top of page

how to de-clutter  your wardrobe

in 8 practical steps

I assume some of us see the word "practical" slapped in the title and think "really? do you even know how much mental work this is going to be, or the time it will take me!?"


Well, yes I do, because I lived it last week.

Let's view the word practical here to mean effective and not necessarily easy - there will be throwing of clothes, and there may be tears. But we will get through this, I promise you.


There are going to be challenges when de-cluttering any part of our lives, and sorting through our wardrobe is no minor feat.

In each of the steps below, I'd challenge us to really consider why we want to keep something, mainly if it's because of popular opinion or the better one we deem our own.  

At the end of the day, it's going to be about getting rid of what no longer serves you, and holding onto what does. 

Another benefit is to make getting dressed in the morning less of of a chore and into something you look forward to  because you already know everything in that closet and dresser were mindfully chosen to be worn, so a lot of the guess work is out the door.

I personally started the practice of de-cluttering my wardrobe several years ago when my t-shirt drawer was overflowing with tops I hadn't put on in months and it was overwhelming. I may be biased, but de-cluttering your wardrobe is a great rhythm anyone can do by following the steps below (or by just tossing out everything but the clothes on your back, you can do that too).


So long decision paralysis, hello wardrobe of your dreams (without even breaking the bank). 

1. consider what you like and make a plan

Know what you like? Look at you off to a great start already. Consider things like what colors you feel most confident wearing (cooler tones, bright colors, muted or neutral colors, different shades of black and grey.) or the type of fit you like best (loose vs. fitted) and even the texture and type of fabric (smooth, ribbed, stretchy, boxy, cropped). When you have these things in mind, write them down and keep the note at bay for when your mind starts to wander off.

2. pull it and sort it

no sense in just standing around staring at all that hangs before you - pull everything down, take everything out and lay them on your bed, couch, or even the floor so you can see everything in plane sight. Once you've got all the things, create piles based on the type of clothing they are (jeans, tops, sweaters, fancy clothes, lounge wear, etc.).

3. the quick reduction

one of the easier steps in this process: get rid the items you know off the top of your head you're more than ready to part with. No questions asked, no looking back. If there's not much at all you've considered dropping before, take a look at the items you haven't worn (or even thought of) in over a month (exclude your clothing that's not weather permitting for this thought). If there are pieces that aren't definite's either way, create a temporary maybe pile (we'll come back to it later).

4. the mighty return

this one might take more than a few minutes - and that's okay! If you have to come back to the piles later in the day, that's not a bad thing (it might even offer some clarity).  When selecting which items are definite yes's, ask yourself questions like "will this serve me? am I keeping it because of how much I spent on it? do I like how this wears on me?". If you need to add stuff to the maybe pile (even if it's looking a little fresh), you go ahead and do that. It will be, actually.

5. okay, let's talk about it

The maybe pile review almost feels like the rose ceremony on The Bachelor. As you face the contenders, ask the former questions and be a little more strict and clear with your why and what you're wanting out of your wardrobe. Keep in mind, this may be goodbye for these guys, but there will be more clothes in your future. If you part with this now, you are likely to find something similar and better for what you need in this season. Try the clothes on, do a little squat, throw in some other stretches and a good look in the mirror to figure out if this is something that suits you - if it doesn't fit like it once did, don't beat yourself up for it, clothes change, our sense of self changes, and what we tend to feel confident in clothing wise changes too. 

6. contemplate what feels missing

it's possible you got rid of the only long sleeve top you had or no longer have a go-to every day jean - compile a list of what seems missing from your ideal wardrobe, then...

7. save & add-on

fill that gap and invest into some solid staple(s) you feel will bring a lot of value and "mph" to your wardrobe - this doesn't need to be something trendy or expensive, think back to that list of favorites, and what brings value for you, not everyone else. It's you who is going to live in these clothes for however long anyways, not the world.

8. make it rhythmic

Didn't that feel so liberating?! It's a great habit to start to will assure that your wardrobe works in its best ability to serve you fully and not the other way around. I hope this was a helpful guide to face the challenge of becoming more intentional with your wardrobe once every so often so you don't have to rack your brain every morning in a closet full of mostly "maybe's".

bottom of page