New Year Wardrobe Declutter

New Year Wardrobe Declutter

The quiet of a new year brings with it an opportunity for a thorough new year declutter - particularly in your wardrobe. I'm always eager to pare down and rid myself of unnecessary belongings. Quick seasonal clear outs help me to keep on top of my wardrobe, but in this typically quiet period of the year, it's a chance to really dig in with a thorough sweep. If you have more clothes than hangers, or your wardrobe is looking bloated after a year of purchases, what you may find you need is a new year declutter.

Take Everything Out

Whatever is in your wardrobe (and drawers or clothes rail) needs to come out. If you have a lot of clothes, you might want to tackle a section of your wardrobe at a time working from clothing through to shoes, bags, and accessories, to make the decluttering process less overwhelming. Seasonal items might be best left to one side to deal with once the weather is more appropriate. I like to make use of a clothes rail to shift items from my wardrobe onto while I look them over and try them on - a bed works just as well! However you choose to tackle your situation, make sure everything you own is turned out and individually considered. Holding each item in your hands is a good way to familiarise yourself with every item you own - it's very easy to forget what's hiding at the back of a drawer or at the bottom of the wardrobe!

Try Everything On

Everything. Trying on all the clothes you own will help you make better decisions about what to keep or let go of. Clothing on a hanger looks very different on your body, and pretty shoes might pinch your feet; making any decisions without trying it on is a big mistake. Even if you know you love a particular item, trying it on will feel good and help you to discover fresh new ways to style them. Any items you’re unsure of, test them out with the other pieces you own; figure out new ways to wear them and you might save something from being donated.

This part of the decluttering process is a good opportunity to identify any gaps in your wardrobe, repairs and replacements that need to be made, or rediscover clothing you forgot you owned. Whenever I think I've identified something missing in my wardrobe, I try on what I already have. If I'm looking for an evening dress or a certain style of shoe, I cycle through my outfit options and more often than not discover I have exactly what I need already hanging in my wardrobe. A little styling and some dressing up, you'll probably find the same is true for you too.

Ask 5 Questions

I've found five questions are helpful to consider when making decisions about individual items of clothing. I put them on and stand in front of a mirror to ask myself:

  1. Do I wear this regularly? If not, why?
  2. Is it comfortable? Do I feel good wearing it?
  3. Does this item fit into my overall style?
  4. Can I create various outfits with this one item?
  5. Do I love wearing this item or do I just like the way it looks on the hanger?

Say Goodbye

Split your clothes up into 'to keep' and 'to let go'. They'll be some items you will immediately return to your wardrobe, some will be a no-brainer decision to let them go, and others might require longer consideration. If you can't decide, put the item to one side and keep cycling through your clothes until you get back to it. Try it on again, ask yourself the five questions, and make a decision: keep it or let it go. Personally I don't think it's wise to avoid making a choice by boxing things up in storage. Making a firm decision, even if it's tough to do, results in a better wardrobe in the end.

Finally, it's time to decide what you're going to do with the clothes you're letting go of: sell, donate, or recycle? Be mindful of how you choose to declutter your belongings, and deal with them appropriately. Some items may be good enough to sell while others might need to be donated, anything else could be repurposed into rags for cleaning. I often put the money I make from selling unwanted clothing towards new wardrobe purchases. If you have trouble letting go of the items you never wear, whether you have sentimental attachment to them or just like the look of it on the hanger; remember that by letting go of the clothes you never wear you're allowing someone else to love and appreciate them.

Put Everything Back

What is left is the foundation of your all-seasons wardrobe; everything in it should fit well and feel good on. Put these items back into your wardrobe in a way that is practical, these tips for organising your wardrobe will help. I’d recommend using flocked hangers to preserve the shape of your clothes and prevent them from slipping off. They’ll take up less room than wooden hangers and won’t damage items like wire ones do.

After decluttering, you should have the room to see exactly what you own so you can reach in and grab what you need without having to hunt through the rails. Everything you own should make you feel excited to wear it, or at least relaxed and comfortable. Having a well edited, organised wardrobe takes away those feelings of not having anything to wear; you know exactly what you own and how each piece works with the others. There are several tricks to help you maintain your newly streamlined wardrobe. I implemented a one-in-one-out policy, this might not work for you but it's something worth considering.

Wishing you all the best with your new year wardrobe declutter!
Let me know how you get on in the comments.

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New Year Wardrobe Declutter