my rules for cleaning out my closet

Just this week I went on a rampage. I felt totally overwhelmed and felt like I HAD to do something about cleaning out my closet. Clothes were spilling off of shelves, jackets were layered over buttondowns over tanks — you get the picture. It was chaos and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’m pretty sure it all started with this pin. There was just something about it that spoke to me on many, many levels. First, from an organizational standpoint, I loved how cleanly laid out everything is. I mean, there’s space between the hangers. I also appreciated that this felt like one person’s closet, sort of like this one person spoke one language… as opposed to having a million different takes on her personal style. I knew it was time to do a deep dive and take no prisoners.

my rules for cleaning out my closet my rules for cleaning out my closetHere were a few rules that I used while sorting:

  • Everything must be moved. Basically this means that I completely emptied my closet. If you don’t physically touch an item, there’s more of a chance you’ll keep it because it’s been forgotten in some dark corner.
  • Set a time limit. My rule was that if I hadn’t worn it since Philly, it’s gone. (This does not apply to my winter coats. I kept most of them, just in case! Or are those the words of hoarder…?)
  • If it’s stained, torn, broken beyond repair, it has no place in my closet.

my rules for cleaning out my closet my rules for cleaning out my closet

  • If it’s not flattering… I think we know the answer.
  • If I never wore it, I’m listing it to sell online (more on that to come — I’m thinking of hosting an online yard sale!)
  • No one needs half the vintage crap I’ve hoarded because I may need it for a costume party or for design inspiration or this or that…

my rules for cleaning out my closetMy actual closet space is weird because I converted my largest closet into a bedroom nook. The remaining closet is very long and thin, so I use an industrial rolling rack from Uline to make use of the narrow space. This is especially good for me because I am such a visual person. Basically, I need my clothes to be in my face for me to actually know what I have. Another part of getting organized meant that I only kept things that fit on my rolling rack. From there, I organized it by color to make getting dressed even easier for me.

my rules for cleaning out my closetmy rules for cleaning out my closetI know it still looks like a lot of clothes, but this is a vast improvement over where I was. Can you believe I used to have almost twice this much clothing??

photography by Jojotastic

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Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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2 Comments

  1. 10.5.14
    Shiree Shaffer said:

    Oh my gosh, you should totally do an online yard sale!! Thank you for the great inspiration!!

    • 10.8.14
      joanna said:

      any time! i’m hoping to get the online yard sale up soon :)