Do you love clothes and want to wear items that make you feel good? If shopping for new clothes is an enjoyable pastime for you, you likely have racks of clothes and other things stuffed behind your closet door. Our goal is to help you understand how to declutter your closet effectively without getting overwhelmed in the process.
As the amount of items stored in your closet grows, it may become a major source of stress for you. You may spend too much time rifling through clothes looking for something to wear before determining, “I do not have anything to wear!”
Even with an overabundance of clothing options to choose from, you will likely find yourself defaulting to wearing the same items over and over again. This is because they are comfortable, and you probably feel positive about how you look wearing them.
In addition to the clothes in your closet, you may also find yourself continually throwing stuff on the closet floor because it’s easy. Instead of dealing with the items, your wardrobe just keeps getting more and more full of random things.
We will look at how to decide what to keep, what to toss, and what to give away or sell.
How to declutter your closet
When you first decide to tackle decluttering your closet, you will likely have to deal with many different kinds of things. You will need to organize your clothes, shoes, and any other items you store differently.
One of the first steps is to have fewer items in your closet. That is why decluttering is part of the process, not just re-organizing.
To declutter your closet, you will need to go through the items one by one and decide whether to keep, donate, or throw them away.
It’s helpful to begin by pulling everything in the closet out one by one and sorting them into piles on your bed or floor.
At this stage, try to sort the items into similar groups. For example, put all the pants together, long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, formal wear, etc. This will allow you to easily see what you have and recognize duplicates that may exist in your closet.
Tips and Tricks for Decluttering Your Closet
If your closet is not overwhelmingly full, you may be able to declutter your closet by systematically working through the space without having to remove everything. However, physically touching each item will help you make a more informed decision about what to get rid of and what to keep.
If it seems too overwhelming to work on your entire closet, start with just a specific section of your closet. Examples include the hanging clothes, the shelves, the floor space, and any storage units inside the cabinet. Then, as you gain momentum, you can feel confident in your purging, and seeing more available space in your closet will make the process easier.
Decluttering your closet will also allow you to re-organize your space to make it more functional. Depending on the number of items in your closet, you might want to add some organizational furniture. This will help you find what you are looking for. Going through decluttering will also remind you of what you already own. You might even run across things that you forgot you had because they got pushed to the back of the closet.
How do I get rid of my clothes?
When you decide that you no longer need certain clothing items, you have several choices for getting rid of them.
For gently used clothing that you no longer wear or want to keep, you can take the items to a consignment store such as Plato’s Closet. This is a good option for clothing that still looks good and allows someone else to get some use and enjoyment out of the item.
You may still want to make some money off worn clothing as you are decluttering them. For these, you can choose to get rid of them by hosting a yard sale or selling clothes online via sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
If you prefer just to give the unwanted clothing away, you can donate items to people you know or to a local donation center or donation box. Keep donation bags handy as you work on decluttering so you can easily gather items to purge from your house.
Consider establishing a clothing swap group with other local parents for children’s clothes that are in decent shape, but your child has just outgrown. This is a great way to share clothes with others while also benefiting from a family with clothes they can pass down to your child. It’s a win-win. You can declutter unused items while saving money by not buying as many new clothes.
Before you begin make sure to get our checklist for decluttering your house.
How to declutter clothes
Decluttering your clothes will probably take the most significant amount of time when you declutter your closet. Here are some tips and tricks to getting rid of some items and re-organizing your space.
Review What You Have
To start, go through your closet to review what you have. Most of us have excessive clothes, so you will probably find some things you forgot you own and never wear.
Re-familiarizing yourself with what you have will also help you realize if you have duplicates of certain items. For example, maybe you realize you have four blue undershirts that are very similar in color and style. Duplicated items are easier to get rid of and give you an energy boost in the decluttering process.
You may be able to effectively go through your clothes while they are still in the closet. However, if that does not work for you, consider pulling out the clothes so that you can sort them. For this, you can use your bed or another piece of furniture that will allow you to see what you have quickly.
Recall When You Last Wore the Item
As you are physically touching every piece of clothing in your closet, ask yourself when you last wore the item.
Be honest with yourself. If you cannot remember the last time an item was worn, place it in a separate pile to sell or give away.
If you are like most people, you wear some pieces of clothing way more often than others. The others get pushed to the back of the closet or regularly passed over. Knowing this can help you decide whether to keep an article of clothing or get rid of it during your decluttering process. Items you have not worn in the past year can be purged from your closet.
Think About When the Item Will be Worn
In addition to thinking back on when you last wore an item, consider the future as well. In what situations can you imagine yourself wearing an item? How often is that situation likely to happen?
Some articles of clothing are geared for special events, so you will not wear the item that often. However, you may deem it worth keeping because you can imagine future events where you could realistically wear it.
