Joanna Linberg, the former home editor of Sunset and Better Homes and Gardens magazines, has spent the past decade helping people simplify and cherish their living space.
If choosing what to wear in the morning has you fending off decades-old tops and tottering piles to find your favorite sweater, it’s time for a closet clean-out.
According to Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up and star of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, “from the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life.”
That’s a lofty goal, but organizing doesn’t have to be stressful. You can declutter your bedroom closet in a day.
Step 1: Empty your closet.
Take everything out and place all items in a staging area. Depending on the size of your wardrobe, this could be your bed or another room. Pull clothing from other parts of the house—out-of-season storage, under the bed, the coat closet, etc.—and include it in this process. Don’t stop to analyze your clothes at this point, just clear out the closet completely. There, it looks better already, doesn’t it?
Smart Tip: While the closet is empty, give it a quick wipe-down and vacuum or sweep.
Step 2: Choose your top 5.
Sorting clothing is hard: It’s so often an expression of who we are or want to be, and every item has memories attached. Give yourself a guiding light: Select five favorite items from the pile and hang them somewhere prominent. These don’t have to match or constitute a full outfit, they’re simply the pieces you will judge the rest of your wardrobe against.