Two weeks ago I decided to declutter my closet. For so long I was sure I don’t need to do that, because I’m obviously a minimalist and I wear EVERYTHING I have. Well… haha. No. No, I don’t wear everything I have and apparently, a closet declutter was long overdue.
I had to face a lot of bad decisions, which made me reevaluate everything about my minimalism. For example, I decided to stop shopping online and see where it takes me. This closet declutter has made me realize I’m not that aware to my closet situation.
I intend to be more mindful in the future about shopping and creating a capsule wardrobe, but before I could do that, I had to truly confront what needed to be decluttered. For example, why I had certain items in the first place and if I could have used those items better.
WHY should you DO A CLOSET DECLUTTER?
You’re wasting money on organizing clutter.
You can’t fit your shoes in your closet space, so you get another rack. You have so many tank tops so you get an organization system. clothes are always spilling all over the place, accessories are shoved into every free space and shoes are just thrown in the entryway. It might not be that extreme, but with more items you have in your closet, you have more clutter and eventually more “organizational” products.
For example, in my 20 closet organization post, I mention a tank top holder that I LOVE! But when I decluttered my closet, I found out I only need one, while I had two, holding so many tops I never wear! So even when we need help with organizing, we need to declutter first in order to evaluate what we actually need.
you’re never sure what you have.
You’re looking for something that will match the shirt you already chose, only to realize half an hour later, you have nothing! This scenario has happened to me repeatedly. Going to dinner with friends, going to work, going on vacation etc. I was saving a bunch of pants “just in case” knowing I always go for the same few pairs that I actually feel comfy in. But having so many extras, I never knew where was the pair I was looking for, and I just made an entire mess trying to get dressed.
Having fewer items guarantees you’ll always know what you have, know what goes well together and what is appropriate for each occasion.
you never have anything to wear.
Nothing ever matches, your favorite top is always in the laundry, you always want to wear the same jeans you love but you need to change it up and so on… The truth is, the more clothes you have, the more items you probably don’t like and never wear.
The sooner you’ll declutter, you’ll be able to create a capsule wardrobe of items you LOVE. You don’t need to run shopping again, you need to get rid of the things you never wear, spend some time with the items you do wear and find similar clothes in the future.
10 things you need to get rid of when you do a closet declutter
We all have something from a year ago, five years ago or even ten years ago that wasn’t on trend about a season after we’ve purchased it. You might still rock it, and in that case, enjoy! But most of us keep out-dated trendy items that just take up space just so we can justify the money we already paid. It’s time to face it – that money is not coming back, and you will never wear that trend again. You should get rid of it and consider not falling into trends next time.
Clothes that don’t fit
Everybody keep clothes that don’t fit them, it’s not a cliche. Women & men both have a tendency of holding onto clothes that don’t fit them. Whether something is too big, too small, too tight or just not flattering on you, you shouldn’t keep it. obviously, there are exceptions, for example – if you’re a woman and just gave birth, it makes no sense to get rid of everything you had before the pregnancy. But in most cases – that’s not the issue.
I used to buy jeans that were a little smaller because I preferred how they looked on my legs, but the truth is that I wasn’t comfortable. They were too tight around my waist or stomach and I never wore them. Now I simply buy a pair in my actual size and alter them. It might cost a little more but it’s worth it a 100 percent! I get so much more wear out of them and I’m actually comfy!
Clothes you don’t love
You might wear them when you feel they’re appropriate for the situation, or when everything else is in the laundry. But you don’t love these clothes, you don’t look for them, you never feel GREAT in them…
These are the kind of items that you might have bought because you felt you needed to (like a blazer I got for work even though I really dislike blazers on me so I never actually wore it). You should consider getting rid of them and finding an alternative that makes you happy with how you look.
Poor quality clothes
The stitching is already breaking apart, the lines aren’t straight, the fabric is already draping and so on. Poor quality clothes don’t look good, they look cheap, they’re probably been created in a non-ethical factorycompany and they will probably get ruined much quicker. If you’ve already bought something that is poor-quality you should get the best out of it instead of creating more waste, but if it’s already looking bad, it’s time to move on.
worn out clothes
Pants that are saggy, stained clothes, fabric that looks more like lint than anything else, and other worn out items you might hold on to should part from your wardrobe. My favorite pair of pants got really dirty in an unfortunate laundry incident, I held on to them for a few months after, knowing I’ll never use them again. It’s natural, we don’t want to part with the items we love, but if they’re not of use for us, they’re just taking up space in your closet and mind.
clothes you don’t reach for
They’re just there, not doing any harm but not doing any good either. You might have bought them because they were on sale, or you had to add something for a discountfree shipping. Maybe you saw it on someone else and thought it’s great, but it isn’t really your style. There could be many reasons to why you have a bunch of clothes you never reach for and maybe forgot they exist, but this is the time to face with your mistakes and sort those clothes out of your wardrobe.
clothes you are not comfortable in
A tight bra, a skirt that is too short, pants that don’t close, and all kind of items you probably like their look but hate wearing them. We all have those items that we want to wear so badly, but they make us uncomfortable for the entire time. I decided I’m done with these type of items a few years ago, if something is making me itch or hurt while wearing it, I don’t buy it. When I try things on, I try to be more mindful of how they will actually feel more than a minute. We shouldn’t suffer to look good, because that actually makes us look worse.
shoes that are painful
Same goes for shoes – uncomfortable shoes can easily ruin your day. There’s no reason to hold on shoes that are hurting you.
