The Ultimate Guide To Decluttering Your Wardrobe

How to 'spring clean' in any season

Here’s a scary fact: most women wear 20% of their wardrobe, 100% of the time. The other 80%? Is probably taking up valuable space in your sartorial real estate.

And while spring is typically the season associated with major clean outs, there’s never a bad time to sort out your closet and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle. Simply set aside a weekend and follow the steps below to declutter your wardrobe once and for all: 

1. Sort your clothes into four piles

While you probably don’t need your friends to come over with ‘Throw’ or ‘Keep’ signs (à la Sex and The City) now’s your chance to get brutally honest about every single piece in your wardrobe. That means narrowing everything down into four key categories:

The ‘yes’ pile

These are items you’ve invested money in (your Gucci t-shirt counts!) or that you wear regularly. As a rule of thumb, you’ll find most of these pieces are basics rather than trend-driven items.

The ‘no’ pile

These are pieces you’ll find at the back of your closet that you can’t remember wearing within the last five years. While it’s true that everything comes back around again, it’s probably going to be another 15 before you’ll want to don them a second time, so be as discerning as you can here.

The ‘maybe’ pile

These are items you can’t quite bear to part with or that you find yourself trying to be rational about (“I haven’t worn it yet, but it could still work”). Adopt the two-season approach: if you haven’t worn it in more than six months, it belongs here.

The ‘sell /charity’ pile

Once you’ve sorted your “no” and “maybe” piles, it’s time to separate them even further to create your “sell/charity” pile. Make sure these pieces are in good used condition and washed appropriately before you offload them.

2. Clean everything so it lasts

Once you’ve sorted your wardrobe, it’s time to give everything a good clean, regardless of whether it’s going back into your closet or not. While you should always read the label on each piece, you’ll probably find many of your clothes can go straight in the washer. If you’re serious about creating a long-lasting wardrobe though, you’ll want to snap up a fabric conditioner as an additional step to your washing liquid.

3. Start selling

From Vestiaire Collective to Depop, there are a number of second-hand fashion sites that are prime for selling those too-small Chloe boots you bought on a whim can now be easily off-sold to one of over four million designer-hungry fashionistas.

If your wardrobe comprises more chain store chic than designer duds though, rest assured there are plenty of other places to sell your apparel, with eBay, Facebook marketplace and Gumtree among the most popular.

4. Organise your space

Now that you’ve edited your wardrobe down to “yes” items only, it’s time to think about how you’ll order your closet from here-on-in. Instagram is perfect for this – search hashtags such as #wardrobeinspo to see what we mean. In a nutshell though, tshirts, jeans and lingerie can be folded and sorted into draws, but be sure to hang dresses and shirts. 

As a final tip, we recommend going through this process every six months to ensure you remain as organised as possible (and yes, that includes washing everything again). Just remember to treat your clothes the same way you would your hair, and follow up any washing liquid a good fabric softener to ensure your wardrobe remains next-level dazzling!

Related stories