How to declutter – clothes

Imagine opening your closet – and every single time you feel inspired.

Imagine knowing which colours suit you best, which cuts are the most flattering on you and which clothes make you feel your best.

And if this were possible, then wouldn’t you agree that getting dressed would be both easy and joyful?

Well, the good news is that this is indeed possible.

But sometimes, when it comes to decluttering our wardrobe, especially if we love fashion, the whole thing can feel a bit daunting – we don’t want to miss out on amazing combinations and outfits so we want to have a good selection of items.

But what if you can declutter your wardrobe and improve your style all at the same time?

This is not only possible but it’s the best approach to ensure you feel better in the long run. By taking the time to really understand what you like and don’t like, your view of how you see your clothes will change forever.

*TIP: if you have a lot of clothes it’s worth doing a quick declutter before diving into the next few steps. To help you with this check out How to declutter blog post and 4 powerful decluttering questions for better results. 

Now let’s continue…

STEP 1 – CHOOSE A CATEGORY

Because we’re going a bit farther, I recommend doing smaller areas at a time instead of feeling overwhelmed by doing the whole closet all at once.

Start with an area that you like and leave the hardest one until the end because you’ll be faster once you’ve already done this a couple of times.

Depending on how much clothing you have, you can do multiple categories in one day or just do one a day. To help you, I made a list of categories you can use as a guideline.

STEP 2 – PREPARE

Now take all the items from your chosen category out of your closet and put them somewhere close to the mirror so you have easy access when trying them on.

Also, take a notebook and a pen because it’s time to start analysing.

It’s very important that you don’t rush through this because if you do – then the results won’t be as thorough so if there are things you can do that will make this experience more enjoyable – then do them. I always make myself a lovely hot cup of tea as a treat.

STEP 3 – TRY IT ON

The reason this decluttering method is so efficient is that we actually have to try everything on in order to truly understand what works and what doesn’t.

It may seem like a lot of work but the results are very much worth it. And the good thing is that you only have to do this once to get the benefits.

Once you’re ready, then start by picking an item, try it on, look at yourself in the mirror and write down details about this piece. I recommend going through the next key points so you cover everything.

  • COLOUR & PATTERN – write down the colour of the item and if it has any patterns or is it a solid colour?
  • FIT – observe the fit of an item, is it loose, slim, maybe slim in one place and loose in another?
  • CUT – look at all of the details; what are the collar, sleeves, length, waist height etc. like?
  • MATERIAL – look at labels to find out which materials your clothes are made out of but also write down how the material feels, is it stretchy, structured, thin, light, soft, etc.?
  • COMFORT – do you feel comfortable or not and if so, why? Do things seem to be tight around one area but okay everywhere else or are some items just plain uncomfortable because of the material or incorrect size?
  • BRAND – brands use different base models who have different proportions, so it’s usually the case that when we like the fit of a particular brand, we buy more from them. And because brands have different styles, you can recognise that and start shopping in your favourite stores in order to stop wasting time in other places. Also, you’ll see which items from which brands stood the test of time so you can avoid buying bad quality in the future.
  • HOW DO I FEEL? The whole point of taking the time to have a curated closet and improve your style is so that you feel your best so instead of thinking about how you look, ask yourself how do you feel in it? Is it young, smart, professional, old, boring etc.? And obviously, we should keep the clothes that make us feel our best and let go of the rest.
  • DO I KEEP IT? This one is pretty straight forward: you either save an item or you don’t. Also, maybe add a note about replacing it in the future – sometimes we have essential pieces we can only let go of once we replace them with a new one to avoid having a gap in our closet.

If you have any other points you would like to add, go for it. When trying on an item, take your time to connect with how you feel and observe all the smallest details because the more specific you are, the better the results.

Do this with every item and the closer you come to the end, the clearer the picture will become.

And the best thing is you’ll know exactly why you like or don’t like certain items instead of just guessing.

And as usual, when going through the items sort them into a ‘keep’ and ‘let go of’ pile.

By going through this process, I came to the realisation that I don’t like green and blue on me, I don’t feel comfortable in a V cut and I love my jeans with a balance of 98% cotton and 2% elastane etc. It may sound ridiculous to know all of these details but my shopping has never been easier and it’s much harder to make an impulse purchase when you know your preferences really well.

That doesn’t mean we can’t test out a new style because we should be absolutely free to do so and this knowledge will actually help you incorporate new things more efficiently because now you know how to observe yourself and what to watch out for.

STEP 4 – CONCLUSION

Put the items you don’t want away and thank them for teaching you what doesn’t work for you and your style and then put the items you kept back into their place.

And once you’ve done that, it’s time to go over your notes.

I recommend going through all the details of the ‘KEEP’ items so that you can write down a quick summary of what you like for future reference. And because it’s as important to know what we don’t like as what we do, then repeat the process for the items you didn’t enjoy. 

This knowledge is a game-changer, at least that was my experience – I did this challenge almost three years ago but I still use everything that I learned then today. So despite this exercise being time-consuming, I encourage you to try it with one category – at the very least.

I hope this article gave you some inspiration to dive deep into your closet and learn more about yourself and your style.

What is the first category of clothes you want to declutter? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 😉

And if you enjoyed reading this, then check out my latest posts!

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