Clothes that will fit one day, that will match something in your closet one day or clothes that just wait for the right occasion to wear one day. If you haven’t worn something in its passing season (I know some people like to suggest 6 months, but you probably don’t wear your summer dresses during the winter), you probably won’t wear it in the next season either. Don’t hold onto something just because “one day” you might wear it.
clothes that don’t match anything else
You love this top, but it only goes with a certain skirt you probably don’t have, and that skirt needs shoes you’re not comfy in. And anyway, that top is over the shoulder and you don’t have the right bra for it. It makes more sense to me to either find a way this top goes with clothes you already have, or get rid of it. The other option is to buy all the items to complete a look you’ll probably only wear once.
How to avoid another closet declutter session in the future?
Purchase high-quality items
Buying cheap clothes might save you some money right now, but it costs you much more in the long run. Buying a crappy t-shirt will only result in you buying another t-shirt every season to replace the other one.
Unless you’re able to take amazingly good care of low-quality clothing, I suggest going with higher quality. You don’t have to break the bank for one piece, especially for less used items. My system is that I try to go one level above what I would normally spend on a good basic. For example, If I used to spend around 20$ for a shirt, I would now spend around 40$. I have in my wardrobe items for years and years that are holding so well, and for the most part, they weren’t cheap.
don’t shop sales
Don’t be tempted to buy something just because it is on sale! Go through all of the questions on my minimalist wardrobe post before you purchase an item! That will guarantee you won’t end up getting items you’ll never wear. Some outlet stores manufacture lower quality items in order to sell them “on sale”, they look the same in the beginning but it is possible to notice the differences. Don’t let a “markdown” price fool you.
Watch CBC’s article about outlet stores:
take care of your clothes
If you want your clothes to last longer, you need to be responsible and take good care of them! The internet is an infinite source of information filled with ways to keep your clothes clean, crisp and fresh. Learn how it’s best to store them, wash them, dry clean them, etc. The more you know and the more attention you give to each piece, the longer they will stay in your wardrobe.
create a capsule wardrobe
My favorite tip by far! A capsule wardrobe is a wonderful way to keep track of your wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a sure way to always have what to wear, to love your closet and to shop with the right mindset. You can create your own system for a yearly capsule wardrobe, or go seasonal. I recently posted my summer capsule wardrobe and I absolutely love it.
Follow the “one in one out” rule
While shopping, a good thing to keep in mind is that if you purchase an item, you need to get rid of a different one. That way you get to feel if you love it enough, or more than other items you have at home. If you’re willing to give up an item to get this piece, it’s probably something you’ll actually love. Also, it makes it easier to not accumulate stuff you don’t need.
Staying organized will insure you know what you have and shop accordingly. Think about it, if you always see everything you have, you are less likely to misplace items and purchase things you don’t need. Click here to read my favorite 20 closet organization hacks for tips and ideas or how to organize a small wardrobe if you don’t have too much storage, or just don’t want to use a lot of space.
Hopefully, this gave you the right motivation to declutter your closet right now!
I would love to hear when was the last time you had a closet declutter, how often you declutter and what are your best tips for the best closet declutter!
true true true! I just said to myself “i have to throw some of my old bikinis away”. Hahaha
I have many items i just wore once or twice and which end up stored…at the end we all like to wear basic items and statement accessories, and rely on our best quality items (bags and shoes!
Hey Lau, I always gravitate to the same basic items as well! I hope this post helped you decluttering! 🙂
I love cleaning out the closets. It makes me so happy to minimalize what we have and either sell or donate the rest. I go through closets twice per year when my neighborhood does the semi-annual garage sales.
Hey Stephanie, I love this approach! decluttering twice a year and having garage sales sounds very productive 🙂
I keep fairly organized but my husband is another story! I have never seen so many t-shirts, hes says he wears them all!!! It is so funny watching him dig though all his drawers and bins to find a shirt!
Hahaha my guy is the same! He has 80 pairs of socks and many t-shirts as well lol.
All this is super common sense, but sometimes we need things spelled out for us to follow through. I know If i took a pass at my closet I would probably find something that fit into each of these categories but until you mentioned it I probably would have breezed right by with my usual excuses
Hey Nicole, I was the same… I never thought I should be that mindful of my wardrobe until I saw other people do it.
I love the satisfaction of purging and organizing, but it can be so hard to let things go. Your before and after pics are great!
Thank you, Christa!
Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks
Haha, this post is perfectly timed! I’ve been meaning to go through my closet again and get rid of a pile more stuff I never wear anymore for maybe 2 months now – so this is more motivation/inspiration to just do it already!!!
Hey Flossie, I hope this post helped get the motivation to declutter! It’s easy once you start 😉
I have a lot’s of clothes in my cabinet It’s hard to decide what those clothes that I need to declutter but thanks for giving me some tips! Thanks for sharing!
I need to declutter and organize my closet SO BAD! It has totally gotten out of control!
I all about capsule wardrobes! This concept has changed my life and I could not be happier! Declutter, give away, recycle, keep only what makes you happy!
Hey Chelf, I agree… I love capsule wardrobes and sticking to the basics!
I always think I have nothing to wear, but really I just can’t find anything. I need to have a good clear it.
Hey Dannii, once you clear out everything you never wear, you’ll know what you actually have and what you actually need. Good luck 🙂
I have a donate bag by the bedrooms and every now and then I’ll go through my clothes and my kids clothes and shove a few things in the bag, once the bag is full I go drop it off at the place I donate to.
Love your list of how to declutter a closet, it all makes sense ; )
Hey Eloise, I love that system, it sounds simple!
My rule is: If I don’t wear something in six months, it’s gone!
My closet is a total disaster! I just finished college so for the past 4 years I have never had all my clothes in my closet at the same time! Being back home and fully unpacked i didn’t realize how much stuff i had!
Hey Sachi, I know what you mean! I had a similar time to that. When it ended I didn’t even wear most of the things I had lol. I hope my post will help you declutter!