The 2022 Closet Cleanout

In partnership with our friends at Wacoal

Unlike doing the dishes or folding the laundry, a thorough closet rethink shouldn’t be a recurring chore but rather a one-time process. Your instinct may be to attack the task with everything you’ve got, but we suggest a more calculated approach.

Step 1

Commit to Joy

“A ‘tidying festival’ involves devoting time to emptying your closets and storage areas all at once and sorting items by category—clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous items (or komono), and sentimental pieces. Then you can evaluate the items that truly spark joy in each category and say a grateful goodbye to items that no longer serve a purpose in your life.” —Marie Kondo

There’s a very good reason why Marie Kondo is the boss that she is. And that reason is this: The bulk of the work lies in differentiating between the keepers (items that bring joy) and the no-longer-neededs (the ones that don’t). According to the KonMari Method, success looks something like this:

  1. Imagine your ideal lifestyle. This is the most important step, and it cannot be skipped if you are looking for the long-term impact of the method.

  2. Tidy by category—not location. Cleaning one room or one section of a closet makes it challenging to take a holistic look at what you own and will lead to the clutter coming back.

  3. Put every item of clothing you own in one place. After that, it’s time to dive into identifying what sparks joy.

  4. Focus on what to keep instead of what to discard. Keep what sparks joy for you, and let the rest go with gratitude.

  5. Identify a home for the items that spark joy. Having a designated place for each thing is how you show gratitude for the things that spark joy—and how you avoid reverting to clutter after a true tidying festival.

A note from our fashion director: “There’s the joy element, and there’s the practicality element—you can’t have one without the other, nor should you! Try thinking about your wardrobe as two halves that make one thoroughly functional whole: The first is dedicated to the pieces that make you happy, and the second is a supporting cast of basics.” —Ali

Step 2

Toss, Resell, or Donate

Make an effort to donate. Do some localized research and pick organizations where your clothes will really go the distance. Women’s and family shelters are a good place to start. And if you have gently used luggage that’s no longer in use, look into organizations like Hope in a Suitcase and Together We Rise, which support kids entering or living in the foster-care system.

Otherwise, reselling is a good way to go. And if it’s not in good enough shape to donate or sell, look into fabric recycling programs in your area—sending clothes to a landfill is the absolute last resort.


Pays for your designer handbags, jewelry, watches, and accessories up front, so you can claim that closet revenue right away.


Makes shopping secondhand easy and fun, and gently used basics (women’s and kids’) get a second chance at life in the process. Sustainability education is a big component of its mission, too.


You list name-brand pieces directly from your phone; Tradesy sends packaging your way when the sale is made. Boom.

Vestiaire Collective

Designer, contemporary, and vintage are all fair game. In addition to helping with shipping process once you’ve made a sale, Vestiaire adds a fun community element to the experience.

Step 3

Drawer Detox

Remember that supporting cast from step one? The most important of the bunch lives here. Take this opportunity to upgrade with sets that are comfortable, on-the-low sexy, and designed to fit just right under clothes. Wacoal has figured out how to nail the fit—its inclusive sizing is impressive and the in-person support or mybraFit app make it easy to get it right—without sacrificing an ounce of comfort or sex appeal, thanks to the stretchy (never saggy) fabric.

  1. Bottom Drawer =
    Lounge and Active

  2. HÉROS sports br
    HÉROS Top goop, $95
  3. HÉROS leggings
    HÉROS leggings goop, $110
  4. G. Label Kanani Poe
    G. Label Kanani Poet-
    Sleeve Sweatshirt
    goop, $195
  5. G. Label Ediben Swe
    G. Label Ediben Sweatshorts goop, $195

Step 4

Closet Refresh

The wants—exaggerated silhouettes, Crayola hues, and sneaky sparkle—are self-explanatory. But there’s no reason the things you need can’t be damn pretty to look at, too.

  1. Need

  2. G. Label Maxine Rib
    G. Label Maxine Ribbed Cardigan goop, $595
  3. G. Label Jeffrey Ut
    G. Label Jeffrey Utility Shirt goop, $375
  4. Re/Done tank
    RE/DONE tank goop, $80
  5. G. Label Keith Stra
    G. Label Keith Straight-Leg Jeans goop, $295
  6. G. Label Bronwyn Bu
    G. Label Bronwyn Bustier Dress goop, $725
  7. Birkenstock sandals
    Birkenstock sandals goop, $125
  1. Want

  2. Sorellina huggies
    Sorellina huggies goop, $1,550
  3. Ciao Lucia dress
    Ciao Lucia dress goop, $395
  4. Ulla Johnson cardigan
    Ulla Johnson cardigan goop, $645
  5. Ulla Johnson tank
    Ulla Johnson tank goop, $295
  6. Toteme turtleneck
    Toteme turtleneck goop, $490
  7. G. Label Joey Sweat
    G. Label Joey Sweater Pants goop, $595

Step 5

Organization Station

On the topic of joy, have you ever fired up a garment steamer that looks like an objet d’art or adorned a doorknob with a ceramic air freshener that smells like your…dream closet?

We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.