The benefits of a wardrobe detox are real. Just ask Marie Kondo. Sparks of joy, unicorns and rainbows and ALL the magic.

But seriously, despite the unmistakable benefits, we often get completely overwhelmed by the thought of tackling our cluttered wardrobes head-on.

Emotions surface and we readily discount all of the potential benefits. Including ALL the magic.

When we’ve spent time, money and energy shopping for clothes we don’t even wear, there’s no fun being reminded of that. When we’ve changed size or shape and those outfits don’t look the same on us anymore, it’s understandable that we feel deflated. When clothes contain memories of a lost identity or time, it’s painful acknowledging the impact.

The clothes we wear are central to our lives. They are intrinsically tethered to times gone by (the good, the bad and the ugly). Confronting a tangible reminder of where we’ve been and where we are in life can trigger difficult feelings and sometimes we deal with them by throwing them in the too hard basket (or the deepest, darkest corner of our wardrobe).

No matter where you’re at right now, it’s very possible for you to clear the clutter from your wardrobe AND your head.

Here are 6 simple things you can do today to get you started:

  1. Filter: Your wardrobe isn’t a place for shopping bags, dry cleaner tags, dog-eared books, broken picture frames, fish tanks, used candle stubs or dusty sports equipment (just some of the things I’ve encountered). Get rid of anything you can’t wear.
  2. Fix: Does anything need mending? Take it to your alterations expert (or DIY if you’re talented like that). Don’t put it off any longer.
  3. Freshen: Does anything need dry cleaning, washing, ironing, de-pilling or an airing? Again, don’t delay. Do it today and get that piece back on rotation stat.
  4. Fit, Flatter, Feel: For every item of clothing ask yourself –
    a. Does it fit your body as it is today? Try it on and decide. If the answer is no, and it can’t be altered, it’s finished.
    b. Does it flatter your body shape and complement your colouring? If not, it’s finished.
    c. How do you feel when you wear this item? A piece of clothing might fit and flatter but for some reason it still doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s not really your style. Maybe it’s uncomfortable and doesn’t fit with the demands of your day. Or maybe it represents another time in your life that you’re trying to hold on to. If it doesn’t make you feel great, it’s finished.
  5. Fine-tune: Start bringing individual items together to create actual outfits. A few things happen when you do this. You work out your go-to pieces and you identify any gaps in your collection. If you’re heavy on ‘show ponies’, you need to inject some basics to integrate the attention seekers. If you’re short on colour or print (and you like that kind of thing) consider updating with some seasonal trend pieces. Maybe you have the right clothes, but you need the finishing touches – think shoes and accessories. Fine-tuning sharpens the focus on your style. Without trying too hard, a shopping list begins to emerge, setting you up to shop with purpose for items that have truly earned a place in your wardrobe.
  6. Finalise: This is simply a matter of working out your best wardrobe set up. Do you store out of season clothes in a separate space? Do you hang skirts together, tops together, jackets together or do you prefer to group outfits into capsules to ensure speed style in the morning? Do you code by colour (light to dark, neutrals, colours, prints)? Do you like to fold or hang? Use these questions to develop your own organisation strategy.

Disclaimer: If you’re not quite ready to part with it (it was expensive, you’ve never worn it, it was a recent purchase) consider placing it in storage and re-assessing at your next detox.

It’s normal to be overwhelmed by our wardrobe at times. A regular detox and refresh goes a long way to reducing the closet chaos. 

What one thing will you do today to create a wardrobe that you can rely on?