Five Tips for Decluttering Clothes

  • 01 of 05

    Five Tips for Decluttering Your Clothes

    5 tips for decluttering your clothes
    5 tips for decluttering your clothes. Getty

    You probably know how to physically clean out a closet. (If not, here’s everything you could want to know about how to declutter a closet.) But there’s more to a clutter-free wardrobe than simply throwing all your old ripped jeans into a garbage bag. If you want to start the process but you feel stuck, here are some extra tips for decluttering clothes.

    Tip 1: Get familiar with the signs that it’s time to clean out your closet.

    How can you tell it’s time to declutter? Maybe your closet is so...MORE jam-packed that it has become difficult to remove anything or put anything away. Maybe you frequently buy shirts only to bring them home and discover you already have two or three very similar shirts. Maybe everything you own is frayed or no longer fits properly. Maybe you’re going through a lifestyle change – a move, career change, a new baby’s arrival. Maybe, counterintuitively, you can never find anything to wear.

    When any or all of these things happen, it’s a good moment to reassess your wardrobe and purge unwanted or outdated clothes.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Embracing Minimalism In Your Closet

    Embracing minimalism in your closet
    Embracing minimalism in your closet. Getty

    Tip 2: Don’t fear having nothing to wear.

    It is a possibility that once you jettison your ill-fitting, dated clothes, you’ll be temporarily left with far fewer pieces than you’d ideally want in your closet. But that’s okay! No one really cares if you wear the same three pairs of pants all winter. And if they do, they’d be even more judgmental if you wore something stained or unflattering. (In the longer-term, selecting mostly quality basics in neutral colors will help you get by with a smaller...MORE wardrobe.)

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Know What You're Going to Do With Discarded Clothing

    Have a plan for discarded clothing
    Have a plan for discarded clothing. Getty

    Tip 3:  Know what you’re going to do with the clothes you discard.

    It can be easy to put off a large project just because you don’t know how to do one little step. If you’re hanging on to unwanted clothing simply because you’re not sure what to do with it, take a few minutes to research thrift stores and donation centers (here are some tips for donating clothing) in your area. If you have a lot of designer items, you might want to learn about how to consign clothes.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Embracing a Maybe Box (or Pile)

    Embracing a may box or pile
    Embracing a may box or pile. Getty

    Tip 4: Embrace the “maybe box.”

    If giving away that old black dress feels too final, if you’re indecisive by nature, if you’re afraid you might need something fancy for the holidays and not be able to find a replacement, stash it in a box (or bag, or suitcase) and forget about it. If you need to pull it out in one, three, or six months’ time, fine. If not, you can safely assume you won’t miss it.

    Hint: In lieu of a box, I keep a separate pile in my closet for maybe clothing. 

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Figuring Out Who You Are

    Figuring out who you are
    Figuring out who you are. Getty

    Tip 5: Figure out who you are.

    I know, that sounds very philosophical for a how-to on decluttering. But knowing what you don’t want is the flip side of knowing what you do want, what you like, and what you need. Many people who shop a lot and acquire tons of clothes they never wear (or wear once and quickly tire of) are blindly searching for a style or even an identity. Once they truly understand their own preferences and the realities of their lifestyle, they often don’t need to keep buying or...MORE holding on to boxes of stuff.

    Your personal style is not usually something you can figure out in one sitting, so don’t feel pressured to do that. But make an effort to look at magazines, Pinterest, or the real-life outfits of strangers and friends. Think about what you’re drawn to, and how to apply what you like to your own life. Over time – maybe less time than you think – you’ll be able to quickly and painlessly decide what to keep and what to throw out.

    (Have you organized you closet lately?  Here's a complete closet organization checklist to help you get started)