Seasonal Closet Cleaning Tips

photo credit: VARNISHdesign via photopin cc

We’ve finally reached that time of year when it’s time to pack away the remaining remnants of summer clothing and bring out all those sweaters and scarves that we’ve been itching to wear for months.

Living in the Midwest my entire life, I’ve gotten into a steady routine of switching out my clothes at the end of each season. Not only does it bring order and organization to my closet and drawers, it also gives me an excuse to clean out and purge any items that aren’t worth holding onto through another season.

I’ve followed the same routine for years when it comes time to complete this chore, and it has minimized the chaos and hassle that some people think cleaning out the closet brings. If you are one of those people, perhaps you will find these tips useful when tackling your closet in the coming weeks!

1. Before you begin, get your iPod and a few trash bags ready. Music always makes things more fun, and this should be no different! Put on a favorite playlist that will keep you entertained and focused for a couple hours. Label the three trash bags with Maybe, Sell and Donate.

2. Start with your dresser. Working through one drawer at a time, empty the contents onto the floor or bed where you can comfortably sort through the items and get an accurate inventory. Anything that you haven’t worn in a year or more should immediately go in either the Sell or Donate bags. If you are on the fence, put the item in the Maybe bag to revisit later.

3. Begin to unpack. Once your drawers are empty, start to unpack your new seasonal clothes that can be folded and stored in the dresser.

4. Shift through hanging items in the closet. Now, it’s time to tackle the closet. Start by doing an initial flip through the hangers – again, anything that hasn’t been worn all season or in a year or more should be tossed from your collection. I typically also toss anything that I don’t have an immediate reaction to; again, you can use the Maybe bag if there’s something that you can’t decide about just yet.

5. Take the remaining hanging clothes out of the closet for the switch. This way, you easily can move through hangers one-by-one as you pack away the current items and replace the hanger with a new piece of clothing.

6. Revisit the Maybe bag. You don’t have to do this the same day as you clean out your closet, but sometime within the same week, sort through the items in the Maybe bag. If you still don’t have an immediate reaction to the clothes, transfer them over to the Sell or Donate bags.

See, that isn’t so bad is it?

A bonus to the whole process is that you have the opportunity to donate clothes to a worthy cause to help others in need, and you even can make a buck or two by selling the items that are in better condition! I’ve always had luck at Plato’s Closet, but be sure to check out local consignment shops or do some research online for retailers that will pay you for your items.

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.2.15
    Ashley Angle said:

    Great tips! I will be using them!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  2. 10.23.14
    emi said:

    oh i so need this! it's amazing even living in a tiny apartment how i still accumulate way too many things — especially clothes!! thanks for the tips and inspiration 🙂


  3. 10.22.14
    Nadia said:

    I mid-way through this process, and I really need the time to finish it or I feel like it will be stuck in limbo forever! Great tips!

  4. 10.21.14
    Mia- MakeMeUpMia said:

    I do a a major clean out 1-2 times a year and it always feels so great! I especially love jamming out to some good tunes while doing it too 😉

  5. 10.21.14

    Aah this is always so overwhelming. Going through the "maybe" box twice is usually (for me ha) a good idea too!

  6. 10.21.14
    Biana Perez said:

    It does work for me – I think at about the 2 month mark you can really see what you don't wear!!

  7. 10.21.14

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. 10.21.14

    I agree – I don't give anything that's truly horrible to Good Will!

  9. 10.21.14

    I don't necessarily pack everything away so I still have layering pieces, like you mentioned, but it simply makes me mad to see my shorts when there's a foot of snow outside, ha! I've also never had enough room in my closets to keep everything out year-round, so I'm kind of forced to pack things away.

  10. 10.21.14

    You and me both – always love an excuse to shop!

  11. 10.21.14

    I'll send some of my OCD organization vibes your way to motivate you!

  12. 10.21.14

    Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely be checking out that site.

  13. 10.21.14

    I've heard of so many people doing that hanger trick – is it effective for you? Maybe I'll try it out this season. 🙂

  14. 10.21.14

    You and me both, girl!

  15. 10.21.14
    Becky M said:

    Great tips! Trash bags is the first thing I grab too! Some goes to good will and some just gets tossed. I should probably do this more often!

  16. 10.21.14

    Great tips! With all the years I've lived in the midwest I've never officially switched my closet with the seasons. I feel like I layer things so much that the only things I could pack away would be shorts and sweaters. Maybe I need to give it a try. Though I always love going through and purging, it makes it feel fresh and organized!

  17. 10.21.14
    Debra Stachelski said:

    All great suggestions for a big, but necessary job! Purging gives me the excuse I need to do a little shopping to freshen up the wardrobe a bit!

  18. 10.21.14
    Caroline said:

    Great tips! Now I just need to find the motivation to do this. :-/ I hate cleaning and organizing anything. But life is definitely less stressful when things are organized! 🙂

  19. 10.21.14
    Ashley T said:

    I just did a major closet purge last week and it felt so good to get rid of things I just don’t wear anymore. You should look into Poshmark. I’ve sold so many things on there and made way more than Plato’s Closet ever seemed to give me!

  20. 10.21.14
    Pamela said:

    These are the greatest tips! I need to clean out my closet this week!

    <3, Pamela

  21. 10.21.14
    Biana Perez said:

    Really great tips!! I can only do this twice a year because I get so overwhelmed with all the clothes!! I like to sell the items that are in great condition just aren't really worn by me!! My trick is to have the hangers in one direction when I start and then when I wear something I flip it to the other side that way I know how much of my closet I wear!!