Sometimes, a cluttered wardrobe = a cluttered head. If you open up your wardrobe and a mountain of clothes comes tumbling out, it doesn’t make you feel good. Too many clothes makes it much harder to choose the perfect outfit and it can actually stress you out. When you have a wardrobe fit to burst and still hear yourself saying the words “nothing to wear” in the morning, it’s time to go on spring clean! Here are five steps to decluttering your wardrobe, making more space for the gorgeous items that matter the most.
Pile it up
Open up every wardrobe, cupboard and chest of drawers (...and that spare suitcase?) and lay all of your clothes on your bed. Every piece of clothing you own should be present. It might seem dramatic but there is a method to the madness – having all of your clothes in one place lets you see the scale of the problem and acts as the starting point for your epic sort-through.
Pick out the old reliables
There’s no reason to throw out clothes you love (unless you love everything in your clothes mountain). Pick out the pieces you simply can’t live without – the perfect-fitting jeans, the dress that makes you feel great, or that old jumper that holds many memories. Don’t throw out anything that holds a strong and positive emotional connection for you – successful decluttering makes you feel lighter and happy, not miserable!
Pick out the no’s
Now the flip side, picking out the definite no’s. These are pieces that you haven’t worn for ages, don’t like anymore, or have absolutely no idea why they’re even in your wardrobe (it happens more than you’d think). For anything that’s faded or worn, think about ways to either repair them or give them an extra boost of life. If they’re past it, though, don’t hesitate in slinging them out.
Sort the maybe’s
Here’s the toughest part of it all – the maybe’s. These are things you kind of like and maybe you wear every now and then, but you’re neither in love with them or totally against them. To help you figure out whether or not to keep them, ask yourself these questions:
- When did I last wear this?
- Does this fit me?
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Do I want to wear it this year?
- Would I buy this again?
- Does it fit my current lifestyle?
- Do I like how it feels and looks?
- Does this need repairing?
- Do I know someone who would love this more than I do?
If the answer to these questions is mostly no, the path ahead is clear – time to say farewell. Honestly if the answer to those questions is mainly no, there is more to be gained through passing this item on thean keeping it in your cupboard. Namely room for a new item that answers YES to those questions and a clearer and easier canvas from which to plan today's outfits.
TIP: invite a friend over to help you decide. Sometimes a second opinion and a fresh pair of eyes from someone who cares about you is just the strength and encouragement you need. Plus, without the sentimental attachments to items you might carry (for whatever reasons) your friend will provide a more objective view and simply tell you what makes you look great.
How to give your clothes a new life
By this point, you’ll have two distinct sets of clothes: those you’re keeping and those you’re not. For the clothes that haven’t made the cut, there are a few different ways you can get rid of them:
- Up-cycle/Re-imagine – Get creative and re-work your old clothes. Turn those denim jeans into vintage shorts, or give a blast of tie-dye colour to a discoloured white t-shirt.
- Sell them on – There are loads of sites where you can sell on your pre-loved clothes. Depop, eBay, ASOS Marketplace, and Etsy are just a few.
- Re-use/donate – If they’re in good condition, why not donate your old clothes to charity or friends? You’d be helping yourself and someone else at the same time.
- Re-cycle – Even if some of your clothes are past the point of no return, they don’t need to end up in landfill. Many councils have recycling schemes that will pick up and sort your worn out clothing, and sell them on to repurposed either as new clothing or something completely different. Check with your local council to see if they’ve got a particular arrangement. Otherwise, it’s also worth knowing that many stores have their own recycling schemes; H&M, Monki, and & Other Stories all have schemes that allow you to hand in your old clothes in exchange for a voucher.
If you follow these five steps on how to declutter your wardrobe, you won’t just have more space in your bedroom, but also in your head. With only the clothes that you most cherish (and only the clothes that you need), it’ll be easy to find an outfit every day of the week.
Now that you know what you have, why not experiment by combining items into outfits? This might highlight your need for accessories or outwear to complete your outfit combos. HINT: this gives you an excuse to go shopping!
(Image credit: Olivia Culpo)