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Seasonal Clothing Declutter

Seasonal Clothing Declutter

Decluttering clothes can be stressful. We feel guilt for wasting money, unsure which clothes to get rid of and it all takes time and energy. Here are 5 simple tips for a seasonal clothing declutter to help you declutter clothes with ease and confidence.

WHY IS DECLUTTERING CLOTHES SO DIFFICULT?

Decluttering clothes can feel overwhelming. Maybe because we have too many clothes, perhaps because we realise we spent too much on an item and wore it too little, or it may not even fit or feel comfortable anymore. Our bodies change, our style changes, our lifestyle changes. We can feel guilt for overspending or unwise spending and our wardrobes can be the dumping ground for stuff that we don’t know where else to store in the home.

We wear clothes next to our skin, they’re highly personal to us and most of us care, to some degree or other, about how we look. Our clothes are an outward display of how we choose to present ourselves to the outside world and express our individuality.

Deciding which clothes to keep and which to let go of feels so much more than just decluttering mere stuff. It requires a real decluttering mindset and a clear vision of what you want to achieve by decluttering to keep you motivated and not overwhelmed, not just decluttering for the sake of it.

All in all, decluttering our clothes can be an emotional, time-consuming and energy-sapping process so it’s often easier to shut the wardrobe door where it’s out of sight and out of mind!

WHAT IS A SEASONAL CLOTHING DECLUTTER?

Well, if this resonates with you, then this article may help! I’d like to encourage you to use the changing seasons to assess your clothes and make them work for you better.

Some climates have more distinct seasons than others, but in a loose sense you might like to use the four quarters of the year to be brave and take a look at your current wardrobe. Use the start of the next season as a fresh start for your relationship with your clothes.

In a seasonal clothing declutter you can plan for the next 3 months or so and curate a collection of pieces that will take you through the coming season without having to wade through a load of clothes that don’t fit, don’t feel appropriate for the weather or the activities that you’ll be doing.

Make a note in your diary to revisit and reassess your wardrobe at the end of the next season so that, even if you don’t declutter your clothes in between, you’ve still prebooked a date with your wardrobe at least 4 times a year. This should be enough to keep the clutter away and your wardrobe working well for you.

THE BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING YOUR CLOTHES EACH SEASON

There are many benefits of having a decluttered home and clutter costs us all in so many ways. Decluttering your clothes generally has some great benefits but there are some added benefits to clearing your clothes clutter at the start of each season. Here are some of the benefits that I’ve experienced:

More space

Having less clothes stuffed in my wardrobe gives me more space to move hangers and clothes to really see what I’ve got and to hang and organise items with greater care. Less clothes gives me more space.

More choice

Bizarrely, even though I have fewer clothes, I actually have more choice because I know that everything I own are pieces that I love to wear. Less clothes gives me more choice.

Saves time

As I have more space to see what I’ve got and more choice of clothes and outfits, this makes it quicker to get dressed each morning when I don’t have much spare time before school for the kids and work for myself. Less clothes saves me time.

Less stress

As a result of the three benefits above, I’ve found that I enjoy the process of choosing my outfit and getting dressed is much less stressful. I no longer reach for the first thing that comes to mind, but instead can choose my outfit with more ease and enthusiasm. Fewer clothes means less stress and more fun for me getting dressed each morning!

More enjoyment

I’ve found that my wardrobe actually brings me more joy now it’s more convenient to use and keep manageable and tidy. I love curating a collection of clothes that co-ordinate and that make me look ‘put together’. It’s fun knowing that I can be ready for my day and life within a few moments because I have clothes that are versatile, appropriate and suit my body shape, style and personality. I feel comfortable and confident in what I’m wearing so, fewer clothes actually give me more enjoyment.

More mindful shopping

I was going to say I spend less money on clothes, but I think a better way of describing it is to say I shop more mindfully. I avoid the latest trends and stick to my own personal uniform or style, but I do still enjoy shopping for clothes and invest wherever I can on quality not quantity. I plan what I need and keep my existing clothes in mind when I’m looking to add something to my minimalist wardrobe. Fewer clothes means I shop more mindfully.

