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Questions You Need to Ask to Declutter Clothing


I'd rather have a small wardrobe made of clothes that fit and that I love to wear than a closet packed full of clothes I don't like that much. Click through for some really good questions to help you declutter clothing. I go through our closets about twice a year.

Since clothing wears out, or we lose or gain a few pounds, or we buy something new, I think it’s important to take stock of our wardrobes a few times a year, or else things start to get out of hand.

I want it to be easy to get dressed in the morning. I don’t want to have to dig through 10 pairs of jeans that don’t fit and 27 shirts I don’t like that much.

I’d rather have a small wardrobe made of clothes that fit and that I love to wear than a closet packed full of clothes I don’t like that much. If I always reach for the same three pairs of jeans, why should I keep ten others?

If you have a hard time decluttering your clothing, try asking these questions about each item:

Questions You Need to Ask to Declutter Clothing

Does This Fit Right?

If no, it goes. Why keep something that doesn’t fit well? It probably isn’t that flattering and probably doesn’t make you feel confident.

If you’re dealing with weight fluctuations, see the special circumstances section below.

Do I Feel Good In It?

I had this skirt that was so cute, but every time I put it on, I would change into something else before left the house. I just didn’t feel good in it. As cute as that skirt was, I let go of it. I want to feel confident in my clothes.

Get rid of clothes that don’t make you feel good. They’re just getting in the way of the clothes you do want to wear.

Did I Wear It in the Last Season?

Sometimes there is clothing in your closet that fits well, and you feel good in it, but for whatever reason, you just don’t wear it.

A good way to declutter is to go through your closet twice a year to see what you didn’t wear in the previous two seasons.

In the spring I like to go through my sweaters, sweatshirts, and other winter-wear. The last six months (fall and winter) was the prime time to wear those things. If I didn’t wear something at all in that time, I don’t need it.

I do the same thing in the fall. I look at my shorts, tank tops, and swimming suits to see if I wore them in the spring or summer.

If you’re bad at remembering what you wore, the hanger method is pretty useful. Flip all of your hangers around so they’re backwards. After you wear something, put the hanger back on the rack the right way so that you know you wore that item. Easy-peasy.

Related Posts: 

Questions to Ask to Finally Declutter Your Books

The 1 Thing You’re Forgetting to Do When You Declutter 

I just went through our closet again to pull out stuff to sell in our yard sale coming up. I’m loving how it looks now with less in it!

closet decluttered

Special Circumstances

Formal Clothes

I haven’t worn formal clothing in a few years. I just have no reason to wear fancy stuff most years.

However, every once in a while I need something nice. I keep one very nice black dress in my closet for just such an occasion. It goes with anything and can be switched up with various accessories.

Honestly, no one but me will ever notice that I only have one fancy dress because it gets worn so little. Plus, it saves me the expense and hassle of finding something fancy on the occasions I need it.

If you occasionally need fancy clothing (like once or twice a year or less), I recommend keeping one formal outfit.

My husband has one black suit coat that he wears with black pants and a dress shirt when he needs to dress extra nice.

Junky Clothes

I keep one set of junky clothes to wear for messy yard work or when we paint a room. Even if we do messy work for a few days in a row, I just keep wearing the same gross set of clothes, so I don’t get anything else dirty.

Obviously, if you do that kind of stuff for a living, you’d want more messy clothes.

Storing Kid’s Clothes

I don’t like storing clothes, but I can absolutely see that storing kid’s clothing can save a lot of money.

If you want to store your child’s clothing, I recommend that you do two things: make detailed labels and limit yourself.

If you don’t label what you’re storing, it’s going to be difficult to pull out what you need when you need it. You might know you have 18mo. size clothes somewhere, but you don’t want to have to dig through five tubs of clothing to find them.

Organize and label the clothes you’re storing by gender, size, and season as much as possible. This will help ensure that what you’re storing will get used again.

Limit what you store and how much you store.

If your kids are eight years apart, it’s possible that the clothes you are storing won’t be the right size, season, or style.

Before you store clothing, look it over and make sure you only store what’s in good condition with little wear and no stains. Use small tubs and only store what will fit neatly in the tub to give yourself a limit of how much you’ll store. And put those detailed labels on each tub.

Weight Fluctuations

If your weight fluctuates or you just had a baby, it can make sense to keep different sizes of clothing.

However, let me just say this: If you’re keeping jeans from college six years ago that you swear you’re going to fit into again someday, let them go. They probably make you feel bad about yourself when you see them in the closet. Plus, when you get older and lose weight, you lose weight differently. I weigh the same as I did five years ago, but clothes don’t fit the same.

Store clothes that don’t fit if you have a goal date for when you’ll be wearing them again (probably a year or less). If it doesn’t work out, don’t worry about it. When you lose weight, you’ll want to buy new things, and things might fit differently than they did before.

I don’t like to store clothes or keep clothing that does fit. I want my closet to be full of clothes I want to wear and that I feel good in.

Expensive Clothes

It can be hard to part with items that you paid a lot for. You worked hard for that money, but if it doesn’t fit, if you don’t feel confident in it, or if you haven’t worn it, don’t keep it!

Try to send it to a consignment store or sell it on a Facebook resale site if you will feel better getting some money back for it. Don’t let it take up space in your closet, though.

You can send your clothes into ThredUp as well. You just order a clean out kit from their website and they will mail you a bag to put your unwanted clothes in. You send it back to them for free and you get paid if they accept your items. It’s a great way to get something back for some of your more expensive and nice items that you don’t want to just give away.

Surround yourself with clothes that fit well and make you feel good.

Getting dressed is so much easier and more enjoyable when everything in your closet fits and makes you more confident.

Related Posts: 

7 Tricks for Simplifying Your Wardrobe

Why I Don’t Use a Capsule Wardrobe

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⇒ Do you need to declutter your closet? What do you have the hardest time decluttering?

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Friday 12th of August 2016

I totally agree with you! There's no sense in storing old clothes if you don't feel comfortable wearing them. Nice pointers!


Friday 12th of August 2016

Thanks so much Morgan!!


Saturday 30th of July 2016

I definitely need to go through my clothes again. I did this a few months ago, but now have a trash bag of clothes sitting in one of our closets. Definitely not my intention lol


Saturday 30th of July 2016

Haha, you're just ready to go through things again :)

Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins

Friday 29th of July 2016

You are right on with these suggestions. I am a total clothes horder. I have the hardest time letting go of clothes that are in great shape, even if I don't wear them because, like you said, I paid good money for them. However, I know that my style has changed since college and even since having kids so I need to do a serious purge when it comes time to put away the summer clothes and pull out the winter stuff. I'll keep your questions in mind when I do!


Friday 29th of July 2016

Thanks Shani! It is hard to give up nice clothes that you paid for. It's one of the harder things for me too!