However, some items may not be worth keeping. For example, did you buy a costume for a Halloween party that you know you will probably not wear again? While you might wear the item again, deep down, you know that it is not likely to happen.
In this case, it is probably better to get rid of the item instead of allowing it to take up space in your closet. As you know, it probably will not be worn again anytime soon.
Ask Yourself if You Love the Item
As life seasons change, you may find that your style shifts as well. You do not need to feel guilty about this. Instead, focus on buying clothes and keeping clothes that you love.
Be brutally honest about what you want to wear and what flatters your body size and shape. You should feel good about what you wear.
There is no need to clutter your closet with things you do not like to wear. Instead, fill it with items you want to wear and feel comfortable in. Your style should be reflected in the items you choose to keep.
How Many Do You Actually Need?
As you are sorting through your clothing, you may identify some categories of clothing that you have a lot of. At that point, it is reasonable to ask yourself how many you need.
For example, if you have ten workout attire pieces but only work out twice per week, do you need all ten?
Similarly, if you realize that you have twenty casual t-shirts, you may want to reassess if you need all of them. While you may wear them all occasionally, you could probably get by with a lot fewer t-shirts.
An essential part of the decluttering process is determining what you need or use. Most of us could make do with a lot fewer items than we currently have.
Sort the Clothes into Piles
Once you have realistically assessed what you have, it is time to sort the clothes into piles.
Gather some cardboard boxes or bags to help you sort the clothes. You can toss items that are worn out and do not have any more life left in them. If an item is deteriorated or worn ragged, it’ll just be thrown out in the sorting process at the donation center.
Designate a separate box or bag for clothes you plan to give away. These should be items in good condition but that you no longer wear. One box or bag can be designated to take to a donation center or a consignment store, while another can be for giving away.
Your space will feel a lot lighter after you have started decluttering. This is one of the wonderful perks of decluttering clothes as you will not feel overwhelmed every time you open your closet door or have to try to shove another blouse or pair of pants into your already full clothes rack.
If you have a hard time deciding whether to keep or toss an item, you can set it aside and revisit the decision later. However, do not delay deciding on too many things. Otherwise, you will get too bogged down in the decluttering process and fail to make good progress through your items.
Re-Organize the Space
Based on the size of your closet, you may want to re-organize the space after you declutter your clothes. Consider adding a shelf or other storage options to help you optimize the space. Once you have determined the clothing, you plan to keep. However, a new storage option can help you quickly find the items which will help reduce the stress and overwhelm faced each morning.
Adding little things like a shoe rack or an over-the-door organizer can help keep things tidy and easily visible in the closet. This will help you more easily locate the item you are looking for without having to dig through stuff that is just piled on the closet floor.
Similarly, consider sorting your clothing by type of item so that you can quickly find what you are looking for. For example, hang all the short sleeve blouses or dress shirts together, all the pants together, all the t-shirts together, and so on. That way, you can quickly scan that section of your closet to find the article of clothing that you are looking for without having to thumb through everything.
This will also help you recognize when you need to do laundry because a clothing section is getting low. In the morning, this sure beats realizing when you are trying to scramble and get ready for work that all your dress pants are dirty.
Revisit the Clothing
After some time has passed, revisit the clothes in your closet to see if you are wearing all of them. You may find that some things you kept you do not wear as much as you thought you would.
In addition, you may have previously identified some articles of clothing that you were not sure whether you should keep or get rid of. Now is an excellent time to look at those pieces again to make a decision.
What should I have in my wardrobe?
Spoiler alert — there is no one size fits all approach to deciding what you should have in your wardrobe! Instead of fixating on having only a certain number of items, it is better to be realistic about your personal needs.
You will likely need different types of clothes and shoes in your wardrobe – work, casual, formal, etc. To avoid an overwhelming amount of pieces, be realistic about what you need and what you wear.
From this practical standpoint, you should keep the clothes you choose to wear and nothing else. This will free up more space in your closet and help you not feel so overwhelmed when deciding what to wear each morning. It will also avoid having your closet be packed in a stressful and difficult way to navigate.
Some decluttering decisions will be easy, such as getting rid of tank tops that you no longer wear or that are ragged. Other choices will not be as easy, but you can efficiently declutter your closet with a strategy.
If you have clothing that is still in good condition but no longer like wearing, decluttering will find it and give you options. For example, you may choose to have a garage sale or try to resell the items via a consignment shop. This allows others who will wear the item to enjoy it instead of keeping it stuck in your closet going unused.
One strategy is to minimize your possessions is keeping a capsule wardrobe of items you love and will enjoy wearing. Capsule wardrobes tend to be seasonal, so think about what you wore in the past year for the current season.
