Now is the perfect time to declutter your wardrobe.
The new year inspires us to leave behind that which no longer serves us and make a fresh start. Clearing out your clothes can be both therapeutic and motivating. However, it may also seem like an impossible task…
DON’T PANIC! In this post, we will explain exactly how to declutter your wardrobe step by step.
You can thank us later.
How to declutter your wardrobe
1. Find time
You will need to set aside a whole day for this task. It’s important to have the end in sight, so don’t start decluttering your wardrobe unless you can dedicate an entire day to it. If you have time off during ‘twixtmas (the days between Christmas and new year), why not use it to get your wardrobe organised and conquer the clutter? And if you can enlist the help of an honest friend to help you, so much the better.
2. Make a mountain and get prepared
Find a space where you can gather ALL your clothes together (perhaps on your bed). Make sure you empty your wardrobe and drawers completely, including underwear, shoes, accessories and any off-season items that you have in storage.
This is a great opportunity to clean your wardrobe and get rid of any dust that has gathered before you start to sort your clothes.
Finally, get some sturdy bin bags and boxes at the ready for the next step.
3. Conduct a complete closet audit
This stage is time-consuming but entirely worthwhile since it will save you so much time and space in the long-run. Take each item of clothing one at a time, try it on and assess it. Use a full-length mirror and natural light if you can.
Marie Kondo (the decluttering queen) asks if each item ‘sparks joy‘ for her. If this concept is too abstract for you, consider the following:
- Does the item still fit (perhaps it never has?)
- Do you look good in it?
- Do you FEEL good in it?
- Does it need to be cleaned or repaired?
- Have you worn it so much that it’s faded/worn out?
- Did you wear it once, but never have again?
Be honest with yourself (this is where a blunt, but caring friend can be extremely helpful)! Once you have done this, you will know exactly which of the following categories to place the item into.
4. Categorise your clothing
These items make you FEEL good/’spark joy’, suit you, fit you, are clean and in good repair.
Anything that is clean and in good repair, but does not make you feel or look good.
Designer items in good repair that you no longer wish to keep for whatever reason.
Worn out or damaged items that are beyond repair.
- Repair/dry-clean/dye (then keep or sell)
Items that you either want to keep and wear or sell, but need to be cared for first. For example, shoes that need to be re-heeled, favourite faded jeans that can be machine-dyed, a gown that needs to be cleaned, a coat with a missing button or broken zip. Get acquainted with your local dry-cleaner and cobbler and you will discover a whole section of your wardrobe that can be used (and loved!) again.
Usually, these are clothes that you loved so much that you wore them to death (the Breton top that goes with everything), or basics that are needed to make certain outfits wearable (vest tops and invisible underwear). Before you throw these items away, make a note of them. These are items that you’ll want to replace when you next go shopping.
5. Create a capsule collection
Go through the keep pile again and be as ruthless as possible.
Ask yourself the following further questions:
- Do I own more than one of this item (black trousers, white shirts, pairs of trainers)?
- If so, could I choose to keep just one?
- Does this item mix and match with the other items in my wardrobe to create outfits easily?
- If I was trying this item on in a shop right now, would I buy it?
The aim here is to create a collection where each and every piece will work together with almost any other, in an outfit that is well-fitting and flattering. You are curating your very own capsule wardrobe.
6. Colour me happy
Once you’ve decided exactly what to keep, including the dry-cleaned and repaired items, it’s time to put them away. For hanging items, we recommend flocked/velvet slim hangers. These are both non-slip and space-saving.
Instead of hanging similar pieces together (trousers with trousers, jumpers with jumpers), try creating a rainbow inside your wardrobe. Hang similar colours together, from darkest to lightest. This technique makes it far easier to put together an outfit.
7. Welcome to the fold
Think you know how to fold tops and T-shirts?
Think again. You’ve been doing it all wrong (don’t worry, so were we)!
Watch this video to find out how to fold the KonMarie way and we guarantee you’ll be a covert to ‘vertical storage’.
8. Keep your wardrobe clutter-free!
In the same way that museum exhibitions are not static, your style (and your size) will likely evolve over time and you will need to update your capsule wardrobe.
Edit your clothing collection often.
Whenever you buy a new piece that you love, take an old, tired item out. If you make this a rule, not only will your closet stay clutter-free, you’ll also spend less money, since you know that in buying a new pair of jeans or a top, you will have to throw away or donate something that is already in your wardrobe.
Another tried and tested technique to stay clutter-free is to start the year with all your hangers facing backwards. Then as you wear each item, you can put it back in the correct way around. At the end of the year, any items on hangers that have not been turned around have not been worn (and can therefore be sold or donated).
Above all, HAVE FUN and enjoy finding out what really suits you and having the space to store your clothes properly.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to find out why decluttering your home can make you both happier AND healthier.