There are many benefits of decluttering and you can read about the self-care benefits of decluttering here. A wardrobe clear out can be hugely rewarding however depending on how much stuff you have, it is not for the faint hearted. Before you start your wardrobe declutter, make sure you are clear you know why you are doing this. If you know the reason why you want to declutter, it’s going to help keep you motivated.
As you are going through your wardrobe keep an eye out for these ten types of items that you don’t need to hang on to. Take a look at this guide here for more tips on the actual step by step process of decluttering.
Key Tip: Before putting things on the ‘discard’ pile, ask the question ‘does this item bring me joy?’. If it doesn’t (and there is no other practical reason to keep it) then it’s time for it to go!
- Damaged/broken clothes and shoes. Anything that is damaged and you haven’t fixed yet. Are you ever going to fix it? If yes then put it on a ‘to fix’ pile and get on with it as soon as you can. If you have had something that has needed a new zip for the best part of a year then perhaps you should consider getting rid. I include knitwear that has lost its softness and has gone bobbly in this category.
- ‘Decorating’ clothes. I am definitely guilty of hoarding these. When I no longer like something I put it aside thinking I might need something old that I can wear when I am decorating, dying hair, doing messy art work etc. Assess how much of these clothes you have and ask yourself how often you need these items and when you do eventually need something from that pile, would you be able to wear it more than once before washing it, and then will you be able to wash it before you need it again? If you have a major house renovation coming up you may want to hang on to those clothes for a bit longer but generally you will only need two or three decorating tops and one or two pairs of decorating bottoms.
- Items that don’t fit well. Clothes that don’t fit well don’t look as good as clothes that do fit well. They can also be uncomfortable and annoying. Are you ever going to choose the too small jeans over the comfy favourites? Likewise for clothes that are too big which can be unflattering. I don’t just mean too small or too big but also try your clothes on and think about the shape of the clothes. Where are the seams? Are they where they should be on your body or did you go for a ‘tall’ range when actually you should be wearing ‘main collection’ or vice versa?
- Stained clothes. Beetroot, red wine, oil marks, paint. If you stain your clothes try and clean it ASAP and get some stain remover on it. If however, you are unsuccessful, are you going to wear clothes which are stained and look dirty even when they are clean? Probably not.
- Fad fashion that you don’t love anymore. Fashion trends come and go. If you bought something last year when it was trending on Instagram and now you think ‘why oh why did I buy those ‘dad’ sandals and that rainbow tie-dye top was great at that festival in 2019 but not so great now’. I hope you didn’t spend a fortune on these items. Perhaps someone else will love them? If they are in good condition then take them to a charity shop or sell them.
- Old underwear. Some charities ask for old bras so they can send on to organisations in poorer countries to re-purpose the bra components to make new bras. Knickers however, are obviously not good for charity unless perhaps haven’t been worn and still have the packaging and labels on them. A great outfit starts with a great base – so make sure the underwear you have is appropriate have for your outfits (nude colours under white clothes)
- Duplicates . Just to clarify – I don’t mean you only need one white summer dress or one white t-shirt. That is not true! But take a look at how many duplicate items you have and try and cut back a bit on the things you don’t wear so much. How many pairs of pale blue paper bag waist mom jeans do you really need? Keep the ones that are unique in your wardrobe and get rid of the ones you don’t wear.
- Old tacky jewellery and sunglasses. By this I mean ‘fad’ fashion jewellery. The tacky multi-coloured string and bead anklets that you bought on the beach on holiday or the “gold” necklace that turns your neck green. This guide also applies to sunglasses – if they are tacky or scratched up then I’m so sorry, they should go. They may have looked great once but they are ruined and scratched and look a bit of a mess now. It sounds brutal but get rid of them. If you really can’t get rid of them (and I think you probably can), and as long as they aren’t really scratched or damaged, then perhaps keep them in the car for sunny day driving emergencies (if the scratches don’t stop you from seeing properly). Get yourself some nice new sunnies and keep them in a case when you aren’t wearing them. (Can you tell I’m talking from experience here?)
- Clothes that don’t go with anything else. Are you ever going to wear it if you have nothing to put with it? Probably not. If you love it then you could buy something to go with it but the better option is to consider getting rid of it.
- A note about sentimental items. If you think you will regret getting rid of something then I will say don’t do it. However, for things you will probably forget about, they could go. I am a sentimental old bean and so I know that this isn’t easy, but space is a premium. Until I did the clear out which inspired me to write this post I still had an office dress I wore to an interview years ago (I got the job!). A seam had ripped so I fixed, to an okay standard, but I never wore it any more. Things like that have to go. It does nothing but take up valuable space in what should be a lovely beautiful neat and tidy wardrobe. Same goes for bridesmaid dresses that you have had for years and years. Give it to a friend or someone who can sew it up into a new dress because you are never going to wear it again. I can see you looking wide eyed in horror at my suggestion to get rid of or chop up something so meaningful. I am sending you a socially acceptable virtual hug. Now get rid of some of those space-wasters.
WOW so there we have it. So grab a drink as strong as you like and here we go. Open up your wardrobe, chest of drawers (don’t forget to look at your accessories) and remove the things that fit into these 10 categories. Try them on, see how they fit, check that they go with the other things in your wardrobe, check the condition – are they good? Will you still enjoy wearing it?
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this post and maybe it has helped you in your wardrobe clear out mission. Please let me know in the comment which tip you found the most helpful or relevant to you and also if you have any tips of your own then please do share. I’d love to hear them.
Until next time