The Ultimate Closet Clean Out Guide + Checklist

Clean out your closet 5 tips

The rain is washing away the cold, the wind is ushering in the warmth, and the flowers are blooming in all their beauty. It’s spring! That means new beginnings, fresh starts, and - my favorite - spring closet clean out! In the fall and winter, I tend to hoard clothes that I “may one day need” (anyone with me on that?). When spring rolls around, though, there’s something so refreshing about downsizing, minimizing, and revitalizing your closet. 

In this guide, we are giving you the Current Boutique method of finding pieces you absolutely love and doing a full closet clean out for maximum fashion efficiency. At Current Boutique, it’s our job to go through preloved goodies to select whether or not we are going to purchase and consign certain items. That makes us the Closet Selection Pros - and we’re here to give you all the tips and tricks we have for the simplest closet clean out. 

1.Take everything out of the closet

First, take all the clothes you own out of your closet, dressers, and drawers, and put everything on the bed. If you have your closet organized by clothing types, like tees, dresses, and pants, we recommend keeping these separated. This will help you get an idea of how many pairs of jeans, for example, you really have… So maybe it’s time to start getting rid of a few. Plus, it gives you a sense of all the stuff you’ve shoved into your closet (and how big your closet really is without everything inside!).

2. Make three piles

Now, you’re going to go through each item individually and decide if it’s a “yes,” “no,” or “maybe.” Yesses should be reserved for the clothes that you absolutely can’t imagine living your life without. The No is for anything that doesn’t fit, isn’t comfortable, doesn’t suit your style, or simply doesn’t make you happy. If you can’t make a decision right now, put it in the Maybe pile to come back to it.

Maybe try following the Marie Kondo method! You’ll look at each item and think about if it brings you joy or not. If it brings you joy, put it in the “yes!” If it doesn’t make you feel good (maybe it itches when you wear it or it doesn’t fit right or you had a bad experience while wearing it), put it in the “no” pile. 

3. Analyze your Yes pile

Before you go any further, take a look at everything that’s a definite Yes. These are the pieces that make you feel amazing. They bring out your very best, and you love, love, LOVE these pieces. Take a look at everything in front of you. This will give you a good idea of what kinds of silhouettes, styles, and colors you are most drawn to. (Hint, hint: That’s your personal style!) This will help you with the rest of the closet clean out process so you can stay aligned with your style moving forward, and it will also help you purchase future items that will best match your wardrobe and find what truly makes you happy. 

Pro-tip: Use Pinterest to get style inspiration! If you have a shirt or color you love, type it into Pinterest for some outfit combos you’ve never thought of before!   

4. Say goodbye to the Nos

Saying goodbye to something that has been a part of your life, no matter how short a time, can be a challenge. I love the way Marie Kondo’s take on this, though. She says that you should thank all of the items you’re getting rid of. Thank them for the memories and the good times. Thank them for making you feel happy or beautiful or bright while you had that item. This is a beautiful way to honor your clothing while still making space during your closet clean out.

Keep in mind that you’re not just saying bye to something. You’re also saying hello to a streamlined, distraction-free closet (that has more room for clothes that will make you even happier). It’s not about endings—it’s about beginnings for you and your wardrobe! 

5. Take a break from your closet clean out 

Usually, when I come back to my Maybe pile the next day, I’m more open to getting rid of items because it felt so good to purge the first time. I recommend staying firm on your Yesses and Nos but letting your Maybes wait until tomorrow, so you can come at it with a fresh perspective. 

6. Tackle the Maybes

Now that it’s tomorrow, let’s get into the Maybe pile. Now, there’s no time for a maybe. We only have a Yes and No pile. As you’re going through, remember:

  • When you look good, you feel good. (It’s psychologically proven!) If this Maybe item isn’t going to make you feel fierce, beautiful, confident, or special, it belongs in the No pile. 
  • A streamlined closet saves time. The fewer items you have in your closet, the faster you can reach the items you really want to wear. Plus, you’ll be able to easily access all your favorites, so you’ll finally remember to wear that sundress you love but always forget about. 
  • A clean space will make you happier and more productive. Getting rid of items isn’t about saying “no” but instead about saying “yes” to a closet you feel incredible about. 

7. Sell or donate the No pile

Don’t throw out your No pile! (Except for old underwear and socks.) Most items can be repurposed or recycled, particularly if they’re still in good condition. Your “Nos” may be a no to you, but they’ll be a Yes to someone else, and selling or donating these items is a great way to give these pieces a renewed life.

Consignment (selling your used clothes) is a great way to recoup some of the investment that you’ve already made in your wardrobe, particularly the designer items. Designer pieces made with sustainable fabrics like cashmere, silk, cotton, and linen are particularly desirable and can payout well—and get sold to a new owner who will love that item!

8. Organize the Yesses

Don’t just throw everything back in your closet. Go in with a plan for organization. Take stock of all the clothes you have, and then organize by type. It might be time to get some new hangers and drawer organizers too! I also highly recommend learning “file folding” so you can treat your clothing with love—and make them fit beautifully in your drawers! 

Check out some of these organization pro tips

9. Praise yourself for your closet clean out

Seriously, you deserve a good pat on the back. Spring cleaning can be physically and emotionally challenging - but you’ve done it! Even better, if you’ve sold or donated your clothing, you are directly impacting the world by:

  • Giving someone else the joy of wearing that item,
  • Giving that item a chance at a second life,
  • And reducing waste and consumption, which is good for the planet

I’ve seen a lot of people come into Current Boutique who are fearful or sad about saying goodbye to their beloved items—even if they’ve never been worn before. The process can be both revitalizing and emotional, and that’s okay! Current Boutique’s awesome staff are here to help you along the process and reassure you that your items are going to find their way to a new, loving home (and you’ll get cash in your hand too!).  

If it’s time to say goodbye to the No pile, sell with Current Boutique! We offer a competitive commission so you earn more than average, and we easily deposit the earnings into your bank account so you can use it for whatever you like (like a new preloved dress from Current Boutique). Click here to learn about selling your items with Current Boutique’s advanced consignment process. We can’t wait to join you on your closet clean out journey!

Carmen Lopez, President & CEO


Hello Fashion Lovers! I've been in the fashion industry for over 15 years. I started Current Boutique with the desire to recycle amazing pre-loved designer gems for others to enjoy! I value quality, unique craftsmanship, sustainability & saving money. I am a fashion lover who is energized by the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. I'm here to share tips on fashion, style, bargain shopping and business. I hope you enjoy!
XOXO, Carmen