Declutter Your Closet Angela Brown Ask a House Cleaner

Declutter Your Closet

Do you need to declutter your closet? Sometimes your closet can get messy and full of old clothes and other things that you don’t need. How do you go about cleaning that up? How do you keep it all organized? That’s exactly what we’re talking about today!

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Listen: Declutter Your Closet – Panties and Socks

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Watch: Declutter Your Closet – Panties and Socks


Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

How to Declutter Your Closet 

Declutter Your Closet, Woman Thinking About Clothing PilesHow do you declutter your closets, and then make the clutter stay away and not come back into your life? Now, on this show, we’ve done lots of programs about hoarding, hoarding removal, decluttering, 30-day challenges, and that kind of thing. We want to help you find a cleaner space.

Right now, the answer is not grabbing your stuff and sending it to a storage unit, and collecting more things somewhere else, and then paying for that. The reality is, if we can simplify our life and get rid of some of that stuff, our lives will be easier and less cumbersome.

What we’re going to do today is we’re going to start decluttering the closet. And then I’m going to give you a challenge, and at the end of this 30-day challenge, you will have less clutter in your house. We’re going to start with the socks and the panties. Now, this particular challenge requires that you have two Walmart bags. These are little grocery bags that have handles on them. And so, I need you to get at least two of these. You will need these for this exercise.

Look at Why We Have So Much Stuff

Declutter Your Closet, Messy ClosetThe first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to look at why we have so much stuff. Now, people have written in from the show, and one person wrote in to the show, and said, “I just love to collect things for no other reason other than I love to collect them.” Someone else said, “I’m having a really hard time. I collect things, but I don’t know why. And I don’t want this stuff. And I want my kids to grow up in a great environment. I don’t know why I do it.”

There’s another woman that wrote into the show, and she said, “I didn’t know, after raising three kids, after 18 years, we had so much stuff. Like, where did it come from? And I didn’t realize how it was contributing to my mental health.” There are different reasons why people collect the things that they do, but the truth is this, most people have no idea why.

And so, I want us to stop for just a second, and let’s ask the reasons why. Okay, what you’re looking at here, this is a system. At Savvy Cleaner, we do this with all of our customers. We take all the beautiful Pinterest sock drawers, and bins, and whatever, and we throw them into plastic storage bins that are see-through, so we can see exactly what we have. And then we put them on a shelf, or we stack them in a closet, so we can see with our eyes exactly what we have. It helps us understand the way we use our stuff.

I Have a Ton of Socks

Declutter Your Closet, Many SocksOkay, the first thing is, what we’re looking at here is we are looking at my socks. I know, I got a lot of socks, right? “Okay, Angela, why do you have so many socks?” If I take the lid off this, and this is an airtight lid, so that dust doesn’t get on it while it’s in our closet. If you look at this bin here, I have 32 pairs of running socks.

Now, if you watch YouTube videos on how to declutter your closets, you’ll find that a lot of the videos will say, “Get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy.” The problem is this, every one of these pairs of socks sparks joy for me.

It reminds me of a time, probably, like every morning when I go outside in the crisp, cool morning air, and I go running, and I’m one with my creator, I’m one with the universe, I get to release endorphins, I get to get my adrenaline, my blood flowing, I feel fantastic. And I come back, and what do I have to show for it? There’s a little pair of wet, smelly socks.

Every Pair of Socks Sparks Joy for Me

Declutter Your Closet, Woman RunningEvery one of these pairs of socks sparks joy for me. Why on earth would I get rid of them? Well, the question is, why do I have 32 pairs? I only have, check this out, two feet. And I could only wear one pair at a time, so I do not need 32 pairs.

Now, you could argue with me, and say, “Well, what if you didn’t do the laundry for a while?” I get that argument. I totally understand that. The truth of the matter is, historically, for me, I do all of my laundries every Monday. It’s on a schedule. That’s when it gets done. Every single Monday, all of the running socks that are inside the hamper are going to get washed, which is a total of what? Seven pairs?

If I wear one pair a day, that’s seven pairs. I have seven pairs of socks, they come out of the wash, what happens to them? Well, they get sandwiched together like this, and they go to the top of the bin. When I go running, what do I do? I grab a pair out of the top, I put them on, and I go running. I’m recycling the same seven or eight pairs at the top. And I got all these extra socks at the bottom that I never use. So why do I have so many?

Stop And Ask Why You Have So Many Pairs

Declutter Your Closet, Woman Holding SocksI stopped and I asked myself, “Why do I have so many?” Well, when I was growing up, I’m one of 19 kids, we had a very similar system, and it looked kind of like this. The difference was we had lots of people that were wearing the socks, different brothers and sisters that would wear them. When they came back from the wash, they would go in the big collective bin.

