5 Steps to Cut Your Wardrobe Down to the Essentials

Paring down your wardrobe can seem too stressful to deal with. Clothes are so sentimental, reminding us of certain times and events, that it’s often difficult to part with even the most outdated items. 

Once you take the plunge, though, cleaning out your closet can be so satisfying. Odds are that once you clear out the old, you won’t even remember all of the sentimental items you were holding onto for one reason or another.

We get it though, it’s not easy.

To make the process more doable, and to take all the thinking (i.e. excuses) out of the equation, we’ve broken it down step-by-step. All you have to do is work your way down this list, and in no time be feeling like Marie Kondo. Better yet, your wardrobe will be so much more streamlined, and your closet will feel less cluttered than it has in ages.

Easy Steps to Reduce Your Wardrobe

  1. Take It All Out: This is the first step to a thorough cleaning. Take everything out of your closet and start new. Rather than sifting through your clothes hanging up and deciding what to take out, take everything out and then only put back the items you love. This might help you realise how many of your clothes you never wear, and the things you’d forgotten about. 
  2. Get Rid of Problem Items: The white shirt with a stubborn stain on it. The pants that ripped right beneath your bum. The sweater with moth holes on the right arm. We all have a few of these hanging in our closet. As much as you think you’ll fix them one day, you probably would have done it by now if that were the case. 
  3. Favourites Only: Take your favourite option of each item and add it back into your closet. For example, put your favourite jeans, favourite shirt, favourite jumper and favourite jacket back. Now look at the remaining options. If you only had that one pair of jeans, would it be alright? Is there some reason you might need the other four pairs? If you can’t think of a legitimate reason, get rid of the not-so-favourite options. Oftentimes, we’ll get something new and the old favourites will never see the light of day again. Rather than holding onto them, though, now is the perfect time to donate them or pass them onto a friend. 
  4. Set a Goal: Set a goal for how much you want to get rid of. Rather than thinking about how much you’re trying to keep, shift your mindset to how much you want to donate. Your goal could be a number like ten items, or you could aim to fill a garbage bag.  If you have the time you can sell these items online or to a consignment store. Otherwise, donate them to an op shop or charity organisation that will get more use out them than you are currently. 
  5. Try It On: Now that you have decided which favourites you’ll definitely keep and which you will definitely give away, what do you do with those in-between options? Hint: If you’re not sure how you feel about something, odds are it doesn’t mean much to you. If you’re still hesitant about getting rid of it, try it on again — even if you think you know what it will look like. If you like what you see, keep it conditionally. Hang it in the front of your closet and turn the hanger the opposite way. If it’s still hanging in that direction six months later, pass it on.

There’s no denying that it’s a big job to clear out your entire wardrobe like this, but afterwards, you’ll feel so much better. Less clutter in your life means less clutter in your mind, and you’ll be surprised at how little you miss the clothes you get rid of. When you reduce your closet to things you’ll love, you’ll be so much more appreciative of what you do have — rather than feeling guilty about everything you’ve accumulated. 

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