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How to Declutter Clothes and Kids' Closets Like a Pro

We spoke to the pros about how to declutter clothes and kids' closets for good. It's easier than you think!

How to Declutter Clothes and Kids' Closets Like a Pro

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We've all been there before – you know, standing in your kid's closet, feeling totally overwhelmed by all the stuff crammed in there.  And the clothes are the worst, right? There's just so many of them, it's like, how do you even begin to figure out what to keep and what to let go of?

But don't worry, we've got your back. We talked to some professional organizers who shared their step-by-step guide on how to declutter those clothes and get your kid's closet looking tidy and neat. So take a deep breath, grab some storage bins, and let's tackle this clutter situation together.

How pros declutter clothes and kids' closets:

Step one: Empty and clean out the closet

Before you dive headfirst into decluttering your kid's closet, take a moment to tidy up the space first. If it's been a while since you've given it some TLC, now's the perfect time to get it sparkling clean.

As professional organizer Aaron Traub says, "Make sure to give the whole area a good wipe-down, sanitize it, and get rid of any clutter. That'll give you a fresh, clean slate to work with when you start organizing their clothes and the closet itself."

Step two: Sort clothing into categories

When you're done cleaning out your closet, Traub has a fuss-free approach that he finds works really well – categorizing your clothes into four distinct piles.

He explains to Today's Parent, "I divide my clothes into four categories: keep, donate, toss, and hand-me-downs. "To keep these piles separate, I use storage bins for each. It makes the process much easier."

Step three: Assess clothing carefully

Next up, you'll want to inspect all the items in those piles up close. Traub recommends giving each item a good once-over and figure out if it still fits your little one and if you really need to hang onto it.

"If a clothing item no longer fits your child, decide whether it should be donated or stored for future use," says Traub. "For hand-me-downs, place these items in a clear, airtight plastic bin. I also like to use under-the-bed storage bins to store hand-me-downs until it's time to bring them out again."

Step four: Organize the remaining items

Once you've gone through everything, Traub's next move is to put the remaining clothes back into the closet.

"I find it helpful to sort clothes based on the frequency of use," he explains. "This means placing everyday items at eye level or within easy reach and special occasion outfits higher up or further back. This way, your child can easily find and put away their clothes."

Step five: Maximize closet functionality

Once you've completed the decluttering process, the final step is to optimize the remaining closet space. "The idea is to emphasize getting the most out of that space, making sure it's working as efficiently as possible for your needs," he says.

One way to do this is to use matching hangers, preferably velvet, to create a sense of order and make it easier to manage your belongings.  "This approach not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the closet but also helps you quickly identify items that are no longer necessary, making it simpler to declutter," he adds. "And if space allows it, you can also try to incorporate six cube organizers with velvet bins in a kid's closet. "They create a ton of additional storage space and are perfect for assigning a space for each type of clothing.

Items To Help You Declutter Clothes:

ClosetMaid 6 Cube Storage Shelf Organizer

ClosetMaid 6 Cube Storage Shelf Organizer, Declutter Clothes Merchant

Okay, so you've finally tackled that closet clean-out—congratulations! Now, to keep things tidy and maximize that newfound space, why not check out this six-cube organizer from ClosetMaid? It's got six roomy cubbies that are great for stashing away clothes, accessories, shoes, and all the rest. The fact that it's made from sturdy engineered wood means it's built to last and easy to keep clean.

The nice thing about this organizer is that it comes in four different finishes, so you can pick the one that works best with your decor. And it's not just one size fits all—there are four-cube and nine-cube versions, so you can find the right fit for your closet.

MIZGI Premium Kids Velvet Hangers

MIZGI Premium Kids Velvet Hangers, Declutter Clothes Merchant

To help keep the momentum going, these velvet hangers might be just what you need. They come in ten different shades, from subtle tones to bold, bright hues, and they've got options for both babies and kids, so you can customize your organizational setup.

Now, these aren't your average, run-of-the-mill hangers. They are built to last, with a robust design that can handle up to ten pounds of clothing. But the real kicker? The hooks - they rotate a full 360 degrees, making it a breeze to organize your wardrobe, no matter how you hang your clothes.

Pro tip: If your kids share a closet space - grab some hangers in different colors. That way, they can instantly tell whose clothes are whose. As one verified Amazon customer, hebweb, writes, "My girls share a closet so they got different color hangers so we can keep their clothes separate. We love these!"

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IRIS USA 27 Qt Storage Box with Airtight Seal

IRIS USA 27 Qt Storage Box with Airtight Seal, Declutter Clothes Merchant

Traub makes a great point—transparent, airtight organizers can really streamline the whole clothing organization process. The great thing about this particular set is the range of sizes you've got to choose from. Not only do you get different quart options, but you can also snag them in packs of two, three, four, or even six. Perhaps the best part is that they're stackable, so you can really make the most of your storage space.

E-Cloth High-Performance Dusting Cloth

E-Cloth High-Performance Dusting Cloth, Declutter Clothes Merchant

Before you even think about decluttering your clothes, you gotta tackle that closet first. And the secret weapon? These awesome microfiber dusting cloths you can easily grab in five sizes.

These microfiber cloths are like little cleaning magnets – they'll suck up all the dust, pollen, and pet hair in no time. And the fact that they're double-sided means you can cover more ground without having to worry about throwing anything away.

Budding Joy 90L Under Bed Storage Containers

Budding Joy 90L Under Bed Storage Containers, Declutter Clothes Merchant

Even if that closet makeover of yours doesn't leave you with much extra space, you can always rely on those under-bed storage units to pick up the slack. They slide right under your bed frame, and they're nice and roomy, so you can stash all sorts of stuff in there.

However, if you've got the room in your closet, reviewers say these storage bags can help tidy things up in there. Sabs, a verified Amazon customer, writes, "I did my closet clean out and these storage bins helped so much! I was able to fill all 4 bags and get a clean-looking closet. These are easy to use and place under your bed."

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ClosetMaid 5432 Cubeicals Fabric Drawer

ClosetMaid 5432 Cubeicals Fabric Drawer, Declutter Clothes Merchant

You know that six-cube organizer we were talking about earlier? Well, these fabric organizers might just be the missing piece to your organizational dreams. They come in a whopping 22 different colors, and you can choose from three sizes and two styles  – so you can customize them to your space. Time to wave goodbye to that 'Operation Declutter Clothes' to-do, am I right?

Experts: 

  • Aaron Traub, owner and lead organizer at MyProfessionalOrganize

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This article was originally published on Apr 16, 2024

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Courtney Leiva has over 11 years of experience producing content for numerous digital mediums, including features, breaking news stories, e-commerce buying guides, trends, and evergreen pieces. Her articles have been featured in HuffPost, Buzzfeed, PEOPLE, and more.

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