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Thinking about a wardrobe clear out?

Here are some tips on getting started, what to ask yourself before parting with an item, and how to better care for the things in your wardrobe.

This article is a paid-for post, and I have received compensation for writing and publishing this content. This post was originally featured on The thread. The opinions expressed in this article are my own and are based on my personal experience. Any sponsored content will always be clearly identified as such.

I have relocated around the world multiple times, and downsized from a house to an inner-city studio apartment. Since moving to Munich, I’ve also had to develop almost two different wardrobes to handle the more extreme temperatures, rotating my wardrobe and periodically packing away those seasonal pieces when they are not needed. Therefore, I have learned a thing or two over the years about re-organising and decluttering my wardrobe.

There are a few things I always ask myself and do before removing any piece. With the right approach, I find I am in a good position to only buy (or make) what I need, avoiding any mindless (over)consumption in the future.


Wrap up of this article

Getting started

Getting started

Before getting started, it is important to make sure you have given yourself adequate time and sorting space to work through the pieces in your wardrobe.

The order of attack depends on your personal preference. Some might take everything out, clean the wardrobe, and then put items back piece by piece. Others might work through their wardrobe section by section, starting with the hanging space before moving on to the drawers. My approach combines both methods.


Questions to keep in mind

When going through your wardrobe, ask yourself these questions about each piece to aid in the decision-making process:

  • Have I worn it in the past year? If not, why?

  • Is the fit off? Can it be altered?Will I do it?

  • Does it need repair? Can I mend it?

  • Does it reflect my current style?

  • Do I feel confident in it?


Start making piles

Keepers: These pieces have been kept for a reason so they need to be taken care of.

  • Proper storage is essential: Fold knits and stretch fabrics to prevent stretching. Hang delicate fabrics to avoid wrinkling. Use appropriate hangers to maintain the garments’ integrity, such as soft velvet hangers for delicate items and wooden hangers for heavier pieces.

  • Seasonal rotation: Once the last summer or winter days have passed, pack away any seasonally specific pieces you have. This frees up space in your wardrobe and brings the added joy of rediscovering these items when the season returns.

  • Organising your wardrobe: Organise your wardrobe in a way that suits your routine. This could be as simple as separating work attire from everyday wear or organising garments by colour or category to assist in outfit creation.

Donations: Be sure to ask “If I saw this in a shop, would I buy it?” If the answer is no, then why would someone else?

Sell: List items on resale sites like Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Depop.

Pass on: Give items to friends or family who you know might love them.

Launder: Some pieces just need a simple spot clean or wash to freshen them up.

Mend/alter: Some pieces may require simple mending or alterations. For example, you could turn a dress into a skirt and top, or alter the length.

Re-purpose: If you can’t achieve any of the above, try turning the fabric into something new like patchwork projects.

Tip: I’ve encountered situations where my current values conflict with items I still love and use. Take, for example, a wool jacket with leather-panelled sleeves that I bought at a sample sale during my time in fashion production. As a vegan, I wouldn’t buy it today. However, I keep it because I believe the benefits of wearing the jacket and its sentimental value far outweigh that of getting rid of it.


Do an inventory as you go

While organising, take notes on any gaps in your wardrobe or any observations about your style preferences. This helps inform future purchases, ensuring that you only buy or make what you need. I keep a simple “Notes” tab on my phone listing the things my wardrobe might be missing, or those silhouettes, fabrics and colours that I keep coming back to.

Using some of these tips and tricks and keeping your wardrobe organised will go a long way in ensuring that you get the most out of your clothes while helping to avoid buying more than you need.

Please get in touch or leave me a comment. I would love to know if you found this article useful.
Thanks for reading.

Emma xx

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions contained on this site are my own. Unless stated otherwise, I am not affiliated with any brands, products, or organisations mentioned, and do not receive any sponsorship, payment, or other compensation for any of the content on this site.

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