Blog, Minimalist, Tips

Minimalist: Simplest Steps in Decluttering that Closet

A lot of readers I notice want to learn how to clear out that closet especially when its over flowing and it looks like a tornado came but threw every piece you own in there. Yeah its time to declutter that closet!

Yeah, I am sure there are TON of tips online on how to declutter but I know a lot of people who need the help. Since the move I only declutter once which was great but I felt like I need to do this to my kitchen… But clearing out the closet is a wonderful first step. I know most tend to ridding of all the stuff you’ve thrown in it throughout the last 365 days. That can be a lot of things like those ugly shoes you bought cause they were half off or that clearance dress that’s been sitting in there since this time last year. Yuck!

Yes, you already know some hacks—if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. And like every tired old piece of one-size-fits-all advice, there are gaping holes in the logic. That old rule doesn’t account for what you do with, say, an heirloom fur coat, I have this magnolia rabbit fur coast that is sooo soft but like I only wore it once but its too fancy to just throw out or a truly unique designer piece that you know you’ll wear, but just don’t have use for regularly.

closet, clothes, clothing

Treat your wardrobe like a capsule collection.

Sure, you may love the colorful array of clothes greeting you every time you open your closet, but how often do you still wear that day-glow romper that you just had to have several years ago? I noticed I had this maxi dress that was garnet colored with blue and white shades of flowers all over the bottom for about three years. I’m like 5’5 and maxi dresses tend to drag the floor unless I wear heels but I NEVER wore it. I kept giving myself excuses because it looks beautiful on me… So i tried to wear it and tied up the side a little so i could wear sandals. I looked wonderful but I have this rule.. If i get upset, got into a argument or just a overly bad day I sell or donate the item immediately. Well A fight broke out and guess what i did… I KEPT IT. It sat in my closet for another three to four months. Just collecting dust and I wore it one more time.. This time not a bad moment but I hated that I had to pretty much hold it up to keep it from touching the ground or manipulating it so it wasn’t as long… Cause I don’t wear heels too often anymore.

Yeah, I finally got rid of it and actually was able to sell it. Pretty neat for a four year old dress that looked brand new!

So you need to start that capsule, so you don’t end up like me and my very loved dress I only wore twice in four years. This includes shoes in your 30-40 items for your capsule which I mentioned how to make not long ago! Check out my article on how to build a capsule wardrobe… So if that means more black than anything, accessorize with color. That could be a great hairstyle, a bolder-than-bold lip, or a truly inspiring manicure.

Ask the tough questions.

Besides the cliché question of when you last wore something instead you will be asking the hard-hitting questions to help you scale back and do not feel bad cause everyone is a little uncomfortable.

These include asking yourself:

  • How did I feel the last time I wore this?
  • Is upkeep for this piece a pain?
    • do I have to iron this every time I wear it?
    • does it easily show wear and tear?
    • is it dry clean only?
    • Is all of the hassle worth it?
  • Is this a representation of my ‘fantasy self’ or will I actually wear it?
  • Do I need to be a certain weight to wear this and feel good in it?

If the answer to any of these is a negative, consider purging it from your collection. If it’s a bulky but treasured heirloom or has significant sentimental value, consider putting those items in storage where its out of sight but safely somewhere else or utilizing storage space under your bed or space room or anywhere else its out of sight. I don’t have a “under the bed” since my under the best is the floor…

Grab a #girlsquad member for some moral support.

Cleaning out your closet alone can be a crazy uncomfortable moment with wool, cashmere, and cotton flying every which way as your brain sneakily tries to convince you to just hoard everything, already. So why not have a close friend come over and help you get out of your head? I had my significant other help me with this process but he was as much help as a butter knife to melted butter. He is very helpful in many ways like helping me pick out an outfit but not really declutter things. Thats just not his talent I guess…

Women's shirts, jeans, and belt hanging on a clothing rack

Another perk? It’s easier to donate stuff when you have a support system telling you those cork wedges or that shower curtain that you didn’t really like were an unfortunate buy.

Don’t look for a ROI on “investment pieces.”

Sure, you dropped a month’s rent for that Balenciaga bag, but if you never use it, the only interest that thing is collecting is dust. Because that investment of that bag is nothing but for the “brand” or name. Why buy it when you never use it. Looking for a bigger investment? Why not try buying stocks for the brands you love?

What items to toss

So we all have items we might want to keep but look dingy or old. We have items that we bought for prom, special dances or other events but might have only worn it one other time besides the event. Its a hassle but those items need to go.

Here are items that can not stay in your closet:

  • Clothes you feel uncomfortable in
  • clothes that are too tight
  • Clothes that are too big
  • If they still have tags on them…
  • Worn out like that V neck that’s now a circle…
  • One’s you don’t, won’t and/or will never wear.
  • Those special event clothes like that bridesmaid dress or ugly Christmas sweaters that you don’t ever wear.

Save time (if not money) by donating.

Conventional wisdom might have you selling your duds to a consignment shop or e-tailer, but because time = $$$ for everyone, that might not be the best option. Just donate and be done with it which is a tax right off.. SO you could get some money back from donating clothes.

Yard sales take a lot of work and usually don’t result in recouping the money, while consigning can be a lot of back and forth. You have to know what brands they take, what season they’re currently buying, and if you get cash up front or wait until the items sell. And after all of that, you still may not have a sale. And donating has the added perk of tax write-offs, depending on how much you donate. just make sure to be honest about it or risk facing the wrath of the IRA.

Edit early and often.

While most people tend to look at the New Year as a way to start fresh and par down, is to take a more fluid approach by editing down constantly. Keep a donation bin close by so you can say ‘later’ to clothes when the mood strikes that way, you get in the habit of paring down so it’s not a huge feat to tackle every six months.

I actually commit to a weekly clutter sweep means spending 10-15 minutes once or twice a week in your closet placing items in your donation box, re-arranging clothing that has fallen out of place and re-handing and folding clothes that may be strewn about your bedroom and bathroom. All of this will take much less time than you think if you tackle it regularly.

While you’re at it you should learn to live with less.