Closet Decluttering for the (Aspiring) Minimalist, and Everyone Else

This is a topic that is discussed a lot, and I feel like it is because it is what is easiest to start with and where it’s easy to see an impact. While minimalism or decluttering is always a continuing activity, I think that it is especially the closet that needs a lot of work, I know that it is so with mine. I started my (concious) minimalist journey with decluttering my closet, so maybe this can help kick off your journey, or just leave you with a nicely organized closet.

I would recommend to do all these steps section by section (e.g. shirts, sweaters, dresses…), but if you’re anything like me you’ll want to see your closet empty anyway and put everything on your bed/the Floor, just to have to put most of it back again without having had a proper look at it. It’s your choice though, really.
All of these steps aren’t meant to be done in one day. To be perfectly honest, it’s a constant effort. Take as much time as you need, and you have.

Where do the sorted out items go?
Think about what you want to do with the clothes you don’t want to anymore. You want to donate it all? Prepare trash bags. You want to sell some of the stuff? Add a seperate box to put these pieces in. Maybe you want to have your family and friends have a look over your stuff? Add another box.
Prepare accordingly.

Check Condition and Fit
This is a step that you should have in your mind during the whole process. Does it have holes, is it uncomfortable, is it too big or too small, is the colour washed out, are there weird wrinkles or bulges that don’t go out through washing/ironing, etc.? Then it goes.

Choose Your Favourite and Least Favourite Pieces
This should be fairly easy. Go through your chosen section and pick out the pieces you wear a lot, like a lot, you enjoy wearing, are comfortable and you would basically just want to wear all the time. This should be fairly intuitive. Put them back in your closet.
Now do the same with the pieces that you secretly wanted to have gone for a looong time, we all have them. Maybe it feels like a chore to wear them, or the material is scratchy, or you just never really liked the style of it. Again, go with your intuition. Put these pieces in their box (donate, sell, pass along).
It doesn’t matter how many pieces you sort out in this step it’s just to get you started.

Try and Error
Try the rest on. How does it feel? Do you feel comfortable? Is the material comfortable? Does it fit your lifestyle (e.g. can you wear it to school/work/…)? Does it fit your current style?

Repeat Steps With Every Section
Chances are you’ll still be left with quiet a lot of stuff. If you want to minimize and optimize further, try the following steps (and remember: you can do this in the span of weeks or months).

Create Outfits
Now go through all your pieces one by one and try to create outfits. Try new combinations you’ve never tried before. Ideally a piece can be combined in a lot of different ways and styles, e.g. a summer dress can also be worn in winter with thights and different sweaters/cardigans over it, in summer it can be worn with different shoes (elegant, sporty,…), and it can be up- and down-dressed according to the occasion. As I said, this is ideally, but it is totally okay to have some pieces that maybe can only be worn in one way, if you still really like this pieces and you enjoy wearing it. However, if your goal is a well-curated closet, try to minimize those pieces.

Store Pieces Out of Your Sight
If you’re worried about regretting giving a piece away, store it in a box somewhere out of your sight. When the season’s over, let’s say it’s a sweater and winter is now over. Chances are you’ve never thought about the sweater and haven’t missed it. You can now dispose of it. If you did have a moment where you thought “if only I had that sweater…”, well you’re in luck. Get that sweater out, it is a keeper now.

This is a constant process that isn’t done after one decluttering. As you evolve, you’ll have to sort out other pieces and get new ones. You’ll have to change your attitude and views on consumerism to maintain your new closet. But this might be a topic for another post.
But for now you’ve done the first step and I’m sure you’ve done a hell of a good job!

If you have any more tips share them in the comments!

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