The Wardrobe Project – The Wardrobe Clear Out

Time for an update on my wardrobe project. In typical Jen style I did the thing where I get all over excited and fast forward to the shopping part. Getting all excited about my new fancy wardrobe and filling baskets with lovely items. BUT I realised I had to hit the brakes. Before I bought a single new thing I needed to do some serious detox work – my clothes storage was very much at capacity and something needed to go before I even considered anything new entering the fold.

wardrobe clear out

The Wardrobe Clear Out

The number one thing I find with a wardrobe detox or clear out is that I have to be in the right mood. The wrong mood and you’re more likely to find me laying on the floor playing with my phone, ignoring the clothes. The right mood and we’re talking ruthless, bin bag after bin bag filled with stuff I no longer want/suit/like or feel good in. The trick is recognising the right mood and not just doing it when you have the right block of time. Tricky, I know as sometimes you just need to crack on with it. But in this instance I knew I needed to do it, gave myself a rough deadline of two weeks and when the mood struck. I was in there like swimwear.

wardrobe clear out

How To: The Wardrobe Clear Out

To do an decent wardrobe clear out I do tend to take a bit of a Marie Kondo approach and gather everything into one place. Then simply go through item by item and split into the following:

KEEP: Immediate feeling of ‘I wear this all the time’ or ‘I feel great in this’. On the keep pile.

CHARITY: Things I don’t want but are perfectly good. Perhaps they don’t fit, or for whatever reason every time you put it on it just doesn’t feel quite right. But may very well be loved by someone else so off the charity they go.

CHUCK: The things that are worn/tired and not suitable for charity shops.

MAYBE: I really do try to limit this pile but there’s always a maybe pile. The ones you’re just not sure which way they’re going to go between Charity or Keep. More on this one in a moment.

wardrobe clear out

The process can be pretty speedy (especially if you do strike whilst in the right mood) just be decisive. A speedy gut-instinct reaction of yes or no can be all that’s needed. Once I’ve gone through it all and before I put them back in the wardrobe I do a bit of a Spring clean. Dust and wipe inside the wardrobe. Then any items you want to keep by maybe need a repair (buttons/zips/hems etc) I’ll put in a pile to either ask my mother in law nicely or take to a repair place locally. I’m no seamstress so leave this to someone who knows what they’re doing. Anything else gets put back – I always try to iron these bits before they’re folded or hung so then you get that ‘ah done’ feeling and you know whatever you reach for will be fresh and ready when you want it.

wardrobe clear out

Back to the maybe pile – this one I am getting better at keeping small. But what I tend to do is bag it up and put it out of sight. Then I leave it around a month – if I haven’t thought of or reached for anything in the maybe pile in that time. It goes. Without looking as that’s where indecision creeps back in!

Next thing you know, your wardrobe is more organised and ready for wear. It always feels a bit like you have a bit of a new wardrobe after a proper clear out I find and I tend to rediscover things I’ve loved but maybe not worn for a while.

wardrobe clear out

Next step in The Wardrobe Project – setting the foundations! (More on this in a couple of weeks!)

In case you’re wondering – from this clear out I generated four bin bags worth of unwanted clothes that I donated to both Age UK and Oxfam charity stores locally. 



  1. April 8, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    I love doing a closet clear out seasonally! I know that feeling of it being a new wardrobe after! It feels so fresh & organized 🙂 I’m keeping posted for the next step on setting the foundations, can’t wait!

    Rebecca | morerebe

  2. March 12, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    One of my tricks is to not rush to put things back in the wardrobe. That forces me to look at the stuff that’s already there and decide whether I’m going to wear it or not. Then, after a period, (e.g. 6 weeks) you take a critical look at the clothes that remain, and ask yourself “why have I not worn these specific clothes?”. Then do as above…..let’s you know what you really wear in the moment…..

Leave a Reply

Privacy policy

Your data is serious business. You can read our full privacy policy here.