Did you know that there are actual health benefits when we declutter?
I know, right?
According to this article from Utah State University, decluttering your immediate space (like your home or office), helps relieve anxiety and even energizes you!
And taking the time to declutter and tidy up your home gives you a sense of accomplishment, which is great for our self-esteem.
Let’s be honest – the very thought of tackling your decluttering venture may seem extremely daunting, if not absolutely stressful! YIKES
Thankfully, I’m here to help you through this mess – literally –
and soon enough, you’ll be feeling like a decluttering guru.
The very first thing I need you to do is breathe.
We are NOT tackling your whole apartment in one go. That’s just setting us up for even more stress and overwhelm and those are not the vibes to start the holidays with!!
I’ve got this checklist for decluttering your home, which will be super useful and help keep you focused on the idea of working on one space in your home at a time.
For now, we’re going to go ahead and start with just ONE space – a space known to all for being the epitome of ‘I’m not sure where this item goes, let’s just put it somewhere’: your closet.
Oh, the lovely closet… one space in the home that is often left unchecked and tends to gather enough dust to fill the rest of the home.
We’re taking on this space first because it tends to be a smaller space (which is great to work with) and we could use it for storage once we start working on the rest of the home.
So, let’s get right into how to declutter your closet right now!
You want to learn how to organize and declutter your closet right now. You’ve come to the right place!
We’re going to dive in a little bit on the part of this project that starts even before we take anything out of our closet.
There is a whole process for preparing for this task and I want to be sure you are ready!
Here are some things you’re going to need BEFORE getting into the declutter session:
- Make sure you set time aside. Add it to your planner if needed (I basically live by this decluttering planner out my weeks in advance).
If I know that my closet is in need of a decluttering spree, I will deliberately add it to my planner with a time to start as though it was just another ‘job’ to get done.
This way, I am more likely to stick to it because it’s already in my planner and the time is set aside for it.
I’m not just trying to find time to squeeze this task in.
Y’know what I mean?
- You’re going to need a bin or basket. You might consider opting for two bins of medium size because this is what we will use for the items we are purging.
As a small tip, opt for something that is not see-through.
This will allow for the whole out of sight, out of mind concept to work its magic.
It can be tough parting with certain items because they may hold some sentimental value.
But it is important to know that just because we are getting rid of the item, that doesn’t mean the sentiment and memories will be gone with it.
By freeing ourselves of these items, we allow our minds and hearts the space for new feelings and experiences to emerge into your life.
And again, your memories and sentiments still remain, even if the items associated with them have parted.
Give yourself grace and remind yourself that this part of the process is OK.
I love referring back to Marie Kondo’s approach to decluttering sentimental items.
She mentions that one thing she does is expressing gratitude towards these items for the experiences they shared with her.
This form of practicing gratitude is a great mindset to have not just when decluttering your space, but also, in everyday life.
- Have some sanitizing items on hand. Things like disinfecting wipes, a towel and an air freshener or candle will be necessary once the closet is free of all the items.
You will get a chance to wipe down surfaces and dust the space.
Remember that your closet tends to become neglected of a good clean because it isn’t really thought of often as a space to deep clean (especially if it’s cluttered… the last thing you may be thinking is to even try to clean in there, haha.)
Lighten up the space even more by spraying your favorite air freshener or light up a candle nearby – I mean, when was the last time you thought your closet actually smelled good, LOL.
- Make sure you have space on your floor or bed. This is crucial for decluttering your closet, as you’re going to need some space for the items to be placed once taken out of your closet. A cleared bed or floor space will do just fine.
If the rest of your room is a mess, here’s a checklist to help you tidy up and organize a bit before tackling the decluttering of your closet.
How to Declutter and Organize Your Closet
Alright, so you’re in the right mindset and feeling ready!
First off, I’m so proud of you for taking the time to tackle this – it’s not easy. But the benefits outweigh the temporary nervousness 1000%!!
Here’s how to declutter and organize your closet.
1. Know Your Starting Point
Take a good look at your starting point.
You’ll get a sense of accomplishment that will help keep you motivated. Make a conscious, mental note that you deserve a clean, organized, decluttered space and think about how you WANT to feel at the very end.
This is great for focusing your mindset and keeping you on track.
2. Remove Everything
Take everything out of your closet. Yes, everything.
Remember before we started this craziness that we made sure to have some space on the floor or bed?
