When it comes to decluttering clothes, it can often get overwhelming because we all seem to have too many. Here are the best tips for decluttering clothes that will help you get rid of the clutter and give your wardrobe some breathing spcae.
And no, you don’t have to get rid of 90% of your clothes and start a minimalist lifestyle. I mean, not unless you want to. These decluttering tips will help you declutter clothes and get more organised.
Do you have too many clothes and yet have nothing to wear? Or do you have too many clothes that your dressers keep overflowing? I was in a similar situation about 3 years back. I had so many clothes and I always wore the same 4-5 outfits on the daily. I bet if you ask anyone who knows me personally, they’d tell you I don’t have a lot of clothes. And that’s because I always wore the same outfits when going out. What an irony right?
And don’t even get me started with choosing an outfit to go out on a date or to go to a party. I would spend hours standing in front of my dresser, trying on at least 7-8 items and then wearing the same black top every single time.
I am not even kidding.
Because it wasn’t a fun place to be in. I was so overwhelmed by all the clutter and had no idea how I would even start decluttering, not that I was planning to do that any time soon. I didn’t even know that I needed to declutter until one morning when I felt like my life is all over the place and I need to take control.
I know that probably sounds way too dramatic, but that’s just how it is.
That morning I decided to empty out all my dresser drawers, closets, cupboard, every single thing onto my bed. Just because I wanted to see what I was dealing with. And the pile was so big that it barely fit on our king sized bed, which came as quite a shock because in my opinion “I didn’t have a lot of clothes”.
And thus began my decluttering journey.
Yes, it’s a whole journey because if I am being honest, it took me a long time to declutter my wardrobe.
And even longer to declutter the house.
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But that’s okay because decluttering is an on-going process and it’s not something you should be doing in haste anyway. You do not want to get rid of things on a day and then regret your decision the next.
And that’s why it’s best to take the decluttering process slow and to not let it overwhelm you. If you have never decluttered before, the best tip is to start small. Maybe start with just a drawer, or a particular category of items like socks.
And when you are ready to move onto bigger things, these decluttering tips will help.
why do you need to declutter?
Even if you don’t know it yet, you NEED to declutter. Almost everyone who does declutter claims that it could be life-changing. And all those people are not lying. Decluttering any part of your life in general, just frees up so much space. Space that you could use for things that actually you love.
And when it comes to decluttering clothes, it can be quite liberating as well. At least it was liberating for me. I was holding onto clothes in hopes that I’d be able to fit into them some day. And you see, these clothes served as a constant reminder that I needed to change. They reminded me that I NEEDED to lose weight to look good or to be happy.
And these negative emotions kept me from truly accepting my body in its shape and size. And for years, I struggled with body image issues and had low confidence and self esteem. And looking at these clothes as a (almost) daily reminder, did not help.
I have since realised, that clothes are meant to fit us and not the other way around. We all deserve to feel confident in clothes that we wear and not let the size of our clothes define our self worth. I know these are probably not easy things to do, but I just wanted to put it out there. Because for these reasons, decluttering clothes becomes even more important.
Why can it be hard to let go of clothes?
Clothes like other things can be difficult to let go for some people. And I am definitely not judging you. The reason why you find it difficult to let go of clothes could be different for everyone.
I will fit into them someday: Maybe you don’t want to let go, because like me, you’re hoping to fit into them some day. Maybe you even bought some new clothes in small sizes when they were on sale because you “knew” that you will be able to get into them by the end of the year. But then that didn’t end up happening. But you do have feelings associated with them. And letting go simply means you are giving up on those resolutions and your weight loss goals.
I will regret getting rid of them: Maybe you think you’ll regret decluttering and will “need: the clothes one day. And that you will regret getting rid of clothes.
I have memories associated with my clothes: Maybe you’re the kind of person who forms emotional bonds with things, your clothes included. And letting go of certain clothes means letting go of those memories. Maybe you’re keeping a dress you wore to the prom, or the dress you wore to your fresher’s party.
Or maybe your reasons are entirely different. Whatever it is, these tips will help you navigate the decluttering process and I hope it will make it easier for you to declutter.