A capsule wardrobe consists of a few pieces that you can mix and match to create a new look. Capsule wardrobes work better if they are made of quality pieces in a similar color theme to allow for more outfit options.
In addition to the number of pieces in your wardrobe, pay attention to the cleaning requirements. As you make your clothing decisions, consider whether you mind having clothes that require dry cleaning.
You may decide that it is not worth the extra hassle and cost of taking clothes to the dry cleaner. Alternatively, you may prefer higher-quality pieces that require dry cleaning.
Your wardrobe should also include shoes you frequently wear and desire to keep. It is so easy to accumulate shoes that cannot be regularly worn. As you are decluttering clothes, it is a great time to decide if you need to keep all of the shoes you own.
You likely have specific pairs of shoes that you regularly wear. In addition, there may be pairs in your closet that rarely get worn because they are too outfit-specific or are no longer comfortable.
If you no longer like something or it does not comfortably fit, there is nothing wrong with being realistic about how you do not plan to wear the item. Such an attitude will help you keep what you actually wear and declutter the rest.
You do not have to worry about feeling like you are getting rid of clothing options. You probably were not picking those items anyway!
When you are considering what to have in your wardrobe, your space constraints can also help you make the decisions. You want to be sure there is sufficient room in your closet to hang the clothes you want to keep. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when the closet is jam-packed.
Instead, consider paring down your wardrobe so that all of the items kept in your closet are things you want. Moreover, they should be things you can comfortably wear right now. It is better to have a few things you love instead of a plethora of mediocre options.
Benefits of Decluttering Your Closet
There are so many benefits that come along with decluttering your closet. For one, you can get rid of things you no longer want or can wear.
You will likely find items that no longer fit comfortably or match your style. Decluttering will allow you to be realistic about what you want to wear and make getting dressed a simpler decision. Instead of getting overwhelmed going through your clothes rack, you can confidently pick out your clothes, knowing that what is hanging in the closet is what you want to wear.
Decluttering clothes will also help your bedroom feel more peaceful instead of stress-inducing. In addition, you will easily be able to hang up the clothes that you have and will be able to utilize the space that you have available effectively.
Laundry day will also be simpler as you will have worn the items you love and can now re-wear them instead of only being left with clothing options that you no longer like or want.
Another benefit of decluttering your closet is that you may be prone to buy less. This is especially true if you decide to get rid of particular articles of clothing that still have tags on them.
This means that you spent hard-earned money on an item, and then it sat unused in your closet until you decided you no longer wanted it. While this may feel wasteful, there is no sense in keeping an item you have no intention of using. Instead, it is better, to be honest with yourself and give or sell the item to another person who will actually wear it.
How to Declutter Your Closet FAQ
How can I declutter my closet fast?
Decluttering your closet will be a quicker process if you own fewer clothes or regularly go through your closet to analyze what you wear and what you skip over. Avoid putting off the task by decluttering regularly, and you can quickly purge your closet.
How do I clean out my closet and let go?
If you have a hard time letting things go, start the decluttering process with a certain section or part of your closet so that you will not get overwhelmed. If you are realistic about what you use, it will be easier to let go of things that are not regularly used or that you no longer like or can wear.
How can I declutter my clothes fast?
Being realistic about what you actually wear will help you declutter your clothes quickly. Asking yourself if you still regularly wear the item, if you still like it, and if it is flattering for your body type in this season of life will help you determine whether to keep an item or get rid of it.
How do I declutter my wardrobe effectively?
Effectively decluttering your wardrobe is based on what you wear. Therefore, focus on what you do like and regularly wear when deciding whether an article of clothing should stay or go.
How do I start to declutter?
To start decluttering clothes, there are several tips and tricks. Choose one spot to begin with and go through all the items you have there.
When was the item last worn?
Is it still in good condition?
Getting fed up with your closet is excellent motivation to start decluttering.
What is the first thing to declutter?
To gain some momentum with the decluttering process, it is best to start with old clothes that you do not wear anymore and items without sentimental value. These items will be the easiest to get rid of.
How can I declutter my house quickly?
If you decide to tackle decluttering throughout your own home, choose one room or area to begin in and make quick decisions on whether an item should stay, be given away, be sold, or be trashed.
Consider having a box or garbage bag handy so that you can quickly sort the items you are choosing to get out of your house.
How do I get rid of clutter in my closet?
You can get rid of clutter in your closet by putting items where they actually go in your house. Avoid letting the closet be a catch-all for all sorts of miscellaneous items.
How do I declutter my minimalist wardrobe?
If you have a capsule wardrobe, you probably wonder if there is anything to get rid of. But, on the other hand, you may be feeling like your closet is already pretty minimalist. So decluttering might be an act of organization or figuring out better storage solutions.
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