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Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Out Your Closet

'I have a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear!'

Cleaning out your entire wardrobe can sound overwhelming. It may be the ‘new year, new you’ calling, or perhaps it’s time for some spring cleaning - but you feel an urge for a refresh. We understand how paralyzing it can sound, especially if you don’t know where to start. However, when the overwhelming feeling of your full closet outweighs the fear to get started - that’s when you know it’s time. We’ve all been there, so even if you have a hoarding tendency (no judgment, we get it), or it’s really a new year new you moment, there is always opportunity for a reset and refresh!


We know you value your closet space, and so in honour of #getorganised month we have put together a detailed step-by-step guide to help you get started!

When do you know it's time to clean out your closet?

If the tell tale sign hasn’t been the forceful pushing of overwhelmed drawers and overflowing garments, then maybe these 5 signs will be;


  1. You have a closet full of clothes but have nothing to wear.
  2. You have changed your personal style and nothing feels right anymore
  3. You have 3+ items of clothes still with tags
  4. You can never find the clothes you actually want to wear
  5. You just feel overwhelmed and want to have an understanding of your wardrobe

How often should you clean out your closet?

This question really depends on who you are and how much you buy. We recommend reassessing your wardrobe at least once per year. If you haven’t worn a certain garment more than 10 times within that year, it’s safe to say that you will not need it any longer.


Most women experience weight fluctuations throughout the year and we understand that this does come into consideration with a wardrobe edit. You know your body best, and revise your wardrobe accordingly by rearranging, storing and removing pieces that no longer fit or serve you a purpose. Keeping pieces in your wardrobe because ‘they may fit you one day’ does not serve you, and can be incredibly damaging to your health and self esteem.

What if you have little to no storage space?

This is where you need to get creative. Find a storage solution that is suited to your space, works well with time management and suits the pieces that you own. For example, you may work in a corporate space and prefer to hang your clothes rather than fold to prevent wrinkles. Take these into consideration when organising your storage space. If you have little to no space, is there room under your bed? Have you looked at possible shoe organisers, hooks and stacking trays? There are an abundance of storage options at your local home store, it’s more about getting creative and strategic that will do the trick.

Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Out Your Wardrobe

1. Visualise your ideal wardrobe

The clothing you wear can act as a visual reflection of who you are. Ask yourself these questions before you start:


  • What is my current style?
  • What do I want my personal style to look like? Who do I admire for their style?
  • What do I do everyday and what is the appropriate ‘dress code’ for each?
  • What colours do I love to wear, what do I look good in?
  • What am I missing in my dream wardrobe?


We recommend starting with a visual moodboard of your ideal closet. Make sure it is practical and suited to your personal lifestyle - but don’t be afraid to add riskier pieces that spark joy. We recommended using Pinterest for this to gain some inspo! Get creative, and have fun visualising yourself in these new looks.

2. Set aside a date

Think of this process as a form of self care. Choose a date that involves no interruptions, where you can put your time and energy into tackling the task. Pour yourself a glass, play some tunes and light some candles, we promise this positive energy will make all the difference!

3. Get practical and prep for the task at hand

Depending on your storage situation, it is important to have the right tools ready on the day that you decide to clean out your wardrobe. Have your storage containers, hangers and plastic bags ready to get down and dirty.

We recommend taking out ALL of your clothing and make one pile ready to begin sorting. Take everything out of drawers, off hangers and out of storage so you can get a good idea of what you have and how much you may need to get rid of.

4. Create 3 piles

Seperate your first pile into 3 different piles;


  1. Keep Pile: These are clothes that you love, wear regularly and fit well.
  2. Donate Pile: Your donate pile should include clothes that are still in good condition, but they may not fit or you no longer have a use for them. Donate these clothes to your local charity shop. If you have the time, look into resell places. This is a great way to keep your wardrobe fresh while also making a few dollars.
  3. Toss Pile: The toss pile should include clothing that look worn, stretched or stained and are no longer wearable. DO NOT donate these pieces as they will end up in the landfill anyway. If you are crafty, this may be a good opportunity to upcycle. If you’re into composting, some of your clothes may be compostable - depending on what it is made of. Learn more about composting your clothing.