Yeah, this is why.
Everything that is in your closet… go ahead and take it all out and place it all either on your floor or your bed, depending which one you cleared for this occasion.
Once you’re done with that, come back to this post and continue along with the following steps.
3. Wipe It Down
Now that everything is out of your closet, go ahead and take this time to wipe down surfaces and dust out any corners and crevices. Vacuum and/or sweep as well.
4. Start Your Purge
Now’s the perfect time purge your wardrobe. Referring back to Marie Kondo’s method for tidying up, try to work your way through each item and truly feel which ones spark joy for you.
Some items might hold some emotional attachment and for these items, we show them gratitude and pass them on to someone else.
That is what we grabbed a bin or basket for: so that we had a place for our items that are being purged.
This process doesn’t need to be done in a hurry but I suggest not taking too long to complete this task as it is extremely easy to procrastinate on it and leave it aside.
Work diligently and quickly through your piles of stuff and remember to also put aside anything that may need altering or dry cleaning.
For those items, have a laundry basket handy so you can place them away from your donation pile of purged items.
5. Fill Up Your Closet Again
Once you are through with Step # 4, put the remaining items back and go ahead and take your donations straight to your car.
This will help you avoid any second thoughts on the items you’ve purged and will help get them out of your space.
Trust me, this is crucial especially if you are someone like me!
Opt to do this with each new season OR you can even do this monthly so that you tackle just a bit each time as opposed to a whole big load at once.
How to Declutter Your Walk-In Closet
Now, the biggest difference between a regular closet and a walk-in closet is obviously the space.
With more space, there tends to be –you guessed it– more clutter.
Items get tossed into this space without a second thought.
You sometimes buy a lot more than what you truly need simply because you have the space for it.
And, sometimes, this particular closet type doubles as storage, meaning you sometimes have random items and boxes just piling up in there, giving you less space to actually use and a lot more headaches.
You’ve got this!
Let’s go through how to declutter a walk-in closet.
1. Declutter Your Entire Walk-in Closet
Much like a smaller closet, the very first thing you need to do when decluttering your walk-in closet is to empty it out.
Now, your walk-in closet is probably much bigger than an average closet, meaning you probably have a lot more to actually take out.
Regardless, this is a crucial first step because you need to have an actual visual of just how much space you have – heaven knows when was the last time you actually saw the back end of that closet, haha – and it is also 10x harder to organize and declutter ON TOP of the clutter.
Does that make sense?
2. Wipe Down Surfaces
Walk-in closets tend to have more shelving, nooks and crannies and more of that means more dust.
So make sure you wipe down any and all surfaces, sweep/mop/vacuum where you can, and dust your way through your walk-in closet to rid it of all that has accumulated over time in there.
3. Place Items in 3 Separate Categories
Now is the time to purge through the items you’ve taken out.
Much like a smaller closet, go ahead and do a quick purge through your items, keeping the KonMari methodology in mind, and place items into three separate categories: keep, donate, and throw away.
As a general rule of thumb, and in case you’re finding it hard to decide what stays and what doesn’t, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Does it fit?
- Is it damaged?
- Does it bring me joy the moment I hold it?
4. Get Inspired!
One thing about walk-in closets is that you have a literal ton of options on how to lay out everything so that it is the most efficient and effective for you and your needs.
Look for some walk-in closet inspiration on Pinterest and try out a few until you find the one that just instantly speaks to you!
Having a closet layout tailored to you makes a world of a difference and just feels more like a space you want to be in because you’ve put effort and energy into making it as great as it can be.
5. Design Your Closet
Once you’ve completed the purge, and you’ve put together the perfect layout, you’re ready to start assembling the ‘keep’ items back into your closet.
Once you’ve completed this task, you’re going to not only have a beautiful new closet space, but you will have the tranquility and peace of mind that comes after a huge decluttering/cleaning project like this.
I know I know… it seems like a huge task –and it is!
BUT you are 1000% up to the task.
Not only does decluttering and cleaning your space have the physical benefits like having a clean home and getting a bit of cardio in… but you will be able to reap the many mental health benefits that come from this particular kind of activity.
Cleaning up our physical space helps alleviate and declutter our mental space.
Remember to take it one step at a time and have all your necessary tools on hand (such as sanitizing wipes, a box or two for tossing donations and trash, and bins for organizing.)
You’ll thank yourself later for committing to this project – trust me.