A closet is often the place many people start when it’s time to declutter and get organized. But for many, it’s a daunting task. Don’t worry, we’re breaking it down into the EMEND process so you can take it step-by-step.


Use this step to determine your reason for cleaning out the closet. What is your end goal? Are you trying to declutter? Maybe you have a goal to be able to walk into your closet if that’s currently not an option. Perhaps you’re getting married and you need to make room for another person’s clothes.

Before & After of the dresser area in this clothes closet.


Now’s the time to group like categories together. Of course, there’s the obvious like shoes, underwear, socks, pants, shirts, coats, and sweaters. But keep in mind, the categories could be creative, such as “memory clothes” — such as a letterman’s jacket or a wedding dress. Maybe you have an entire Christmas wardrobe. Or perhaps there are piece you only were for special gatherings such as civic club or volunteer shirts that you only wear once a month for meetings.

Before & After on the right side of the closet.


This is where you decide what stays and what goes. There are several different ways to approach this step and we’ve put together a list of questions you can ask yourself to make the editing process easier.

Before & After on the left side of the closet.


What you actually wear should be in the most accessible parts of your closet — what’s between your eyes and knees. Clothes you access the most should go near the door, or wherever is easiest to get to.

Clothes that you don’t wear as often can be put away on top shelves, underneath the bed, or in the very back corner that no one can reach. Remember that Christmas category of clothes? Don’t let it take up valuable space in your prime real estate. Group it together and put it somewhere out of the way so you can get it down during the holidays.

Same for the memory clothes. So often I find drawers and clothing rods filled with t-shirts and other clothes that will never be worn. There is no room for the clothing that is being worn because these areas are so full. My suggestion is to remove them from the main storage space and put them in a less accessible space.

If you want to organize your clothes on the rod, you can color-code clothes or organize by type of shirt (sleeveless to sweaters), or you can do both and color-code within each section.

Should you fold, roll, or hang your clothes? We’ve got an entire blog post on it and if you need to know what hangers to use, read up on it here.

Before & After on the closet’s back wall.


How are you going to maintain your closet? Learn to appreciate the empty space — you don’t want your clothes squished together. What will be your cue that it’s a sign to declutter your clothes again? When you can’t walk in there? When you can no longer shut the drawers?

Here are some rules to consider:

Not buying any hangers. So, if there are no hangers left in your closet, you can’t buy any clothes. To get hangers, you have to purge clothes. With this method, you always have the exact number of hangers you need for the clothes you have.

Adapt an in-out ratio. You’ve probably heard the 1-in 1-out ratio rule…If you buy a new shirt, get rid of a shirt. This is an excellent strategy if you want to maintain the same amount of clothing in your closet. You’re not getting any more, but you’re also not getting any less clothing. If you want to get rid of more, your rule can be 1-in and 2 out, or possibly 1-in, 5 out. This is a way to “earn” your new clothes, while still cleaning out your closet.

Approach cleaning your closet using the EMEND process and give yourself time to complete each step. Need additional assistance? Give us a call.