How to declutter clothes in 10 easy steps

Simplify Your Wardrobe And Declutter Your Clothes

Having a simpler wardrobe full of clothes that you love to wear will save you time in the morning and make getting dressed a pleasure. Get rid of the clothes that you don’t wear with this post on how to declutter clothes in 10 easy steps.


Before we dive into the process of decluttering, I just wanted to touch on some of the benefits a decluttered wardrobe can give you.

These benefits include:

  • Quicker to find what you’re looking for as there’s not so much clothes clutter to distract you
  • Easier to decide what to wear as you’ve got less options (but they’re all good ones!)
  • Simpler to keep on top of the laundry and always have fresh clean clothes
  • Go for the ‘put together’ look, rather than the ‘what the cat dragged in’ look! (most days anyway!)

Decluttering your clothes so that you only keep clothes that you love to wear is easy once you know how.

However, if you’re new to decluttering or have never decluttered your clothes before, it can seem like a huge and difficult task!

Here are some helpful tips to help you declutter clothes in 10 easy steps…

1. Take everything out of your wardrobe

Put the entire contents of your wardrobe on the bed or on the floor. Sort through and only keep what belongs in your wardrobe (that means anything that you’d put on your body, including accessories, shoes, bags, jewellery etc).

Wardrobes are often dumping grounds for other items that we don’t know what to do with, so now is the time to re-home the random stuff that doesn’t belong in your wardrobe. Re-home or get rid of those items right now!


2. Clean your wardrobe, drawers and shelves

Before you put your clothes back, clean everything thoroughly. It’s much easier when the cupboards and drawers are empty and it probably hasn’t been cleaned for a while!

Take a moment to start thinking about how you’re going to organise your clothes when you put them back in. Do you have hangers, do you need more storage boxes or drawer dividers? We’ll come back to organisation later.


3. Have a quick sort through

Rummage through your piles and take out anything that you know you definitely don’t want to keep. This might include items that you haven’t worn for years, don’t fit, don’t like, are damaged beyond repair or that you only bought for a specific purpose and that you won’t need again (for example, maternity clothes).

Don’t overthink things here. Just have a quick look through and take out any obvious items that you don’t want to keep.


4. Create 3 separate piles for unwanted items

By now you might have some items that you don’t want to keep. Create some space for 3 separate piles on your floor. 1 – to throw away, 2 – to donate, 3 – to recycle.

Making the space now and being able to chuck clothes in the relevant piles as you go will make it easier to just focus on your decluttering and the piles won’t get muddled up and undo your hard work!


5. Sort your clothes into different categories

To make it easier for you to see what you’ve got, take a moment to sort through all your remaining clothes and put them into rough categories. Don’t be too perfectionist here, just use broad categories such as tops, bottoms, knitwear, underwear and so on.

I think it’s easier to sort your clothes now by category so you can begin to see how much of each type of item you’ve got. You can start to think about whether you really need 30 pairs of jeans, or 10 evening dresses (maybe you do, maybe you don’t!).


6. Pick a category and try every item on

Try every item on. Don’t be tempted to just hold it up in front of you. Actually try it on and make a note of your reaction. Do you instantly feel good? Does it look good on you? Does it make you feel more confident, attractive, comfortable? If your reaction is half-hearted then consider getting rid of this item.

You’re aiming to ONLY keep items that:

  • Make you feel fantastic and…
  • Are in good condition (or can be mended) and…
  • Are versatile to wear with lots of other things and…
  • That’s it! Everything else should go!


7. Assess what you’re keeping

Look through the items you’re keeping. Assess the items using the 2 points below and decide if you need more of anything in each category.

  • Think about what clothes you need for how you live your life. Do you need more formal clothes for work or do you live in casual clothes for running around after a toddler all day? Your range and quantity of clothes should reflect your lifestyle. It’s no good having lots of skirts if you never wear them!
  • Do you have items that are really versatile and can be used in lots of combinations? Think about keeping to a particular colour palette or go for layers so that you can use clothes in different seasons but just add or take away layers depending on the temperature.


8. Put the clothes you’re keeping back in the wardrobe

Now it’s time to put your clothes back in the wardrobe, drawers etc. Take some time to think about how you can arrange your clothes to make it easy to see everything at first glance. Here are some points to think about:

  • Hang as much up as possible, only fold what will get damaged by hanging
  • Consider grouping your clothes, by category, colour, season
  • Use drawer dividers to organise underwear etc
  • Check out Pinterest and the internet for inspiration on organising and storing your clothes, shoes, accessories to save space and make it easy to find things


9. Deal with the unwanted piles now!

This is a biggie! Don’t just leave your decluttered, unwanted clothes lying around as it will take up space, undo your hard work and you’ll be tempted to dig through it!

Move the unwanted piles into bin bags/boxes and deal with them right now by taking them for recycling, to the charity shop, to a friend etc.


10. Shopping for new or replacement items

If you’ve decluttered your clothes and have only kept back the ones that you really, really want to keep, you might find you need to buy one or two more pieces to replace or add to what you’ve kept.

Shop according to your budget but bear in mind that shopping intentionally can save you lots of money AND ensure you’re buying things that you only really want and need.

Check out this post on Minimalism and shopping with intention. There’s some helpful tips specifically for clothes shopping!

simplify your wardrobe

If you’ve followed these steps then you’ll have a clean, decluttered wardrobe which only holds clothes that you love to wear and make you feel and look good!

It will be easier and quicker for you to get dressed in the morning so you can get on with EVERYTHING ELSE you have to do in the mornings!

It’s also one less decision you’ll have to make that day (or an easier one at least because you’ve got less clothes to choose from!).


I must admit that I struggle with capsule wardrobes myself because I generally prefer a little more flexibility. But, lots of people prefer the structure and find it easier to organise and keep to a wardrobe that’s limited to a set number of versatile pieces.

It’s so important that you find what works for you and go with that. There’s no right or wrong here.

So, you might like to read more about creating a capsule wardrobe or try Courtney Carver’s popular Project 333.

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