The Best Way to Declutter your Wardrobe:

If you want to concentrate on the essential in life and think more freely, you have to get organized. The easiest way is to start directly in your wardrobe. The motto is: Less is more!

Far too often, we stand in front of a full wardrobe and do not know what to wear. The main reason for this problem is the fact that it simply has become too full and too confusing. To make sure that it doesn’t happen anymore (or at least less often), you should regularly clean out your wardrobe and get rid of everything that a) you don’t like anymore, b) doesn’t fit anymore and c) can’t be combined.

According to studies we don’t even wear up to 80% of our clothes. Regular sorting out is therefore mandatory. It’s important not to lose the overview, to make room for new things and also to find your own style. The start of a new season is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Getting rid of things that we don’t like or that don’t fit anymore triggers a liberating feeling in us. The newly gained order not only creates space in your wardrobe but also helps you to feel more carefree, find your outfits faster in the morning and improve your fashion style in the long run! Hours of standing in front of the wardrobe and countless trials are now a thing of the past.

Most of the time, we postpone this unpleasant task as much as possible. But with the right tips and tricks, you too will succeed in mastering this unpleasant task and mucking out will be easier in the future.

I will tell you how to do it right and how it can even be fun!

Header Picture: @vogue.com

Declutter quickly and consistently: This is how you proceed!

THE PREPARATION

Friends on luggage helping each other packing

Schedule a fixed Date.

One of the most important points is definitely to set a specific time for your declutter action. It is best to do it on a weekend when you have enough time; if the weather forecast predicts bad weather on top – perfect! You should schedule the decluttering on a Saturday morning so that you can finish the whole project on the chosen weekend. Because if you have to interrupt the decluttering for a while, you will quickly fall back into old patterns and postpone the rest to a later date.

Let someone Help you.

The best thing to do is to invite a friend or several friends to help you with advice and support. Together it is often easier to decide for or against a particular item of clothing. 

My Tip:

Turn the decluttering into an event à la Sex and the City and invite your girls to it. Together, the otherwise annoying task is much more fun. You can laugh about fashion sins, can decide whether things can stay or has to go and sort the clothes at the same time. Make sure you have enough drinks and snacks so that your decluttering becomes an event that you will remember for a long time. 

Inventory - Everything has to go - Step by Step.

The wardrobe is an infinite storage space miracle. Often you don’t even know what you own. Before you can part from unloved parts, you first have to do a wardrobe inventory.

That means: Everything out of the closet! But step-by-step, please. It is best if you never clear out the entire wardrobe at once because you’ll quickly lose track and won’t know where to start. You will break off before you have even started.

 

Empty your Wardrobe and Clean it up.

First of all, you think about which category you would like to start with. Decide whether you want to start with tops, trousers, dresses, blouses, jackets, underwear, etc., and then go through one category after the other. It’s best to clean up your entire room beforehand so that you can start with free thoughts and have more space on the floor and bed to spread your stuff out. 

Put the things from one category on a pile. That way, you will quickly see what you have too much of and what you might not have enough of. Always try not to own more than two or three different models of an item. It’s not easy, but it feels so good once you’ve done it.

After you have chosen your first category and cleared all the pieces from this area, clean this compartment! Especially in wardrobes there is a lot of dust due to the fibres, which you can remove right away when the closet is empty anyway. 

THE CLEARING & SORTING OUT

Clothing Stack_Stack of Wool Pullover

Building Stacks.

If you have made all the preparations, you can start cleaning out now. Proceed in the same way for each group of clothes. In each category, you have to decide what you want to keep and what you can get rid of. Do it consistently and always remember: anything that has not left the closet for a year can be removed.

My Tip:

The “coat hook” trick is the best way to check if you’ve worn your clothes for a year or not. Just hang all the hooks upside down in the closet. The clothes on the hooks that are still untouched when you next sort them out can be removed.

What can stay? What are you not sure about? What has to go? 

