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How To Be Ruthless When Decluttering Clothes

The problem with clothing…

If I was going to list the top 3 reasons why clients contact me for help, decluttering clothes is without a doubt, one of them. It’s one of those jobs that seems so simple but if you’ve given it a go (and I’m sure you have), you will know that it’s not always plain sailing!

Clothes can be incredibly sentimental to us, and I’m not just talking about wedding dresses or baby clothes. They can remind us of job interviews that went well, first dates, t-shirts bought at concerts – you name it, there are a whole host of reasons to feel attached to items of clothing.

The problem is, most of us don’t have palatial dressing rooms and wardrobes can quickly descend into chaos if you don’t declutter your clothes regularly and ruthlessly! Decluttering my wardrobe is something I actually enjoy (weird I know) and I make a mental note to have a good sort out at the start of every new season- so for me, 4 times per year. It may seem a little excessive but it takes me very little time, because, being a professional organiser, it’s something that I do regularly and I always find clothing that I no longer need or wear.

There are a few things that happen when you begin decluttering your clothes frequently; you dress better, you make better decisions when it comes to buying clothes and you can identify gaps in your wardrobe. You also benefit from a wardrobe that is both organised and clutter free and creating a corner of your home that inspires, instead of depressing you each morning!

But here’s the million dollar question… how do you ruthlessly declutter your clothing?

It’s daunting looking at a bulging wardrobe so here are some of my top decluttering tips for for getting started:

  1. Pull EVERYTHING out, and I mean EVERYTHING. Set aside some time to really focus on this. Empty your drawers and wardrobes, collect the clean washing from downstairs and create one big pile. This is going to horrify you but I promise, it’s the only way to appreciate just how much clothing you own. If you really don’t have time to tackle this all in one go, a drawer at a time is a great way to get started but if you can, it’s definitely worth taking the plunge.

  2. Divide the items of clothing into categories first – dresses, skirts, jeans etc. and then begin the decision making process.

  3. Make it simple and create five piles – keep, maybe, donate to friends or family, charity, fabric recycling and dry cleaning/ tailoring.

  4. Clothing should make you feel good or serve a purpose so really keep this in mind and be ruthless. Have you worn this item in the past year? Will you fit into it again? Does it make you feel good wearing it?

  5. Be aware of those items in your wardrobe that you may like but never get worn! Ask yourself why. Do they not quite fit right or do you own something that suits you better? Really consider whether these items are simply taking up space and are going to be worn again.

  6. Avoid having too many duplicates. If, having put your clothing into piles, you discover 9 black t-shirts, it’s likely that you don’t need them all! Pick the best, the ones that look great on you, those in best condition and donate the rest. This is an incredibly common problem so keep this in mind when shopping in the future!

  7. Go through that maybe pile! However much you like an item, if you don’t wear it, it’s simply taking up valuable space in your wardrobe.

  8. Some of my clients have no intention of wearing an item of clothing again but find it difficult to part with them for sentimental reasons. For some people, it can be enough to simply take a photo of the item for memories sake and then let it go.

  9. Take it away. Don’t let charity shop bags hang around. You’ve done a great job decluttering so don’t be tempted to rummage through them again. There will be good reason that it entered the charity pile so keep it that way!

  10. If you’re really struggling to part with clothes, don’t be too hard on yourself. Some people find this a lot more tricky than others. The trick is to do this regularly and you will find that every time you declutter your wardrobe, you will become a little more ruthless.

  11. Lastly, it can be daunting to tackle this process alone so it’s often useful to employ the help of a kind friend that will help, perhaps in return for you helping them with theirs! If not, music can always lift the spirits and help make the process much more enjoyable!

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