12 Easy Steps to REALLY Clean Out Your Closet

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Last Friday I had one of those “oh my gosh I have too much stuff” breakdowns. You know the ones. Your closet is stuffed, you have way too many clothes but still feel like you have nothing to wear. Yeah, that kind. Last week, I watched one of my favorite Youtubers do a video all about cleaning out her closet. She got rid of a LOT of stuff and I decided that might be a good method for me to use. I’ve been getting rid of stuff over the last few months but I still felt like it was WAY too full. So, here’s how you can REALLY clean out your closet….and never look back.

1. Get yourself a good beverage. For me, it was an icy cold Coke. For you it might be coffee, a beer or vodka on the rocks. Hey, I’m not judging….it’s tough to clean out your closet!

2. Come up with 3 questions to ask yourself about each article of clothing.

  • My first question was easy to come up with, 1 was inspired by Jambeauty89, and that is “Does this spark joy?”
  • My second question might sound silly, but it worked really well for me, and that is “Would I wear it on my blog?” Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out! I realized that if I have something in my closet that I wouldn’t wear on my blog, there must be a reason. Either I didn’t like it that much, it didn’t really fit correctly, it wasn’t in line with my personal style or some other reason. I love sharing with you guys so if it’s not worth sharing, it’s not worth keeping!
  • My good friend Stephanie Drenka actually came up with my third question for me which is “Does it fit my brand?” I have some cute stuff that I still kind of like but I don’t really wear because for whatever reason, it just doesn’t feel like me anymore. So if it doesn’t fit the brand, it needs to go!

3. Put on some music, a favorite tv show or movie. For me, this just kind of keeps the mood light. Also if I need to stop for a few minutes, I can.

4. Clear out an empty space. Because of dogs, the floor wasn’t an option, so I made our bed so I had a nice clean, neat space to lay everything out, also it was easy to divide, one side was for the “keeps” and the other side is for the “tosses.”

5. Start piling all your clothes on the bed (or floor). I had to do this in sections just to keep myself from getting crazy overwhelmed. I emptied out a few drawers at a time until eventually it was all on my bed, if you have enough space then get out ALL your clothes at once.


6. Attack! Go through each item and ask yourself the three questions. #1 will probably eliminate a lot right off the bat, for me it was a lot harder to be honest about #s 2 and 3.

7. Organize your “toss” piles as you go. I suggest three piles: trash (items that are ripped, stained, etc.), donate (to a younger sibling, friend, charity or thrift store) and sell (Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, Poshmark, thredUP, etc.)


8. Grab more clothes and repeat.

9. KEEP GOING. It’s exhausting. Physically but (even moreso) mentally. It sounds silly but most of us are really attached to clothing. That being said, it’s also extremely liberating.

10. Go through your “keep” piles again and again. You’ll probably at least find one thing to “toss” for a few rounds. Keep going until you can go through them three times and not “toss” anything. I know it sounds like a lot, but just do it.

11. Take inventory! When I was finished, I was feeling a little discouraged. I felt like I didn’t get rid of NEARLY as much as I wanted to – my keep piles seemed to be MUCH bigger than my toss piles! Well, I took inventory and I was wrong! Here’s where I ended up:


12. Bag up the tosses. Don’t go back through them. Toss the trash, bag up the donates and get the sell piles to the appropriate places ASAP.

I went to Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor the very next day. I only made $46 – I thought they would take a lot more but oh well! I DID turn around and buy a few more things but I was VERY selective. Here are the awesome boots I bought – you’ll be seeing them a LOT more.

One of three black items I purchased secondhand today. I guess I know where my wardrobe is headed. 💀💀

A photo posted by Dallas Blogger🦄 Valery Brennan (@valerybrennan) on

Phew, so that’s it! It was a lot of work but in a few short hours by closet went from EXTREMELY stuffed with things I didn’t like that much to a smaller wardrobe that I absolutely love. Getting dressed has been SO much easier and I’m thrilled with the outcome.

So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge?! If so, subscribe to my newsletter for an exclusive freebie for subscribers only that has a worksheet to help you clean out your closet. Print that sucker out, and let’s get your wardrobe in tip top shape!

Click HERE to subscribe and get your free worksheet!