Tips for decluttering clothes:
Clothes That do not fit:
Get rid of clothes that don’t fit and that haven’t fit you in a while. Keeping things in hopes that they will fit one day, will only cause you stress. it will just make it more difficult for you to accept and love the body you are in.
Tell yourself that you deserve to be treated better than this and that you no longer need to live in that constant shame that you no longer fit in clothes that you spent so much money on. It can be very liberating and could be the start of your journey towards self love and healing. It definitely was for me.
Again, clothes are meant to fit our bodies and not the other way around. So if you are keeping some clothes and are trying to use them as a motivation to lose weight, but all they are doing is keeping you from accepting yourself, then it’s time to let them go.
Clothes That you haven’t worn in a while:
I am sure you have clothes in the back of your wardrobe or at the bottom of your dresser drawers that you haven’t worn in a while. Or maybe you haven’t even seen them in a while. You see these clothes only when you decide to clean your wardrobe and then don’t see them again for months at end.
And that’s because you don’t really “need” them. And if that’s the case, you need to let them go. You know those swimming leggings that you got because you were going to go swimming, but you only went once? Yes, get rid of those. or maybe you have some party clothes that you think will look amazing for a party, but let’s be honest, you don’t party anymore.And whenever you do, you end up wearing the same 1-2 tops or dresses that make you look hot.
So get rid of the rest of the stuff. So, all the clothes that you have’t worn in a year or so, you can declutter them.
clothes That are out of style:
Next on the declutter list are clothes that are not out of style. This includes clothes that were trendy years ago but just aren’t trendy anymore.
So you got a trendy body con dress that everyone was wearing a few years back and now it’s just sitting in your closet. And it will keep sitting there because no one wears body con dresses anymore or even if they do, you don’t even like them anymore. Yes, it’s time to get rid of those.
Clothes That do not make you happY:
Do you have some clothes that just bring out the worst memories of your life? Maybe a dress that you wore on a first date with your ex that you were in a toxic relationship with for years? Or maybe clothes that just don’t make you happy. Get rid of any clothes that have negative memories associated with them.
I got rid of formals that I tanked a very important interview in. And that’s because wearing those formals always reminded me of that interview and how little confidence I had that day. And I knew I could never wear them again, unless I wanted to feel like I did that day.
Clothes that you are not comfortable in:
Get rid of clothes that you are not comfortable in, simple as that. Feeling confident has a lot of do with the fit of your clothes. And if you are wearing something that’s too tight or exposes your body in a certain way that makes you uncomfortable, it’s time to declutter those from your closet.
That you wanted to get fixed but didn’t:
Maybe you have clothes that you have been meaning to get fixed. It could be anything like a broken zipper or some missing buttons. But you haven’t gotten around to them in months or years. It’s time to get rid of those clothes too, because chances are they’ll just keep sitting there. And if you haven’t needed them in all this time, you probably don’t actually need them anyway.
Clothes That are worn out/torn:
Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that are simply worn out or torn at places? yes you need to declutter those. I had so many t shirts that had small holes in them but I was keeping them because I thought I’d wear them at night.(don’t tell me you don’t do that) But then I had a lot of night wear shirts too. It was all just so much more than I actually needed. So I ended up decluttering and getting rid of everything that had any holes in it.
clothes That you are simply bored of:
You know that one t-shirt that you have worn so much that the thought of wearing it again is super boring? Or that one part wear dress that you have got so much use out of and it has sort of become your uniform and now you just don’t feel that great in it. Yes, get rid of those. There is no point keeping clothes in your wardrobe that don’t bring you joy.
clothes That you cant picture yourself in:
Next on the decluttering list are clothes that you can’t picture yourself in or that you have no idea how to style. I had gotten a skirt before a trip because I really liked the print. Sadly, I couldn’t seem to figure out what to wear with it. None of my tops went with it and I always took it out to wear, tried on a bunch of outfits and then ended up not wearing it. Ended up decluttering it during a spring cleaning and it was the best decision ever.
clothes That are in doubles/duplicates :
Hear me out. Do you have any clothes that are in doubles or duplicates? If yes, then you need to declutter them. you don’t really need the exact same t-shirts in the same color. Well, not unless that’s your uniform or you are really into minimalism and wear the same outfit every single day. Which I doubt is the case because you are reading this article.
