How to Declutter Clothes and Free Up Closet Space

Practical tips on how to declutter your clothes and have a wardrobe that you’ll love!

how to decluter clothes

Ever wonder how to maintain an orderly and neat closet where every clothing has its own space and there’s still room for more? You can achieve this by decluttering your clothes every one to two years (even more frequently when needed).

Sounds easy, right?

But decluttering your clothes is not as easy as it looks. A lot of women find it hard to let go of their clothing.

The clothes that you never wear suddenly have sentimental value and you find it hard to let them go. Clothes hoarders often think it is necessary to keep almost everything they own.

This is why a lot of people prolong the actual act of decluttering.

Do not worry! You are not alone! I have been there myself and it took some trial and error to get to a system that actually works without you having any regrets in the end.

What you should know is that when it comes to decluttering, your mind is the greatest hurdle you have in the way. It helps to work on your mindset first before starting so that you can be more determined when it comes to fulfilling this task.

Reasons to Declutter Your Clothes

When you declutter, it is important to keep focused on your goal. This will help you go through the process faster. Here are a few good reasons to declutter your clothes.

You need more closet space.

This can be for new clothes or because you recently moved in with your husband and you now have to share the closet with someone.

You do NOT have closet space.

This usually happens when you move to a new place and find out that you can not fit everything you have in the closet.

Or maybe you’re not moving. It just so happened that there really is no more space to breathe in your closet!

You’re downsizing.

The minimalist wardrobe is very fashionable these days.

Yes, those walk-in closets filled with different clothing items are the dream but maintaining a minimalist wardrobe is more realistic – and let’s admit it – more practical.

All you have to do is stick with the basics and be good at mixing, matching, and accessorizing.

Benefits You’ll Have When You Declutter Your Clothes

When you declutter clothes, you'll be left with clothes that are comfortable to wear!

To encourage you to do a good job, here are just a few benefits that you can get when you declutter your clothes:

Dress faster.

When you have a lot of clothes, it is hard to decide on what outfit to wear for the day. But when you declutter, you have more space, which allows you to actually see everything you own.

This makes it easier for you to coordinate your outfit!

Less maintenance.

Clothes that are jam-packed in a closet often end up wrinkled and disorganized while you look for an outfit.

When you declutter your clothes, you will have enough space for them, so they stay in good condition.

This also means there are less preparations such as ironing or steaming before you wear them.

More comfort.

Decluttering means getting rid of clothes that do not suit you and do not fit you well. Because of this, you are left with outfits that have always made you feel comfortable!

You are left with a closet that has the right items. Even if you are in a rush to get dressed, you will still end up dressing comfortably.

Organized closet.

You barely can do some organizing when your closet is jam-packed with items. When you declutter clothes, it will give you enough space to organize what you own.

You can then arrange your clothes by color, by occasion, or by style.

Extra money.

Decluttering your clothes can get you some money. Who doesn’t like some extra cash?

If you have clothes that are still in good condition – like when you wore them just once, or never wore at all, you can sell your clothes as secondhand or pre-loved items and get some cash back.

Many women set up online shops in platforms like eBay to sell their used clothes and other items. You can do the same too!

Blessing to others.

Not everyone can afford branded and designer clothes. In fact, some people can not afford clothes at all. They will be happy to receive the clothes that you’re not wearing anymore.

When you declutter your clothes, you also open up yourself to an opportunity to bless others through clothing donation.

How to Start Decluttering Your Clothes

Before you begin taking your wardrobe apart, make sure you have boxes or bags handy. This makes it easier to assign decluttered clothes either for donation (Donate) or storage (Keep).

Donate or Keep

When each clothing has a designated place to go, it means less cleaning up when you are done!

The seasonal clothes that you can only use for a couple of months each year can be placed in storage boxes or bins that you can bring out when it is time to use them.

This way, what should be left in your closet are the ones that you will be using every time.

Do not pull out all your clothes!

When you declutter clothes, please don’t pull out everything then dump them into your bed. This is a rookie mistake!

decluttering mistake

Believe me, you will not be able to finish decluttering all of that in just a day. You will end up making a huge mess and if you get tired before you are done, you will have no space in your bed for you to sleep in.

Instead, work through portions of your closet – declutter clothes one small pile at a time.

For instance, you can start with the drawers first until you move on to the larger divisions of your closet.

