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Hey Everyone! Today I want to talk about how to declutter your wardrobe. I don’t know about you all, but for me, this time of year always feels like the perfect time to have a bit of a clear out. Even more so this year when I’ve just returned from 10 months in Asia where my wardrobe was literally a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops for the majority of the time.
Just a few days after returning, I got out all the clothes I left behind and had a huge sort out. Now I’ve been back a few weeks and have stocked up on essentials like trousers and jumpers (brrrr, the UK is cold!!), I’m ready for another small sort out to make sure I’m not hoarding anything I don’t need.
If like me, you’re a bit of a clothes-lover, I’ve found that having the mentality that I need to fit everything into a suitcase has been great for helping me cut down on the number of items I have (even if I still have enough to fit a large suitcase!).
Before you start decluttering your wardrobe, I urge you to get into that mentality. Not a ‘but maybe one day’, or a ‘just in case’ mentality, but a ‘if I needed to take all my clothes to the other side of the world right now, would I want to give this old thing a space in my suitcase?’ type of mentality!
With that in mind, let’s get started. This is my guide on how to declutter your wardrobe – scroll down to the end of the post for some recommendations on some great decluttering books and guide to building a capsule wardrobe!
3 Piles: Donate, Throw, and Keep
When sorting through your entire wardrobe, you might be tempted to pull everything out before you start working through it.
You could do this, but anytime I have, I’ve felt utterly overwhelmed by the enormous pile now sat on my bed. Instead, I work piece by piece, taking it out of my wardrobe and putting neatly into one of three piles:
Read Next: 10 Ways to be More Minimalist
Questions to Ask
If you’re one to hang onto things because you like the fit, but never wear it, you might want to keep a few of these questions. If you answer no to any of them, you should be sending that item of clothing straight to your donate or throw piles!
- Does it fit you?
- Have you worn it in the last 6 months?
- Is it free of damage, torn, or holey?
- Does it look different to all similar items in your wardrobe (aka not one of five identical black t-shirts)?
The guide I’ve been following is that if I forgot I had it and I’m not psyched to see it again, I’ll probably forget it again – so donate. If it no longer fits or suits my style, I donate. If I have multiples of pretty much the same thing, I get rid of it – unless I wear that thing every single day (hello, black leggings!).
How to Know What to Recycle, and What to Donate
I’m a big believer in donating and giving away as many items of clothing as you can over throwing them away. The amount of clothing that takes up landfill spaces every year is absolutely insane (300,000 tonnes of clothing were sent to landfill in 2016 in the UK alone), and even if you don’t want an item anymore, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t, or that the material can’t be repurposed.
However, there are some things that charity shops simply do not, or will not, accept, and you don’t want to treat your declutter as an excuse to off-haul half your wardrobe on someone else!
For donatable items, look for clothes that are in good condition (no stains, rips, or holes), and clean. Anything else, take to a recycling centre where most of that material can be repurposed for other uses.
No matter what you do, please don’t just simply include it in your general house waste!
A capsule wardrobe is a set number of clothes that are designed to compliment each other no matter what combination they’re worn in.
Many people love having a capsule wardrobe as it takes the pressure of choosing what to wear every day, stops them from hoarding clothes, and generally seems to make life a lot easier!
Personally, I like having a choice in what I wear too much to ever cut down to a proper capsule wardrobe, but I can really see the appeal if you dread deciding what to wear each day.
A few books with great reviews on building your own capsule wardrobe, as well as decluttering other areas of your life, include:
- The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe Guide: How to Find Your Personal Style & Build a Smart Wardrobe – Leya Daniels
- The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe – Anuschka Rees
- The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify – Francine Jay
- Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life – Joshua Fields Millburn
- Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism – Fumio Sasaki