How to Purge Clothes & Organize Them (Expert Tips!)

Have a closet full of clothes but still have nothing to wear? Been there. It’s time for a closet purge! But do you know the best way how to purge clothes and organize them? Today we’re going to make this process simple and stress free so you can stop saying “I have nothing to wear” and actually love the clothes you own!

{This is part of my 30 day declutter and organizing challenge!}

Ok let’s talk about your clothes. Purging your clothes can be a daunting task but I don’t want you to freak out! You can do this one of 2 ways. First you can take one day and do it all at once. Rip that bandaid off and get after it!

Or, you can go through this slowly, day by day and just remember, if it takes you longer to complete this task it’s ok!

Another thing to remember is you can make money off the clothes you’re getting rid of! I have this post with 11 different places to sell you clothes for cash along with tips for success! This might help motivate you to keep going when you hit a bump in the road.

Ok let’s talk specifics on how to declutter, organize and purge your clothes.

How to Purge Clothes

How to purge your closet and organize your clothes

*this post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission on something you purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for helping me support my family through Paisley + Sparrow!

1. Make a pile with all your items

The first step to purge clothes is to take everything out of your closet. If you’re doing this all in one day, take every article of clothing out at once and dump it in a giant pile!

If you’re going through this over a span of the week, take everything from the category you’re working on out of your closet, drawers, etc. and put them on your bed (or floor).

For example: Day 1 we’re working on our pants. You’re going to take all of your pants and shorts out and create a pile of them all.

2. Go through each item

This is the most important step when you purge clothes. One by one, go through each item. Try on every single item and ask yourself these questions:

  1. When was the last time I wore it?
    -If it was over 6 months ago seriously consider why you’re keeping it (unless, of course, it’s a seasonal item).
  2. Do I feel good in it?
    -If yes, keep it. If no, get rid of it.
  3. Does it fit well?
    -If no, get rid of it OR immediately bring it in to the tailer to get altered.
  4. Can I wear it to more than one place?
    -If no, why are you keeping it? Maybe getting rid of that sequin dress (I’m talking to myself now…) would open up space for a new dress that could be worn more often!

A few things to note when you’re doing this step. If something is too small or too big and you’ve been keeping them because your weight fluctuates, ask yourself if that’s a good thing to do.

I personally kept a stack of jeans that were too big while we were still having children so I could wear them in early pregnancy as well as postpartum. Now that we’re done having children I’ve donated all of those pants.

If you have clothes that are too small that you hope to fit into again, is it realistic that this will happen? Is it just one size or is it 5 sizes smaller? And better question is would you still like those clothes when you get down to that size? If you’re holding on to things you used to wear 10 years ago when you were a smaller size, you may not actually like that style if you got down to that size again! If you’re on a weight loss journey it may be good incentive to buy new clothes again when you drop sizes!

Purge clothes and take back your closet!

3. Put things into 4 piles

  1. Keep
  2. Donate/Sell
  3. Fix/alter
  4. Throw away

If you’re keeping the clothes, great! We’ll get to organizing them in a minute.

If you’re donating or selling them, set a goal to them posted on a selling app. If they haven’t sold in 4-6 weeks, donate them. In my experience if they don’t sell in the first few weeks of being listed, there’s a slim chance they’ll sell and even if they do you likely won’t make much from it.

If you’re fixing items or altering them, set up an appointment at a tailor right away. It’s too easy to create a pile of clothes that need to be fixed and never actually bring them in to get them altered. Put an alert in your phone for a cut off date. If they haven’t been brought in by then, off they go to a donation center!

Throw away. I try to not throw away clothes unless they’re severely stained or in bad shape. You could always use old t-shirts for cleaning rags! But there’s some things (especially kid clothes) that just can’t be salvaged.

4. Put them away

When you’re done with the purge clothes process and you’re ready to put them away, here’s a few pointers.

How to Organize Your Clothes

1. Organize by color.

You might think I’m crazy but my entire closet and dresser is organized by color. It honestly makes it so much easier to find items and get dressed in the morning by doing this! If I know I want to wear green, I just go to the green section in my closet! Then I’m not sifting through all of my clothes trying to find one thing, just the green ones.

2. Put like with like.

In addition to organizing by color I also organize by style. That means I put all of my tshirts together, all of my cardigans together, all of my skirts together, etc. This just makes it that even easier to find things.

Back to wanting to wear something green. If I know I want to wear a green sweater, I go to the sweater section in my closet. The easier you make it to find clothes, the better your mornings will be. Trust me!! Yes, it will take a bit longer to put everything away since you’re not just throwing things into drawers but you’ll quickly get into the habit of doing it this way and you’ll love how much easier it is to find things!

Be sure to check out this post with all of the places to sell your clothes.

AND be sure to check out Arin’s post for some great items to use when organizing your closet!

Don’t have the 30 Day Declutter Challenge calendar yet? Get it here!

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About Jen

Jen is a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in their life, style and home through tips, tutorials and encouragement. She also runs 2 additional blogs. Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

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