5 expert tips to declutter your closet (plus hanging hacks!)

Click to play video: 'Managing the mess: Strategies for organizing your closet'
Managing the mess: Strategies for organizing your closet
Managing the mess: Strategies for organizing your closet

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We all do it. Let our clothing build up year after year, keeping things that we no longer use (or even like) – and that includes clothes that don’t fit us anymore and items that have holes and rips and need to find their way to the trash. Having a cluttered closet is not only an eyesore, but it can also slow us down in the morning and make it more difficult to get dressed and start our day.

So, how can we make our relationship with our closet a better one? Cleaning expert Melissa Maker stopped by The Morning Show to help us figure out how to declutter our closets once and for all.

1. Move everything out

The only way to tackle your closet is to get a little extreme, Maker advises. Either work section by section in larger closets, or all at once in smaller closets. “I have a small double door closet at home, so I remove everything all at once and place it on the bed. If you have a larger closet, consider doing a section a day for a few days,” she adds

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2. How to sort

“I give myself about 5 seconds or less to decide how I feel about a garment,” Maker says. “This ‘gut check’ allows me to be ruthless and also true to myself.” If you’re still struggling, ask yourself, ‘When was the last time I wore this? Will I wear this in the next 6 months?’ For those garments you know in your heart you no longer need, place them in a pile to either donate or sell.

3. Items with price tags still attached!

If you have items with price tags attached, chances are you’ve forgotten about them (which is an exciting new find!) or you’ve never chosen to wear them. “If you can no longer return the item, a ‘NWT’ item is generally the easiest to resell,” Maker says.  You can choose to take these items to a clothing reseller or list them online in a Facebook Marketplace post or post them on Poshmark. Make sure you use the terminology NWT (New With Tags) or NWOT (New Without Tags) to indicate the item is new, never washed, and never worn, she advises.

4. Maybe bin


Still not totally sure about a few items? Keep a ‘maybe’ bin beside your laundry hamper, Maker suggests. Anything you’re really struggling to get rid of, place it in that ‘maybe’ bin. Go through the bin twice a year, and if you haven’t used anything in that 6-month time frame, donate or sell it.
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5. Shoes

If you have shelves in your closet and you want to use them for shoes, Maker suggests keeping your shoeboxes or getting some clear shoe containers so you can store your shoes but also keep track of what you have. Just make sure you measure your shelving or adjust them accordingly!


Bonus hanging hacks!



Many of us have an assortment of hangers in our closet – wire ones from the dry cleaner, plastic ones in all shapes and sizes, and even wooden ones. “This makes a closet look less organized,” Maker says. “If you’re going to dedicate time to decluttering your closet, consider buying one style of hangers that work for you and stick with one consistent type.” Maker prefers wooden hangers because they’re sturdy and can support bulkier items like sweaters and jeans.
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Maker suggests you may also want to invest in some dress pant hangers as well as clip hangers.


Make sure to watch The Morning Show segment where Maker walks us through some of her best hanging hacks – including how to use two hangers for dresses and jumpers, and a better way to hang your jeans so they look more appealing and stay in place.

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