To answer these questions, you have to take a close look at every single item and answer the following questions:

    • Do I still like it?
    • Does it even fit me?
    • Is it already a little washed out? 
    • Is it broken?
    • Has my style changed? 
    • Have I already put a similar piece back in my closet? 


Think carefully and decide if you really need it. 
To sort them out it makes sense to make four stacks:

    1. I want to keep it!
    2. I don’t know.
    3. Special things.
    4. Have to go!

Can Stay:

    • Only pieces you love and know you’ll keep wearing them no matter what.

"Maybe" Stack:

    • Clothes you don’t know if you’re going to wear them anymore
    • Clothing where you can’t decide whether to keep it or sort it out 
    • Clothes your girlfriends either can’t help you to decide 

Special Things:

    • Outfits for Carnival, Halloween, Christmas
    • Outfits for special occasions, like a wedding dress, etc.

Gotta go - Can be sorted out:

    • Clothes that hang in the cupboard for more than one year without being worn
    • Clothes that don’t fit anymore
    • Clothes whose colour no longer suits you
    • Clothes that do not flatter your figure
    • Clothing that you can no longer combine with other parts
    • Old and Worn clothing & shoes
    • Uncomfortable shoes
    • Unused holiday souvenirs
    • Dresses & Shorts that are too short

My Tip:

Don’t try on every piece of clothing in your closet. It takes unnecessary time, and you will be more inconsistent in your sorting, as you will always find combinations that you might wear at some point. But in most cases, you won’t.

BACK IN THE WARDROBE

Stylish open Wardrobe_Organized Wardrobe

Putting Clothes back with System.

Now it’s time to put your clothes back in the wardrobe. But, do it systematically!

Professionals sort their clothes first by type (i.e. jeans, T-shirts, blouses, sweaters, etc.) and then by colour. 

You can save space by hanging your jeans and trousers on hangers; T-shirts, sweaters, blazers and dresses as well. On the one hand, this way you can keep order because you don’t always have to fold your clothes neatly and nothing can slip out of place when you pick them out. On the other hand, you will also have a better overview of the amount and type of clothes you own and will less often need to buy new ones.

Proceed as follows with your "Can Stay" and "Maybe" Stack:

Favourite Pieces:

First, find all your favourite pieces that you still like and that you will continue to wear and put them back in your closet.

Basics:

Basics are pieces of clothing that go with everything else. They are the real stars of the wardrobe and can stay! Unless they are damaged or out of shape.

These basics include all the “classics” such as a well-fitting pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, a black leather jacket, etc. 

Remaining Pieces:

Only when you have sorted all your favourite pieces and basics, all other clothes are in line.

Once you have finished one section of your wardrobe, you can move on to the next category. This way, you work your way through slowly until you have decluttered all categories. At the end of the process, all that will be left is the “Maybe” stack, which you will then proceed as follows.

The "Maybe Stack":

This stack is the one you should look at most critically. 

Your style changes over time – and often also the taste and figure. No question that some former pieces may not fit anymore. There are also pieces that we still like and that are associated with beautiful memories, but they are no longer worn.

The only thing that helps is to try them on and be honest with yourself. Then you will see that now the decision which piece you want to keep or not is much easier. If necessary, weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself the following questions: 

  • At which occasion can I wear this piece? 
  • Does it really still fit me? 
  • Do I feel comfortable in it? 
  • Does it still fit my style? 
  • Would I rebuy it? 

If a question is answered with no, it has to be sorted out.

And if there is still an item of clothing leftover, hang it back in the wardrobe with the hanger turned upside down. If it still hangs upside down in the closet after a few months, it can be removed, because then you will never wear it again.

Storage Space and Wardrobe Essentials for more Order.

To create clear lines and structures in your wardrobe, storage boxes, and identical hangers are ideal. They’ll give your closet a unified look.