Coming onto a very important tip. Knowing that what you are getting rid of, is going to be of some use to someone, makes it a little easier to let go. So whatever clothes are in a good condition, consider donating them to your nearest thrift store or goodwill.
You could also sell some of the clothing items that you have worn only once or twice. they are not doing anything by just sitting in your closet so you may as well make some money from them, right? And please don’t use this money to buy more clothes, otherwise what’s the point! But you could either donate the money or you could use the money to invest in some classic quality pieces that will last you a long time.
While decluttering, there will be some clothes that should directly go to trash. So keep a box labelled trash and get rid of them right away. Do not keep them back in your closet thinking okay I will get rid of it someday. Do it right away. It’s almost like ripping the band-aid off. It’s just easier that way.
If you want to get something fixed:
Okay I know I said get rid of things that you have been meaning to get fixed for years. But, there is an exception to this rule. If you genuinely love a piece a clothing and you want to get it fixed, you can do it. But there is a clause. You set yourself a timeframe. So tell yourself that if you get it fixed in the next 14 days and then you can keep it. Otherwise, you’ll have to toss it.
And here is a little tip: Keep it somewhere close to your front door, so that you could grab it while going out and get it fixed. if it goes back in your closet, you’ll never get around to it.
clothes that you are not sure about:
I know decluttering is overwhelming and sometimes making a decision to keep or let go of something isn’t that easy. Or maybe you think that you will regret getting rid of some clothes later on. I get it. And if you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s a solution:
Put everything that you are not sure about in a box and seal it. Set a reminder in your phone to open this box after 3 or 6 months. But you can open the box if you need any of these things in these 3 or 6 months. Now, after 6 months, whatever you didn’t take out, let it go. You do not need it.
upcyle: Look for ideas on pinterest
There may be some clothes that you you do not want to just get rid of. but you can’t use as clothes anymore. I had a lovely printed silk suit that was torn at a place and was no longer functional as clothing. So I used it to make some silk cushion covers instead. So if you have such clothes that are super nice but you can’t use anymore, try and up cycle them. Because you’d be too attached to give them away anyway.
And of course my favourite place to look for up cycle ideas and crafts is Pinterest and you’ll find lots of ideas for any such clothing pieces as well.
Arrange in a way you can see everything:
This is something I picked from Marie Kondo show on Netflix. Arranging all the clothes that you have in a way that you can see everything is such a great tip. one because it will allow you to look at everything you own and none of the items will be forgotten at the back of your closet. but also because when you see everything, and then don’t end up using certain items, you can declutter them in your next session, without any regret.
Because these are essentially the clothes that you saw everyday and still didn’t wear. So hang whatever clothes you can and fold the rest neatly. You’ll never find yourself complaining that you don’t have enough clothes to wear, ever again.
think before buying:
This is the most important thing to keep in mind post the big declutter. If you keep buying clothes that are trendy but you never wear, or a size down in hopes to wear it someday, you will soon accumulate the same amount of clutter again. So it’s important that you understand the importance of buying things only when you really love them.
I have since shifted to a capsule wardrobe. It’s full of pieces that I actually love and that I feel confident in. And a capsule wardrobe is great because you can mix and match everything.
So don’t buy things just because they are on a sale. Instead buy them only when you know you have the place for them and that you will get a lot of use out of them. If I am confused after a particular clothing item, I often wait for a few weeks. And after a few weeks I’d see if I still love it and need it. if yes, then I will go ahead with the purchase. If not, then it’s something that would’ve just added to the clutter.
declutter every few months:
Going forward, you’d need to make decluttering a habit, if you want a clutter free home. It’s not a one time process. Of course it gets easier with time but you still need to do it every few months. I make sure to declutter at least twice a year. So make it a habit to go through your clothes every few months to get rid of things you no longer need or love.
And that’s it! Easy, right? Haha!
But in all honesty, these are my top tips when it comes to decluttering clothes. I know it’s a time consuming process and it can be quite overwhelming too. But it’s so so worth it in the end. So do give it a sincere try, it could be life altering!