How To Declutter The Family’s Closets And Keep Them Clean

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it may not seem like an especially good time to worry about the state of the family closets. Actually, it’s an excellent time to declutter and purge all the closets before the influx of new items from all the gift-giving and shopping kicks in. Rather than have more stuff added to the piles of closet clutter, you’ll have available space to welcome delightful new clothes and accessories to update everyone’s wardrobes.

eliminate-closet-clutter.jpgEliminate closet clutter by regular purging and keeping closet contents less than stuffed to maximum capacity

Why closets require purging and decluttering

Closets are supposed to make our lives easier by organizing, storing, and having everything in our wardrobes accessible so getting dressed for work, school, or play is an easy task. If your family’s closets contribute to the chaos of life, Tailored Living® is ready to help with tips for purging and decluttering as well as suggestions for closet organization systems and closet accessories that can keep everybody organized going forward.

The closet mess really isn’t a mystery, and here are three major reasons that a closet can’t fulfill its destiny:

  • More is stuffed into the closet than the closet can possibly hold
  • There is no rhyme or reason to how things are stored in the closet
  • The user or users make no effort to keep the closet organized

Any one of these will result in a cluttered and messy closet, and with more than one at play, no closet has a chance! So, get proactive now before the holidays and sail into the New Year with totally organized closets.

Decluttering the kids’ closets

Start with the biggest challenge and the rest will be easy! This is not a task the kids should handle on their own, you need to work side by side with them, directing the process. In a shared bedroom/closet situation, each child will need equal time and focus for a successful result. Set aside a block of time and have the standard “help” boxes available—discard, donate, and out-of-season storage—and dive right in!

  • Take everything out of the closet and drawers so the whole wardrobe is being evaluated.
  • Consider every piece of clothing and footwear as to fit and condition and purge anything that’s worn out, doesn’t fit, or that they refuse to wear.
  • Make a list to replace outgrown items like a favorite jacket, shoes, boots, or jeans that are too small. Toss the still good ones in the donation box or pass them down to a younger sibling.
  • Underwear, pajamas, and socks always need clearing out.
  • Use the out-of-season box for warm weather clothes that can store at the top of the closet or elsewhere for now.
  • Downsize to what will fit in the closet and dresser drawers to eliminate overflow or bring in supplementary storage like shelving or an ottoman that can be storage and seating.
  • Decorative wall hooks in the bedroom or bathroom can handle daily-use items like pajamas, robes, jackets, and hats to free up space in the closet.
  • Relocate anything that doesn’t belong in the closet such as a skateboard or backpack.

closet-dresser-organization.jpgLet your child participate in the final closet and dresser organization plan so they’ll follow through and keep things neat

Purging a shared closet is a team effort

If you share a closet, it’s a good idea to do purging together, considering the needs of each person and the capacity of the closet. This can involve deciding exactly what will or will not get space in the closet. For example, do all shoes have to be in the closet? You’ll basically follow the process outlined above, with each person managing their own things:

  • Purge all excess from each wardrobe, including clothes, shoes, and accessories as well as eliminate anything that doesn’t belong in the closet.
  • With a small closet, items like workout gear, coats, or a hat collection may be able to live elsewhere.
  • Off-season clothes can be moved to a hall closet or the garage to free up space.
  • If footwear is claiming too much closet space, look outside the closet at a tall chest or armoire converted to a shoe closet, or use under-bed storage.

   shared-closet-space.jpgEach person can purge and downsize to what they need in their share of the closet space

Organizing the man in your life (or at least his closet)

If there’s a stubborn man in your life who doesn’t “do closets,” you can do it for him, but tread lightly. (Sometimes you just have to keep those old team jerseys!) You can be ruthless and do a purge and declutter all on your own and let him be surprised, or you make your assessments of what stays and what goes and give him final approval before anything is disposed of. Either way, the same rules apply … only keep what belongs in the closet, fits, is wearable, still applies to career and lifestyle, and is appropriate to the season unless his closet is big enough to move out-of-season clothes to the back of the closet. Some things to keep in mind that we’ve learned after years of designing men’s closets:

  • Most men do care about order and convenience when managing their wardrobes.
  • The less time they have to spend on it the better they like it, so simplicity is key.
  • Have a place for everything to keep the space clutter-free.
  • If he’s a folder, shelves and drawers can hold stacks of jeans, shirts, and sweaters.
  • If he’s a hanger, tiered rods can double and triple hanging space for his clothes.

entire-wardrobe-ready.jpgDownsizing to what neatly fits in the closet will keep his entire wardrobe ready for anything at a moment’s notice

Transforming your own closet

Now that you’ve got everyone else in shape, it’s time to tackle your closet. This may be the most difficult because you have an emotional attachment to your stuff so it’s harder to be objective with purging. Be faithful to the process and you’ll eliminate closet clutter and get down to a very user-friendly closet that makes getting dressed a pleasure. To review:

  • Consider every piece and if you don’t love the idea of putting it on, use the discard or donate box.
  • Try on each item you like and evaluate how it feels, looks, and fits. If it’s worn out from too much love, replace it. If it’s damaged, repair it or let it go.
  • Start your own shopping list for replacement pieces or new things you need for winter.
  • Off-season clothes can be stored in a hall closet or the garage, or if you have a large enough closet, move warm weather things to the back of the closet or to the highest shelves.

set-up-every-day.jpgDo yourself a favor by eliminating excess closet clutter and setting up every day to be a great day

Stay organized with custom closet organization systems

If during the decluttering process you discovered that your closets could benefit from some organizational love, Tailored Living can help you design unique closet systems for any closet, including a small, walk-in closet organizer, coordinated storage for a reach-in closet, and custom floor-to-ceiling solutions for an expansive walk-in closet. Here are some of the options to choose to personalize every closet:

  • Tiered hanging rods for long and short items, scaled to accommodate kids and adults.
  • Utilize all available space with floor-to-ceiling adjustable shelves, drawers, and cabinets.
  • For the kids, low-level bins and shelves for toys and shoes let them put things away themselves.
  • Shoe racks clear floor space, organizing a few or a lot of shoes.
  • A storage island can provide additional drawer space or integrated shelves for shoes or purses.
  • Closet accessories maximize space with a scarf, tie, and belt racks, valet rods, and decorative hooks.
  • A bench or storage ottoman adds seating and additional storage space.
  • Tilt-out hampers keep dirty clothes corralled and hidden from sight.

Call 866-712-3404 today or go online to to find a designer near you and schedule a free, in-home, or virtual* consultation to talk about your family’s closet needs and how to make it easier to manage their wardrobes ensures a stress-free, organized lifestyle for everyone.

*Virtual consultations may not be available at all locations.

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