If one day you look at your wardrobe and feel like it’s about to burst, or maybe it has already burst because there are clothes and accessories all over the house, then you’re in need of a good decluttering. Decluttering your wardrobe from unnecessary items can easily be the first step towards a much better way of life.

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Embracing a more minimalistic attitude towards material possessions can relieve stress, as it literally means fewer things to worry about. It also means fewer things to maintain in good condition. And, if you keep the number of items low in the future, it also means saving money.

Are you ready? The Fantastic Services team is here to aid you in this adventurous endeavour.

tip

Call a friend to keep you company as you do this. You’d be surprised at how much clarity it brings you when you have someone with whom to compare opinions.

Take Everything Out

Your first job is to completely empty your wardrobe of everything inside it. Clothes, hats, shoes, bags, accessories, suitcases… Once you’re looking at nothing other than an empty wooden box, you can stop. Gather all your things on the bed or the floor; wherever you feel comfortable leaving them.

We’re not done. Next, go around the house and gather any item of clothing you find. Anything that should be in the wardrobe, but for some reason isn’t. That includes freshly-washed clothes, scattered used clothes, scattered shoes and accessories. Everything goes in the pile of items in your room.

Is it getting bigger? Still not done. Now, go to your front door and gather any hats, scarves, winter gloves, shoes and jackets you tend to leave on the hangers at the entrance. Since these are items you use according to the season and will have to be put away eventually, you have to make sure you also have a place for them in the wardrobe.

Finally, every item of clothing you own is in a huge pile on the floor (or bed). Take a good look at it and decide how you feel about it. Share your feelings with your friend. You’ll get a motivational pep-talk that will keep you strong as you start the process. Also, it won’t hurt to give the inside of your wardrobe a quick clean.

Try Everything On

Start with the first item you get your hands on and decide whether it stays or whether you’ll dispose of it. The best way to determine this is to try it on. If it doesn’t fit you, it shouldn’t go back in the wardrobe. If it does, look at yourself in the mirror and decide whether you like it or not. Focus on two criteria – how does it make you look and how does it make you feel? These two criteria will be different for each item and there will also be a different level of importance attached to each one. You can ask your friend for an opinion, but you get the final word.

Sort the Pile

Items that fit and make you look and feel good go directly in the wardrobe. You won’t even have to think about it. It will be the easiest choice. The rest of the items need to be sorted. Once you have a huge pile of “not sure”, it’s time to bring in some new criteria.

  • Too old. Items that are ripped, dirty, too worn out, or you’re simply sure you won’t wear them again for one reason or another need their own new pile.
  • Nice, but uncomfortable. Items that look great, but you just know you won’t fit in ever again. Or, items that bring unpleasant memories. You have to take your mental health into account. If you can keep an item out of sheer sentimentality, there’s nothing wrong with disposing of an item because it makes you feel bad. Create a new pile for those.
  • Could be used for something else. You might stumble upon a gem you forgot about. It might not serve as an item of clothing anymore, but you have a creative mind and can certainly find a better use for it. These go in a third pile.

Show no mercy to socks, underwear, and bras. It’s estimated that the average UK person owns 35 pairs of underwear and 60 pairs of socks. These items have a short shelf life and people are used to buying new ones on a regular basis. If you see a rip, don’t hesitate to throw the pair in the “too old” pile, or, the “could be used for something else” pile, if you feel creative.

What is Sentimentality to You?

Sentimentality is the most frequent reason people tend to hold on to too many items at home. This is the hardest part of decluttering and you have to get past it. But we promise, once you do, you will feel way more liberated and at peace.

Just because a close friend gifted you this jacket doesn’t mean it’s rude to discard it once it gets ripped or dirty. Or, just because you wore this dress on your first date with your current husband, doesn’t mean the magic of love will keep it in the same flawless state 20 years later.

It’s understandable that you would want to hold on to one or two items forever, but no more. Think carefully about what these items mean to you and whether they might have more value somewhere else. Maybe, for someone else.

A Place for Suitcases

If you have more than one, the best thing you can do is try to fit your suitcases and luggage bags one into the other. If you’re able to place all of them in your largest one, you’ve done a good job. Then, you just need a place to put it. Depending on the type of wardrobe you have, you may have a place for a large suitcase, or you may not. If you do, you have no problem. If not, you might actually be able to make space for it once you get rid of the unnecessary items in the wardrobe. Organise smartly.

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A Place for Shoes and Handbags

Shoes and handbags go together. You can’t make a decision for shoes if you don’t consider your handbags and vice versa. A visual arrangement would help you the most in this case. Gather all pairs of shoes together neatly on the floor and place all your handbags close by. Look at them and spot the things you like and don’t like.

Some shoes paired with a certain handbag look amazing. These definitely go in the wardrobe because you know you will use them again. The tricky part comes with the ones you won’t be using. Those that are too uncomfortable, are falling apart, or are out of style. If you have second thoughts about keeping something, chances are you are better off without it.

A Place for Accessories

Most wardrobes have surfaces dedicated to hats, scarves, belts and jewellery. Take a good look at each of the items that should go there. You probably won’t get rid of gold and silver jewellery, but let’s be honest, most people have at least one or two cheap palladium ones. If you haven’t worn them lately, they might also have rust-like dirt on them.

Do you really want to keep something like that? Moreover, is it a necklace with a brand, catch-phrase or a symbol that was trendy ten years ago but not anymore? How do you feel about having something so dated? Probably not very good.

tip

In order not to have similar situations in the future, it’s important to generally buy evergreen items. Imagine the same situation, but with a neutral necklace that wasn’t made to chase some trend. After a quick clean up, it would be good as new and you can wear it again.

A Place for Occasional Wear

You need to keep at least one surface for occasional wear, aka items of clothing or accessories you wear only for certain purposes. You probably won’t be throwing any of these items away because they’re most likely in perfect condition – only worn once or twice. Items like that include ski wear, hiking gear, martial art kimonos, etc.

Keep those, as even if you don’t see yourself doing these activities again, you never know. You might actually enjoy them again in the future. Even if you don’t, you might lend them to a friend or a relative. In this case, they’re anything but useless – they helped you nourish a good relationship. That’s better than anything any other clothing item has done for you.

However, have a long hard think about keeping your wedding dress or prom dress. Are they really that sentimental to you? Do you believe that they might be used again? For example, by your daughter when her time comes? Are you certain she would prefer them instead of having her own? Decide wisely.

Discard Whatever is Left Outside

By now, your wardrobe should only be filled with items of clothing that you really need in your life. You can proudly close the doors. You did well. But now, you have to decide what to do with all the things you have outside of it. Here are your options:

  • Sell the best ones. You can use eBay to find a new owner of your most high-quality unneeded items. Handbags should be your first choice, especially if they’re big brands. One or two barely worn tops or pants can also make someone else happy.
  • Donate the good ones. Look up the closest charities online. They will benefit the most from your regular clothes and shoes. Make sure to wash them well beforehand. Or, you can give some of them away to friends and family.
  • Customise, or throw away the rest. The rest of your items wouldn’t help anyone even if you gave them away. They can find their way into the trash or you can customise them into your own creative project.

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Decluttering is not a one-time thing. It’s not enough to declutter your wardrobe once and fill it to the brim with new items all over again. Make sure to keep the minimalistic attitude with every purchase decision, and you will have space for everything you own. You will save lots of money in the process. You’ll have fewer items to maintain. And, you’ll personally feel much better thanks to the well-accomplished organisation you have in your life.

Image source: Voyagerix/shutterstock.com

  • Last update: April 17, 2019

Posted in Decluttering and Organising

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