30 Minutes to an Organized Closet

Woman looking at her closet

The daily routine of pulling stuff out of our closets and putting it back in, can turn your apartment into a jungle in no time. Expert organizers recommend cleaning out your closet on a seasonal basis (at least) to avoid a massive pile up. Seasonal clean outs give you a chance to come face-to-face with the pieces you’ve worn and loved that season, along with those that may still have tags on them, and the chance to make some changes before the next season is in full swing.

If your closet needs a reset, set a timer and get going: restore that baby to its former glory in 30 minutes or less!

1 Minute: Prep the Basics

Set yourself up for success by laying out a few trash bags or bins to help you sort. The two main piles you’re going to make are for clothes to throw away and clothes to donate. Two additional piles might be clothes to give away (to a friend or family member) and clothes to sell (an outfit you wore once or clothes with tags still on them). You’ll also want to have cleaning supplies on hand, like a multipurpose cleaner, damp rags, a broom and dustpan, and a vacuum cleaner.

3 Minutes: Empty Your Closet

This is the easy part – pull everything out and dump it on your bed, including any organizers and bins as well! You’ll want to start with a totally empty closet. Your clothing may be semi-organized already (all of the shirts together, for example) so you can pile them on the bed by type.

3 Minutes: Clean, Clean, Clean

Now that your space is empty, wipe down the closet rod, walls, baseboards, and any shelving units, then vacuum or sweep the floor.

3 Minutes: Evaluate the Space

Before you start loading your closet back up, take a step back and think about how you’ve been using the space and how it might work more efficiently. You may want your most-used items closer to the front and some items might fit better folded rather than hung.

15 Minutes: Sort Clothes and Put Back Keepers  

This step may take longer than 15 minutes if you’re not a super decisive person, but it can go quickly if you’re making a habit of doing it every few months. Take every garment, one by one, and decide if it goes back in the closet or in one of the piles you’ve prepped. To help you decide, ask yourself questions like: Does it fit? Have I worn it in the last 12 months? Do I feel confident in it? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, put it in one of the piles.

4 Minutes: Put on Final Touches

Once your closet is filled back up with only the keepers, take a few minutes to straighten everything out and make sure everything is organized by garment (and even by color, if you’d like).

1 Minute: Remove What’s Left

Remove the piles that didn’t make the cut. Put your donation bags right into the car so you don’t just leave them sitting around, and prep any other items (the giveaway piles and garments for sale) for next steps. Then sit back and enjoy the feeling of your apartment being way more organized than it was just a half-hour ago.