How to Declutter Your Closets Fast

Organized Closets help a home sell fast

Oh….the closets. What kind of condition are your closets in?  Are they neatly organized in a way that you can quickly find what you are looking for?   Does the inside of your closet resemble a storage unit – packed full of so much stuff that you can’t even really remember what all is in there?

When you open your closets do you find yourself thankful that you live in a home with plenty of storage space?   Or is it the opposite?  Are your cluttered closets a symptom of living in a house that is too small?     Even worse, do your closets make you look like you are a hoarder?

Lots of people feel like they need to clean out their closets.   Some people make New Year’s resolutions to get organized, to declutter, to simplify their lives.   Others decide to wait until they start spring cleaning.  Or maybe, it is a fall task that is part of your preparation for company coming to visit over the holidays.

Yet, I think that if you decide to sell your house you are about to get very motivated to clean closets out as fast as possible.

Interested buyer prospects WILL look inside the closets

I’ve sold residential real estate for well over 15 years.   I dont’ recall every seeing someone purchase a home without first looking in the closets.     When an average buyer looks at a home, first impressions do count.   The very first impression is formed based on the online photos.   Generally, you are not gong to include pictures of the closest online. Most closests are too small to photograph well and there are more important things to show.    Yet, when a buyer comes to look at your house, they will be interested in how much storage space there is.

The better your home shows, the better price you will be able to receive.   Cluttered homes almost never sell for as much as neat, well cared for home with the same amenities.  Investors don’t mind buying cluttered homes in nice area.   Investors are looking for bargains that will allow them to earn a profit in the future.  The less they have  to pay for a house because it is cluttered or dated, the more money they stand to make.

As a real estate agent, I prefer to work with sellers that are willing to make the effort to have their homes sell for as high a price as possible in a reasonable time period.   I want my selters to clean their closets.  I want my sellers to declutter their homes because that will make the home show better.


What are you trying to achieve when you clean out or decluttering your closets?

1.  You want your home to feel spacious.

2.  The buyer should be able to imagine what it will be like to put their belongings in the closets.

Even if you have a small home or tiny closets, you want the home to feel as spacious as possible.  You want to show buyers that it is possible to live in a home with tiny closets.

I’ve never heard a buyer complain that a home has too much storage.   If your home has lots of storage and closet space, we want to show it off.   However, that means that the closets need to be clean and somewhat organized.



Tips to clean your closets fast:

1.  Decide what you plan to do with unwanted items.   Your options are to donate, give away  or sell the unwanted items.  Plan to put these items in a box or a bag.   Do NOT leave them in the closet.

2.  Spend a few moments online looking at homes for sale that you might be interested in purchasing.   This will help motivate you to get your house on the market as soon as possible.

3.  Plan to start with the coat closet or a hallway closet.   These closets are small.  So, you should be able to clean it out the fastest.


Coat closet and other small closets:


Figure out what is the purpose of the closet 

If you live in Colorado or a state with cold weather,  you want the coat closet to have room for coats.

Is it a cleaning closet?

Is it used to store sports equipment or hobby supplies?

Would there be a better place to store some of the items than in that particular closet?

Don’t forget, you will be moving in the very near future.   You do not need to be storing anything in the closet long term anymore.

Plan to pull everything out.   As you do so,  ask yourself:

  • Is it torn, stained or in need of repair?  Why hasn’t it been fixed?
  • Consider getting rid of it unless you wear things like to clean the barn, to paint in or around house get dirty projects.
  • When is the last time you wore the item?  If over a year ago, get rid of it.
  • Do you still like it?  No – get rid of it
  • Do you look good in it?   If not, ask yourself why you wear it.   I probably look like a fat orange in the winter coat I wear every day.   I’ll keep it.   But I’ve got some item in my bedroom closet that I probably should get rid of -especially if I need space.

If you want to keep it, does it really need to be kept in the hall closet?   When you are trying to declutter the hall closet, would it make more sense to keep it in one of the bedroom closets?


Motivation for when you get stuck

you start having trouble getting rid of things even though there is a tiny voice saying to get rid of the items, think about how you will soon be packing everything up.  Think about how it will have to get carried out to a truck.  Think about how it will have to be carried back into new place.  Imagine yourself unpacking it a your new house?   Do you still really want to keep it?

If necessary, take a break.   Look at pictures of your new area and the new home that you will be moving to.   If you don’t know, look online at pictures of homes you are interested in..  Maybe place a home magazine with the styles you like on a table.  Think about how neat and uncluttered the room in the picture are.


Putting stuff back into the closet

Once you have taken everything out, sweep the floor.  Dust the shelf.  Neatly put the things you want to keep in the closet back into the closet.    Keep in mind that you want the closet to present a neat appearance when a visitor opens it.   The coats you wear frequently need to be in easy reach.   Is there room for a visitor to hang their coat?    If not, remove more items.

