There are many different methods of decluttering your wardrobe, but sometimes these big projects seem daunting and time consuming. While I think it is important to take the time to declutter, and I personally like the method of tackling it all at once, I understand that it is not feasible for everyone. Here are a few simple and easy ways to start tackling the closet, from “no brainer” to curating a closet with more intentional ideas.
Just Get Rid of It
If you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit your style, get rid of it. These clothes do not represent you well. If you have “skinny” and “fat” clothes, get rid of them. Keep only the items that fit you now, no need to keep guilt in your closet. If it has tears or is worn out, get rid of it. Maybe you can find a similar piece to replace it with, you know you get a lot of use out of it. If you got dumped in it, get rid of it. Don’t hang onto clothes that bring back bad memories. Finally, be honest with yourself. You know when there is something in your closet that you should just get rid of.
Hang Your Clothes Backwards
Give yourself a time frame, it could be half a year, one season, or maybe just a month, and start with all your clothes hung on hangers backwards, so the hanger hooks towards you. Each time you wear an item, put it back in your closet with the hanger facing the closet. At the end of your designated time frame question each item that is still left hanging with the hook towards you, “why didn’t I wear this?” Try your best to eliminate each item that didn’t have a suitable justification. This can be done with items in drawers too, make space in one drawer if you can and start putting clothes you have worn back into the empty drawer.
If you live in a climate with all four seasons, take advantage of any storage you have by putting away out of season items. This way you only see the clothes you will currently wear. It can also be helpful when the next season comes around. When you open that storage for the first time you are not as desensitized to those items and you can question them with fresh eyes. You could also start wearing clothing directly out of storage. At the end of the season if there are items still stored away, consider donating them.
If you are planning on storing items seasonally look into creating a capsule wardrobe. Project 333 is a really great resource to use when starting your capsule wardrobe, but don’t feel limited to only 33 items and 3 months. Figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle. If you find yourself missing some other items, add them back in. A capsule wardrobe could just be an exercise, or if you find you really like it, you can implement it full time.
Have a Uniform
Take simplifying your wardrobe a step further and curate a uniform. Before you ask, no I am not vouching for you to go out and buy a catholic school girl uniform, unless that’s your look. What I am vouching for is finding the outfit that when you put it on you will feel confident and put together. Wearing a uniform is actually more commonplace than you may think. Steve Jobs, along with many others, wore a uniform of a black mock neck and jeans, which helped him build his brand. Try it out for yourself, what are the pieces in your wardrobe that you always gravitate towards? Think about building a uniform around that.
If you want a simpler closet consider items that have multiple uses. Since starting working in an office as an intern, I have a section of work clothes and casual clothes. It is essentially two separate wardrobes. Having more versatile items, clothes I can wear in and out of the office, would simplify my closet specifically. Pieces with multiple uses means that you need less pieces. One area I struggle with is more formal dresses, I have a specific dress for different even more specific occasions. Having one simple, sophisticated dress, that suits multiple occasions and makes you feel beautiful, really eliminates the need of buying a new dress every time you have an event. For men, having that one suit could be your little black dress. Finally, pieces that transition well season-to-season eliminate the need of having totally different summer and winter wardrobes.
If I am being candid, the reason your closet is not simple is because you have too many clothes, and I am not exempt from this. When people need a pick me up many of them go out and buy new things. When there is a specific event to attend many people go out and buy a new outfit. When people are bored many of them go shopping. We have been conditioned to think that consumption equals contentment, and while there may be temporary contentment, it never really addresses the underlying problem. If you want a simpler closet you need to reduce your consumption. I am not saying never buy anything ever, but I am also not saying to over consume and donate in a vicious cycle. Pay attention to the clothes you bring into your closet, does it add value, does it go with other pieces in your closet, and are you going to wear it more than once? Go even further and ask yourself, “why do I think I need this?” The only way to maintain a decluttered closet is to keep it simple.
Do you have any more simple and quick tips on how to simplify your closet? Do you have any questions for me? You know what to do, drop me a comment below.