How to Declutter Your Wardrobe

The end of any season is the perfect time to declutter your wardrobe.

It was the dead of winter when we adopted minimalism. I donated more sweaters than I ever knew I owned. However, it was difficult to purge my summer clothes because summer was but a dream, a hope, an unreachable promise land to this Michigan girl. I was in no place to make tank top decisions while my furnace was cranking out heat.

I accomplished quite a clothing declutter back then. My wardrobe was pared back so much that all my clothing could easily fit into my closet and small dresser. I no longer needed to rotate out bins and bins of seasonal clothing.

During my initial deep dive into minimalism, I had gotten rid of clothes that no longer fit, wasn’t my style or I just simply hadn’t worn in years. Still, I had items that I didn’t wear this summer. I was even holding on to a handful in hopes that this 36-year-old mother of 3 would one day morph back into her 21-year-old body.

Life is too short for dreams like that.

Summer is coming to an end. She was both sweet and salty. We experienced all she had to offer and soaked up every minute she was willing to give us. She somehow left us both rested and exhausted.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think that’s what makes summer in Michigan so special. She arrives like manna from heaven, rocks our world, and then she’s gone. We get to truly appreciate her and love her more each year. 

How to Declutter Your Wardrobe

As this summer winds down, it’s time to take a close look at what we did and did not wear.

Keep in mind, what I need to keep and what you need to keep are going to be totally different. I don’t  currently work outside of the home. When I did, I wore surgical scrubs and I’ve never needed business attire.

However, I am confident that whether you stay home with your kids, work from a coffee shop, or live most of your life in a business suit, we all accumulate unnecessary items for the exact same reasons. Fear of regret and the guilt of a purchase. The items we save are just different.

Here are Three Questions to Ask Yourself as You Declutter Your Wardrobe With Each New Season

1. What Didn’t I wear?

Go through all of your summer clothing and identify which items you never got around to wearing.

2. Why Didn’t I Wear it?

Then ask yourself this bigger question of those clothes. Why didn’t I wear them? What kept me from wearing it? I’m not saying to ditch everything you didn’t wear this summer. (Though that is an appropriate response). It’s not always as simple as that.

For instance, we didn’t attend any weddings this summer, but we may next summer. I have a couple of dresses I keep on hand for such formal events. As long as they still fit and are in good shape I’m holding on to them.

I also spent this summer being wildly unbusy. Most of my days were spent at the lake, in a bathing suit and cover up. I was a hermit and loved every minute of it. There are a handful of tops that I absolutely love, but I didn’t get around to wearing them because I didn’t get around to doing much. They will go nicely this fall with a cardigan and I’m almost certain that next summer I’ll get out more.

Once you identify what you didn’t wear and why, ask a few even deeper questions.

  • Does it fit well?
  • Do I feel good when I wear it?
  • Is it in good condition?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, let it go. Don’t overthink it because second guessing leads to accumulation.

That question, “Do I feel good when I wear it?” is really the umbrella question. Everything we own should pass that criteria. It’s not about owning high end, name brand clothing. (Though quality is something to consider so our clothes last). It’s about wearing what makes you feel comfortable, confident and alive in order to live as your best you! You deserve to feel good in the clothes you wear! Consider this permission to ditch those items you don’t feel good in. 

3. What Do I Wish I Didn’t Wear?

Now go through those previous questions with the items you did wear.

Did you enjoy wearing those clothes? Were they comfortable?

Are they still in good condition? I somehow always find a couple items with stains or an armpit hole I didn’t notice.

Did they fit well? Was I tugging at the waste line or adjusting the neckline all day?

My days go better when I’m comfortable and confident in my clothing. I prefer to have fewer items I love rather than rotate through clothes out of obligation.

“Less, but better.” – Greg McKeown

Before summer becomes just a memory, find some time to take a look at what you did and didn’t wear this season. Be ruthless! Let some things go. I promise when summer rolls around next year, you’ll be glad you did.

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Declutter Your Life

It’s time to stop managing our families and start leading them!

2 years ago I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had no capacity to mom on purpose.

Living with less has gifted me time, space and some much needed perspective of what truly matters most. Below is the link to my FREE Beginner’s Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook. It takes a deeper look at the 7 Steps to getting started highlighted in my popular post, Declutter Like a Minimalist.


Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook

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