Take a Load Off: Tips For Conducting a Closet Clean Out

Levi Strauss & Co.
August 3, 2015

Do you have more clothing than room to store it? Is your floor littered with piles of jeans and t-shirts that never seem to get put away? Does it take Herculean strength to cram yet another garment in your overstuffed closet? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s probably time to clean out that closet. Whether you’re getting a jump on fall cleaning, de-cluttering your space, or simplifying your wardrobe, a closet clean out will lighten your load.

Here are our tips for getting started.

Set a date.

Pick a day to dedicate to your closet clean out. Block out at least an entire morning or afternoon to get the job done, even if it’s a few weekends out. The trick is to do your clean out all in one take, so you’re forced to confront your full wardrobe — good, bad, and ugly — in one go. When the day arrives, put on a favorite album, or a podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on, and set to work.

Clear it out.

Pull everything (yes, all of it) out of your closet.  This will not only give you a fresh start in terms of your closet space, but it will help you get a handle on what you own. You’ll be forced to take a close look at each item, rather than simply shifting piles from one shelf to another.

Swipe left.

Once you’re standing knee deep in shirts, jeans, sweaters and shoes it’s time to make some tough decisions. Sure, you could shove everything back inside your closet and hope it’ll be in style, or will fit again, in another season or two. But, by doing so, you’re only making things more difficult for yourself. Instead, examine each item with a critical eye. If it’s stretched, damaged, ill-fitting, not in style, or not your style, it has to go.

Choose favorites.

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo has written multiple books on the subject of tidying, and offers some key advice: “we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” In other words, pick out the clothing items you love, and set aside ones you haven’t worn lately, or are tired of, or feel like you force yourself to wear. It’s all about surrounding yourself with items you enjoy wearing.

Waste not, want not.

Just because an item was cut from your closet doesn’t mean its life is over. Donate or recycle your no-longer-needed clothing and shoes so they can be re-worn or repurposed and kept out of landfills. One easy option in the U.S. is to drop off items at a local Levi’s® store to be recycled.


Like this story?

Sign up for the Unzipped newsletter to get the best of the Unzipped blog — company news and views, employee profiles, innovation and sustainability stories, behind-the-scenes and Archives highlights — sent straight to your inbox weekly.