HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE
Check out this post for 20 tips on how to simplify your wardrobe. Declutter and streamline your closet and save time, money and stress without compromising on looking or feeling good! Simple tips for a simple wardrobe.
SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE FOR LESS STRESS AND MORE EASE
Getting dressed each morning but running out of time and quickly throwing on the first thing that came to hand was what prompted me to begin one of my very first decluttering projects. I decluttered my wardrobe and made it simpler to get dressed each morning.
To this day, decluttering my closet has probably been one of my favourite and most satisfying projects too! Read more about how to declutter clothes for an introduction and how to get started if you’re doing this for the first time.
I think one of the reasons why I first started with decluttering my clothes is that my family hadn’t yet bought into the idea of decluttering and simplifying. It takes time to get your family on board and until you do, decluttering without support can feel frustrating! I’ve shared my experience on decluttering when you’re spouse doesn’t want to before, plus some tips on how to overcome some of the obstacles this raises, but one of the most helpful strategies, I think, is to declutter your own stuff and leave their stuff alone – until they’re ready to try it for themselves.
So, decluttering my clothes was a great first decluttering project just for me. I had finite storage, finite stuff to declutter, I could take my time and it didn’t affect anyone but me… but the benefits were huge!
THE BENEFITS OF SIMPLIFYING YOUR WARDROBE
The benefits of simplifying my wardrobe, curating clothes that I love to wear and feel good in, but importantly, without spending hours of my time doing it, has been wonderful!
- It’s quicker to choose my outfit and find what I’m looking for
- Is one less decision I have to make and avoids decision fatigue
- I know that whatever I do put on will fit me, suit me and make me feel comfortable and prepared for the day ahead
- I have plenty of options but without being overwhelmed by too much choice
- I still go shopping but rarely, if ever, buy stuff that I later regret
- I have fun curating a closet that really works for me, my lifestyle and my taste
- A capsule wardrobe is far more versatile, flexible and easier to put together (without more thought and time)
- A capsule wardrobe is better for the environment too!
My wardrobe works for me without me really thinking about it. I can reach in knowing that, whether it’s walking the dog or going to work or out for dinner, I’ll have something to throw on that matches the occasion. This means much less stress and a whole lot more ease and fun for me!
If you’ve got too many clothes stuffed in your closet, you have lots of pieces but still have difficulty finding a complete outfit, you’d like to look and FEEL good with less stress and in less time, then being ruthless with your clothes, or at least simplifying your wardrobe can help. Read on for some helpful tips to simplify your wardrobe…
HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE
Here are some helpful tips on how to simplify your wardrobe so you can spend less time stressing over what to wear and have more time for getting on with the rest of your day!
1. Review your clothes regularly
At the start of every month or every season, set aside a little time to go through your wardrobe. This is a good time to review your clothes and work out what fits, what you still like to wear, what you don’t wear very often or at all, and whether anything needs mending or replacing. Edit what you don’t like or don’t feel comfortable in. Store clothes that are no longer suitable for the coming weather and take out of storage the clothes that are more appropriate. It’s unlikely you’ll need shorts ready to pull from your closet if it’s freezing outside. Here are some tips on how to do a seasonal clothes declutter which you might enjoy.
2. Choose easy-care
Clothes that are high maintenance require effort. Where possible, make things easier by choosing pieces that are easy to wash and don’t require ironing or a trip to the dry cleaners. Think about ways you could make caring for your clothes easier. Can you air dry rather than tumble dry? Can you create a dedicated hanging space to hang damp clothes whilst they dry off as this can reduce the need to iron? Maybe even wash your clothes a little less and only if they’re dirty. Could you wash them at a lower temperature? This may also mean you can get away with mixing whites and colours if you’re careful! Not only should we care for our clothes but we can also care for the environment too!
3. Go for a ‘uniform’
If you look through your wardrobe now, I bet you can identify certain key features of clothes that you regularly wear. Maybe it’s colour, texture or cut? Develop a signature style and personal daily uniform for yourself and stick to this when buying or choosing clothes. Switch it up with different accessories but reduce decision-making by having a go-to uniform that you can feel good wearing but with minimum effort. This is a trick that many successful people use to save time and mental effort.
