Woman organizing her Large walk in Closet

How to Downsize Your Closet in 7 Easy Steps

Did you know we only wear 20% of our wardrobe? That means there’s a whole lot of space waiting to be discovered in your closet.

Let Wright Homes help you find some extra space in your closet (or maybe just a new closet altogether if you’re looking at homes for sale in Utah) using these seven easy steps.

Put on your comfy clothes, grab a glass of water and some trash bags, and blast your favorite music in the background – let’s get started!

Step 1: Create a Fresh Start

Every home organization special on Netflix starts the same: before you can start optimizing your space, you have to empty it.

Clear the closet rods, pull down the sweaters, take out the shoes, and empty any shelves – it’s time for a fresh start.

While this task might seem like an unnecessary burden, it’s the only way to truly ensure you are only keeping the items you love and are likely to wear in the future.

Step 2: Decide What to Keep

It’s time to start deciding what’s going back in your closet. Your “keep” pile is going to be personal to you, but here are some guidelines to help you get started:

What to Keep

  1. Keep items for everyday wear, for more formal occasions, for working out, and for relaxing.

Keep a wide-variety of types of clothing in your wardrobe. Even if you don’t wear formal wear often, you’ll still want to have a nice outfit that you feel good in if you get a last minute invite somewhere.

  1. Keep items that light you up: the queen of closet organization had it right, if it lights you up, you should keep it.

If you grab an item of clothing, and you feel a positive connection to it, that’s a sign it needs to go back in the closet. Never keep something out of guilt or the dream of one day being able to fit in it. These items can go to homes where they are loved and appreciated.

  1. Be picky about color and fit.

It’s not enough that your clothes just technically fit you – they should also be flattering to your body shape and they should be a color that looks good on you.

What Not to Keep

  1. Everyday wear that you haven’t worn for the past 12 months.

This long-standing rule suggests anything you haven’t worn in the past year should be thrown out, as you are unlikely to wear it again in the future. Exceptions: if you have items of clothing that you are likely to need again, keep them regardless. For instance, a ski jacket you love that hasn’t been used in 18-months but you are planning on using in the upcoming winter.

  1. Things that make you feel less-than-amazing.

Your clothes should leave you feeling amazing, not less-than. So even if it’s something that you wear weekly, but makes you feel unattractive, you should donate it and make space for something new.

  1. Items that are a little too well-loved.

We all have clothing that we’ve loved so much that we’ve just worn it out. Let these items go, and when you think back and wonder, “Whatever happened to those flats I loved so much?”, remind yourself there was a reason you threw them out.

Step 3: Sort Items to Donate and Items to Throw Out (or Recycle)

Now that you’ve determined the items that you will not be keeping, it’s time to make a plan for what to do with them.

Anything that can still be worn should be donated (think about how excited someone will be to receive your gently-loved items).

Here are some options for donating within Utah:

  • Deseret Industries Thrift Store
  • Ogden Rescue Mission
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • The Salvation Army

If a piece of your clothing is ripped or tattered, as tempting as it may be to donate it, these items should really be placed in the trash. If you are feeling ambitious, you might also find a clothing manufacturer who will recycle these items – such as Blue Jeans Go Green.

Step 4: Start Hanging

Now that you know what you want to keep and what you’re ready to let go of, it’s time to start hanging your items.

To truly optimize the space in your closet, you’ll want to use the same type of hanger for all items. This will streamline your hanging efforts, save space on the closet rod, and create a pleasing aesthetic.

Wondering which items to hang? You’ll definitely want to hang tops, dresses, suits, skirts, and formal wear. You might also consider hanging pants, tshirts, or sweatshirts.

Step 5: Fold Whatever is Left 

Most items can be hung, but likely you’ll still have sweaters, knitwear, shorts, and pants to fold. Fold them tightly and neatly in order to create the most well-organized closet. It will also make stacking them easier and will avoid a tumbling tower of clothing.

If you are using a dresser or bins to store your folded clothing, consider placing your folded items in the drawer vertically so it’s easy to see what’s available and you won’t have to rummage through clothing to get what you need.

Step 6: Organize Intentionally 

Now that you have made your selections on what you’re keeping, it’s time to put everything back and see the difference downsizing has made.

First, organize by category.

You’ll want to sort your clothing into different categories as you are placing it back in the closet. Create one section for tops and jackets, one section for bottoms and skirts, and another section to hang long items such as dresses or coats.

Anything folded can go back onto shelves, or if you are using furniture such as a bookcase or a dresser. Knowing exactly where items are and making them easy to grab makes it easier to get dressed in the morning.

Then, organize by color. 

Sort your clothing by color to make it both more visually appealing and easier to locate items. You can use the traditional rainbow color pattern (ROYGBIV), or make up a pattern that makes the most sense for you.

For instance, if you’re always wearing green, put green tops in the front, followed by blue, then white, then black. Whatever makes it easiest for you to get ready.

Step 7: Admire Your Work & Devise a Game Plan

Stand back and admire all of the work and effort you’ve just put into your new closet. You’ll begin to feel less anxious as a new sense of peace settles in.

In order to maintain this sense of peace, consider making closet downsizing an annual event, and even more importantly, be more selective of what items you allow into your closet. Look for items that feel amazing, make you look great, and let you live fully and comfortably.

Wright Homes is here to help not only in helping you find your new home, but also to give you tips in maintaining it. Here’s to a brighter, newer you.

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