5 Steps For Decluttering Your Wardrobe

The more clothes you own, the easier it is to find something to wear True or False?     Image:Pixabay

I used to think the more clothes I had the better. By the way, for the purpose of this post, when I say 'clothes' I am including shoes, bags, jewellery and other accessories. Being on a budget meant most of my clothes were bought during sales or from an op shop, I do love a bit of op shopping. I bought clothes in all sorts of colour without a plan for coordinating. The result was two bulging closets, two overfilled chest of drawers and cases under the bed. And my bags and shoes, well wherever I could find room for them.
Surely with all those clothes I could always find the right thing to wear. Wrong. I was like most women and found myself wearing 20% of my clothes 80% of the time. And at times I uttered those familiar words, 'I've got nothing to wear!'
Too many clothes can make it harder to find something to wear.   Image:Giphy
Sometimes I couldn't find a particular item because I had too many clothes. Which closet was it in? Was it in a drawer or in storage in a case? I had favourite items and ignored the rest. Some of my purchases were mistakes, others out of date. And yes, I was holding onto clothes I could no longer wear because I had put on weight but I didn't want to face up to the truth.

Eventually the decluttering trend caught my attention and I started culling my collection of clothes and accessories. I was careful at first, afraid I would part with something I later wanted.

Over time I have parted with many items and what I currently own fits nicely into one closet, a chest of drawers and out of season items are sleeping in a suitcase under my bed. I'll tell you how I store accessories in another post, another day.

I don't have a 'minimalist' wardrobe, I have quite a few more items than the 30 items some experts recommend. However, I am happy with what I have and it works for me.

Advantages of decluttering my clothes collection
I have found-
  1. It's easier to remember the things I already have. This means I buy what I will use.
  2. It's easier to visualise what I own and buy things that coordinate well.That's another thing, I buy with coordinating in mind. If it doesn't coordinate, I don't buy it.
  3. It's easier to store my clothes and accessories
  4. My clothes don't get creased from being jam packed into the closet or drawers.
  5. I save money by avoiding purchases that are a mistake.
  6. I don't suffer guilt about wasting money on items I never wear. 

    Steps for decluttering your wardrobe
    1. Empty everything from your closet or other clothes storage and spread it out where you can see what you've got. 
    2. Sort into piles, boxes, bags or whatever works for you. Put aside all the things that are the wrong size, wrong colour, worn out, outdated, look terrible, no longer suit your lifestyle or have bad memories. Part with them as you see fit. (Depending on the item, give to a friend, donate to charity, sell or use as rags.) Don't feel guilty. 
    3. Now comes the fun part. Try on any clothes you are unsure of and make a decision. You may like to enjoy a glass of wine while you try various combinations of clothes to see what looks and feels good. Perhaps you would like to invite a friend over to get a second opinion. (I like to be alone when I try on clothes but that's just my choice.) 
    4. Put the items you are keeping back into your closet or drawers. Store according to colour or put like pieces together, you know, all skirts together, or all work clothes in one place, whatever suits you. Hang on nice coat hangers and fold items neatly if putting in drawers. I did try rolling the clothes I keep in drawers (sort of following the Marie Kondo method) but have gone back to ordinary folding and storing them piled up. 
    5. Make a short list of items to buy to 'fill in the gaps' and improve your wardrobe. Sometimes all it takes is a black camisole or a jacket in a favourite colour to make your wardrobe work so much better. Add to your list any accessories you need. Accessories can make all the different to an outfit.                                            
      Accessories can change the look of an outfit             Image:Marie Vonow
These days an item of clothing has to coordinate with what I already own, not just be a bargain. If I see something gorgeous that I totally love but I know I won't be going anywhere suitable to wear it, I leave it there for someone else to buy. Well, most times, I mean I have been known once or twice to buy something telling myself I might start going to places where such an item would be suitable.


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