Closet Cleaning Checklist

Let’s be real: we’re big shoppers. While we try to focus on the basics, we always end up with pieces we wore once then never thought of again. They stick around in our closets and get in the way, taking up space that could be otherwise devoted to a perfect pair of flatforms or a glamorous statement coat. That’s why right now we’re all about heading into 2017 with a fresh start, and a fresh closet. Here are some tips on how to clean out your closet most effectively from Apartment Therapy’s founder (and interiors expert) Maxwell Ryan.

Flip Your Closet Cycle out your warm-weather clothes to prepare for the fall. If your closet is small and you have extra storage space elsewhere, move your off-season clothes out of your closet. If you’re fortunate to have a large closet, push your off-season fashions to the back.

Declutter, Declutter As you begin putting away your warm-weather clothes, evaluate what you haven’t worn all season and either sell or donate it. Do the same as you unpack your cold-weather clothes. Put anything that you no longer want in the donation box.

Upgrade Your Hangers Believe it or not, replacing mismatched or wire hangers with ones that are sturdier and color coordinated will help you care for your clothes and stay better organized.

Bonus Tip: Color coding your wardrobe makes finding things much easier.

Organize Store your most-used items at eye level, less-used items below and least-used items up high. If well planned, even a small closet can hold a lot. For example, if your closet is extra tall, adding just one stool-accessible shelf can help corral scarves, sweaters, etc.

Bonus Tip: Use the back of your closet to hold bigger or less frequently used items, such as a suitcase.

Space Savers Keep folded clothes or accessories neat with shelf dividers and use vertical space (both above and below the closet rod) to store more! Other space saving tips include:

1. Create extra storage space for scarves, belts or shoes by adding hooks or a pocket organizer to the inside of the closet door.

2. Make more room in your closet by storing out-of-season clothes in boxes up high or under the bed.

3. Use suitcases elsewhere in the house to store linens, blankets and other bulky items.

Once you clean out your closet, here are the 37 pieces you need. While you’re at it, make your home smell better