5. Be honest with yourself, or find a friend

Be honest and realistic when it comes to cleaning out your wardrobe. Make sure you only keep things that you actually wear. If you have a top or pants that you've worn once in the past year, chances are you won't wear it again, so it's better to donate it. The same goes for clothes that are too small, too large, or don't fit well. Be realistic about what you will actually wear. Having a friend or partner help you out is perfect for those who are indecisive or are unsure about their personal style. Remember that the final decision is yours, but it is nice to have someone there who knows who you are and what you usually wear.

6. Sort your remaining clothes

Congratulations, you have officially sorted out all of your clothing items! Now it is time for an overall edit and organisation of your newly refreshed wardrobe. Start by organising your clothes by hanging them up and putting them in the correct storage space. We recommend focusing on the current season by having those items easier to grab. Within each group, organize your clothes by color so it is easy to find what you're looking for. Locate the pieces that you wear the most such as essential basics and perhaps even put this in a separate folder. Think about your morning routine and how you dress for your day and apply this into your wardrobe organisation strategy.

7. Do a closet edit

If you have time and motivation, then this step will be a fun little activity for you. This part is all about learning your new wardrobe in order to figure out what you have and what you ultimately will need. Gain a good understanding of your wardrobe, and reference your visual moodboard in step 1 to figure out what you have and what you’re missing. Look at your closet - focus on fits, colours and essential basics. Ask yourself, do these pieces align with your style? Do you have all the essential basics you need to build the wardrobe of your dreams? What colours do you have and are these colours what you feel confident and comfortable in? Play around with styles and try on different outfits to know what you love best. Keep a photo diary of your outfits if that is something that will help spark your creativity. This is supposed to be a fun exercise and a learning opportunity!

Extra Tips and Tricks

Replace your bras!

If you haven’t replaced your bras in years, you’re not alone. Undergarments are the types of piece that you wear every single day. Most experts recommend that you should replace your bras every 6-12 months. There is nothing wrong to wear clothes to their full life, but it becomes an issue when you start to feel uncomfortable in your own pieces. Whether the underwire is pulling out, the elastic is snagging or there are holes, wearing older bras may result in bad posture or can even shape you in a way that you no longer feel comfortable. Replacing your bras will efficiently help with your self confidence, and can be a great refresh to your new wardrobe post new years or spring cleaning time.

Know your personal style/taste

Knowing your own personal style will definitely help speed up the process of cleaning out your closet. It will help easily identify what clothes you want, need and how you are going to piece your garments together in the future. We know that this is a long process, which is why we have put together a couple of guides to help you;


10 Holy Grail Styling Tips

Fashion Tips For Curvy and Plus Size Women

Dressing For Your Body Type

Dressing For Your Undertone

Building a Versatile Wardrobe

Building a Trans Seasonal Wardrobe

Store out of season clothes

Once you have organized your remaining clothes, it's time to store the clothes you won't be using in the current season. This can help to save space in your wardrobe and prevent your clothes from getting damaged or dirty. You can use vacuum-sealed bags, plastic storage bins, or under-bed storage to keep your out-of-season clothes organized and protected!

Keep a donation bin IN your closet

Yes, you heard us! Over the years, as your style evolves and changes - you will continue accumulating clothing that may feel outdated. You’ve perhaps succumbed to a trend that you realise no longer serves you, or perhaps your body has changed through the years. Store a donation bin in your closet so that you can easily separate the clothes you do and don’t wear. This will speed up the process in your next closet cleanout and save you so much time. Perhaps then is the perfect time to start reselling your pieces or donate to a friend. Charity stores and bins will always be around but remember that clothes with holes, are stretched and unwearable serve no purpose to them and will be thrown into a landfill. Get out your dusty sewing machine and try something new.

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