How to Declutter the Clothes Closet

How to Declutter the Clothes Closet


Most people actually wear half, or even less than half of what is hanging in their closet. You probably have a good idea of what you wear regularly and also what you never wear.
As you go through your closet, I want you to evaluate the colors you wear/feel good in and which items you continue to fall back on.
As you see how your wardrobe is going to decrease, think about the items that you truly want to keep.
A good rule of thumb for shirts is that you should be able to wear one in five different ways. For example, the shirt should go with a skirt, slacks, jeans, under a jacket, and also with a scarf.

I want to help you to be completely satisfied with your closet.

That means that you have to remove the clothes that are burdensome: the skinny clothes, the clothes you feel guilty about, the beautiful – but never-going-to-have-an-occasion-to-wear-them-again clothes.
I recommend dress/casual v-neck fitted t-shirts or some nice fitted button up shirts. Fitted button ups are flattering for all body types and are very forgiving. Plus, they are comfortable and yet they still look nice.


Go with colors you like, that also work together. I have a friend who sticks with black, grey and white for all her clothes. She looks great in those colors and everything coordinates. ( Before I knew that, I had seen her at least twice a week for the last 5 years and had never noticed it before.
Pick colors that complement your skin tone. For example: if I wear yellow I look sick. If people saw me they would be very concerned about my health! I personally look better in jewel tones. Many look best in pastel colors. Stick with the colors that complement your complexion most, and don’t worry about what colors are in season or out of season.

Time to declutter:

  1. Remove all your clothing from the closet.
  2. Remove any empty hangers and set them aside.
  3. Sort in 3 bags or boxes: Trash, donate, and keep.
  4. Look at your keep box.
  5. Go through each clothing item before hanging it back in the closet: Do you love it? Does it flatter your body type? Do you feel confident/beautiful/comfortable in it?
  6. Take out the trash.
  7. Take the donate box straight to your vehicle.

Did you declutter your clothes? Do you want more decluttering tasks??
This is one task from my upcoming book series, where I have a task ready for you every day, including simple daily routines to keep the house looking the way you want it to. Are ready to change your life and home to one free of clutter? Click here and get started with the first book!

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. suzy on August 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I had decluttered a couple months ago. I used to have two rods for hanging clothes. I realized I did not need that many. Once I took out the second one my closet looked a thousand times better. Even my husband said so.
    Although I am sure I still have clothes I could part with, now I really know what I own. I was looking for a shirt the other day and could not find it. It drove me crazy trying to find it (it was in the dryer) But before, I cannot tell you how many times I have been looking for a shirt and it is in my closet the whole time smooshed between other clothes. So much better now!

    • Rachel on August 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      That’s great Suzy!
      I remember the days of smooshed clothes too– the whole point of hanging them up was to not have to iron, and then they needed it after all! Nice to not deal with that anymore!

  2. Jerilyn on August 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I look best in jewel tones as well. I’ve slowly got my closet about to where i want it. For
    Now… Because I am trying to lose weight. 🙂 i love the ease of getting dressed and packing is much quicker!

  3. Tara on August 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I’m working through this right now in all of our closets. Thanks for the tips and inspiration.

  4. Jennifer Wilber on February 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I am helping an elderly woman who is paying me to help her declutter parts of her house. My question for you is what do you do when they have a master closet and everything is hung up but she has at least 50 shirts in every color. how to I help her by using the technique of you can’t put this all back mentality? bc she does have the room? She says she needs to get rid of alot…but already gone through one closet in her house that had at least 25 old bed sheets that I basically folded and she did not let me get rid of hardly any…very frustrating…help?

    • Rachel on February 3, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      I think you would really benefit from reading this book:
      It would also be good if you could walk her through some serious questions: why is she decluttering? What does she want her home to look like/feel like? What is her motivation for decluttering? What is her goal (specific, measurable, with a deadline)?
      Unfortunately, you can’t do it for her, so until she really understands her “why” and has a serious goal to work towards (just saying “I want to declutter” isn’t enough- it has to be very specific), it’s going to be frustrating.

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