Why would you start with decluttering your wardrobe?
OK, if you’re anything like me, you think deeply about everything, you create attachment and you find it difficult to let go, even though having lots of stuff overwhelms you… sound familiar?
So the idea of decluttering is probably all at once very appealing… and entirely exhausting!
Of course if you set out on a course of action and it’s just too hard at the start you are so much more likely to give up, which is not great for your confidence. Giving yourself the best chance of building momentum and getting to the end of this journey seems like a great way to start!
I was dubious too when I first came across the idea of starting with your wardrobe, and I have been converted. So bear with me!
Starting by decluttering your clothes helps you tune in to what brings you joy
It’s very easy to imagine you will easily let go of lots of stuff and have a perfect space in no time.
Firstly it does take some time to process everything, and secondly, it’s not usually that easy to discard your things!
You will start saying to yourself ‘yes this is ok’ ‘I’ll wear this soon’ ‘hmm, yeah I like this’ and maybe keep 99% of the items you’re sorting through.
And then you’ll feel like you’ve not achieved what you wanted, perhaps like it’s been a waste of time, or worse, you’re not worth having a great space because you can’t even declutter properly.
Let’s not go there!
How to declutter your wardrobe
Remind yourself of your criteria
When you were thinking about your WHY last week, what did you want your space to feel like? Did you identify a particular feeling you wanted to create in your home? Marie Kondo talked about only keeping what ‘sparked joy’ and I personally love this – but what’s your preference? It might be joy, or fun, or peace… there are so many options that will be personal to you.
Really tune into this before you begin. Commit to yourself now that you’ll be letting go of anything* that doesn’t meet your personal ‘rule’ for this declutter.
How do you want your space to feel? What is your ‘rule’?
(* as you declutter, let’s be realistic, you may find things that you really do want to let go of but know that replacing them might be costly, so perhaps add these to a list for replacing as a Christmas or birthday gift, or something to save up for… and check this list when you get a bonus or you’re ready for a treat)
Emotions are part of this journey… I wrote a blog about all the feelings that might come up as you declutter, you can read it here.
Set yourself up for success
Choose a few hours when you know you won’t be disturbed. Having a partner or child telling you what THEY like or don’t like isn’t helpful whilst you’re tuning into what YOU really want (and don’t want).
Gather a bottle of water, some music and snacks, bin bags or boxes.
Wear comfy clothes (don’t worry about trying things on in this process!)
Start by finding all your clothes
Sounds too easy? Most will be in your wardrobe… what about the porch? A basket of hats and gloves set aside for winter? Anything in the loft? Do you keep anything of yours in your children’s wardrobe, or your partners? Include underwear, belts, scarves, pj’s, hiking boots… everything! (You can download my checklist right here)
Gather everything in one place, outside of the wardrobe!
I know, this feels unnecessary but do it anyway, trust me!
Seeing all your clothing in one place can be a real motivator! Plus, once it’s all together on the floor or your bed, you HAVE to sort it out, so you don’t get half way through and give up. Leaving clothes in drawers and on rails is a very easy way to not properly look at them, taking them out means you really have to engage!
Sort your clothes, one by one
Pick up each item, one at a time, and ask yourself “does this bring me ____?” and sort it accordingly. Don’t stop try things on. It can distract you from the decluttering, and anyway, if they don’t fit your rule, it doesn’t matter if they fit you! Simply let go.
You’ll probably create yourself three piles:
- items to keep
- items you could sell
- items that can go to charity
Once you have found an item or two that really does light you up, you’ll start tuning in very quickly to what doesn’t, and it will become so much easier, I promise.
You may find you want to make a shopping list of items to replace as you discard.
Keep going until you’re finished!
Put away the items you’re keeping.
Sending clothing to the charity shop isn’t always the sustainable option we used to think it was and Moral Fibres has a thought-provoking article just here, along with some useful links to sites where you can sell clothes.
And for anything you could sell, make sure it’s clean, grab photo’s and get it listed. There are lots of options for selling quality clothes, the link above is a great start, and you may have second-hand clothing stores in your local town too.
Lastly, reflect and celebrate!
When you have finished, treat yourself to a look inside your newly decluttered wardrobe… how does it feel?!
Give yourself a huge pat on the back and feel the boost of self-belief – YOU did that!
Next week we’ll be looking at decluttering books – see you then!