“Wardrobe Declutter” – the dreaded item on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off for weeks (maybe months? years?).
Well, it’s almost 2021, you’re probably stuck at home, and really, there is no better moment than this one. It’s time to declutter your wardrobe. If you don’t know where to begin, how to do it, or you just need a bit of motivation, you have come to the right place.
I used to be you….5 years ago. I finally bit the bullet and started decluttering when I realized I had too many tops that I didn’t wear on a day-to-day basis (or in the appropriate season). So I decided that I have to re-arrange my closet. Get rid of the things I didn’t use and see what else was hiding in the back of the closet.
It seemed overwhelming the first time, but after a couple of tries I perfected a technique…actually a process, that makes it so much easier. I’m sharing it below, hoping it will help you, too.
So here’s how to declutter your wardrobe and get rid of clothes you don’t need or can’t wear anymore:
1. Schedule at least 2-3 hours for the wardrobe declutter.
Set aside at least 2-3 hours for the wardrobe declutter. Going through every item of your wardrobe will take time. If you have a bigger closet, consider splitting the process in two days, or allocate a whole afternoon for it. If you set aside one hour and you can’t finish in that time frame, you will quit altogether and leave the decluttering for another week / month / year.
2. Clear out the floor / bed / space you will organize all your clothes.
Since the technique requires making piles of clothes, I highly recommend that you tidy the room before starting, so you have space to organize your clothes. I usually clear my bed and the floor space next to it.
3. Limit distractions.
You might be tempted to interrupt the decluttering for a quick call, or a run to the supermarket, or emails. Don’t. If you do this, the process will take so much longer and you won’t get it done in time. Which will make you frustrated and want to quit.
That’s why it’s important to get rid of the phone, or put it on airplane mode. Tell your partner or housemates that you are busy. Pee before starting. And have some water or coffee nearby for hydration.
4. Start with one category / closet space.
One way to not get overwhelmed is to start with only one type of clothing item, or one closet space at a time. Don’t take absolutely everything off the shelves and hangers and throw it on the floor. This will make you freak out and blame yourself for the amount of stuff you have (guilty as charged).
For example, you could start with jeans. Empty out the drawer or the hangers, or go through each pair. But how to decide what to keep or to throw away? Check out the next point.
5. How to ACTUALLY decide what to declutter.
If this part is what is scaring you, I am here to help.
Once you’ve decided on your category, start looking at each item and see if it check any of the boxes below:
- You haven’t worn in 1-2 years; .
- You don’t like the item;
- It doesn’t look good on you;
- The item doesn’t fit you anymore;
- The item is damaged and cannot be repaired.
If the item checks any or all of those boxes, then most likely you’re probably not going to wear it anytime soon.
So these items have to go. Create an OUT pile on the floor with these items.
If the item doesn’t check any boxes, but you are unsure, put it in a MAYBE pile.
If you like them, you wear them all the time, or are items you need for certain occasions (like a little black dress or ski outfit), then put them in a KEEP pile. Or better yet, put them back in the closet, if you want to.
6. Go through your MAYBE pile.
Go back to each item in the MAYBE pile and inspect it further. Try it on, maybe look at it for 10 seconds.
Most importantly, see what your instinct says, it always knows best. If your gut is telling you that you won’t wear that anytime soon, then it’s time to go. If you really like this item and realize you can pair with something else, then keep it.
7. Organize your decluttered items.
Now it’s time to go through the “OUT” pile. To help you in the aftermath of the process, you should create two more piles. DONATE and GARBAGE.
The GARBAGE pile will include items that are stained, broken, damaged and so on. These are items no one can actually wear.
The DONATE pile has good clothes, just not the ones for you. They can go to family & friends, or they can be sent to a charity shop. Or sell them on Poshmark. You choose.
Now it’s time to organize and clean up. Get two bags or trash can liners, or something similar, and start dividing the piles in their respective bags. This way, it will be easier to get rid of them, and also clean the space after.
8. Organize your new wardrobe.
After you’re done going through the piles, it’s time to clean and organize your new wardrobe.
Go back to the clothes you are keeping. Put them back in the closet section, on a hanger or properly folded in the drawer. This will make your wardrobe seem cleaner and give it that “Pinterest” vibe at the end.
And that’s it. That wasn’t so hard, right? Of course, it depends on the size of your closet. I don’t have a huge space, and since I do the wardrobe declutter twice a year, it helps keep the organization to the minimum. If you have a huge closet, allocate more time and don’t get discouraged, you can do this.
Let me know in the comments when was the last time you did a closet declutter!
P.S. After you’re done decluttering, find out how to build a classic wardrobe!