The true skeletons in our closets come in the form of clothes and clutter, not lies and betrayal. To help clear your conscious and closet, the design experts at Laurel & Wolf have done the dirty work for you by compiling a list of tips to banish that maddening mess once and for all.
1. Before you can dive in to the piles of mismatched socks and boxes of old letters from camp friends, you first have to set aside a sizable chunk of time completely dedicated to your closet-cleaning project. Once you’ve committed to a time, stick to it.
2. There’s something magical that happens when you play the right music while cleaning. The perfect playlist of belt-able jams can make the time fly by and take your mind off the boring task at hand.
3. Take everything, and we mean EVERYTHING, out of your closet. Keep boxes, bins or bags handy labelled “keep,” “donate,” and “trash” to sort all of these innards into.
4. You’ll undoubtedly be met with some tough decisions during this process as you come face-to-face with hoodies of yore that bring back a rush of nostalgia. But you can’t lose sight of your purpose: declutter. For each item ask yourself: “Do I wear this?” “Would I buy this now?” “Does this accurately represent my current style?” As you sort, take stock of things you have too much of—why do you own three different orange crop tops?—and note what you actually need to get—how do you still not have a little black dress?!
5. Summon your inner-Cinderella (pre-Ball, sorry) by gathering your cleaning supplies and getting on your hands and knees to scrub. Dust any shelves or ledges in the closet, and wipe the racks and hangers too.
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6. At this stage of the game, make sure you have the proper organizational tools for putting the items you’ve decided to keep back in your newly-pristine closet. Buy non-slip hangers so your rompers and sundresses don’t wind up on the floor all the time. You’ll be surprised how handy a few nice hooks for your belts and bags will turn out to be, as well as a shoe rack and compartments for other odds and ends.
7. Finding a cute outfit early in the morning is hard enough as it is, so make it easier on yourself by laying out your closet based on the way you get dressed. For example, for those who build their outfits from the shirt down, place your blouses in the front. Group different types of clothing together and then color coordinate them for aesthetic appeal, as seen in Laurel & Wolf’s closet refresh.
8. Make cleaning out your closet like this part of your routine. Try to designate a declutter session every six months or so to avoid the daunting task of cleaning a year’s worth (or more…) of mess all at once.
This article originally appeared on Laurelandwolf.com.