What’s inside this article: A step-by-step guide for how to sort through your clothes and downsize your closet as easily as possible.
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Is it time to downsize your closet and simplify your wardrobe? Maybe you’re trying to live a more minimal lifestyle. Or, maybe you know it’s time to get rid of some of your clothes, but you don’t want to throw anything away or you don’t know what to do with your clothes you no longer wear.
Well, incase you need to hear it from someone else, here are some signs you need to downsize your closet:
- It’s always a mess
- The season has changed
- You still have clothes from 10+ years ago
- You’ve moved somewhere with a different climate
- Your closet or drawers are full but you have “nothing to wear”
- Your body shape has changed
- You have items you haven’t worn in over a year
Any of those apply to you? Then let’s dig in and start figuring out how to downsize your closet.
Once you’re done, you’re going to feel so much better, because clutter can actually affect your mental health. Plus you’ll have an entire wardrobe of only items you love, are comfortable, and you feel good wearing. Relief.
How to Downsize Your Closet
Following these steps will make downsizing your closet, reducing the size of your wardrobe, as easy as possible.
You’ll need a few things before you get started:
- Clothing storage bags – for clothing that you still wear, but is currently out of season
- Clear plastic bags or boxes – for clothes that you’re going to donate
- Garbage bags – for clothes that are too worn to donate that you’re throwing away
Step 1: Gather all your clothing in one pile
Yes – every piece of clothing you own. It’s probably going to be a massive pile of clothes on your bedroom floor, or your bed, where ever you decide to work through your wardrobe.
Once you have everything all in one place, you’ll see just how much you own and that you have way more clothes than you need or wear.
Step 2: Categorize your clothing
It’s a lot easier to work through and downsize if you go through one type of clothing at a time, so go through your massive pile, and sort your clothing into categories with other similar items.
Step 3: Start sorting through categories
Choose a category and start sorting through, one article of clothing at a time.
Each piece of clothing needs to go in one of four places:
- Keep it pile
- Donate it bin/bag
- Out of season storage
- Garbage pile/bag
Questions to ask yourself:
As you’re sorting through your clothes – consider the following questions to help you decide which pile to put your clothes in:
- Does it have any holes, stains, or pills? (Immediately trash it)
- When’s the last time you wore it? (If it’s been a year – donate it)
- Does it fit comfortably today? (If no – donate it)
- Is it in season? (If it’s a “keep” item, but out of season, store it)
- If I was shopping right now, would I buy it again? ( And if the answer is no, donate it)
Have any ‘Maybes’?
If you have some items you aren’t quite sure about, put them off to the side for now.
When you’ve finished with the rest of your clothing, try on the maybes and assess how they look and feel to you. Sometimes we think an item looks and feels good, but when we actually put it on we remember that it was too tight around the arms or not quite long enough.
Step 4: Organize Your “Keep” Items
Once you’ve finished sorting through all your items, you should have a storage bag of off season clothes to put away under the bed or on a shelf in the closet, and a box or bag of clothing to donate, and a garbage bag of worn out clothes for the garbage.
All that’s left to do is organize the keep items.
Organize and store your items in a way that makes sense to you.
Hopefully you’ve thinned out your wardrobe enough that everything is easy to find, looks tidy and organized.
Step 5: Maintain Your Newly Downsized Closet
The last thing to do is maintain your newly downsized closet. Otherwise, it will slowly make its way back to square one. Here are a few tips that help me:
- Pay attention to what’s always left hanging in your closet. If it’s not being worn, donate it!
- Throw away anything that gets damaged immediately. There is no reason to put ripped or stained clothes back in your closet or dresser.
- One in One out – Every time you buy a new article of clothing, get rid of something currently in your wardrobe (unless you’re replacing stained/damaged items you’ve already thrown away) This will prevent you from accumulating an excessive amount of clothes.
Hopefully these steps help you successfully downsize your closet. Clearing the clutter from your wardrobe can be a huge time saver in the morning, and even give you a boost of confidence because you know you look and feel good in anything you put on.