Better for the environment

Less shopping, less consumption and less waste all mean that I buy less and hold onto clothes longer because I look after them better. Fewer clothes in my wardrobe is doing a tiny but responsible act to benefit the environment.

These are just a few of the benefits of decluttering clothes and choosing a more minimalist closet, all of which have simplified my home, time, finances and life in different ways! It doesn’t mean I never go shopping, or my wardrobe is all neutral and monochrome or that I’m not swayed by the odd irresistible bargain in the sales. However, as a guiding principle, I’ve found that curating a smaller, more thoughtful wardrobe is helpful to me, far beyond just creating more space in my closet!

Seasonal clothing declutter

5 SIMPLE TIPS FOR A SEASONAL CLOTHING DECLUTTER

Here are 5 simple tips for a seasonal clothing declutter. Nothing big, complicated or time-consuming but enough to keep your wardrobe clutter-free and save you time, stress and energy deciding what to wear each day (and finding it easily!).

What didn’t you wear last season?

Firstly, take a look through your clothes to see what you didn’t wear last season. If you’ve just been through a cold season and the weather is warming up, what warmer clothes didn’t you actually wear? Why didn’t you wear them? Could this mean that you chose to wear other things instead? Could you let go of any items that you didn’t wear?

Further reading: How to create your own personal daily uniform (tips for building your own unique style and to save you time and money!)

Do you have any clothes that are damaged or worn out?

Clothes become damaged and worn out, especially if we’re wearing them regularly (which is the whole point of a simplified but useful wardrobe!). So, it’s quite likely that clothes might need repairing or replacing from season to season. Repair what you can, recycle or donate anything else you don’t want to keep.

Switch around extreme weather clothes

Some people find it helpful to put away out of season clothing so it doesn’t take up space in the closet. You could store them under the bed, in a guest bedroom wardrobe or in a box on top of your wardrobe. I can certainly see the benefits of this as it makes it really easy to access clothes you’re likely to need.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the spare wardrobe space to do this so all my clothes hang in my wardrobe throughout the whole year. However, I do move all my heavier coats and jackets to the side when decluttering for warmer months and I put heavy knitwear and trousers in a lower drawer. Shorts, summer skirts and tops take centre stage in my wardrobe or are bumped to the top of my chest of drawers.

Ideally, you want clothes that you’re likely to wear regularly to be easy to access and convenient to sift through, pull out and put away! No good having autumn jackets and winter coats in the middle and front of your wardrobe in the middle of a heatwave!

The same goes for accessories. Pop your winter scarves and hats out of the way during warm weather and get your sun hats and sunglasses out instead!

Check your clothes still fit

Our bodies change over time so every seasonal clothes declutter it may be a good time to check the clothes you intend to wear this season still fit you. This is also a good opportunity to do the same for your child’s clothes too! Do your shorts still fit or are they a little snug? Do your favourite black trousers still fit or would you prefer a looser pair?

Clothes hanging in our closets that no longer fit us shouldn’t be there to make us feel bad every time we open up the wardrobe doors. You want to feel enjoyment and excitement, not guilt and frustration!

Remove the clothes that don’t fit, put them in a box out of the way if you really want to keep them. If your weight fluctuates, you’ve just had a baby, you’re totally committed to losing some extra pounds and your budget is limited so you want to re-use the clothes if and when you fit them, then keep them safe but not where you’ll see them every day.

A simplified wardrobe has to be simple to use, with clothes that you can and do wear regularly.

Identify gaps and create a shopping list

Now that you’ve assessed your current wardrobe and decluttered clothes that aren’t suitable for this current season, you don’t like to wear, no longer fit or are damaged beyond repair, you might notice some gaps. Maybe you don’t have any shorts or skirts that suit you or fit comfortably? Perhaps you need a sundress or heavier coat?

Make a note of what you need and pop it on your shopping list. Consider the colours, shapes, fabrics, patterns and styles of the clothes you already have and enjoy wearing. Unless you’re feeling like experimenting and trying something new, stick to your style and you’re more likely to find new clothes that work well with your current wardrobe and that you’ll enjoy wearing for a good while to come.

