Bedroom Closet Clean Out: Clean With Me

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Hey there Clean My Space readers! I’ve published a lot of Clean With Me videos on our YouTube channel, but today I wanted to share a Clean With Me article. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when I go through a cleaning routine in real-time so we can clean “together.”

Today, we’re tackling the dreaded closet clean out. This bedroom cleaning task is a daunting one, I’ve actually been putting it off for a while, but this morning I decided enough was enough. So we’re going to tackle my very messy closet together using my three wave system. 

And if you’re not familiar with my three wave system, then you should definitely check out My Secret 3 Wave Cleaning System. I use it for every cleaning task, and it helps me get through every room of the house as quickly and efficiently as possible. But for now, let’s step into my closet; be careful not to trip!

Clothes to sort

Closet Clean Out: What You’ll Need

To start, gather up a couple of bins. I use one for clothing that will be donated and the other for clothing to pass along to family and friends. Then, grab your vacuum cleaner, an all-purpose cleaner, a microfiber cloth, and a garbage bag. 

Locate a large flat surface where you can lay everything out. I used my bed, but the floor works too. You want all your cleaning products and tools within reach, so you don’t have to waste time getting up and down or running into the other room. And I always like to solicit some help if I can get it. 

microfiber cloths

Wave One: Full Closet Clean Out

The first phase is pretty straightforward as it only involves one step. Remove absolutely everything from your closet and place it on that flat surface. We stripped our closet bare, including all of the clothes that were sitting on the top shelf, the clothes that were hanging, and the clothes that were in the drawers. 

We also moved all of the other stuff that was clogging up our closet, blankets, suitcases, shoes, shoe boxes, old purses, hampers, and even my wedding dress. I’m going to break out my trash bag here and throw any trash right in there. So goodbye, old receipts and tags I forgot to take off. 

The closet was completely empty when we were done. I highly recommend doing the same. While it’s a lot of work, it’s ultimately the only way to truly clean your entire closet. Plus, it gives you an excuse to have a mini fashion show, so excuse me for a moment while I try on that cute skirt I forgot about.

Wave Two: Clean Surfaces

Unlike the first wave, wave two moves fast. But it’s an important one, so don’t skip it. Since you have everything out of your closet, this is a great time to clean the actual closet. Because I don’t know about you, but my closet walls and floor are usually barely visible. 

Spray all the horizontal surfaces with your all-purpose cleaner and wipe them with your microfiber cloth. Then, give the closet a good vacuuming. If the floor needs more than just a vacuum, read DIY Floor Cleaners (Hardwood, Laminate, and Vinyl)

Wave Three: Purge and Put Back

For wave three, I suggest you call upon all the patience and mental energy you can summon because you’re going to need it. This wave takes quite a while and can become a little bit overwhelming so take your time. 

You are going to touch each and every piece of clothing that you removed in wave one and decide whether it stays or whether it goes. If it’s going to be donated, place it in your donation bin. If you think a family member or friend will love it, place it in that bin. And if it’s going back into the closet, hang it up or fold it neatly to be put away.

Remember, if you haven’t worn it in six months, it has to go. If it was a gift that you never wear but you’ve felt obligated to hang on to it, it needs to go. If you keep passing it over in the closet, say bye-bye. This is your chance to hold yourself accountable for the state of your closet. 

By doing this, you will get a more tranquil, less cluttered closet. It can be hard to say goodbye to some items, but it will give you more physical and mental space, and it will make getting dressed a lot easier. And those clothes you decide to donate or give away get a chance at a second life with someone who might actually wear them, so feel good about that. 

I also like to use this opportunity to purge hangers; fewer clothes mean fewer hangers! Keep the best ones and part with the others.

declutter the closet

Bedroom Cleaning: Closet Clean Out

Phew, that was a lot of work. But I’m done, and I now have four huge bins of clothes that are going to a better place (some to friends and family, some for donation). But there’s one last decision that I’m having a hard time making, and I think I might need your help. 

My wedding dress has been sitting in my closet, and I love it dearly, but I haven’t worn it or frankly even looked at it since our wedding day. I can’t imagine parting ways with it, but I know that so many people donate theirs. So what do you think? Is it worth donating? Or do you hang on to it for sentimental reasons? Let me know in the comments down below.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I feel the same with my wedding dress and cannot bear to part with it. Plus, someone once said to me when I first got married – “sell your wedding dress sell your happiness” – which has stuck with me!

  2. Same here. I got married two years ago and I can’t imagine giving away my wedding dress. It just makes me so happy to look at it every single day and think about our happy wedding day. And it also reminds me of the day that my syster and I went to this wadding dress shop and picked this one, and afterwards we had coffee in my car when it was raining outside and then she couldn’t start her car so we spend more time together waiting for it to be fixed and just enjoyed our quality time together. And offcourse the other day when I tried on the dress at the shop when it was ready and my mom looked at me and got so excited. This beautiful dress stores so many great memories and gives me good energy (“sparks joy”) so I definitely gonna keep it for myself for a long long time 🙂

  3. You can also donate it where they make special dresses for babies that are still born or have a very short life. They are given to the family for burial during this most difficult time.

  4. I made a purse for my daughter’s wedding using my mother’s dress fabric and my own. The purse was so special to her because it was the something old… my mother is no longer here and in a special way she was still present at the wedding. Just an idea if you have a daughter and she gets married someday.

  5. I’ve kept mine for 34 years. In ways I wish I had donated it right after the wedding. It would have been simpler. Now, I have 5 daughters, 3 of them the same size I was when I got married. Yet its not likely they will use it. The style is very dated. But I can wish. After they are all married I may donate it (youngest is 11 so its a ways away).

    I pulled everything out like this once. I was overwhelmed trying to decide what to get rid of, so I began by just putting what I knew for a fact I wanted to keep back in my closet. After hanging them up and turning back to the stack on my bed, I did a literal double take. I had 20 “everyday” shirts in my closet already. Does anyone who owns a washer and dryer really need more than 20 everyday shirts? I gleefully packed up and donated the rest of them (over 200 tops). Did the same thing for every category. Where my closet used to be packed to the gills, now its airy and light. 🙂

  6. Save for your daughter. She may want to reuse some of the fabric for her wedding gown or Christening gown for her future baby.

    • great idea!….there was fabric from my mother’s wedding dress in a cedar chest and one sister who sews has made hankies for all brides in the family since, christening pillows,…it’s been a lovely memento of my mom who died in 2006 and has missed many of these occasions that have come since.

  7. Donate or sell it. In case you have a photographer or a friend with a camera, have a fun photoshoot and then say thank you and pass it on to someone else 🙂

  8. Donate it. You have your pictures. My wedding dress was my something borrowed, and I’ve never regretted that. Someone will love a beautiful dress, for a much more reasonable price.

  9. Hi Melissa. Donate! There are so many women out there who would love a beautiful dress to wear on their wedding day but just can’t afford a new one. If you find a place where loved and used wedding dresses can be bought by someone who will be ever grateful.

  10. ???? it is hard to part with the wedding dress but I made mine into pillows and little purses for my daughters. I was pregnant at my wedding so hopefully my girls will not need a dress that size????, but the material is so lovely and I thought they should have something that they could carry with them on their wedding days is if they would like. Thank you for the video, Melissa! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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