I’m cleaning out my closet

I hate my closet.

Since the day we moved in over 9 years ago I’ve hated it. For a master bedroom that is pretty big, the master closet is small, especially for two people; one of whom really, really loves clothes. The lighting is bad, the shelves are bad, and I’ve been at a loss how to make it better because even if I added a fancy, expensive closet system it would still be crammed. The closet a narrow walk-in with clothing rods in an L-shape, so hubby and I each have a wall (each has 2 rods). Hubby has the shorter wall, therefore his side is as cramped as mine.

Now, I do realize that there is an easy solution…fewer clothes, but until this point that just wasn’t a fun option for me!

One huge appeal of the minimalist wardrobe is the fewer items in my closet, the less clutter. And the less clutter, the less stressed I am about my closet. And anywhere I can reduce stress and clutter is a good thing. Especially as we’ll soon be adding a 4th human and everything that comes with that into our home.


The top rack is my bottoms – this doesn’t include a full bin of the pants that I packed up a couple of months ago when I knew there was no chance of wearing them any further into pregnancy. I put pants and skirts on top because that left room for me to use the middle shelf since they hang shorter.

Master closet before
Master closet before

Another angle: The middle shelf had bins with belts and jewelry and random items I didn’t hang up (usually when I’m doing a quick change in the morning). I have a full door hanger of shoes, plus 3 bins under the bottom rack with shoes thrown in and overflowing.

closet before

One last view with some of the shoes in the door hanger.

closet before

See what I mean…it’s a chaotic mess!

And that’s not all! Hubby generously let me take over all 13(!!!) drawers of dresser space we have for undergarments, PJs, comfies, tees, and sweaters. They are all packed full just like this. I even used the pinterest trick of lining shirts and sweaters sideways to make room for even more. That trick totally worked, but it does make shirts more wrinkled.

drawers before

Step 1: Look at the big picture

I emptied every drawer (except undergarments and socks) and the entire closet so I could get a view of EVERYTHING at once.

empty out the closet
This mess does not include 5 bins of sweaters, pants, and summer clothes I knew wouldn’t fit this year that are in storage.

Step 2: Sort

I started by pulling out my absolute must-keep pieces. These are items I knew fit and that I felt good in and got wear out of. At this point it was easy because I really just separated out the maternity clothes since that’s all I can wear.

Just ask yourself of each piece, “Do I LOVE this?”

closet clean out
My must-keep pile

Everything else was in a huge pile on the floor. I went through each item and categorized it into one of the following categories:

1) Donate: Items that are I haven’t worn or don’t feel good wearing (don’t like cut, color, not my style, etc.) Most of these are items I didn’t spend too much money on, so the guilt factor about ditching them isn’t there. Anything that was too worn or damaged I trashed. Don’t worry about how much an item cost – I know this is the hard part for me. I’ve definitely gotten better about not feeling guilty about “throwing” money away with donations. Not only does it help someone else out, but they are a great tax deduction (keep that in mind when you think you’re wasting money).

2) Thredup or Twice: Items I know I won’t miss, but are higher end quality or in great condition that Thredup or Twice may take. Both are online consignment stores. If they accept my items, I earn some money I can use it toward a future purchases, but if not they’ll donate the clothes to a worthy cause. You can also find a local consignment shop – some pay up front and others give your items a time window and you get paid after they sell.

3) Sell: Items I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to part with, but probably won’t miss. I’ll list these on poshmark or ebay for a while and if they sell it will make it easier to part with them. If not, I’ll revisit donating them during my next clean out and decide if they’re keepers or donaters.

4) Storage: Items that are out of season or that you aren’t ready to let go of but don’t seem to wear often (or pieces don’t make it into you current capsule). Box them up and store them somewhere. If you find after a few months that you haven’t missed them maybe it’s time to donate. As the season changes, repeat this process with these boxes.

This is what I ended up with – everything on the bed is going back in the closet, the plastic tub is being stored for postpartum, one full bag for thredup, the cardboard box is to sell, and 3 full bags (plus 2 I’d already taken) to donate. I was also keeping in mind creating a capsule wardrobe, so I limited the quantity of what I kept, which I’ll post more about soon.

after sorting

Step 3: Organize your closet

I purchased 50 velvet covered hangers to make my new cleaned out closet look even better. Not only will it create a uniform look, it will be a reminder that I want to limit the number of clothing items I have. My goal is not to need to add any more hangers to my closet.

I also sorted through all of my shoes and jewelry in the same way and got rid of about half of the jewelry and 10 pair of shoes.


closet 2


closet after

Oh my gosh, I feel like I can breathe! I am so happy with my simplified closet. It feels so good to be able to see everything and know that anything I pull off the hanger I’m going to feel good wearing. I am going to start looking for a shoe organizer shelf since I have more space on the bottom for something better than wire baskets now. Since the closet is a lot less jammed I can put more effort into organization for what I have (sounds like a good third trimester nesting project). I should also mention that the dresser is seriously thinned out too. Maybe I can give hubby some drawers back?! 😉

closet before and after

In a few days, I will go into more depth about what items I became part of my Summer Capsule.

Is your closet a happy place or a stressful place in your home?



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    1. Holy moly, you do have a lot of clothes! This is a great guide to cleaning out a closet; I wouldn’t have thought to take EVERYTHING out, but what a difference that probably makes!

      1. Jaclyn,
        This is the first time I every completely emptied my closet and drawers and it was so much easier to see what (and how much) I had. I have accumulated so much over my years of bargain hunting. Usually I just casually go through and grab a few things that are definite “nos” to donate. I was much more critical of each piece this time. I find myself wearing my favorite items only a few times a year because I feel like I need to wear everything in my closet and that just seems crazy!
        Thanks for reading!

    1. I’d totally be interested in purchasing some of your “donate” clothing!

      1. Check out my poshmark closet – I’ve listed most of it there! I will keep listing items, especially in a few months!

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      1. Thank you! I appreciate you reading and taking time to comment 🙂

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