The Genius Tip To Use For A Perfectly Decluttered Closet

There are tons of clever closet hacks you didn't know you needed but, on a basic level, we seldom keep up with our decluttering vows. Come to think of it, they have a lot in common with New Year's resolutions — both meant to change our lives for the better but typically forgotten once the dust settles. In fact, if you do stick to these fervent rules, you probably call it a day after going through a couple of overflowing drawers. After all, the sense of achievement when you take small steps towards your ultimate goal is unparalleled. But this undermines your decluttering process and makes it difficult for you to gauge the amount of items you actually have stuffed in your closet. This is where The Minimalists' — aka Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus — out-in-the-open rule comes in.

The idea is to pick one especially cluttered closet and empty it out completely. Simply put, you bring out everything in your drawers, shelves, bins, and containers and dump it all on the floor. This gives you a more granular view of everything occupying space in your wardrobe and encourages you to confront these items (peacefully, of course) and remove everything that isn't useful to you anymore. Holding onto these possessions quickly becomes a moot point as you feel the sudden need to purge them from your life. Although this rule might sound totalitarian on paper, it can be incredibly helpful in practice. 

How to apply the out-in-the-open rule to declutter your closet

As mentioned, the out-in-the-open rule advocates first emptying out a cluttered closet so you can appreciate the sheer number of things you have and swiftly remove any items that no longer serve a purpose. So, begin by choosing a closet you have been meaning to organize for a while and get everything out of it. Leave no drawer or shelf behind. Always remember to mop the floor before you do this, or you could end up dirtying the stored items unintentionally. After you have everything out, go through each item and consider whether you still need it. Create four piles — keep, donate, sell, and trash — and stick to them. Things that you need on a regular basis automatically make it to the "keep" pile, whereas anything you aren't sure about goes into one of the other three. 

Get rid of anything that doesn't fit your current lifestyle or taste. Perhaps a dress shirt that you love but no longer wear. This is a good opportunity to attack the "just-because" items, like the pair of frayed jeans you've kept forever just in case. If you have too many things to go through and are moving at a glacial pace, TikTok's 3-second rule will add a little excitement to your organization. This trick will help you make quicker decisions without being rash. This ensures you don't spend the entire day just sorting items into the four piles.

Some dos and don'ts when utilizing the out-in-the-open rule

Although you need to be ruthless while decluttering using the out-in-the-open rule, and resist the temptation of falling into the "maybe I'll need it someday" trap, don't go overboard either. Since this hack can be applied to practically any closet, credenza, or storage unit you own, be careful not to get rid of items you may genuinely require later. For instance, don't chuck out anything you'd need in an emergency, like a plunger, a first aid kit, an LBD (little black dress), seasonal jackets, sweaters, and swimwear, or your precious red-soled heels. Another thing you have to stop doing when decluttering is to try and organize all your closets in a day. 

It gets repetitive and will feel like a tedious climb up a tall mountain. Moreover, modify the out-in-the-open rule to your situation and don't place valuable items like jewelry, designer bags and shoes, and bespoke watches next to your regular clothes and accessories. Further, definitely hold onto a few sentimental items, like your wedding dress, but avoid hoarding everything that has a beautiful memory attached to it. While this genius tip makes it easier to declutter your storage solutions in one go, it might not be right for you if you get easily overwhelmed or feel anxious simply by looking at the sheer number of items you've amassed over the years.