60-Minute Closet Clean Out

Following this quick closet clean out method and in just 60 minutes you will purge the old and will have a clean closet plus make room for some fun new pieces

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What would your dream closet look like? We are in the middle of a construction project at my house that will result in a new, bigger, and oh-so-much-better master bedroom closet. To say I’m excited is a little bit of an understatement! I’ll reveal the closet when it’s (finally) finished so you can see why! 

Our current closet is perfectly fine. It’s just not spacious. That means keeping my closet organized and purging its contents regularly has been a necessity! I use the same method twice a year every year to purge the old and make room for some fun new pieces. I know this method will help you, too! 

Whether you feel like your closet is bursting at the seams or it looks like a bomb just went off because you haven’t been keeping up with the “system” you were so sure would work, I can help. 

60 Minute Closet Clean Out

Don’t worry. This isn’t going to take up your entire Saturday. I don’t have time for that and I’m sure you don’t either. Plus, I can think of a LOT more fun ways to spend a day than sorting through my closet. 

That’s why my quick closet clean out method takes only 60 minutes. That means that in only one hour you’ll have a clean closet and a serious feeling of accomplishment. 

You’ll also have room for some cute new things in case you decide to spend the rest of your day shopping!

Keep Your Closet Clean Out on track with a timer and music

Before we get started, you need some fun music and a timer. Both are important. Listening to your favorite music will pump you up and get you moving faster. 

I use a timer for so many reasons. How many times have you started cleaning your closet and suddenly you start trying things on and making outfits? Or you come across your favorite sweatshirt – you know the one you’ve had since high school – and you suddenly have to call your best friend? 

Can you say squirrel?! 

It happens to the best of us. 

We need to stay focused, ladies. The timer will help keep you on task and get this job done in 60 minutes or less.

Tackle those shirts!

I dedicate the first 20 minutes of my closet clean-out to shirts. Shirts represent the biggest section of my closet so I like to tackle them first. 

Set your timer for 20 minutes and get ready for some rapid-fire decision-making. You have three choices – keep, donate, toss. If you’d like to sell some items, you can make a pile for that, too. 

Remember, we don’t have time to put too much thought into these decisions. I like to start from the back where my oldest shirts are. This allows me to clear some room right away.

Keep, Donate, Toss.

It’s decision-making time for shirts. Donate items that are in good shape and toss the ones that have stains, holes, tears, or are really worn. It’s time to let those go except for one or two to save for when you’re working on a dirty project! 

What about that favorite shirt that has fuzzy little balls all over it? Yep, it’s time to say goodbye. You loved it so well that you’ve worn it out. It’s time to let it go and focus your attention on some of your other items that haven’t seen as much love.

It took me 15 minutes to finish my shirts so I spent the extra five minutes sorting inside my closet. 

I wear t-shirts the most, so those go up front. I group my seasonal tees together by holiday and then sorted from dress tops to long sleeves to layering pieces. After only 20 minutes everything feels less cramped and more organized.

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah
60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah

Check out this pile of “donate” shirts I cleared out of there.  Let’s talk about this for a minute.

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah

There will likely be some great shirts in your donate pile. But… It’s time to be honest with yourself like I was honest with myself. Ask yourself when was the last time you wore that “great shirt?” Will you wear it in the next three months? 

I know I will be buying new tops in the next 3 months, so I have to decide if I want to hang onto the old stuff or open my closet for some fun new pieces.

I never feel guilty about donating good items.  I actually hope they find a good new home!

No Second-Guessing

I pay my daughter to fold all the donated items and pack them into bags, so I don’t get held-up (distracted and second-guessing) in that step and can keep moving. Plus, now she can buy that really cool app she’s been begging me for.

My toss pile is much smaller. Instead of just throwing stained tees away, I cut them up and made cleaning rags out of them. They’re perfect for those jobs where you know you will use a rag once and toss it. I keep a little basket of cut up t-shirt rags in my laundry room for when we are working on a tough cleaning job!

Take on the pants

Next up, I set the timer for 15 minutes and get to work on pants and shorts. I use the same concept here, setting the timer and making rapid-fire decisions on keeping, donating, or tossing.

When sorting your pants, think about the style and fit. Are they wide leg or skinny leg jeans? Do you prefer one over the other? Start in the back, that’s usually where the oldest pairs get shoved. Pull out the ones you haven’t worn in at least a year.

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah

I fluctuate sizes every few years. Up a size, down a size. Right now I’m in the “up” size, but don’t want to get rid of the pants that are one size smaller. I’m hoping I’ll need those again soon. Instead of letting them take up space I need for pants I’ll be wearing right now, I add a plastic bin to the top of my closet for the smaller size until I am ready for them again!

I organize my pants by pajama pants, leggings, then jeans, and finally, dress pants.

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah


Next, it’s 10 minutes for outerwear. This includes jackets, hoodies, cardigans, etc. It’s important to purge here as well, especially since these items are bulky and can really take up space.  

Think about the last time you wore these pieces. If it’s been longer than two years, it’s time to go!

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah

Shoes and Accessories

Now it’s time to take 10 of the 15 minutes left on our timer for shoes and accessories. Focus on your shoes first since they take up the most space. When I purge old shoes, most of them end up as “throwaways.” They’ve been worn until the soles fall apart!

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah Shoe bin storage

I pull my shoes for the current season forward and up onto my small dresser so I can see them more easily and tuck the rest in a large canvas bin to keep them out of the way until I am ready for them again.

Clean Up

The final five minutes of this 60-minute closet clean out are for cleaning up! You made it through to the end of this fast and furious closet clean up. Take these last few minutes to go back and organize anything you didn’t have time for during our rapid-fire purge.

60 Minute Closet Clean Out Framed by Sarah

You might have piles of clothes laying there to take care of. It takes some additional time to pack everything up and get it ready to donate, but it feels so good to have a fresh start on my closet again.

I will never feel guilty about shopping. It’s something I do with my family and friends and it’s something just for ME. It just means I need to purge a little more often!!

Soon it’s going to be time to organize all my clothes in my new dream closet. I cannot wait!!

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