Sunny Sweet Days

37 thoughts on “12 Easy Steps to REALLY Clean Out Your Closet

  1. “Would I wear it on the blog?” GENIUS. When I purged my closet on Sunday, I was pretty focused on “can I wear this to work?” – might have a few more things I can kill using your approach!

  2. I did this about 4 or 5 months ago when I was moving. Obviously I couldn’t take everything with me, but this was long overdue at this point anyway. To be honest, the majority I got rid of because they didn’t fit. And there was no sense keeping them around “in case I lose weight” or “get back down to that size”. So that was my #1 deciding factor. #2 went along with your “Does this fit my brand” like the kind of style I wear now. Because in college, I was ALL about jeans and t-shirts. Looking back on it now, I’m like… did any of my shirts actually have a button? a zipper? a collar? anything? And my jeans from back then were just loose fitting, I don’t even know what cut. A flare maybe? boot? I don’t even know. Right now (despite what articles are saying) I’m all about the skinny jeans. All of my jeans are skinny jeans because that’s what makes me feel most comfortable and look the best on me. I was however hesitant about my t-shirt collection. I had way too many club and organization t-shirts that I had told myself a hundred times “Hey let’s find some crafty person to make these into a t-shirt quilt, because there are too may memories in these t-shirts”. But sadly, those had to go too. And I know I probably shouldn’t have done this, but I went through the underwear, bras and sock drawers and got rid of the “Don’t fit” or “Have tears in them” items. The ones that were too ratty and torn got thrown out. But even if it’s clean, and in good condition, are you allowed to donate underwear? Anyway, going through all of this for who knows how may hours, I ended up with (count em) 9 trash bags. Tall kitchen size trash bags. I probably could have organized myself better like you did, and possibly sold some of the nicer things (heck, some were brand new items with tags still on them) but I took all 9 trash bags and put them in one of those Goodwill bins in front of the grocery store. My only hope is that those items truly go towards people who need them. I’m never 100% sure what happens to things when you donate them. But yeah, that was my experience 🙂

    1. I’m still all about the skinny jeans, too! I really hate flare jeans on myself so I’m hoping that trend goes away quickly. I still have WAY too many shirts – I’m jealous you were able to get rid of yours lol. Most of my high school and college shirts are still in boxes at my parents house. Oops. 9 BAGS?! I’m impressed.

  3. I love cleaning out my closet! I always feel so refreshed after it’s over. I ask myself “Have I worn this in the last couple months?” and if the answer is no then it’s gone.

  4. I just watched a video from Essie Button this morning about her makeup cleanser where she got rid of 80% of her makeup…and I almost cried on the inside. I wouldn’t want to get rid of that much makeup but I get rid of a lot of makeup consistently because I create little kits and send them to friends, family & readers. That way I don’t have to do a huge purge because that would be way too hard for me! But with clothing…I can’t give anything away or I wouldn’t have anything…and I already donate too many clothes and it’s why I’m in the same 5 tshirts all the way LOL! I need to buy more clothes so I can cleanse more 😉 xx

  5. I am packing to move back to school this weekend and these tips are so handy! I definitely want to bring less to school this year, so this is fantastic advice!
    xx, Victoria

  6. I was scared to read this at first because who really wants to go through the actual act of cleaning the closet out? But these points are so great, especially as a blogger and brand representative (my own brand)… Those 3 questions!!! ? I’m going to start asking myself those questions when I buy things, too!

  7. These are seriously great tips! I love the one about wearing it on the blog… you’re so right. If I wouldn’t want you all to see me in it, I must feel that way for a reason. Thanks for the great tips!

  8. Cleaning out your closet is such a big task!! I randomly go through and pull out things I don’t like or don’t wear anymore and take them to Goodwill. But I’ve never done the entire closet at once. I think I really need to. Thanks for the tips. Maybe I’ll tackle it this winter when its cold outside.



  9. What are a great post! I love the 3 questions that you ask yourself! It’s so true that what your wearing should “spark joy” and I agree with Stephanie that staying true to your brand is super important. Also, whenever I clean out the closet I totally have one of my fave tv shows on in the background – it’s a necessity! hehe 🙂

    xx, Christina

    Fashion & Frills

  10. taking inventory is a great idea! You can decide what you’d like to buy or avoid buying based on the numbers that way. This was a great post!

    Have courage,

    Elle | Elleword

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