Here’s a printable closet cleaning checklist — actually, two! Jackie reminded me on the Housewife How-To’s Facebook page, I’ve shared printable cleaning checklists for most of the other rooms in the house, but not the closet.
There’s a reason for that: I hate cleaning my closets, too. In fact, I hate it so much that I only do it to give myself an excuse to go shopping. My husband doesn’t understand the logic of this incentive (“Why clean your closet only to shove it full of more clothes?”), but every female friend of mine understands. See, it’s all a matter of perspective!
Anyway, here’s the deal about how to clean your closet: if it’s a mess now, it’s going to take you most of the day to put things in order. But there’s good news, too. Once you complete the Total Closet Cleaning Checklist below, you’ll only have to spend a few minutes each week to keep things in shape.
That’s what the Regular Closet Cleaning Checklist covers, and believe me, the sheer amount of work you’re about to put in for the total closet cleaning will make those few weekly minutes seem like a breeze.
Before you jump to the printable closet cleaning checklist below, take the time to read through the following steps so you understand the process involved in cleaning your closet. Doing so will help you make the most of your time by avoiding redundant tasks.
When you’re done, there are printable cleaning flow charts at the bottom of the entry if you’d rather use them than a checklist. Consider slipping them into a plastic page protector and hanging them on the back of your closet door where they’ll always be handy when you need them.
How To Totally Clean Your Closet
Straighten what’s there:
- Throw away any trash.
- Gather clean clothes and sort them into two piles: clothes to hang, and clothes to fold.
- Hang up things that wrinkle:
- Blouses/Dress shirts
- Work slacks
- Silk or satin nightgowns/robes
- Fold clothes that don’t need hanging:
- Yoga pants/sweatpants
Remove everything from the closet: Take everything out of your closet and put them on your bed or bedroom floor. As you do, put “like” things together: pants, long-sleeved shirts, dresses, skirts, jackets, etc. Don’t worry at this point about whether something’s outdated or too big/small. Just focus on putting something into its proper category while it’s in your hand. You’ll be saving yourself effort when it’s time to return everything to the closet.
Clean your closet’s insides: Now that your closet is empty and your bedroom’s a mess, you have no choice but to finish your project!
- Using a long-handled duster or broom, dust the ceiling, walls and door jamb. Be sure to get any cobwebs!
- Dust the light fixture.
- Use a Magic Eraser to remove any scuffs on the wall.
- Wipe down the light switch, baseboards and door with a damp microfiber cloth to remove dust and grime.
- Vacuum the floor thoroughly. Go around the base of the walls with the vacuum’s crevice attachment, too.
- If you have a carpet, now’s the time to treat any stains on the floor. If your carpet has hard flooring, mop it.
Sort your stuff: Go through each category of clothes, sorting each item into one of the following categories:
- Things too worn out to wear or to donate: If you’re reluctant to toss old clothing into the landfill, consider some of these things to do with worn out clothing.
- Things you don’t like anymore: Put them into a box and label it ‘Donations’. Keep a list of things you’re donating as you put them into the box. This will make it easier to calculate your charitable donation to deduct from your taxes.
- Things you like but which don’t fit right now: as someone whose weight cycles, and who has watched fashion cycles, I don’t like the “toss it if you can’t wear it” approach. I sort things into one box for items that are too small, and one for items that are too big. When they’re full, I write the size range and current date on the outside of the box. Eventually (below) I move them to storage so next time my weight fluctuates I can find them. (Once every few years I go through my storage area and finally donate clothes that I’ve finally admitted I’ll never fit into again.
Return everything you’re keeping to the closet: Put things away by category, hanging categories with longer items (dresses, skirts) toward the end.
- Here’s how I categorize my side of the closet, left to right:
- Fancy nightgowns and robes
- Long-sleeved shirts/blouses
- Short-sleeved shirts/blouses
- My husband’s side of the closet is arranged like this, left to right:
- Casual jackets and windbreakers
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Short-sleeved shirts
- Jeans (he likes his hung up)
- Sports coats/dinner jackets
- Suits (hung together with the pants inside) [Note: He only has two suits, and only wears a suit perhaps once a year.]
- Return shoes to the closet.
- Return accessories to the closet. Hang scarves over the bar of a clothes hanger. Loop belt buckles over another clothes hanger.
- Return your shoulder bags and purses to the closet, preferably on a shelf.
- Put the boxes away:
- Put the box of items to donate in your car so you can drop them off right away.
- Take the boxes of things you’ll be keeping to wherever you store stuff like that.
- Take empty hangers to the laundry room.
- Give the closet a once-over with air freshener if you like, otherwise just close the door and pat your back.
How To Keep Your Closet Tidy
- Sort your stuff constantly: Keep a box in one corner of your closet to hold clothes that no longer fit, or which you want to donate or toss. When the box is full, sort through it.
- Put things away properly: Always hang clothes in the proper category, whether you’re putting them away after doing laundry, or hanging them up to wear again.
- Do light cleaning routinely: Do the weekly closet cleaning routine below when you’re cleaning your bedroom and you’ll keep dirt and cobwebs away.
Weekly Closet Cleaning Routine
1. Take care of the clutter:
- Pick up any dirty clothes and put them in the hamper.
- Throw away any trash.
2. Put things away:
- Gather and fold clean clothes that belong in the dresser.
- Gather and hang clean clothes that belong on hangers.
- Pick up and put away accessories
- Match shoes into pairs
3. Clean it up:
- Gather empty hangers and take them to the laundry room
- Wipe off the door jamb and light switch
- Dust the shelves
- Vacuum the floor
Printable Closet Cleaning Checklist
Now, if you’ve compared those two lists, you’ll see that it is far easier to just keep things picked up. So do yourself (and your clothes) a favor: set aside one day to deep clean your closet, then spend a few minutes each week to lightly clean your closet when you’re doing your regular cleaning routine and you’ll never have go to through this misery again.
Equipment I Use: