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How to declutter your wardrobe

Its that time of year when spring cleaning is in the air and the urge to declutter and streamline is compelling.

Tackling your wardrobe is a fantastic way to take stock of your clothes and clear some space – even if just for the summer sales!

Make time for decluttering

Decluttering your wardrobe is the kind of job that, once started, you don’t want to interrupt, so try to clear an afternoon or even a whole day so you can really get stuck in. It’s going to involve making a mess, so you don’t want to be faced with sleeping that night in the one clear square foot of your bed amongst glowering mountains of clothes. Firmly close the bedroom door, stick on some music or a podcast, and go to town.

Be prepared to be brutal. That sparkly Christmas number you love to bits but haven’t been able to zip up for years? Ding it. If it hasn’t fit for over a year it probably isn’t going to again, and it’s a great excuse to treat yourself in time for this year’s parties.

Gather all your clothes

Start by getting everything out into one gigantic pile on your bed. It’s tempting to think you can just flick through your wardrobe and toss a couple of things, but this is a job you need to do properly if you’re going to do it. We often simply don’t see items that have been in their place for years, so unless you take it all out so you can see it with fresh eyes, you will miss plenty of decluttering opportunities.


Create four piles: ‘keep’, ‘throw out’, ‘charity shop’ and ‘maybe’. You might consider a fifth pile: ‘mend’, but be honest with yourself. If you won’t realistically get around to sewing on this button or fixing that loose hem, then it’s ‘throw out’ or possibly ‘charity shop’ (if it needs very minor fixes).

Then, simply pick up each item one by one, decide which pile it’s going in, toss and move on. It’s a good idea to force yourself into a regular rhythm. Spending yonks agonising over every item will ensure the job never gets done. If you’re not sure about a particular item, it goes in the ‘maybe’ pile to think about some more at the end. Again though, be strict: if you haven’t worn something in at least a year, it’s unlikely you ever will again, however much you think you like it. Remember: everything you toss is an opportunity to hit the sales!

When your four piles are complete, stick the ‘throw out’ and ‘charity shop’ piles in bin bags immediately (labelled so you remember which is which!). Then go through the ‘keep’ pile. It could be worth sticking some items one a quick cycle to freshen them up if they’ve been languishing at the back of the wardrobe a while, and others will need ironing, before it all goes back in the wardrobe or drawers.

Finally go through the ‘maybe’ pile again, reminding yourself to be brutal.

You will hopefully add to the bin bags, but if there is a handful of impractical but sentimental bits and pieces left over, don’t beat yourself up. At least now you have plenty of space for them!