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How to Clean Out Your Closet

If your closet has become a dark, scary place where clothes go to wrinkle, it’s time to go in with a weed-whacker.


  • Step 1: Follow the two year rule Put aside everything you haven’t worn in two years. Trust us, you won’t miss it. Studies show if you haven’t worn something in two years, you’ll probably never wear it again. In fact, we wear the same 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.
  • Step 2: Ditch the wish clothes Ditch the 'wish' clothes -- you know, the things you’re hanging onto in the hope that you’ll be able to fit into them again someday.
  • Step 3: Try things on Try on anything you’re uncertain about and ask yourself, 'How does this make me feel?' Unless it makes you feel good about yourself, add it to the 'go' pile.
  • TIP: If you just can’t make up your mind whether to keep something, put it in a box and stash it in the attic or basement. If six months go by and you don’t miss it, ditch it.
  • Step 4: Donate Once your pile is complete, separate everything that is in good shape and donate it to charity. You’ll feel a lot better knowing your old clothes will be put to good use. And, if you ask for a receipt, you can even claim a tax deduction.
  • TIP: If you’re a woman with gently used business attire, check out 'Dress for Success,' an organization that provides professional clothes to disadvantaged women who are rejoining the work force.
  • Step 5: Make some dough If you’re thinking to yourself, 'Hey, but I’m needy!' bring your best clothes to a consignment store.
  • Step 6: Throw out hangers Give your old wire, wooden, and plastic hangers the heave-ho and invest in the ultra slim, flocked hangers sold at home goods stores, as well as some custom hangers with places to hang multiple items. Things will hang better, and you’ll be able to fit more in your closet.
  • Step 7: Find more space Make more space in your closet by adding wire shelving up above your clothes and/or installing a second rod under the first. Or, if you have the room, stick a small dresser on the floor of your closet.
  • Step 8: Arrange your clothes Group your clothes together, like blouses, pants, and dresses, so you’ll find what you’re looking for easily on busy mornings. And face all your clothes in the same direction for a less cluttered look.
  • FACT: Ashlee Simpson’s closet is 1,300 square feet!

You Will Need

  • Bags and boxes
  • New hangers
  • Wire shelving
  • A second closet rod
  • A dresser

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