5 Closet Cleanout Tips (Spring Cleaning Week)

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It’s day two of  Spring Cleaning Week and today is closet cleanout day! Let’s dive into those closets and get them cleaned out.

A closet cleanout at least once a year makes getting dressed easier!

I’m so excited for today two of Spring Cleaning Week here on Merrick’s Art. Today is all about closet cleanout. It’s that job that hangs over your head for weeks, but feels so good when it’s done.

And when your closet has pieces you actually wear, and actually love, getting dressed becomes so much easier.

If you missed yesterday’s post about finding your style, READ THAT HERE.

Here’s a fun video, sharing my closet cleanout and some tips for cleaning out yours.




1. Pull everything out of your closet.

Taking everything out of the closet is the best way to take inventory on what you actually have stashed in there, and makes it easier to put back in an orderly way.

PRO TIP: Usually I work in sections to keep things a little more in control. I clean out my entire pants drawer, organize, sort, put away. Then I move to my sweaters and do the same. Then on to shoes, etc.

2. Sort items into four piles.

Every item should go in one of these four piles. This keeps things as organized as possible.

  • Keep pile
  • Throw away pile
  • Sell or donate pile
  • Repair or alter


Cleaning out your closet is the way it becomes easier to get dressed in the morning. Ideally, you want your closet to be filled with things you love, things that fit you well, items that are stain-free, and items that go with lots of other pieces in your closet.

How to decide what to keep

Ask yourself these questions when you’re deciding what to keep

  • Do I love it?
  • Does it fit my style and lifestyle?
  • Does it need any repairs or have any damage?
  • Is it versatile?
  • Does it fit me well?
  • Is it a piece that requires more care than I want to deal with (ie. dry cleaning, delicate, etc)?

How to decide what to toss

These are some red flags that tell you it’s time to toss

  • Duplicates. You probably don’t need five black blazers, or seven black v-neck t-shirts. Decide what ones you really wear and need, which ones are in the best shape, and get rid of the rest.
  • Stained, ripped, damaged clothing
  • Schlubby clothing — free t-shirts, saggy bottom sweats, etc. Save one set for painting your house. Toss the rest.
  • Clothing you’ve never worn. Return if you can, or sell on Poshmark.
  • Anything you have to change sizes to fit into. Store away, donate, or toss. There’s nothing more disheartening than a closet full of clothing you can’t wear. If you’re pregnant or recently postpartum, store it away. Even if you lost 20 lbs, you’d probably want to buy new things.

What to do if you’re pregnant or postpartum

I’ve had a lot of questions about this, so I want to address it further. As I mentioned above, if you’re pregnant or postpartum and most of your clothing doesn’t fit, I recommend storing it away. Keep the items in your closet that fit you right now. You may only have 10 pieces in your closet, but at least you know what you have and what fits.

Also, I’d recommend going to Old Navy, Target, or Aerie and finding a few inexpensive, versatile basics that will help you feel confident and put together during those months until your clothes begin to fit again.

PRO TIP: Trying to decide what to do with that Donate/Sell pile? Host a clothing swap, donate to your local Donation Center, or sell your pieces on Poshmark and make a few bucks!

4. How to organize your closet

After a closet cleanout, you want it to stay clean and organized as long as possible right?

Hanging spaces:

  • Organize your hanging items by category to save time when getting ready. Sort by item type first (jackets together, dresses together, t-shirts together, etc), and then sort from light to dark or by color.

Shelving areas:

  • Sweaters should be folded and stored on a shelf. You can also do jeans on a shelf. If there is something you’re not interested in seeing, get baskets or bins to keep like items together and out of sight.


  • I store jeans, pajamas, undergarments and socks, athletic clothing in my drawers. You can also find drawer dividers to help keep things organized inside your drawers.

5. Find the gaps in your wardrobe

Once you’ve sorted through everything and put it back in your closet, it’s so much easier to see what you own and recognize what pieces your closet is missing.

  • Do you need a black pair of jeans?
  • Are you missing a good pair of white sneakers?
  • Would a denim jacket help fill in your closet?

Start a note on your phone (so it’s easily accessible) with items you’d like to add to your closet. Next time you’re shopping or your mom asks what you want for your birthday, your list will be ready.

Here’s your homework for today:

  • Follow steps 1-5 and get your closet cleaned out today!

See you tomorrow for closet essentials!


8 steps for finding your style

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