A Step-by-Step Guide to Decluttering Your Closet

How to cut down your wardrobe and minimize belongings.

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Box or Bag It Up

Whether you’re clearing out a nightstand, dresser, or closet, be prepared to find a place for every single item by sorting into a series of lidded storage boxes, says Reston-based personal organizer Susan Kousek.

Label them like this:

1 _ Items to go into other rooms

2 _ Items to give to friends or family members

3 _ Items to mend and/or send to dry cleaner.

Set out clear plastic bags for things you’re donating and black trash bags for things to discard. Voilà—each item will end up either back where you found it or in one of these containers.

Interview Your Wardrobe

Think of this as downsizing: Some will make the cut and others won’t. For every item in your closet (including handbags, accessories, and shoes), Kousek recommends asking yourself these questions:

1 _ Is this something I don’t love and don’t wear often?

2 _ Is this something I wear only when there’s nothing else clean?

3 _ Is this something I don’t wear because it (a) doesn’t flatter me (b) doesn’t fit (c) has stains or (d) isn’t comfortable?

Everything that meets these descriptions should find its way into one of your labeled, lidded organizer boxes.