Morning is a hectic time for many of us, and the last thing we want to is to waste our precious minutes in front of our closet wondering what to wear.
Even if you were a type of person who decides her outfit the night before, a sudden change in the weather can force you to start that process all over again.
Picking out an outfit would be much easier if you had a wardrobe that only contained what you wear regularly and those highly utilized pieces are easy to mix and match with each other.
Today, I'm going to present how you can declutter your closet and avoid decision fatigue first thing in the morning.
Book 1-2 hours on the weekend to go through your closet(s)
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You will need at least an hour to go through the contents of your closet. Obviously, more clothes you have the longer it will take.
- focus on one closet, e.g., your main closet,
- tackle all of the closets, e.g., main closet + hallway closet + drawers,
- focus on the clothing only, OR
- go through accessories, shoes, jewelry at the same time.
Another thing you should decide before starting the project is what to do with the clothes you will declutter.
Are you ready to donate, throw out or sell items you declutter or do you want to keep those for now? You can keep them out of sight.
If you have never done this before and are not sure how you will react to decluttering clothes, you might want to keep them for now.
Either way, you should get some empty boxes or large garbage bags.
Go over the contents one-by-one
Check each piece in the closet/drawer one-by-one. You can do this in a couple of different ways:
- Pull everything out of your closet and place all your clothes on your bed, sofa, clean table, etc.
- Or you can inspect each piece while they're hanging in the closet.
As you go through the clothes, you may want to look for:
- never-worn items,
- items that are either too large or too small on you,
- have-seen-better-days items,
- items you don't enjoy wearing for any reason, e.g., not comfortable to wear, doesn't quite suit your taste or lifestyle, and
- items that are clearly out of style.
You may own several special-occasion items such as cocktail dresses. You do not need to get rid of these even if you wear them seldom. At the same time, if you own more than enough clothes in this category, you might want to pare down some.
Remove decluttered items, and put them into bags or boxes and donate, throw out, sell or put them away for now.
Mix and match your existing pieces
Organize your closet so each category, e.g., blouse, pants, etc. is hung together or stored in the same drawer.
You should now have a much better idea of what you own and regularly wear.
For the next couple of weeks, I want you to try mixing and matching your clothes in a new way. If you're stuck, ask your family or Google for inspiration.
Also, I want you to pause clothes shopping at least for the same duration. During this baseline measurement phase, be mindful of the following:
- How many times do you do laundry per week? Are you happy with the frequency? Did you run out of things to wear?
- Did you experience any obstacles? For example, forgot to take in the dry-clean items? Needed to iron some shirts but could bring yourself to?
- Do you have enough clothes for each of the activity you engage in (e.g., business casual for work, workout wears, loungewear, etc.)? If not, what new piece(s) would you like to add?
- Do you enjoy wearing your clothes? Or are you ready for a makeover?
- Can you describe what your style is? Are you casual or formal? Warm color vs. cool color? Neutral vs. vivid color? Body-hugging silhouette or baggy & comfort? Synthetic or natural material? Brand or no brand? Sexy or conservative?
Start carefully adding new pieces
After the several weeks of clothes-buying hiatus, you can start shopping again with a master plan. Please note that there is no need to start shopping right away if you can manage with your existing wardrobe.
Think about the following when you buy new pieces:
- Only buy what you will actually wear. Have you figured out your style and what type of clothing works best for your lifestyle?
- Buy only what you enjoy wearing.
- Only buy what are comfortable to wear.
- Buy what fits you now and not after losing 5 lbs.
- Buy only what looks good on you.
- Make sure new pieces can be matched with 3-4 existing pieces. If you are having a tough time remembering what you have, consider using a wardrobe planning app to guide you. It will take some time investment on your part (You will have to take pictures of all of your clothing items), but these apps make it easier for you to plan shopping and explore new ways to match existing pieces.
- Don't treat clothes shopping as entertainment. If you are used to buying clothes a lot and frequently, try to stay away from shopping malls and shopping districts until the urge to shop is reduced. Buy what you need, not what you want.
- If you constantly forget to take in your dry-clean-only items, consider not buying any such items in the future.
- Can't bring yourself to fix that loose button? Try buying pull-on (no buttons) clothes or try something like this.
- Some people hate ironing. If that's the case with you, don't buy anything that requires ironing.
Last but not least, if you opted to keep your decluttered close earlier, decide what to do with them after some predetermined duration (a month, six months, a year, etc.) It OK to resurrect some pieces from your formerly decluttered pile.
OK, how is your closet looking now? Let me know if you have any question!