9 Easily Actionable Ways of Decluttering Your Wardrobe — Inside Out Style



If you’ve read my post on why a seasonal declutter of your wardrobe will change your life (for the better) then you’re already on board this wardrobe auditing train.  You know why you want to do it, so here are some practical tips and steps to help you achieve your goal of a streamlined organised wardrobe.

1. Start Small

It can be too easy to get overwhelmed if you have a lot of stuff to think about doing the whole lot in one sitting.  Instead, start small and choose one category of clothing at a time to assess.  So it could be a category such as tops, or if you’ve got heaps of them, maybe start with t-shirts,  or instead of tackling all your pants, just start with your jeans.  

Breaking down what you have into small, bite-size chunks helps you steer away from overwhelm and gives you some breathing room.  

If everything you own is not together, then it may be starting with just one drawer or just one piece of the hanging rail.  When you conquer one small section you feel like you’ve achieved something and this will give you the motivation to keep going!


2. Not Sure if You Wear it?

Use the Hanger Trick: When you’ve decided an item is a keeper, hang it with the hanger facing the wrong way, then after wearing an item, hang it back with the hanger facing the opposite direction. After a season, consider decluttering items on hangers that haven’t been turned.  

Already been doing this?  Take all your unturned hanger items out and try them on.  Do they still fit?  Do they flatter you in a way that you’d like?  Are they comfortable?  Do they itch or scratch?  Are they binding or constrictive?  Do they express your Style Recipe?  Do they still suit your lifestyle?

Has your lifestyle changed and what you didn’t wear is from a previous lifestyle that you no longer have?

Is there a seasonal reason that you didn’t wear the item (for instance, some summers here are super hot, others not so much, so some years I need more clothes for super hot, other years they barely get a look in.

These are questions that need to be answered before you throw them out.    If you’re not sure, why not put them away into a box or bag and write a date on that box or bag, that’s a used-by date, which if you’ve not gone looking for the item by that date you decide upon, you just let go of the whole bag of items as you know that you’re not wearing and are not missing those garments as you didn’t go and seek them out.


3. Fit and Flatter Test

Try on clothes to see if they still fit and flatter your current body shape and colouring.  You may be like me whose colouring has changed as my hair colour has changed from dark brunette, via light blonde and now to silver sister.  The colours I wear have also changed as I’ve had to lighten up my wardrobe and it’s softening down in intensity too.  All that black that once looked great is no longer worn and was just cluttering my wardrobe.    If you’ve had a major shift in hair colour it’s a great time before you declutter to get your colours reanalysed as the palette that once worked for you may not be so great anymore.  Knowing your palette of colours helps you declutter your wardrobe as it makes decision making that much easier.  If the colour isn’t flattering the garment isn’t going to make you look great.  You can choose to overdye favourite items that pass every other test, and let go of the rest!.

knowing your palette of colours helps you declutter your wardrobe

Trying on is such an important part of editing and decluttering your wardrobe, as clothes that once fit well may now not as weight gets redistributed (I’m looking at you menopause).  I’ve noticed that women don’t wear what’s not comfortable, so if you’re not feeling good in the clothing then there’s no point in holding onto it (no matter how expensive it was when you bought it, or how great it used to look on you).

Figuring out your current silhouette and shape helps you to only keep the styles that make you look great.  You can take my free body shape calculator quiz here (or if you’d like my professional opinion on your shape and colouring, that’s all inside my 7 Steps to Style program).


4. Does it Spark Joy or Do You Rate it an 8 or More?

Whether you can hold an item and feel that it Sparks Joy (Marie Kondo method of decluttering)  or you’re a little more pragmatic and want to rate it out of 10 (letting anything under an 8 go, unless you’re going to make the alteration that will raise it to at least an 8),   Whichever method works for you is equally worthy.  What it comes down to is this, if you’re not excited and in love with your clothes, you won’t feel great when you wear them.  You want to have clothes in your closet that you love, that make you feel fabulous and stylish rather than just ho-hum or kind of bland or boring (and of course anything that is in the slightest bit frumpy definitely has to leave the building!).

Make sure that you use your current Style Recipe as a guide when going through this process.


5. Does it Feel Like Work?

What do you mean by this Imogen?  I hear you ask…. well some clothes can feel like work.  They need handwashing or ironing, or some sort of special care that feels like a burden to you.   So you avoid wearing them because they “feel like work” to you.  If deep down you know this to be true about garments in your wardrobe that you’ve not been wearing, as much as they are beautiful and lovely and maybe even look fantastic if you’re avoiding wearing them because of the perceived work involved in their care.  It could be a sign to let the item go as you’re not getting the value from the item and it’s really just cluttering up your wardrobe.  Space also has value, and how much space do you really have for garments that you don’t wear?


6. Be Ruthless with Duplicates

Do you really need five black T-shirts? (Actually, do you even need one black tee if black is not your colour?).  Do you need duplicates of essentially the same item?   Keep the ones that fit and flatter you best, and donate the rest.  You don’t want to feel like you’re wearing the 2nd best let alone the 5th best version as that’s not going to inspire your confidence.


7. Create Capsules

You may not want to limit yourself to a tiny capsule wardrobe, but using the capsule wardrobe concept you can figure out what works together and use this to build a wardrobe that’s more versatile in the long run.  Assume you’ll have multiple capsules for different aspects of your life, work, home, socialising etc.      Download my ultimate guide to capsules for a great formula and some sheets to help you see what you have and how you can create your own capsules.


8. Donate, Sell, Recycle

Decide whether to donate, sell, or recycle items based on their condition and value. Utilize apps and services for selling or donating clothes to make the process easier.  If selling feels like too much of an effort, donate your items so that the clutter is cleared out of your house (this is important for your mental health as clutter can make you feel overwhelmed).   


9. Storage Solutions Matter

Invest in storage solutions for seasonal items to keep your current wardrobe uncluttered.  Whether it’s boxes to divide your drawers for you socks and underwear, or flocked hangers that will make your clothes stay hung rather than having them slide off, or skirt or trouser hangers so you don’t have to fold them over a shirt hanger.  Don’t ever store more than one item on a a hanger as you’ll never see it and it won’t get worn.

Organised your items by type of garment (tops, pants, jackets) and by colour to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for when you’re getting dressed.  It may feel like more effort when putting your clothes away after the wash, but it sure does make getting dressed in the morning faster and easier!

Hang as much as you can, and turn shelves into drawers by using containers that you can pull out (as the back of shelves are notorious dead zones and black holes that seem  to absorb your clothes, instead, use the Marie Kondo folding method so that you can see everything you’ve got with ease.

Only keeping items in your wardrobe that work for the current season and that fit and flatter you in a way that sparks joy for you is key to developing and maintaining your style.  When it’s easy to find your clothes and accessories and you know that what you have makes you look amazing you’ll find that your confidence grows and your stress levels reduce and you gain back valuable time and space in your day.  Stop dressing out of the laundry basket and take full advantage of everything you own!

If you’re really not sure what to keep and what to let go of, then investing in my 7 Steps to Style program is the key you’re missing as it unlocks your true style, giving you the education in colour and style that you’re missing.


How to Create An Ordered Wardrobe (and why you want one)

What Are You Holding Onto in Your Wardrobe and Why?

9 Easily Actionable Ways of Decluttering Your Wardrobe


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