This one tip alone has saved me so much wasted time in the mornings deciding what to wear. I’ve also found that defining my style and the types of clothes and colours that I enjoy wearing has made shopping much easier. I target pieces that fit my style and avoid the ones that differ too much because I know that, over the long term, I won’t wear them as much (however appealing they look in the shop!). Creating your personal style isn’t about being boring or wearing the same things on repeat, it’s just about having a clear vision for your wardrobe and how you prefer to present yourself to the outside world. What your style looks like can be as whacky or unique as you want it to be!
4. Organise your wardrobe
Where possible, make sure you can see all your clothes, bags, shoes etc. What you can’t see often gets forgotten about. Hang or fold your clothes in some sort of system, perhaps by category or colour so it’s easier to find things. Use drawer dividers or little boxes inside of drawers to section things off. Using clear storage boxes is helpful so you can see the contents inside. You might enjoy this video showing the basics of folding clothes using the KonMari folding method.
5. Keep your wardrobe for clothes only
Don’t cram your wardrobe full of random stuff. It’s for clothes and things that you put on your body only, not as a storage space for items you don’t know where else to put or it’s quicker and easier to fling them in there (yup, I’ve been guilty of this in the past!). One of the easiest ways to maintain a clutter-free home is to make sure everything has a storage space, a ‘home’, where it lives when not being used. This means you can give time and thought to where you’re going to keep things, rather than using your wardrobe as a quick clutter-catcher when stuff is creeping round your home!
6. Follow trends with caution
We’ve all made the mistake of buying something because it’s fashionable right now, only for it to sit in the wardrobe unworn through subsequent seasons. If you want to follow a trend but you’re on a budget, go for smaller accessories like a belt or scarf, rather than wardrobe staples such as coats or jackets.
7. Choose a colour palette
Sticking with a favoured colour palette makes shopping for new clothes easier and gives you better flexibility for outfits. Go for neutral colours for wardrobe basics that you want to co-ordinate with as many other items as possible (and maybe last you quite some time) and add pops of colour for the rest.
Clear out the clothes you don’t like wearing. Question whether the clothes that never see the light of day or are repeatedly left at the bottom of the pile really deserve that space in your wardrobe? Could you replace them with other pieces that you like better? Do you really need them anyway? Read this post on how to purge your closet quickly for some ideas.
9. Not sure what you wear
Try this handy little tip to work out what you DO actually wear. Put all your hanging clothes facing the wrong way around. When you’ve worn something, put them back facing the right way round. Over time, you’ll build up a picture of what you wear and what you don’t. Then you might be able to work out why you don’t wear some of your clothes. Is it colour, shape, style?
10. Know yourself
Your wardrobe is personal to you. Don’t get caught up in what other people are wearing or let yourself be swayed into keeping things or buying things because you think you should or it’s in fashion. Be honest with yourself. In your heart you know what you like to wear and what you don’t. Be comfortable in just being you.
11. Make sure your wardrobe reflects your lifestyle
If you have 20 party dresses but never go partying, do you need so many options? If you live in jeans but only have one or two pairs, perhaps you need to invest in another? Make sure you have enough outfit options to fit how you live your life. This makes it much easier to put outfits together and mix and match. If you’d like more help with this for your own wardrobe, you might find my wardrobe workbook, Simplify Your Wardrobe, useful.
It may be a little thing but having matching or identical hangers instantly makes a difference to the look and feel of your wardrobe. It’s neater, tidier and looks much more appealing. There are lots of ingenious hangers for all type of clothes and sizes of wardrobes available.
13. Consider when enough is enough
You could have 30 t-shirts but you can’t wear all of them all the time. Perhaps 7 that you absolutely love could work for you instead? Quantity doesn’t beat quality and having more of things doesn’t always give you more choice or make you feel or look any better! Sometimes less is more.
