The first part of this declutter series focuses on clothing. It is one of the areas that people really struggle with, or even if they don’t and think their wardrobe is great, they will find a way to declutter it. It also massively affects our lives, how much time we take to get ready, how we feel about ourselves, and more.
First, make a cup of tea, put some loose and easy clothes on, and make sure you have the time because this can take a long time for some. Make the bed or remove things from it as we’ll be using it!
This post comes from the heart as I know only too well the struggle of constantly feeling like you have so much, but nothing to wear. I finally managed to get my clothes in order last year and I can’t express show much easier it made everything for me.
Week 1 – Declutter Your Clothing
Pull out all clothes
This is the painful bit!
Take every single item of clothing from your drawers, wardrobes, underbed boxes, vacuum packed seasonal items, and put them on the bed.
I know it looks a lot when doing this, but I promise it’s worth it!
Take accessories out too
Remove any accessories you keep in your wardrobes and put them aside for now. The wardrobe and any clothing storage places should be completely empty.
The options are to keep, throw, donate, sell. There is no maybe pile. Maybe piles or bags of maybe clothes will sit in your home forevermore.
Get 3 boxes or bin bags for the throw, donate or sell piles, so that you don’t dip back into them in a moment of weakness.
Read on to find out how to be brutal about the ‘throw’ pile…
Marie Kondo, queen of tidying and creator of the Konmari method, suggests saying thanks to each item as you throw it. If this helps you say goodbye, go for it. Personally, it became easier as I went along to throw even the old faithfuls.
When I mention throwing items, I mean either throwing, recycling or donating – you know best what to do with your things.
It doesn’t matter if it might fit ‘one day’ – you will likely want new clothes by that point. I used to have a whole bag of clothes I wanted to wear one day. One day never came.
Old and embarrassing
We’ve all had those comfy clothes that you can’t wear outside or in front of people, but love. Imagine if you could feel a bit more glamorous or put together every day. The way to do this is to refine your wardrobe, even pyjamas, to things you truly love.
Got holes in? Bin! Stained? Bin! Discoloured? Bin! You can do it! Give it a hug and say bye Konmari style if you need to.
Not your style
Sometimes, we make the mistake of following a trend, or your style changes, and the item is just not you. Its hard to let go of something that is in great condition, o that you once loved, but if it’s no longer you, why not sell or donate and let somebody else enjoy it?
Doesn’t fit the rest of your wardrobe
There are some items we fall in love with, but we cannot add them to an outfit for the life of us! As above, they may be suited to somebody else.
Doesn’t spark joy
A Marie Kondo tip, but if you have an item of clothing that you feel nothing about, except that it fits and isn’t shabby enough to throw, consider donating it. Your wardrobe should be filled with things you truly love.
You don’t have to have loads of fancy underwear, but anything that you’d be embarrassed to be seen in or don’t feel comfortable in is wasted space taken. Pair your socks and any without a partner, their mate isn’t coming back, sorry. Bin them!
You never wear it
If you have a dress you wore to a wedding 2 years ago and never since, you probably won’t wear it again. That top you love, but sits at the back of the drawer? Get rid!
Okay, you love striped tops, but if you have 4 that look the same, could you reduce them?
If you have a wedding dress, or item of clothing from a family member that you would never wear, but will not part with, you can store these away in a box, but don’t need them in your wardrobe.
If you think that photos and memories are enough, you could sell or donate and allow somebody else to make memories in those clothes instead.
Anything you pull out of a drawer or wardrobe and put back because you don’t like wearing it should be thrown out!
The best way to make sure you do it right the first time – so you never have to do it again! – is to try every item on. If you wear something regularly and are sure you want to keep it, then those items are okay.
It’s best to try and donate or recycle as much as possible. A tip from Leeds stylist Arash Mazinani is that stained or battered clothing items can be taken to textile recycling banks.
Many charities now collect clothing bags, so it might be worth a search online to check and organise a collection for those who cannot take the bags themselves.
Only hang clothes in the wardrobe that need it. I find matching hangers the best way to store wardrobe clothing and to make it seem more organised. I bought 50 hangers and will only allow myself to use that many – no more clothing unless I lose an item!
Jumpers and especially wool should be folded and stored flat.
The Konmari method of folding is ideal for t-shirts, tops and trousers. It creates a lot more storage space.
An arranged wardrobe or drawer can be much easier to navigate when getting dressed and will save you time. It’s also good to know where to put things back once worn or washed.
Depending on your lifestyle, you can organise by occasion – such as formal, workwear or casual.
If your whole wardrobe is casual, you could arrange by colour.
It’s best to arrange by type of item too, such as dresses, tops, trousers.
If you’re brave or can’t decide, you can try a combination that works for you.
While you’re on your clothes, it makes sense to do your accessories alongside it. Not so much small things like jewellery, but shoes, scarves, belts, gloves (you don’t actually wear them do you?)
You may have the wardrobe full, or not know what to do with some items, but you can make space of unlikely places. There are back of door accessories that you can use for bag storage in a cupboard, or you can use a tie or belt hanger to keep things in one place.
Hang hooks in a cupboard for hats, and place small bags inside of bigger ones. Get creative and you’ll be surprised how much space you have.
Storage boxes and vacuum bags are okay for out of season items, but ideally by the end of this process, you won’t have many to store.
Everything should have a place, so that when removed, they can instantly be put back in the correct place.
When you’re done…
Once you have put all of your clothes and accessories away, it should look tidy, with no spilling out into the room. It will be much easier to get dressed and each day and even accessorise. Everything should have a purpose or match with something else in your wardrobe to make an outfit.
Ultimately, you should be able to pull anything out and put it on and be happy with what you’re wearing. You may have to revisit this from time to time at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you spent all those hours getting ready before.
Do you want to declutter your clothing? Let me know if this list helps and if there’s anything else you need help with when decluttering clothing.
Also, let me know what you’d like to see from the series and what you could use help for. You can privately message me if you prefer.