The Ultimate Closet Cleanout Guide

Live more with less, and leave the clutter behind with our comprehensive closet clean out guide. Clearing unnecessary items out of your closet will simplify your wardrobe and your life. An organized closet makes getting dressed in morning easier than ever. Plus, it’ll give you plenty of room for your next Armoire case!

Make room for your latest Armoire rentals with our closet clean out guide.

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Step 1— Set Achievable Goals

Before tearing through your closet, ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve. Going into the process with clear goals in mind can make it less overwhelming. Plus, achievable goals will make you feel more accomplished at the end. Everyone’s objectives will look different, meaning the amount you’re getting rid of will too. The point of the exercise is not to get rid of as much as possible, but instead to take inventory of your wardrobe to be more mindful of what you are wearing—and more importantly, what you are not.

Step 2— Get Prepared

A Free Afternoon

Don’t rush the process! Give yourself plenty of time to go through your wardrobe. Be intentional by marking it on your calendar so you can’t back out. Invite over a friend, order some takeout and binge watch your favorite reality TV while you declutter. Closet cleaning should be stress-reducing, not stress-inducing.

Clear Plastic Storage Totes

Put items in your Store for Later pile away in storage totes as you go along to ensure they don’t make their way back to your closet. Clear storage bins can help you to see inside, so you’ll have a better idea of where things may be before digging through them. Organize the totes by seasonality or item type and label accordingly. You’ll thank yourself later.

Donation Boxes

Grab a few large cardboard boxes to designate for donations. Once an item is in the donate pile, there’s no taking it out. Consider it a one-way trip out of your life. If your initial gut instinct was to get rid of it, you already know deep down that you don’t need it. Drop your donations off at a local charity immediately after your clean out to avoid the urge.

Repeat after me: I will not throw any unwanted garments in the trash. Even items that are stained or severely damaged can have a second life after donation. Thrift stores sell unwearable garments to textile recyclers, who turn them into a number of things like cleaning rags, housing insulation and carpet padding. Pretty cool, huh?

A Full Length Mirror

Try on items in question to get a real sense for how they fit. Have a little fun with this part! It’s a chance to fall in love again with items you’ve long forgotten… or remember why you haven’t worn them in so long. Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t fit anymore. Toss it in the donate pile and move on!

Basic Sewing Kit

As you clean out your closet, you’re destined to find a handful of things that have been sent to the back of your closet due to minor damages. As you find these items, stitch the tear or attach the button right then and there. Anything above your sewing skill level should be set aside and taken to your tailor. Don’t waste precious closet space on damaged items; use it on a treat yo’ self bonus item in your next Armoire package.

Step 3— Do the Damn Thing

Now that you’re fully prepared for your closet clean out, take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine and get at it! With the help of our handy closet clean out guide, it’ll be a breeze.

Closet Clean Out Guide

Deciding What to Get Rid Of

Closet cleaning requires a dose of humility. Be brutally honest with yourself about what you aren’t wearing. Easier said than done: don’t let the tags still hanging on an unworn item or the outrageous price you paid for it affect your decision. If you didn’t wear it then, chances are you won’t wear it now. Remember this buyer’s remorse the next time you’re about to ring up another unnecessary purchase.

Deciding What to Keep

The main thing to consider is how the item makes you feel when you are wearing it. If the answer isn’t like a total Boss Lady, it’s time to say bye-bye.

It’s also important to consider how frequently you’ll wear the item. While you may feel foxy in that sparkly minidress you wore on NYE five years ago, you know deep down you’ll never wear it again. Instead of hanging onto it, donate it so someone else can feel fab in it too.

The area to edit most heavily: loungewear. One should only own so many ratty old t-shirts. Even if you’re just lounging around the house, you’ll feel more confident and be more productive if you feel good about what you’re wearing. If you put something on and think I would die if someone saw me wearing this in public, then it’s got to go.

Step 4— Celebrate and Get Renting

You did it! Take a big sigh of relief and bask in your accomplishments. Your newly decluttered closet now has plenty of room for your next Armoire package! Now the real challenge is, keeping your wardrobe from overflowing again. With clothing rental, you’ll never have to worry about an overfilled closet again. Instead you can wear more and buy less, while still feeling just as fashionable.


Armoire’s curated clothing rental helps keep your closet under control without sacrificing great style. Take our style quiz to get started on your wardrobe renovation today!

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