We’ve all experienced that moment: you’re standing in front of your wardrobe, thinking to yourself ‘I just don’t have anything to wear!’
We can almost guarantee in most cases that your wardrobe is full to the brim with tops, dresses – you name it. What you’re experiencing isn’t a lack of options, it’s wardrobe fatigue.
So how do you remedy this? With a good old decluttering session!
We’ve partnered with second-hand clothes specialist Re-Fashion to share some top tips to not only take you through how to declutter your wardrobe, but how to do it in a more sustainable and less wasteful way.
When is it time to declutter your wardrobe?
There are a few different reasons to declutter a wardrobe:
- You’re moving house
- Your clothing size has changed drastically
- You’re moving to a new climate
- Your closet is full of worn-out, damaged clothes
Of course, you might simply have emotionally outgrown your wardrobe, too! Decluttering is the perfect way to clear some space in your wardrobe and allow you to focus on clothes that make you feel fantastic.
How to clear out clothes sustainably
When it comes to decluttering your closet, you might think it’s as simple as pulling out the items you don’t like and binning them.
In reality, this leads to an enormous amount of waste in our planet’s landfills – in fact, 63,000 tonnes of textiles are thrown away in Ireland alone each year, and less than 1% of this is recycled.
Thankfully, there are less wasteful ways of clearing out your wardrobe! Recycling worn out textiles and donating or selling good quality items you no longer want helps them avoid the landfill and creates a circular fashion model that benefits both society and the planet.
We’ve teamed up with Re-Fashion to make donating your unwanted clothing as easy as can be, and best of all, you’ll be helping raise much needed funds for The Care Trust, who help Irish charities like the CRC, Rehab Group and the Mater University Hospital.
Top tips for a successful clothes clear out session
Getting a few things sorted before you start your decluttering journey will make it a smooth process.
Decide where your unwanted clothes will go
Have an idea of where you want your unwanted clothes to go before you begin. Whether you decide to sell or donate, knowing where they’ll go will make sure you’re not left with a pile for months on end!
When it comes to donating, most charity shops will gladly accept good quality clothing and textiles. You can drop them into a shop directly or put them in any registered clothing bank belonging to your charity of choice.
You can also order a donation bag from Re-Fashion, fill it up and send it back to us for free. Your items will then be sold on Re-Fashion’s online platform by The Care Trust, and all profits will support their charities!
Take it season by season
If clearing out your wardrobe seems a little overwhelming, take it one season at a time! When you unpack your summer clothing for the year, take the opportunity to go through it all and cull anything you don’t love – and simply repeat with your winter clothes when the time comes!
It’ll break the task down into manageable sections, and you’ll have a better idea of what you do and don’t need at that time.
Try everything on!
Although it’s time consuming, it’s best to try on every item when sorting through the clothes in your wardrobe; it’s the only way to really decide whether a piece still fits and makes you feel great.
How to declutter your wardrobe in 5 easy steps
Ready to begin your clothes clear out? Here we go!
1. Take it all out
And we mean all of it.
It’s important to gather every single piece of clothing in one place so you get a clear overview of what you’re dealing with. We suggest pulling everything out (even shoes and accessories!) into one giant pile and going from there.
2. Create four designated piles
Gather three bags or boxes, and give each a designated purpose:
This is for any items that are too worn to sell or donate, damaged beyond repair, or other textiles you want to dispose of sustainably.
- Donate or sell
You might want two separate boxes if you’re planning on both donating and selling items. This can include items you don’t love, that don’t fit any more or that you simply never wear that are in excellent condition, from known brands and don’t have any stains or damage.
- Repair or customise
You might have some pieces that are slightly damaged, or that could be loved once again with a little upcycling. Set these aside and bring them to a reputable alterations shop, or get to work yourself on upcycling them into brand new pieces!
Finally, you’ll also want to create a ‘keep’ pile, though there’s no need to bag or box these items as they’ll be going straight back into your wardrobe.
3. Separate sentimental items
If you have any items of sentimental value that you absolutely want to keep, now is the time to separate them!
4. Ask the following questions
Take each item off the pile one by one and ask yourself the following questions.
- Have I worn it in the last year?
If you haven’t worn it within a year, it might be time to let it go. Put any items that you tend to neglect to the test by asking the rest of our questions.
If it’s something you wear regularly and are sure about keeping, pop it right on the ‘keep’ pile!
- Is it ripped, stained or damaged beyond repair?
Any items that fall into this category can usually be placed straight into the recycling box – if the damage is minimal and you like the item, consider a repair job or some upcycling to give it new life and help avoid unnecessary waste.
- Does it fit me well?
Does the item fit correctly? Is it the right size and suitable for your body shape? The items you wear should be comfortable and not cause any itching, chafing or other unpleasant feelings when worn.
If the answer is yes, move on to the next question. If it’s a no, place the item in one of your boxes.
- Does it match with other items in my closet?
If you’re still not sure about the item, ask yourself how many outfits you can create with it. If it’s a standalone piece that doesn’t go with the rest of your wardrobe, it’s unlikely you’ll ever wear it.
- Does it make me feel good when I wear it?
The ultimate test: how do you feel when wearing a piece of clothing? Whether it’s a worn-in pair of comfy leggings or a silk cocktail dress, it’s important that you feel good when wearing the item in question, so if you don’t – you know what to do!
5. Clear out your piles
It’s time to get your unwanted clothing on its way.
Find a reputable clothing bank for recycling any damaged items and drop them off. Get those items you want to sell uploaded to your chosen platform and see them off to their new homes. Book an appointment to see your tailor and learn to love old pieces once again.
For donations, simply order a donation bag from Re-Fashion and send your items off at no cost. They’ll do the rest, and the profits will go to a great cause.
Once your wardrobe is downsized and refreshed, you can start thinking about the direction you want to take it in. You might have noticed certain items you need are lacking, or maybe you want to stick to a capsule wardrobe from now on; either way, you have a clean slate to work with!
If you’re interested in donating, you can find out more about our Re-Fashion collaboration here.