Get Organized Mission #10: Clear Out Your Closet

Get Organized Mission #10: Clear Out Your Closet

Welcome to Mission #10 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

Do you long for a closet of comfortable, co-ordinated clothes that look great and make you feel fabulous? Well, you’re about to take the first step.

Before you can create your dream wardrobe you need to clear out the clothes and accessories that are more of a nightmare. So in this Get Organized Mission we’re going to systematically remove all the closet clutter that’s wasting hanger space and dragging your image down.

Remember – you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.
If you’re new, you might prefer to start here: 52 Organizing Missions.


Get Organized Mission #10:
Clear Out Your Closet

Step 1: Grab a bag

You’ll need:

  • One bag for discarding
  • One bag for cleaning or repair
    This is only for items that deserve the time and money investment to return them to closet-worthy status. If you know they’ll never come out of the bag, save yourself the hassle and stick with only a discard bag.
  • One bag for charity
    This is only for items in really great condition and likely to be useful to others. Otherwise, lose this bag too.

For most of us, we’ll be getting rid of clothes that are best released into the garbosphere, so one bag will suffice.

Step 2: Start From the Left

As we only have 30 minutes, we’ll leave everything in your closet.

But we’re going to be very systematic and run each item – starting from the left of your closet and working across to the right – through the ‘closet clutter check’.

Step 3: Run The ‘Closet Clutter Check’

Throw into your discard or charity bag any item of clothing, accessories, underwear, sportswear, footwear or nightwear that:

  • Is out of style
  • Is a color that doesn’t suit you
  • Is a shape that doesn’t suit you
  • Is in poor condition or looks worse for wear
  • Feels itchy or scratchy against your skin
  • Feels uncomfortable
  • Is ill-fitting (too loose, tight, short, etc)
  • Needs constant re-adjustment
  • Has bad memories or associations
  • Hasn’t been worn in the past 12 months
  • Doesn’t suit your lifestyle
  • Makes you look less than your best
  • You just don’t love

Throw into your cleaning or repair bag any item that deserves the investment to return it to closet-worthy status and:

  • Needs laundering
  • Needs dry cleaning
  • Needs alteration to fit properly
  • Needs mending, new buttons, new zippers, etc
  • Needs re-heeling, polishing, etc (um, talking about shoes and boots here)

Step 4: Release The Gowns

Next, you need to remove the bags so you’re not tempted to retrieve that Choose Life t-shirt or the jacket you Bedazzled back in 1983.

  • Take the discard bag out to the trash right away
  • Put the charity and cleaning or repair bags into the boot of your car for drop off at the next convenient time
  • Place any items for home cleaning or repair in the laundry

Now at this point you may be feeling a bit bereft as you survey your decimated closet. But you only have to survive on these clothes for a week. Next week we’ll create your ideal wardrobe wishlist.

For most people, the clothes you have left are the ones you like best and wear most anyway.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t feel guilty about discarding clothes you don’t like, regardless of what you paid for them. Notice the mistake and let it make an impression so you don’t make the same shopping error again. Then let it go.
  • Do savor the simplicity of paring down your closet to the items that work for you. ‘Less is more’ is the mantra of many a great fashion icon for good reason.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • Include your spouse and kids and let everyone clear out their closets together. Teach your children the pleasure of getting rid of things that don’t enhance their lives.
  • Get together a group of friends and clear out each person’s closet as a group, moving from one house to the next over the course of a day.
    Warning: It can take a lot longer this way, but also be a lot more fun – especially if Margaritas are involved.
  • Take everything out of your closet, drawers and shelves first and then run the ‘closet clutter check’ before you return anything to its place.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Please Check In

Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment.

And see you back here next week!


You can now get weekly organizing missions delivered to your inbox.
Learn more about 52 Missions Home Organizer.

Image: / CC BY-ND 2.0

Michele | Get Organized Gal

Michele is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

46 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #10: Clear Out Your Closet

  1. Meredith says:

    Can’t believe how much I’ve cleaned out on this mission! I have an entires garbage bag full of old underwear, bras and stockings that either don’t fit or are tatty. Another full bag for charity of clothes I’d bought or been given over the years that don’t fit or are in a colour I don’t wear…

    Still got a bit more to do on the hanging space – i don’t have a bedroom closet – and haven’t got to shoes yet, could be ugly 😛

  2. Jenny says:

    Ooh, this was a hard one for me – I am a clothes horse! I started off thinking I wouldn’t get rid of anything and ended up four hours later having made MAJOR progress on organising “chav corner” the area of my bedroom that has all the unopened boxes and laundry bags of clothes yet to be unpacked almost a year after moving into this flat.

    I feel amazing. Part of the impetus was deciding this week I want to have a desk under my bedroom window. This means I HAVE to get rid of a lot of stuff to make room for it. It has begun!

    I have realised that if I buy 10 or so more hangers it will enable me to hang things up after wearing rather than chucking them on some kind of surface. Top of my to do list…


  3. Marla says:

    Two missions in one day-yahoo! This one is perfect timing, as we are traveling to visit my daughter in a couple of weeks, and I was able to sort clothing to bring to her and her children (after checking with her first to be sure she wants it, of course).

  4. jeannie says:

    Did this clearing out 50 items and more. Went through everything and am going to make it a bi-annual event Still have to tackle the filing cabinet mission #9. But am feeling better about everything

  5. Donna Marie Tica says:

    I have a walk-in closet and had made a resolution a month earlier. My goal was to get rid of 10 things a week by selling it on E-Bay. To my surprise, I made over $800 in 3 weeks and was bragging on Facebook so others would follow suit. Received a lot of responses from my friends and family asking suggestions on how to do the same. I am now crowned as the E-Bay queen!!!

  6. Jessica says:

    I decided to extend it by cleaning out my entire closet and going through each individual item , i also have a large box of headbands in my closet and my jewlery boxes so i went through those two, it took me 3 hours but i can see the floor again for the first time since i moved in to my apartment 3 months ago; the closet its self is still pretty cluttered i think i might go through it again when my mom comes to visit incase she wants some of the clothes since we share. im going to go through my dresser now hopefully it doesnt take as long as the closet did.

  7. Patricia says:

    Just finished the closet mission yesterday. I extended it to my dressers. I only had one thing to throw away. Everything else will be donated.

    I always feel so great (and much lighter!) after completing a mission. Now, when I reach for something to wear, I know I will find something I truly love (and it will fit!).

    Thank you for this great program. It’s so easy to follow.

  8. LeAnn says:

    I pulled out a large bag full of clothes that I no longer wear. Still plenty of stuff that needs to be weeded out. I’d like to pull out everything and evaluate each item – something to plan for the future. Done (for now).

  9. Angie says:

    Done! Finished this a few weeks ago (which is good, because I’m currently traveling and was planning on doing two missions next week)

  10. Vinil says:

    Wow.. got it done and reorganized my cupboard as well. Took me more than 30 minutes. Feels great that I’ve completed 20%. Can’t imagine how’s it going to feel when I complete 100%. Thanks!

  11. Silvia says:

    This was a really difficult mission for me but I´m really proud of myself. I did it two weeks ago and the best thing is that my wardrobe and drawers still look incredibly organized today. I´ve thrown away things that were just a part of my past and I can feel free now !

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