Keeping busy at home: Closet decluttering tips

A stack of folded pants lie next to a bag of clothes on the floor.

Have you run out of things to clean or organize yet?

As much of the country continues to stay at home to be safe and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the list of things to do to keep busy might be getting thin.

If you haven’t tackled your clothes closet yet, you’re in luck. We have tips to make it easy-peasy. And when you’re done, you may be reacquainted with some old favorites and have room to fit in any new items on your wish list. Ready? Let’s get started!

Set aside enough time to do the job

The task of making your closet more user-friendly could take a couple of hours, an evening, half a day or a weekend. You decide! If you’re starting with a closet is so crammed with clothes, boxes and bags that it takes a bit of muscle to pull a dress out, we suggest setting aside a 2-3 days for the task.

Set your categories: keep, donate, undecided

Make room for three piles or get three large boxes and start dividing items in your closet into three categories: keep, toss or give away and undecided.

The keep and toss/give away piles are pretty self-explanatory. The undecided pile is for those things you just aren’t sure about.

If you’re going for a deep closet cleaning, do this with everything in there: clothes, boxes, shoes, bags. Your goal should be an empty closet.

A pile of colorful clothes sits on a table. Hands are shown sorting and folding.

Getting rid of unwanted items

Once you’ve divided everything, it’s very important to deal with the giveaway box immediately so it doesn’t sit around for months tempting you to dig back through it. If that happens, those feelings of success from your deep clean will start to feel like failure.

Here are your options: Donate, give away to your friends, sell items online or have a yard sale. Divide them appropriately and deal with them ASAP. (Warning: A yard sale is much more work than cleaning a closet. If you didn’t want to clean your closet, you probably don’t want to have a yard sale.)

What to do with the box of maybes

When you’re deciding what to do with your undecideds, consider these questions: Does it fit? Will you ever fix that missing button? If you were shopping, would you buy it? A “no” to any of these questions means goodbye.

To be sure about the remaining items, put them in boxes and set aside for either one month, six months or 12 months, depending on the seasonality of the item. Winter coats, for example, go in the 12-month category.

Then the clock starts ticking. If you haven’t needed, wanted or used the item after the time period you chose, it’s time to say goodbye. (See options above in getting rid of unwanted items.)

A stack of folded clothes.

Organizing your newly cleaned closet

Now that you’ve reduced your inventory and have an empty space, vacuum and wipe the area down with a damp cloth. (Who knows the last time it was done or when it will be done again!)

And don’t just throw everything back in the closet willy-nilly. Make plan, be neat and look for opportunities to leave space so you can easily reach your items. Find any items that are keepers but you don’t need easy access to? See if they can be moved to a different storage location.

A rack of hanging clothes.

As a check on your initial decision to keep hanging clothes, put them back with the hangers facing backward. After you use an item, return with the hanger the correct way. If you haven’t turned the hanger after one year, you likely don’t need what’s on it. You can devise a similar system for your shoes.

Consider investing in nice organizational items, like shelves, shoe racks, decorative baskets or clear, plastic bins. Clear containers allow you to see what’s inside without hauling it down and opening it up. If you do use boxes you can’t see through, label them and hope the label doesn’t fall off.


Is all this advice stressing you out? Just remember that decluttering can make you happier and calmer – especially when you can find your favorite dress in a few seconds rather than 10 minutes. And don’t forget to turn the hanger around when you do!

Looking for more healthy lifestyle tips? Check out our other blogs on Amway Connections.


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