I love the collective bin for that reason. The problem is, without realizing it, I moved out into the world and I recreated the big bin of socks. I do not need 32 pairs of socks. And I don’t remember the last time I bought socks. I don’t buy these because I love to collect. I bought them because, unconsciously, this was the norm.

You Can Only Wear One Pair of Socks and Panties

Declutter Your Closet, Taking Off SocksNow, the exercise is this, we’re going to do this with socks and panties for all of the customers and all of the clients that I have. I don’t know why, but it averages between about 20 to 50 pairs of panties and socks, extra socks, extra panties. Why? I have no idea. But the reality is this, you have one butt, and you have two feet.

You can wear one pair of panties, and you can wear a sock on each foot, which is one pair of socks. What we’re going to do is we’re going to get our grocery bags, and we’re going to go through all of our socks and all of our panties. And we’re going to remove all of them except what you will wear for one week.

You Don’t Have to Get Rid of All of Your Socks

Declutter Your Closet, Kids Sort SocksNow, I know what you’re saying, “Oh, Angela, what happens if I run through the sprinkler and my clothes get wet, or my feet get wet and I need another pair of socks?” Okay, that’s great. I’ve got 32 pairs of running socks here. I could remove at least 20 pairs of them and not miss them.

We’re going to do that right now. I’m going to take this empty bag. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. I just took out 20 pairs of running socks. Now, with the handles, I’m going to hang these on the back of the door in my closet. For 30 days, I’m not going to touch them. Why? Because I don’t touch them now, so I’m not going to miss them.

Do the Same Process for All of Your Socks

Declutter Your Closet, Man Disorganized ClothingThis is going to be the new recycling bin. Do you see how many we got rid of, just by getting rid of 20 pairs? Now, I still have a dozen pairs. So if I go running and my feet get wet, or I need an extra pair, or a friend comes over and they go running with me and they need a pair, I still have plenty of socks. We’re going to do the same thing with my work socks. These are my work socks.

And for this, I have 38 pairs. I don’t know why I have 38 pairs, but this was the collective bin I had growing up. This was my norm. This is my comfort zone. But the reality is, I still only have two feet. I can only wear one pair of socks at a time. One pair of socks, one for each foot. That’s it.

Now, in the course of the day, I might wear a pair of running socks, and I might wear a regular pair of socks, so that’s two pairs of socks, but I don’t need 38 pairs, because again, I do laundry every week.

Save a Ton of Space By Getting Rid of Socks

Declutter Your Closet, Colorful SocksOkay, there’s 26 in this one, and there are 20 in this one. Look how much stuff I got rid of already, just getting rid of my socks. Now, don’t feel bad for me. It’s not like my feet are going to go naked, because guess what? I still have a whole bunch left. Now, what’s going to happen is this, when I wash my clothes for the next 30 days, I’m going to put them back in the bin.

And if there are any holes or anything inside any of these socks, I’m going to throw that pair away, and I’ll get a pair out of here. Or, maybe I just have enough and I don’t need anymore. The reality is this, I’m going to train myself for 30 days without getting rid of my stuff. I’m going to train myself that this is the new norm.

This Will Become Your New Norm

Declutter Your Closet, Socks and UnderwearThis is the new norm. This will be out of sight. They’re still there, I didn’t get rid of them yet. This is the new norm. And I promise you this, at the end of 30 days, nothing will have changed other than I will live with a new norm, still having everything I had before, still having plenty of socks to wear because this is my new norm.

And then what we’re going to do at the end of the 30 days, we’re going to throw these away. Now, normally, if you have clothes and stuff that you could recycle, you recycle them, or you go give them to the Goodwill or whatever.

These socks are probably 10 or 15 years old. Nobody wants these socks. So at the end of the 30 days, I’m going to chunk these, and I’m going to be done with them for life. I have all the socks I need right here in these two plastic bins.

Go Through Your Closets During the Next 30 Days

Declutter Your Closet, Socks, 30 Day ChallengeThe assignment for you is I want you to do the same. And I want you to do this with your socks and with your panties. Over the next 30 days, we’re going to go through our closets. And it’s not pulling everything out, “Does this spark joy?” Of course, it sparks joy. That’s why you have it. That’s not what we’re doing.

What we’re doing is we’re saying, “Can I live with less?” And the answer is, yes, you already live with less. If we were to go through the pants that you have in your closet, you probably have 50 pairs of pants. And how many of them do you wear? Three, four, five? Five? Five might be pushing it.

You wear the same clothes over and over and over again. Why? That is our comfort zone. What we’re going to do is we’re going to remove the stuff on the peripheral of our comfort zone, starting with our socks and our panties.

If you’re with me, I want you to leave your comments in the notes below. Say, “I’m with you.” And then we’re going to go on this journey together.

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