How to be Ruthless when Decluttering Clothes

how to be ruthless when decluttering your clothing collection

It’s so easy with clothes to just keep way too many. Here is my guide on how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes.

Most people today have so many more clothing items than they did in the past. According to a weight watcher survey, most respondents have about 200 dollars worth of clothing in their closet right now that they’ve never even worn.

Part of the problem is that most of us don’t even know what we have in our closets, so we tend to re-buy the things we already own or buy things that don’t match anything else. It’s all due to poor planning, bad organization, and last-minute shopping.

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The good news is that you can get control of your clothing clutter and your clothes shopping with a plan.

Focus on the Benefits of Decluttering your Closet

  • improved focus in all aspects of your life. Clearing clutter also clears your mind and helps you relax.
  • you will learn the benefits of less is more and this attitude will help you in other aspects of life. For example, you could cultivate an interesting hobby. Instead of shopping all the time.
  • much improved sleep. Most people have their closets in the bedroom. It’s difficult to sleep if the bedroom cluttered up with piles of clothes.
  • allows you to define the style of clothes you want to wear, by removing clothes that don’t suit you or are old fashioned.
  • maybe you could make money from unwanted clothes. If unwanted clothes are either in good condition or unworn, consider selling them on ebay.
  • will save you money. By freeing up space you can see exactly what clothes you own. This will prevent you from buying duplicates or items that don’t coordinate well with other pieces in your wardrobe.
  • makes your home easier to keep clean.

Mums Make Lists can help…

The Hanger Experiment

It’s estimated that people tend to wear less than half their wardrobe each year. The most substantial clutter most people have is clothing, so this works great and is so simple.

They say you should get rid of clothing you don’t wear for an entire year or season, and this method is simple enough to help you weed out those clothing items over time instead of trying to guess.

All you do is put your clothing away on the hanger backward. If you wear it, put it away the right way so that it’s put away with the hanger the normal way.

After the season is over (or the year), anything not turned around the right way is things you have not worn and do not need to keep.

5 Tips to Help you Declutter Clothes Fast

If you want to declutter your clothing collection fast, here are some great ways to do that:

  • don’t try to do too much at each session. Certainly never try to organize your whole clothing collection in one go. You will end up tired and overwhelmed and in a more of a mess than you were, to begin with.
  • decide on one small subcategory of your clothing to organize. For example, jeans.
  • take all of the jeans out and place them on a bed. Immediately and ruthlessly discard any that are damaged, too small, too big or disliked.
  • the remaining jeans should be allocated an area either hanging up in the closet or folded neatly in a drawer Marie Kondo style.
  • stand back and admire your work, have a small treat and plan the next category you are going to work on.

Marie Kondo Your Clothing Collection

Dump all your clothing from your bedroom or wherever you store it right on top of your bed. Go through each item and choose to keep, throw out, or give away.

If you have not used it in a season (or year), it should not be kept even if it fits. Deal with what you sorted right away. 

Put Clothes Away and Store them Properly

When you have decided to keep an item, put it away properly. Hang it or fold it or store it the right way that will keep its value best depending on how often it’s to be used.

Learn to fold the Marie Kondo way so that you can store things in drawers more easily.

Use different sized containers, the right type of hangers for your closet, and other tools to put things away right.

Related: How to Store Clothes in an Attic

Plan What You Buy

It’s tempting to buy things when you see them on sale. But outside of basic garments like underwear, socks, and t-shirts, it’s better not to buy things without a plan.

You can still shop sales if you keep a list of what you really need and only buy those items. Plus, only buy things you genuinely love.

Create a Capsule Wardrobe

In my opinion, everyone should be creating a capsule wardrobe. To achieve this you need to keep clothes that will coordinate with each other.

Key pieces like a black pair of pants and a black jacket can be paired with a number of other items like blouses and sweaters to create numerous looks that are suitable for both formal or casual occasions.

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Work

Of course, what you wear to work is strongly linked to the type of work you do. If you are lucky a uniform will be provided that will save you money and any decision-making around “what to wear”. I used to work in a hospital and it’s great just to wear scrubs all day so freeing.

I think most women that work in an office environment would benefit from creating a capsule wardrobe that is almost like a uniform. By that, I mean either smart pants or a skirt and jacket that can then be paired with a number of different tops. This strongly follows the style of men that generally just put on a suit, shirt, and tie every day….. copy them.

I would keep the patterns and colors on these clothes understated so that it doesn’t become obvious that you wear the same clothes every day. Choose dark colors navy or black for this reason as well.

Once you get home it’s important to take care of these clothes. By taking them off straight and hanging them up properly in a closet. Then you can change into something casual and comfortable. This increases the longevity of your clothes and marks the transition between work and home life.

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe for Travel and Vacations

I don’t know about you but whenever I go on holiday I always take too much!!! I have over the years improved but it’s never perfect. A great tip if you find yourself overpacking is to create a capsule wardrobe.

There are loads of examples online of the perfect travel wardrobe. I just love the idea that a few pieces can be coordinated so that you can create different looks.

Embrace Minimalism

Consider bringing the concept of minimalism into your life. Think very carefully about all the things you own.

Do you need them all?

If you are a regular {or compulsive shopper} then I bet you have loads of items that could be dispensed with. Clothes, shoes, and purses that are never worn and still have labels on them.

Useless kitchen gadgets that just take up space in your kitchen. Items for the yard that will save you time like leafblowers. More crafting materials when you already have drawers busting with that stuff.

Think about the spaces in your home that will be freed up when you don’t have all this unnecessary stuff.

Be More With Less has some beginner steps to help you become a minimalist.

Avoid Duplicates

When I started to declutter my home one of the most annoying things about my clothing collection where the number of duplicates I had.

For example, I found 5 very similar black jackets and 5 lime green sleeveless summer tops that were virtually identical!!! What was I thinking!!!!

What I did in this situation was to try on the items. Look objectively in the mirror. Choosing the two tops I loved the most discarding the rest.

This frees up room in the closet so you can see what you have. Avoiding duplicates in the future.

Store Similar Items Together Like with Like

In your closet or dresser, all socks should be in the same place, all scarves should be together, t-shirts, hats, and so forth.

When you put like with like, it makes it easier to find and less likely to mess up your system when you’re looking for things.

In my home, I have a drawer for socks, a separate one for bras, and another for panties.

Related:Organizing and Deep Cleaning Closets

Keep a donation box in your closet so that you can easily add an item to the donate box when you decide you don’t want it or it doesn’t fit.

Anytime that you buy new clothes keep your receipts. That way you will be able to return the clothing should you suffer from buyers’ regret. Instead of leaving unused clothes in the closet unworn, still with the sales tags attached.

If you know what you have and can see it all due to the excellent organization you used, it’s going to be easier to find what you want to wear.

Plus it’s going to be easier to keep the clutter down. Finally, only buying things you need and love and not just because it’s on sale will help you keep the clothing clutter down.

and Finally!

I very much hope this article has helped you to see that being ruthless with your clothing collection is the best way forward if you want a calm and stress-free life.

A life that emphasizes the importance of having a satisfying life that doesn’t depend on the number of clothes that you buy.

I like to say “declutter and prosper”.

Good luck!

More Decluttering Tips

How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes. Best ways to organize and declutter clothes.