Further reading: Minimalism and shopping – how to shop with intention (plus plenty of tips for when you’re out clothes shopping)

Seasonal clothing declutter

BONUS TIPS

Here are some extra little tips to help you do a seasonal clothes declutter more successfully.

Keep a donation box handy

A useful tip for avoiding the build-up of clothes clutter. Keep a donation box in your wardrobe or in a drawer and as you come across items you don’t want to keep, pop them in the donation box. Empty it every now and then instead of being tempted to hang the item up again because it’s easier than getting rid of it!

Special event items

I mention in this article about making sure you only have clothes in your wardrobe that you wear regularly. I have some dresses in my own closet that I don’t wear very often, but I love wearing them when I do. They fit me perfectly and I think they suit me so, even though they take up a little bit of space, I still choose to keep them even if I don’t get much use out of them. It’s a personal choice and a trade-off between wanting a simplified, spacious closet that’s easy to use and wanting to keep these three dresses because I love them.

Sometimes we make decisions with our heart, not just our head – and that’s ok. We’re decluttering for a purpose, not because it’s trendy or we think we should, so declutter in a way that feels right to you! I often use space as a guide to limit the amount of stuff to keep. Allocate a portion of your closet to special event items and don’t keep more than what fits comfortably in this space.

It’s your clothes job to fit you, not the other way around

When we try to declutter clothes, the process can often make us feel sad or down. Maybe we’ve gained a few pounds and don’t feel as confident or as attractive in our own bodies or own clothes. Trying to squeeze yourself into clothes that no longer fit just serves to perpetuate these bad feelings. Your body is wonderful and unique right now and it deserves to be dressed in garments that bring out its best features (and maybe hide the wobbly bits!). Build a curated wardrobe that suits your body right now, not someday, and get your clothes to fit you, NOT the other way around!

The reverse hanger strategy

Not sure which clothes to declutter and whether you’re likely to want to wear something? Turn all your hanging clothes around by reversing the hangers. After you’ve worn and washed the item, put it back in your closet with the hanger the right way around. Over time you’ll build up a picture of what you wear and what you don’t so you can declutter with more confidence.

Seasonal clothing declutter

IN SUMMARY

I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to do a seasonal clothes declutter. I think they help us declutter clothes in an uncomplicated and stress-free way. Just pop a note in your diary to declutter your wardrobe at the start of every season so you can have clothes which are convenient, easy and ready to wear every day making you look and feel great!

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

I’d love to hear from you if you already do a seasonal clothes declutter. Do you find having fewer clothes actually gives you more choice? Do you find it difficult to get rid of clothes, even clothes you don’t really wear? If so, do you know why? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

MORE ARTICLES ON HOW TO DECLUTTER CLOTHES

Here are some more articles on how to declutter clothes which you might find helpful:

Laura

Sunday 27th of August 2023

I love this particular decluttering task. I think it reminds me of my childhood, where either it was time to get a new outfit for school because it was fall, or summer was coming and it was finally getting warm enough to wear things like shorts and dresses. I regret that these days, I'm more likely to grow out of clothing because I gained weight, not height! But I still feel the excitement of a new season. For me, the clothing swap is a way of welcoming it in. And I feel better prepared for the doldrums of winter if I know I have comfy long-sleeved tops and snuggly sweaters to wear.

Relatedly, I think my struggles with decluttering clothing (though much improved) are also related to my childhood. My family didn't have a ton of money, and I was always a little clothing-starved. Then I became a university student, and wore clothing I got out of drop-off boxes! I was very grateful when I began working and could replace my tired wardrobe items.

I do the "did I wear this" strategy a little differently, due to my closet design. Much of the length of my closet is behind a wall (as opposed to a door that can be opened). So clothing that I wear often naturally ends up in the space where the open closet door reveals it. Clothing I don't reach for gradually gets pushed into the wall area. So when it's time to do the swap, I know I likely need to get rid of most or all of the items that are hanging behind the wall.

Great article - thanks!

Balance Through Simplicity

Monday 28th of August 2023

Hi Laura, Yes it reminds me of childhood in a way too! Our decluttering struggles, clothing or otherwise, are so often related to our emotions more than just our stuff. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts.