Decluttering a wardrobe involves some serious inspection of the items you own. The following steps will help you declutter your wardrobe effectively for your ideal wardrobe plan. This is the first and foremost step in a complete guide to how to build a wardrobe.
Step 1: Empty the wardrobe completely – Don’t cheat
Take everything out of your wardrobe and lay it out on your bed. Don’t forget clothes in the wash or packed in storage boxes. Taking everything out will help you perform a proper audit of your wardrobe.
Even if you are decluttering in stages, still take everything out sort it into piles by season or category. Put the yet to declutter items back into your wardrobe’s designated ‘to-do’ section.
Group the items by garment type and then subcategories; for example, trousers group, breaking down into jeans and formal trousers.
Step 2: Try all the items – Don’t skip them.
Scrutinize by trying – see how you feel in it if it fits you (too tight, too loose, too big, etc.), or if it’s damaged. Ensure you still don’t put the unfit items in the back to rot there. Use a full-length mirror and have good lighting with natural light, always best as it’s the most accurate in terms of colors and how you look.
- When was the last time I wore this? If you can’t remember, it’s time to let go.
- Does it fit properly? If not, can alterations be made to improve the item’s fit?
- Does the item make me feel confident, and do I feel comfortable wearing it?
- Is the style flattering for my body shape?
- Does the color suit my skin undertone and work with my color palette?
- Is the item worn out? Can it be repaired? Remove any items damaged beyond repair.
Step 3: Sort your clothes into piles
Yes Pile – Items meet all criteria. The fit, color, style, confidence, and comfort. These are typically the items you frequently wear, which should fit perfectly into your master plan.
Maybe Pile – Items that don’t fit quite right, have no style, are a little off color or have sentimental value.
No Pile – This pile contains all the items you have been meaning to clear out, ones that are beyond repair or don’t fit your style, body shape, or color palette. Put these aside to come back to later.
Seasonal Pile – Group your seasonal items not relevant to the season. If you are decluttering your wardrobe in summer, you probably won’t keep your winter coat in your closet (or if you do, it’s time to pack it away and put it into storage). So anything that you want to keep but is not in season right now will go in this pile.
Step 4: Assess what’s left in your wardrobe
Decluttered and grouped into various piles? Now treat each group with the following guidelines.
Clothes to sell
Selling your old clothes is an excellent way to recycle them (they’ll get a new owner) and make money from them if they are expensive. Use apps and marketplaces of secondhand clothing.
Clothes to swap
Swapping clothes with your friends or family is another great option to extend the life of your unwanted clothes. It’s a win-win situation.
Clothes to donate
If you don’t want to sell your clothes or are not worth selling, consider donating them. Take these items to a charity or give them away to family, friends, or someone who can use them.
Clothes to use as rags
You might not be able to donate items that are beyond repair. Use as rags for household cleaning.
Clothes to throw away
Throw them away, but check if the items are recyclable. If yes, some retailers encourage recycling clothes and even offer you discounts on your shopping if you trade-in.
The Maybe Pile
Re-assess whether they belong in the Yes or No pile. Examine each item. If you think you can make the item work with some improvement, create a new pile for alterations. But, sometimes, new buttons may make an item perfectly wearable again.
Bear in mind that even though it may be easier to move an item to the No pile, there is no point if a similar item will end up on your shopping list.
The Seasonal Pile
Any items you want to keep but are not in season right now have to be checked against the master plan. If they fit the bill, pack them up into boxes and put them into storage. If you have more seasonal items than necessary, decide whether to keep them or give them away.
The Yes Pile
The Yes pile contains the clothes that will be part of your ideal wardrobe. Tick each item off against your master plan to assess what you are missing or what you might have too much of. Where you have too much, decide if you want to keep these items or if you want to give them away.