declutter your wardrobe

5 No-Fail Tips To Follow When Decluttering Your Wardrobe

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If you have a lot of clothes in your wardrobe, chances are you’ve experienced that moment when you simply cannot find a single piece of clothing you want to wear. Between the formal dresses you never wear (besides to weddings once a year), stained white t-shirts, and general unwanted clothing, it’s no wonder the entire wardrobe can feel like a jungle! Whether your wardrobe is so disorganized that it’s begging for a purging session or your wardrobe is filled to the brim with clothes you don’t like that it’s seriously killing your confidence, it’s time to declutter your wardrobe. And though the decluttering process might seem complicated, a few smart tricks are all you need to get started!

1. Start Clearing

The first step to taming your overflowing wardrobe is by clearing everything out of your wardrobe. Yes, I said everything. Step one is not the step to cut corners! (That step is only allowed when cutting a cake. What can I say, I love the corners.)

Once everything is out, take a good look at your closet and let go of items you no longer wear. Off-season clothes are included in this, though if you have a lot, save that for another day when you’re more refreshed.

If it has been 6 months – 1 year since you wore something, it’s time to let it go. If you’re choosing not to wear it, there’s a reason, and it’s time to let someone else enjoy it.

Once you complete this step, you just freed up a major portion of your closet, because typically, we tend to wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. This means there is a lot to be decluttered!

For the clothes that you are wearing, you still need to evaluate whether or not they’re worth keeping.

Ask yourself some simple questions, such as:

  • Does it fit me?
  • Does it flatter me?
  • Do I enjoy wearing it?
  • Does it match my mood board?
  • Does this align with my personal style and aesthetic?
  • Does this match everything else in my wardrobe?
  • Can I wear this more than once?

If the majority of the answers are “no”, then it’s probably time to take it to consignment stores.

(Need even more help to know what to get rid of and what to keep? I created an eBook to help you with just this! And well, a lot more, so you can build a wardrobe you love. I’m here to help!)

One of the best ways of figuring out what clothing items to get rid of is by trying on your clothes. If it doesn’t fit your body shape anymore, it shouldn’t have a spot in your wardrobe. If a clothing item doesn’t make you feel your best, then it gotsta go. It’s a no-brainer.

Additionally, once you go through everything at the back of your closet, remove clothes that are faded, worn out, and beyond repair. Items that aren’t in good condition to be worn again should go in trash bags.

Paring down your closet is a great way of reducing decision fatigue every morning and getting you closer to falling in love with your wardrobe.

2. Keep a Few Sentimental Pieces (but Get Rid of the Rest)

I understand you may have an emotional attachment to some clothes even if you haven’t worn them in a while – I’m not a monster! In fact, I’m holding on to a few myself.

For you, this could be your wedding dress, graduation outfit, or a vintage coat from your grandma. These are understandably precious pieces and I believe that you can keep a few of these clothes for sentimental reasons, but the rest have to go.

I know that it’s not easy to let go of the guilt and good memories attached to some clothes, but it is necessary for the long run. Plus, this is where people tend to make excuses and say that everything is sentimental, so be gentle, but strict with yourself. Cut yourself off at 5 items or one storage box, whatever you find works better for you.

The rest of the clothes can be taken to a charity shop and the few sentimental clothes can be kept in garment bags, away from your daily clothes. As for small items like jewelry or belts, they can be stored in a keepsake box.

3. Start Sorting Your Clothes

Now that you have cleared out all the clothing items in your closet, your goal should be to sort them into different categories, if you haven’t already.

If you haven’t already done this, create different piles to make the organizing step a breeze.

Here are some different piles you could create:

  • Keep Pile – Things you love are obvious keeps but note that not every item needs to thrill you, like wardrobe staples. Make sure to keep basic pieces because those are the backbone of every wardrobe. However, if you have noticed that you have a stockpile of one too many pairs of jeans, consider paring them down. You can give them away to your best friend, sister, or cousin.
  • Repair Pile – If you think you have a pair of jeans or shirts that can be restored to good condition, keep them. Then schedule a time to get them fixed!
  • Donation – Good condition items that don’t align with your style, color palette, or body shape.
  • Trash – For things that are beyond repair or incomplete, like only one shoe.

Take a final look at your remaining clothes and check that you haven’t left anything out. Don’t miss anything on your closet floor or in the dark corner.

4. Take Action on Your Unwanted Clothing

Oh, how often have we made a donate pile that finally makes its way into a bag only for it to sit in the back of the car or basement corner for 6 months?

Now is a great time to actually let go of the clothes that were cluttering up your closet. Take your box of unwanted clothing items to the consignment shop if you want to sell them or take your donation box to your local charity. The clothes might not serve you any purpose, but they will be useful to people in need.

Another good idea would be to host a swap party with friends. Give away pieces that no longer fit you to your closet friends. They might find something that they will love, and your closet will be freed from too much stuff. Win-win!

If something needs to be repaired, then schedule a time that you’ll sew on that button or make an appointment with a tailor to fix the zipper.

5. Organize Your Clothes

Now that you have a decluttered closet, it’s time to organize what’s left! Invest in high-quality storage boxes to keep your favorite things in good condition.

You can also create an organized wardrobe by investing in slim, velvet matching hangers. The slim design of the hangers will allow maximum use of storage space. Not to mention look pretty.

Clothes organization expands outside of your closet. Keeping your drawers and your jewelry organized can make a world of difference.

As you start to hang things back up, you may be wondering what the right system is. Answer? It depends! Decide on the sorting system that makes the most sense to you and the one you’ll enjoy looking at. Do you love aesthetics? Organize by color. Do you prefer function? Group like clothing pieces together. Or maybe for you organizing by occasion makes things easier to keep track of.

Another way to organize your closet, and one I recommend either way, is by keeping your clothes seasonal. Store your off-season clothes away, but close enough for easy access. It’s great to be able to dip into your other wardrobe every once in a while to style some new looks, but when you store them away, they feel new when it’s time to take them out! This cuts down on impulse purchases because you’re not continually chasing that “new clothes high” every season.

If you have ever felt stressed about your closet or disliked everything you had, it is possible to change this by taking control of your clothes. With these helpful tips, you can declutter your wardrobe with ease.

Now that you know how to declutter your wardrobe, it’s time to make it look like a boutique. Up Next: How to Make Your Closet Look Like a Boutique

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Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.