10 Questions to Help You Declutter Your Closet

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com
overflowing closet

Need some tips on decluttering your closet?  As with any client’s decluttering or downsizing project, I begin with 10 questions that I am happy to share with you.

The most important question is about mindset: Why am I doing this?  The likely answer is that your closet brings you stress – because it is bulging at the seams, you can’t find anything, or it is so overcrowded that everything comes out wrinkled (or a combination of these!?).

The average closet takes 1-4 hours to declutter. So, get in the mood; pour your favorite beverage and put on some energizing music. Weekends and mornings are best. 

Then gather the supplies you need like trash bags (I recommend two different colors: one destined for the curb and the other for charitable donations) and bins for possible out-of-season storage elsewhere in your house. Another strategy is to enlist a friend to assist you; she can not only lend a helping hand and motivate you, but also be honest with you when making hard choices.

As you begin, please note the 80/20 rule: We wear 20 percent of what we own 80 percent of the time. Given this statistic, ask yourself:

  • Does it fit?/Is it flattering?/In style?/Comfortable?
  • Is it in need of repair?/Stained?/Worn out?
  • Do I love it?/Am I sick of it?
  • Would I buy this today?
  • When was the last time I wore it?
  • Do I have duplicates?
  • What is the emotional attachment it has over me?

When in doubt, these two final questions could be the deal breakers:

  • What has more value to me, this item or the space it takes up?
  • If this was gone tomorrow, would I miss it?

I once read that you should think of your closet as valuable real estate. Don’t let clothes you don’t love or wear on a regular basis stay without paying rent – evict them!



With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website www.sec-interior.com or phone 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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