Tips For Decluttering Your Wardrobe

wardrobe decluttering tips mainBack in my monthly review I wrote in August, I noted the following tasks I wanted to complete before October:

  1. Kids’ toy cull – completed.
  2. Declutter my wardrobe – completed.
  3. Reogranise the crockery and glassware in the kitchen cupboards – need to use this space better than what I am currently doing – 50% complete
  4. Declutter the attic – as the youngest is now 4.5 years old, there would be much in there that I don’t really need, but am simply hanging on to – 40% complete.

As you would have seen earlier this week, I have crossed of the kids’ toy cull and today I am sharing the work I have completed on my wardrobe. This was how I approached the de-clutter:

Set a time line

I don’t really like decluttering the wardrobe, because I know I have to make decisions on eliminating stuff. Logically I know I don’t need all of the clothes I have and I haven’t worn some of them for a very long time, but there is an emotional attachment to some of the items.

Sometimes with harder tasks like this, I will keep finding other things to do rather than complete it – productive procrastination! So setting a date for when it needs to completed is helpful to me.

Even better if there is an additional motivator, like a Clothing Exchange event to attend. I booked tickets for myself and a girlfriend to attend a clothing swap. It was held at a great little bar in Melbourne CBD called Shebeen. As well as being a funky venue, Shebeen is a not for profit bar, such a great idea!

We donate 100% of our profits, and your choice at the bar determines where they end up. Here’s how it works… Every beer, wine, cider and margarita sale sends funds back to that drink’s country of origin. We’ve made sure your money ends up in the right pockets by scouring the globe to find some of the smartest organisations tackling poverty in the developing world. So sit back and leave us to do the hard work while you feel good—even tomorrow morning.

I needed to have clothes ready to swap for this event on September 5.  I will have to admit that this did mean I was decluttering the wardrobe on September 4, but not to worry as I did get it done and had many more clothes to take along than what I needed.

These clothes are what I brought home from the Clothing Exchange. You can read my full review of the Clothing Exchange here.
Clothing Exchange

Two stage elimination

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When sorting through my clothes, I had the following piles:

  • Vinnies (Op/Thrift shop)
  • Bin
  • Clothing Exchange

The clothing exchange pile gives me breathing room to work out if I really want to get rid of the items as well. I can only take along six items to swap at a time and I had about 15 items in the clothing exchange pile. For the items I didn’t swap this time, I have them in a bag, high up on a shelf in my wardrobe. If I don’t wear these clothes before the next Clothing Exchange, I will donate them to Vinnies.

Empty and Plan

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The shelves on my wardrobe had been set at the same levels since we moved into our house eight years ago. It was definitely time to reassess this. I completely cleared the shelves, wiped them down and then planned what would go on each shelf.

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I wanted the shoes I wear most often to be the easiest to access.  Shoes I wear less often could go higher up and I was quite brutal on what I threw out.  Any shoes I hadn’t worn in the last year were thrown out.

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I took a similar approach with my clothes as well.  I only have one section in our walk in robe that is long enough for dresses, so it is an obvious choice that they have to go there.

As we are moving into spring, I packed up my woollens to leave more space in the wardrobe.  I also moved out of my wardrobe my speaking and party dresses. One of the kids bedrooms has two double wardrobes, which they do not get even close to filling, so I have created a small section for me in there for infrequently worn items.

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In my wardrobe, I placed jackets and items worn the least in the hardest to access corner.  The main shelf now holds the clothes I wear most often.  I went with a type and colour code approach.  Long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts together by colour, cardigans were grouped together etc. I have found this is working really well.

Organisation tools

You can buy so many cool little gadgets to help organise your wardrobe, but I did not want to spend any money on it, nor did I want to give myself another excuse to further procrastinate about what gadgets would be right for my wardrobe.

I did use to simple, no cost solutions though, like using a coat hanger to hang my belts on:

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And just like with the kids drawers, I also used small shoe boxes as dividers to organise small clothing items in my drawers:
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I have some “house clothes” that I wear regularly and will change into (tracksuit pants and hoodies etc). I will also often wear my clothes more than once and like to have somewhere easy to store them. I cleared one of the shelves in the wardrobe and now that is what this space is for. It is working super well. Prevents a pile of clothes accumulating at the end of my bed!
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The before and after shots:

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Two more decluttering jobs to complete on my list over the next week!

What decluttering projects are you working on?