff

Finally, it’s time to pack all of those clothes in good to moderate good condition for donation.

Take a thick cardboard box and stack your old belongings one by one for charity or for the ones who are homeless and need your support. Remember, your little bit of kindness can mean the world to someone.

Here is a detailed video on how you can organize your bedroom closet within a few hours.

Set of colorful clothes hanged with wooden hanger


A study from Slovakia reveals that collecting and stacking belongings in the closet is a way to carry forward one’s family history. People not only store clothes and accessories in their cabinets, but memories from their parents and grandparents passed on for decades and even centuries.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that a closet is a chest of personal memories that they stack throughout their lives. Hence, an emotional connection exists between the owner and their belonging, making it challenging to give it away.

However, the shelf is limited, and so is one’s life; thus, one must prioritize what belongs to the present and what doesn’t. What they will be using in the upcoming time and what they have to throw/donate to the needy people.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.