This way, if you are not done by the end of the day, you can easily rest and continue the next day since the clothes you’ve put away are already in the boxes while the ones that are staying remain in the closet.

Do not worry if you are not done by the end of the day! It took me almost a week to declutter my clothes the first time.

It’s not that I have a large wardrobe. I just needed time to sort them out and think through every item so that I do not end up with any regret. Also, I had to think of the best way to organize the clothes that I have left.

So just work at your own pace – especially if this is your first time to declutter your clothes.

Before you know it, you will be done. The next time you declutter, you will be able to accomplish the task faster.

Guide Questions for Decluttering Your Clothes

To help you get started on decluttering your clothes, here is a list of questions that should guide you in deciding the fate of your clothing:

When did you last wear it?

Basically, anything that has not been worn in a year should not be taking up space in your closet.

There is a reason why we keep on using our favorite outfits – because we like them a lot!

If you have not used an item in a year then there must be something wrong with it. 

Does it fit?

This might sound pretty obvious but there are a lot of women who are guilty of keeping clothes that do not fit them anymore – especially those who have gained some weight.

They hang on to their smaller outfits, thinking that one day they will lose the weight and get to wear these outfits again.

Take note that the fit is not just about size. There are some cuts and styles that are not flattering for your body type – even if they fit perfectly. You should put that in consideration too when you declutter clothes.

When can you wear it?

If you find yourself wanting to hang on to something that you barely use, ask yourself when can you wear it.

For instance, a formal dress can be worn at a formal event or a party. But you realize that you barely attend formal events now and you prefer to just chill at home most of the time.

If you have a lot of formal dresses but your lifestyle does not call for it, it makes better sense to get rid of the formal dresses so you can have more room for the outfits that you really need. 

Does it need special care and can you maintain it?

We all have items that need some form of proper care.

Some clothing need to be ironed, some are too delicate, while some require dry cleaning or hand washing. Sometimes it takes too much work to use them and you end up not using them at all.

If you are the type who does not want to put too much work on maintaining your clothes, then it’s better to let go of these clothes.

Are you comfortable wearing it?

Your clothes should not restrict you from moving around freely, bending over, or reaching out for something. They should make you comfortable enough to do whatever you want.

I know there are many who are willing to sacrifice their bodily comfort for the sake of being in style but not everyone has a high tolerance to maintain that kind of look.

What you choose to wear actually has an impact on how you feel. If you wear comfortable clothes, you actually feel better and more confident!

In a nutshell, the clothes that you need to keep are the clothes that are comfortable, make you look and feel good, and fit your lifestyle. If something does not pass one of these criteria – let it go!

What about sentimental clothing?

sentimental clothing - wedding dress

Let’s admit it – everyone has a sentimental item on their wardrobe. It can be a prom dress or a wedding dress.

I understand the value but you also must admit that these are clothes that you will not get to wear again.

Why not just take a picture of it and get rid of the actual clothing? It’s not really necessary to keep that dress just to remember that special night. You can still keep the memories while letting the clothing go.

If it really is so valuable to you, you have the option to pass it on to the next generation in your family.

Do not worry about the generation gap and the style. There are lots of ways to alter the cut, fit, and style of a dress.

You can save your wedding dress for your daughter’s own big day. Or give the prom dress to someone in the family who will be going to their own prom soon. 

What if there’s barely anything left?

minimalist closet

If you have gone through your closet and found that you got rid of the majority of your clothes, please do not start taking back items that you already decided to let go of.

Take it as a chance to start a new wardrobe and get clothes that you are sure you will be using all the time! 

If the majority of your clothes are gone because they are not flattering for you, then you have a styling problem.

You can always consult a stylist for tips and advice on what outfits would look great on you and your figure and start buying clothes from what you have learned. A makeover may do wonders for you!

Decluttering is not that easy but it is doable. 

You should get rid of the things that you no longer need and use – they only serve as unnecessary clutter. 

Now that you know how to declutter your clothes, you will have more confidence dressing up because you know you have the great pieces left in your closet.

Believe me, life becomes less stressful when you stop living like a hoarder.


Need more help decluttering? Grab our FREE Declutter Checklist!

declutter your home checklist free printable

Or join the FREE 7-Day Declutter Challenge!

jumpstart declutter challenge

If you’re looking for more articles on decluttering, head on to this page!

And if you need simple ideas to organize your closet, check these out!

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how to declutter clothes

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