The Complete Clothes Closet Cleanout Cheatsheet

Ready to tackle your overflowing clothes closet? Give yourself a fresh start to a new season by clearing out the itchy, scratchy, non-flattering impulse purchases you feel guilty having spent money on! Click here to print your cheat sheet now. Or you can read it all below.

First, let’s play a guessing game.    

Without looking, how many of the following do you think you own?

Guess    Real #     # Kept

_____     _____     _____ Jeans

_____     _____     _____ Pants

_____     _____     _____ Other Bottoms

_____     _____     _____ Skirts

_____     _____     _____ Dresses

_____     _____     _____ T-shirts

_____     _____     _____ Sweaters

_____     _____     _____ Other tops/blouses

_____     _____     _____ Jackets/Blazers

_____     _____     _____ Lounge/Sleepwear

_____     _____     _____ Exercise Outfits

_____     _____     _____ Dressy/Special Event

_____     _____     _____ Specialty (painting/gardening/project/costume)

_____     _____     _____ Other (uniforms etc.)

_____     _____     _____ Other Sizes (sizes up/down from current size)

_____     _____     _____ Special Memorabilia Pieces (bridesmaid etc)


Later come back and fill in the real numbers.                                                                                                         

It will be interesting to see how close you come and to see how many make the final cut!


Next, let’s play department store buyer!        

Group similar articles of clothing together; jeans, t-shirts, tank tops and so on…just how you see clothing displayed in department stores.

You do not have to take it all out of the closet – you can just move things around to group the hanging items.

You must answer YES to all the questions for the item to be a considered a keeper.

If you answer NO to any of these questions then the item is up for debate. You can choose to donate it, sell it, share it, toss it, or put it in a Maybe Box.

Maybe Box: if you can honestly envision yourself wearing the item in the next year place it in a box. If you need to the item you have it. If not one year from the day donate the box of goods.

ü Do I love this?

Go with your first reaction, don’t talk yourself in or out of the item.

ü Does it fit me today?

Like right now! Not sure? Take the time to try it on? Not worth taking the time to try it on? Then it is probably not worth keeping.

ü Does it look good on me?

Do you get compliments? Do you feel good? Is it your style?

ü Would I buy this again today?

If you had to spend money on it today – would you?

All Yes’s- keep going… Got a No? STOP! And turn to the next page.

Let’s keep going…

ü Do I use/love/appreciate this more than someone else will?

If not there is a reason…ask yourself why.

ü Is it easy to care for?

If you are not up for handwashing or dry cleaning then let it go.

ü Is it clean and in good repair?

If not you didn’t like it enough to take great care of it.

ü Do I own just one of these?

Sometimes if you love it you buy more than one.

ü Will I wear it as is without any modifications?

This is not the time to try to make a garment something it can’t be.

ü Do I have at least 2 other pieces to mix and match with this?

Double or triple duty items are the best!

ü Will I have an occasion to wear this in the next year?

You need to have a reason to bring it out of your closet.


Still all Yes’s? Great the item is officially a keeper! Got a No? STOP!

The No’s “no” clothes fall into one or more categories:

€      It was a gift

€      It was on sale

€      It was an impulse

€      It was a trend

€      It is too costly to repair

€      It is too expensive to modify

€      It is missing a piece or part of a set

€      It might fit if I gain/lose weight

€      It might come back in style – one day

€      It doesn’t fit who I am today

€      It doesn’t fit

€      It just isn’t my style

€      It cost money and I don’t want to be wasteful

€      It is one of many similar items I already own

€      It gapes, drapes, itches or is otherwise uncomfortable

€      It makes me self-conscious when I wear it

€      It is too difficult to clean

€      It wrinkles was to easily or requires too much maintenance

€      It is a color that isn’t your best shade

€      It is too “nice” to wear and makes me worried I’ll wreck it

€      It is a “what was I thinking” moment

€      Other (fill in the blank) __________________________


If you have ‘no’ clothes don’t worry – we all have no clothes. The key is to let them go so they stop weighing you down! Donate them, share them with someone, sell them, or if they are beyond hope recycle them.

The key is to go through each category of clothes and thoughtfully choose the keepers. Then generously share the rest!

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