Wardrobe Series: Begin to slowly declutter

Previous: Determine what makes you feel fabulous

Most people give up after they get too ambitious and pull EVERYTHING out of a closet into a big heap on the floor, then get overwhelmed.

Don’t be one of them..

Instead of trying to tackle a gargantuan task in one weekend, take several. One weekend, take out only the pants. Take the time to try all of them on, sorting them into the following piles:

1. Throw Away: The truly meant-for-the-garbage kind, they have rips, holes, tears, pilling and general awfulness that you KNOW you can’t donate in good conscience, so don’t do it. Karma’s a bitch.

2. Donate or Give Away: Items that don’t fit, you don’t wear any more, the colour is off, whatever.

3. Need to be mended: Put them aside to bring to a tailor all at once, and/or make it a resolution to sew that button back on.

4. Keep: Pretty simple. You love the item.

Go with your first instinct.

Don’t second guess yourself.

If you look at the piece and feel a twinge of “ugh”, get rid of it.

If it doesn’t make you feel great wearing it, get rid of it.

If it reminds you of the past and/or it’s something you don’t want to ever remember, get rid of it.

If you cannot BEAR to throw them away this very minute, then label them with “Garbage” and “Donate/Give Away” and put them in the basement.

Just for a little while.

Like a month.

Or more, if you need more time.

Then after your prescribed period of time, if you go back down there and can’t even remember what the heck was in there, then you know it’s time to let them go and you’ll feel a huge sense of relief.

Out of sight, out of mind. (And out of closet!)

Assess what you have left

Everything you want to toss, donate or give away is out of sight right?


Now take a look at what you have left. Take another inventory/stock of what you have, and what is missing.

What you should have, is a wardrobe filled with items that make sense considering…

– Your lifestyle and day-to-day affairs
– Your body shape and type
– Your personal style and what you’d like it to become
– How each piece makes you feel

For me, I know that I could easily survive on a pretty minimal wardrobe if I had to for the rest of my life. Why? Because I do it all the time when I travel and pack a small, teeny tiny amount of my wardrobe.

But not everyone can or wants to do that. So don’t. But the whole point of this is to streamline your wardrobe so that you don’t feel guilty staring at what’s in there, what you COULD be wearing but don’t, and all the price tags still on the items. You should be staring at your wardrobe, smiling because you have all the pieces you truly love and need and it’s letting you dress in the morning like a demon.

So for example, you binned ALL of your black pants (except for the one pair that you’re wearing out into oblivion) for various reasons (too icky to wear, too tight, too itchy, unflattering, too loose, whatever), and you know it’s time to get a new pair of black pants.

Fine, put it on your list “To Buy”, and now you have a reason to let your inner shopaholic out. But before you do, consider the following:

1. Fit, fit, fit. Just remember back to the mountain of black pants you had and tell yourself that you just need ONE pair. One perfect pair.
2. So be picky. Be very picky about finding that perfect pair. If the button looks strange on the pants and it’s not what you REALLY wanted, or the pockets are in the wrong spot, then put it back immediately. Take your time finding THE ONE.

2. Become a material girl. Look for the correct material that makes you feel good (it should skim your curves)

3. Cut it right. Look for the correct cut for your body type and shape.

4. Are you feelin’ it? When you put on the pants, you should feel like a trillion dollars.

5. Ignore the price tags (for now). Because if you find THE PAIR of your dreams, and it’s expensive but reasonable because it fits in your budget, then buy it. Of course, I’m assuming that you shop at stores you can afford to be in, in the first place. You know better than I whether or not you can afford to be browsing in Holt Renfrew or Saks Fifth Avenue. 😛

But (almost) sparing NO object to the cost only works if you put a ban on buying all black pants from now on. Repeat after me: You don’t need any more black pants. You’ve found the pair of your dreams.

Repeat this with all of your essential items, and continue making that list.

Last: Finishing Line




About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.