I’ve put together my favourite wardrobe essentials for you, which will enhance your wardrobe and provide more storage space:

*Affiliate Links

If you are looking for more ways to bring variety and style into your wardrobe, you are welcome to have a look at my article: 

THE FOLLOW-UP

Decluttering_Clothing Donation_rose Wool Pullover with sign "clothing donation"

Memorabilia.

Memorabilia that you can’t part with have no place in the wardrobe either. Put them in storage boxes and stow them in the attic or under your bed. That way, you don’t have to part forever, but you will have more space in your closet.

What to do with discarded clothes?

If you have done a good job and haven’t been too hesitant, there should be a mountain of clothes in front of you. There are several possibilities now. First, you have to decide whether you want to get some money for your discarded clothes or whether you want to donate the pieces to a charity.

Option 1: Selling Clothes

Much of what we clean out doesn’t even deserve the name “old clothes”. If there are some treasures hidden in your “Have to go” stack, you can easily sell them. There are several ways to do this:

Online:

Take pictures of your clothes, find the best websites and put everything online. 

Flea Market:

Since photographing and putting every single piece online is too much work for some people, selling it at a flea market is a great alternative. For most flea markets you don’t have to register in advance but can just drop by and pay a small fee for your booth. But be sure to find out in advance when and where the next flea market will take place and what the conditions are.

Alternatively, you can have a flea market at your workplace and offer your pieces to your colleagues for little money. 

Secondhand Shops:

If you have sorted out some really nice and high-quality pieces, you can also take them to a secondhand shop where they can be sold for you with deduction of a partial amount. However, you have no guarantee for that, and the dealer may call you after a few weeks and asks you to take your clothes back because they couldn’t be sold. So, you will only get money when your valuable piece is sold.

Recycling in Shops:

Some retail stores offer the possibility to recycle your clothes. You just bring your clothes to the store, and in return, you get a voucher for your next purchase. You won’t earn anything with your old clothes, but you get rid of them and save some money on your next purchase.

Option 2: Donate and Exchange Clothes

Have you decided against selling your discarded clothes, either because of a lack of time or simply because you want to do something good for other people? 

Then also, in that case, you have different possibilities:

Donate your Clothes:

Do something useful with your pieces and donate the clothes to those in need, by putting them into containers or giving them to the Red Cross. Children’s clothes or small items can also be given directly to children’s homes. Always find out beforehand what will happen to your clothes so that your clothes will serve their purpose and bring joy to others.

Swap Clothes:

Ask your family members or friends if they would like to have some of your old pieces. Because what you no longer like or what doesn’t fit anymore can look great on others. The best thing to do is to invite your girls to a swap party, where they also bring their discarded pieces, and you can exchange your clothes.

Keep Order:

Now that you’ve decluttered your entire closet, it’s time to keep order. Make sure that you sort out the pieces with upside-down hangers after half a year. Do not put pieces that are washed out or broken back into the wardrobe but sort them out. Even clothes that no longer fit have to be sorted out immediately.

Consciously buy new Clothes.

A shopping frenzy should be avoided when keeping things tidy. Therefore, take a look at your wardrobe before every shopping trip that you have in mind how many items you already own. Shop more consciously, buy less and place more emphasis on quality.

When making purchases, make sure that you buy clothes that can be combined in a variety of ways or are real classics that can be worn for years. Try them on and think carefully about whether you really need them and think about possible combinations in your head. If you can’t think of at least three possible combinations, or if you’re unsure about the size or appearance of an item, leave it in the store!

Those were my sorting tips. The feeling afterwards is indescribable. You suddenly feel organized again and somehow also relieved. You’ll soon notice that a half-full wardrobe makes you happier than one with far too much choice. 

I hope my tips have now encouraged you to declutter your wardrobe. Let me know in the comments if my suggestions helped you to declutter systematically.

 

If you are looking for wardrobe inspiration, you are welcome to take a look at my Pinterest board: Wardrobe Ideas & Inspiration.

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