Since you are planning on moving, maybe you might want to go ahead and pack some of the seasonal items that are not being used into a box.  Do you like the items you are packing enough to pay to keep them in storage?


Can you think of other tips to help clean and organize the closets? If so, please feel free to share.



14 thoughts on “How to Declutter Your Closets Fast

  1. ImageBeat says:

     Your article makes me think about my closet and you will get super angry if you see it. It looks like someone throw a nuclear bomb in a war. And I like the idea of throwing, selling or donating the stuff that we don’t use.  I wish you all the very best and keep growing 🙂

    • Sondra Meyer says:

      LOL    A lot of people have closets like yours.   That is why it is so important to clean out closets if you when you get ready to sell your home.     Good luck organizing your closets. 

  2. Oshea says:

    I enjoyed this blog. I know I myself am a neat fanatic and I like everything to neat or else I will go on a rampage. I will have to show this blog to my mom because our closet in the dining room is a mess and it is sort of embarrassing when a visitor comes over and has to see that crap.

    I agree with you though it is good to sweep the floor and place everything neat so it is presentable. 

    • Sondra Meyer says:

      Well, I hope that your mom will like some of these tips enough to better arrange the dining room closet.   Most buyers are like you.  They do not want to open a closet and see it full of junk.  

      Messy closets may makes them like a house less when a closet is messy because they feel like the house may be too small.

  3. Nuttanee says:

    I love your post. Have you seen this show on Netflix called Tidying up with Marie Kondo? I have followed her work since I was in Japan it’s the best. What I usually do with my closet is I like to buy the closet organizer. My rule of thumb is that I have to be able to see what I have in the closet. I hate rummaging through it just to look for one item. I also like to label a lot. For example, now it is winter in NYC, it gets cold. I will box all my summer clothes in the box and label it, and stash it somewhere. I also save all the boxes that I can reuse. It is so much easer when you box your Items and you can stack the box on top of one another. I love those clears roller organizers as well. 

    Every year I also go through my clothes or my stuff and decide if I want to keep it or donate it. It was hard in the beginning but once you keep practicing giving up our stuff, your place will be spacious and you feel relaxed. That’s just what I think. Let’s make our place presentable.

    • Sondra Meyer says:

      Thank you!   I rarely have time to watch Netflix, so I have missed Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.    I may have to make time to watch it.   

      These are awesome tips that you shared.  Thank you!!!    

      I will most likely use your suggestion about your rule of thumb in my personal  closets.   I spend to much time rummaging for one thing.   In the future, I will make sure that I  can see everything in the closet.   

  4. Christine says:

    Thank you for your tips to declutter closets.

    Spacious home always give a good impression. To declutter closets is quiet a challenging task. Many people like to keep all their clothes whether new or old, use or not use, in the closets. This make the closets look messy.

    I like the idea of packing the unused clothes in boxes. This will make the closets look neat and spacious. It will make moving easier when it is time to move.

    • Sondra Meyer says:


      Decluttering closets is challenging, especially for those of us that like to keep all of our clothes.   

      I really like your idea of packing the unused clothes in boxes.   In the future, I will add that to my list to help sellers as they prepare for a move.  

  5. atwabi says:

    I like a state of living in a good environment  with  no noisy, pollution  but with conducive atmosphere.Its good enough that you have taught us about closets especially in Colorado and how people should leave with such conditions. it has been a great article keep improving and inform us more about this.

    • Sondra Meyer says:

      Thank you for taking time to read my article about decluttering closets.    A lot of buyers are just like you, they want to live in a good environment.   Clutter make you think about trash and pollution.   

      A clean house and clean closets leads to a more pleasant atmosphere.  

  6. GVporras says:

    Thank you for sharing this great information about how to declutter our closet.

    You right when say that people will look through your closets when they looking for a house to buy.  I sold my house before and people was always looking through my closet.  Thankfully my wife is very detailed about our belongings.  Our closets look amazingly well organized and not just the closets, the entire house is well organized.  Maybe that was the reason we sold our house so quick.

    She will lose it if we make a mess and we don’t clean it.

    • Sondra Meyer says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience!   Your house must have looked great.   When buyers start looking in the closets and cabinets, that usually means they are very interested in the house.   If they are not interested, the vast majority of people will not take the time to look.  

      If you move again, your house should be easy to get ready to sell since your wife does a great job of keeping it organized.    

  7. Riaz Shah says:

    Now that you mentioned it, my wardrobe is super messy and very much cluttered. I only usually wear the recent clothes that I bought so the old ones are all there doing nothing but taking up space. I got inspired by your pictures, that is super neat an I plan to achieve that by the end of this week yeah!

    • Sondra Meyer says:

      Yeah!  I am glad you found this inspirational.   I hope your plan to organize your wardrobe goes well.   Maybe you can find a new home for the old clothes that are just taking up space.   

      It is a lot easier to try to spend a little time getting organized and decluttering on a periodic basis rather than waiting until you move.  Good luck and enjoy the finished result. 

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