How to Simplify Your Wardrobe

Eleanor Ozich shares some tips on decluttering your closet

The sight of fewer clothes hanging tidily in the closet is rewarding. Picture / Eleanor Ozich

Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to getting dressed in the morning? is your closet bursting with clothes that you've 'saved for later' but never actually wear? If so, it might be time to de-clutter, and create your own unique capsule-sized wardrobe. Not only is this a wonderful exercise in understanding your true style, it makes life so much easier by creating more space, time, and money, too.

Friends are often surprised when they see how minimalist my wardrobe is, which usually consists of around 15 items of clothing, and 3-4 pairs of shoes. I'm quite happy wearing the same, beautiful clothes in heavy rotation, with each item considered carefully for it's practicality, quality and ability to mix and match. By all means, It's wonderful to love clothing (I certainly do!) but by acquiring them sparingly, the appreciation is far more satisfying

So, where to start? It's easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to sorting through a mountain of clothing, so when you do, it's important to be in a relaxed mood and have some spare time up your sleeve. Pop on your favourite playlist, pour yourself something delicious to drink, and get stuck in.

Place all of your clothes, shoes and accessories on your bed
This might seem a little daunting or scary, but it's an important step to see the amount you've acquired, and how little you most-likely wear. Pick up each item and consider how it makes you feel. This is a time to be ruthlessly honest with yourself. If the item isn’t worn regularly, or doesn't make you feel beautiful, it’s time to be free of its clutter, and let it go. This also applies to clothing that is in poor condition, and can not be re-purposed.

For those items you no longer wish to keep, place them in a pile to gift to friends, family or your local charity 
Alternatively, you could sell them on Trade Me, or drop them to a store who sell on behalf, such as Tatty's, Designer Wardrobe or Recycle Boutique. I often do the latter.

During the process, you might find there are items you don’t wear but think you might want, or need, someday. If this is the case, fill a ‘maybe’ box with these particular items. Store the box somewhere out of the way, pull it out six months later and see if there’s anything you really needed. In my experience, you can usually donate the whole box, because you never really needed those items anyway.

Once you've simplified your collection, have some fun arranging thitems to create a handful of outfits that interchange well with each other 
You might find you've a few pairs of nice fitting jeans with no blouses or shirts to match, or perhaps those lovely summer dresses could be worn in the colder months, too, you simply need a warm cardigan and stockings to complete the outfit.

If you do feel the desire to add a new item to your wardrobe, take a week or two to think about it first
More often than not, the need (or want) for a particular item wavers, or we forget about it altogether.

Once you've finished the process, take a moment to enjoy how nice each piece of clothing looks when hanging tidily in its own space. It’s a lovely look, don’t you think?


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New Zealand Herald

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