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How to Get High Cleaning Your Closet

by Sheri Reed on February 25, 2010 at 7:30 AM
closet chair

Photo by Sheri Reed

Yep, high as a kite from decluttering my closet and nothing more. This is good stuff. It's all natural. C'mon and take a hit...

I love to organize, sort, and purge my things. It makes me happy. I've known this since I was a girl — something about putting everything in its place and getting rid of the old and unused makes me giddy inside.

I have some good, simple rules to follow while closet cleaning. I ask myself:

  • Have you worn this in the past year?
  • Do you feel good when you wear this article of clothing?

Then I look at all the black T-shirts, white button-ups, and other basics I think I need to hang onto and ask myself again:

  • Have you worn this in a year?

If I answer "No" to any of these questions, then the item gets bagged and donated.

Of course, I had no idea that closet cleaning could get even better than this. As I said yesterday, I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project. In Chapter 1 of Gretchen's book, she covers closet cleaning (her words, "If you need to self medicate, clean a closet"), and she includes two brilliant questions that I could add to my closet cleaning rule sheet. Yippee!

I read this advice on the plane and could barely contain myself from cleaning out my closet when I got home (I waited until morning). With the addition of Gretchen's two simple questions, I could visualize half my closet emptying out — and the pure joy of letting all that unnecessary crap go!

Gretchen advises us to ask some questions similar to mine above PLUS these winners:

  • Am I keeping this item because I have buyer's remorse?
  • Should I wear this item?

Say goodbye to that blouse I ordered online that makes me look like I'm wearing a ruffled tablecloth. Sayonara UGLY oversized T-shirts I've been wearing to bed for years. Later adorable sandals I got on sale but that squeeze my toes into fat sausages in the summertime. So long oversized cutoff sweats I might wear to garden sometime. Good riddance jeans two sizes too big that I hold onto for my "fat" days.

Even better than the physical stuff, I could let go of the GUILT of buyer's remorse (I had the best intentions when I purchased you, but I'm just not that into you). And I could give myself permission to dress the best I can ALL the time — even in the garden and especially when I get into bed with my husband (he did admit to having a small attachment to one of the ugly T-shirts but gave his acceptance to let it go in the end).

Gretchen talks a lot about the importance of decluttering our minds — and simplifying your life and your closet does this in more ways than you can imagine.

I had my husband go through his clothes and shoes too, and now we can fit a little chair for shoe-tying/buckling/strapping in our closet (see above).

Oh yeah, this is the good stuff. Way good.

Are you ready to take on decluttering a closet in your home and in your mind? I want to hear all about it if you take the steps herein.

Related post:

Get Happier With The Happiness Project

Good Habits Beget Good Habits

5 Things I Can't Wait to Clean Come Spring

Filed Under: closet, clutter buster, organizing, storage


  • DogsMom


    February 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    It sounds like I really really need to buy that book!

  • Ombre...


    February 28, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Wow... I WISH my closet looked like yours!  Your closet could be in a magazine :)

  • Shlamoof


    March 2, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    OMG.  If my closet were that big, I could get high cleaning it too.  Beautiful job :)

  • Cafe...

    Cafe Jenn

    March 2, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    When my husband and I get into a tiff (which isn't often), I clean.  It's very therapeautic.  Maybe we should fight more often, I'd have a clean house all the time, lol. 

    I really need to clean my closet out.  I went through it last night and this morning looking for clothes to wear to a viewing/funeral and a good chunk of the clothes don't fit right and really there is no reason to hang onto them. 

    If only clothes would stop shrinking lenght wise.  I find cute shirts that fit great when I buy them, then they go through the dryer and they're too short for my longer torso. 

    Ok, anyway, you have a terrific closet :)

  • MaMas06


    March 4, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    I so need to follow these rules and declutter my walk-in closet. The chair is a great idea! 

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