14. Keep a donation box handy
When you come across an item that you don’t like to wear, pop it straight in your donation box (not stuffed back in your wardrobe). Empty the box regularly so you’re not tempted to sift through it! This is a quick way to deal with clothes you don’t wear, instead of just hanging them back up and having to remember to declutter them when you next get round to it. As David Allen says, if an action takes less than 2 minutes, do it now!
15. Deal with damaged clothing
If you have a skirt you don’t wear because it has a broken zip, get it fixed. Repair clothes you know you’d like to wear and get rid of the rest that are damaged beyond repair (and beyond donation/recycling).
16. Stuck for inspiration
If you find deciding what to wear each morning stressful, frustrating and/or time-consuming, you could either plan your outfit the night before and hang it up ready for the morning, take some photos of different outfit combinations and stick them on the inside of your wardrobe for quick inspiration or hang your clothes in outfit combinations in the wardrobe. See what works for you!
17. Shop mindfully
Try not to get tempted by the sales or sharp marketing tactics in the shops. Go armed with a shopping list and a budget so you only buy what’s going to add real value to your wardrobe. Read my post on shopping with intention for some more helpful tips on shopping intentionally.
18. Assess what fits you now
Our bodies change over time. Wherever possible, I encourage you to only keep what fits you now. Your body is working hard for you right now. Treat it with respect and love by clothing it well, not chastising yourself for putting on weight every time you open your closet and seeing your skinny wardrobe still hanging there. Be kind to yourself, not mean. If you’re worried about getting rid of clothes that you may want to wear in the future, pop them in a box and store them away somewhere. If in, a few months, or next season, you’re not ready to wear them, consider whether you want to still keep them.
Sometimes we have to be ruthless, honest, practical or just decide that keeping stuff that doesn’t serve us now and isn’t in our best interests. Of course, decluttering can feel like a waste of money, we feel guilty for letting things go or we’re worried about the cost of replacing items in case we need them in the future, but your home is for living in (with items that make you feel good, supported and valued) right now. As Francine Jay says, “Your home is living space, not storage space.” Our clothes are highly personal so it’s an individual choice on whether the benefit of keeping those items outweighs the benefits of letting them go.
19. Keep up with the laundry
Making sure you’ve always got fresh, clean clothes means you won’t need many extra sets of things to clog up your wardrobe or dirty laundry basket. Here are 10 simple household routines that you could implement to keep your home and your laundry ticking over for a clean and tidy home with minimal stress and effort!
20. Treat your clothes with respect
Like anything, the more you look after your clothes, the longer they’ll last and retain their shape and quality. Mend them when needed, wash them gently and store them carefully.
RESOURCES TO HELP SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE
I hope you find these tips helpful when it comes to simplifying your wardrobe. Like any decluttering project, it’s a question of being mindful and aware of what you use and how you use it.
Even if you’ve not decluttered your clothes before or find it difficult parting with items that you’ve had for years or are keeping for those ‘what if’ moments, I encourage you to give it a go. Start small, start slow and keep re-assessing what you’ve got and how it works for you.
Here are some more articles and resources to help you declutter clothes and simplify your wardrobe:
- Which Clothes to Declutter? Simple Questions to Help You Decide – Decluttering your clothes can make life easier and help you find what to wear with more ease and less stress. The question is though, how do you know which clothes to declutter? Here are some simple questions to help you decide.
- How a Personal Daily Uniform Can Simplify Your Life (+ Free Checklist) – Choosing a signature style and creating a more minimalist capsule wardrobe can simplify your life. In this article I explore reasons why wearing a personal daily uniform can make your life easier and some tips on how you can define and create your own personal daily uniform too.
- Decluttering Mindset: How to Get Into the Right Mindset to Declutter – Most of the actions and decisions we make and take come down to our mindset and how we feel and think about something. In this article I explore some decluttering mindset tips and how to get into the right mindset to declutter with confidence and ease.
- Simplify Your Wardrobe – A practical workbook to help you create a closet that works for you with clothes that make you feel good and look great, without hassle!