At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Dealing with closet clutter can start simply with setting a time to do it and following through with the task. Often it can appear overwhelming to tackle an abundance of accumulated “stuff,” but getting started by visualizing the completed project generally is helpful. When a closet is filled to the extent that it is difficult to find things, add things, and remove things, having a clear plan for de-cluttering also may help.
When trying to deal with closet clutter, it is likely that items need to be removed from the closet in order to make space. Sorting items into piles, maybe even by removing everything and starting with an empty space, generally makes the work more manageable.
When starting an organizing project, doing a quick purging typically helps. By taking a look through the closet clutter, whether still in the closet or pulled out into the room, it can be satisfying to grab items that are no longer wanted and toss them into a pile for disposal or donation. If a closet is used mostly for clothing, shoes, and accessories, it may help to evaluate an item based on how often it is worn or if it has been worn at all over a set period of time. If something has not been used in a period of a year, for example, that item can be sold to a reseller or donated to a charity. This method can be used in closets with stored games and toys, sporting equipment, and hobby supplies as well.
After getting rid of items that are not used frequently, a next step might be asking key questions about the remaining items. Some professional organizers simplify the closet clutter problem by encouraging people to ask whether they love an item, use it, or find it necessary. If something is thought to be merely middle-of-the-road or rarely used it, it can probably go to someone else who may appreciate it more. Whether an item is something the owner would prefer to have hidden in a closet or not seen by others — such as a holey T-shirt or water damaged stuffed animal — is another consideration. It could be time to dispose of such items altogether.
Sometimes just sorting the contents into piles can be motivating in dealing with closet clutter. If a decision can be made about something right away, whether to keep it, donate it, or dispose of it, make piles in those three categories. A fourth pile may be one that has items for further consideration. After some items are cleared out, it is simpler to assess the things in the fourth pile into a keep or out category. When this process is complete, hopefully there will be room for seeing, using, and enjoying kept items without the crowding.