The Lazy Way to an Epic Closet Clean Out

Closet clean out before picture showing messy sweaters badly folded



Most people have no idea just how much of their clothing goes unworn. Perfectly good items sit in the back of our closets, just waiting for us to get it together enough to do a closet cleanout.

Our time is precious. We’re stressed, overworked, and crazy busy. But clearing out your closet doesn’t have to be exhausting, and can be incredibly satisfying.

Keeping a neat closet pays off in the long run - if you actually like all the items you can see, you spend less time sorting through them in the mornings going “no, no, no, no, - wait, yes!”




1- Group your clothes into categories.

It’s easier to see how much extra clothing you own if you can see just how many pairs of pants, dress shirts, t-shirts, or skirts you’ve got. “I have thirty-eight pairs of pants, three of which I still wear” is more of a statement than “I’ve got lots of clothes.”

So sort through that way! Throw your jeans into a pile. Same goes for your slacks, band tees, and everything else. Then, designate two big spaces for a “yes” pile, a “no” pile, and a “maybe” pile. 

How to clean closet. Pile of folded clothes

Wasn’t that easy? Now comes the hard part.


2- Separate what you don’t love.

The first to go: which pieces don’t fit anymore?

We should buy clothes to fit our bodies, not change our bodies to fit our clothes. Items that we used to love, but are now too big or too small, only take up space. If old items don’t fit right, or maybe never fit right, think about throwing them in the “no” pile. If they’re brand name or still cool, you can sell them online or in a consignment store.

Next, see how many similar items you have. So you have 3 identical pairs of light wash jeans - which one is your favorite? Least favorite?  Put the losers in the go pile.

Keep going this way until you run out.

Alright, this step is the most subjective and the most difficult. Which articles of clothing or jewelry are you just not feeling anymore? Even if they’re in style, but maybe not your style. If they don’t make you feel the way you want to feel, toss them to the go pile.


3- Sort through your “maybe” pile.

It’s easier to make decisions in your maybe pile when you’re comparing all your middle scorers. You’ll probably find you like a lot of those clothes less when you see all the items you chose to keep - or maybe you can’t bear to throw away. 
Trust your instincts here - overthinking is for relationships, not for second-guessing your own taste. You know what you like!


4- Keep your essentials and get rid of the rest.

Deep breath - one more round of sorting. This one’s easy, though - your closet cleanout is almost done.

Closet Clean Out after image.  Duplicate items removed, leaving fewer but better options.

If the clothes are in great condition and brand name, you’ll probably have luck selling them again. Consignment stores are the easiest option! If you’re up for a little extra effort, selling them online on Ebay or Depop also works! 

If they probably aren’t worth much, but are in good shape and still cute, consider donating them to clothing drives or Goodwill. Then they can find a new life with someone who needs them! 

If they’re worn, stained, threadbare, or (dare we say it) irredeemably ugly, recycle them! The best way to find where to recycle clothing near you is to Google search “textile recycling + your city.”  

You can also cut them up for rags which will reduce your need for paper towels. I keep a small trash can under my sink to collect used rags and cloth napkins which I wash once a week. 

Your closet cleanout can include jewelry, too - and we make it easy to recycle it. 

Email explaining what you’ve got, and we’ll help you get those pieces recycled. We even give you credit towards new jewelry. You can check out our collection here!

Jewelry clean out. Recycled Jewelry

It’s easy and sustainable - to recycle jewelry. We wrote a little bit about how we close the loop and use forever-recycled materials in this article back in 2019, if you’d like to know more! Make your closet clean out work for you and the earth.


5- Enjoy your new simplified wardrobe after your closet clean out.

It’s a lot easier to choose clothes and jewelry when you like what you have. That first closet cleanout after a few years may be a little daunting, but sorting through every six months, or even once a year, keeps the process manageable.

The first time you look at your closet and feel confident in every choice you could make is like taking a breath of fresh air. Donating and recycling old clothes helps other people and the planet make use of your less-loved items, too. Nothing is made to be thrown away! 

Good luck, and happy sorting!


If your closet is looking good and you want to start thinking about how to create new looks with your most favorite clothes, check out our collection of best sellers for ideas on jewelry that you you can wear again and again.

 Best Selling Ethical Jewelry

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