Seven Steps to Edit your Wardrobe

Guilty of an overflowing wardrobe, yet still feeling like you have nothing to wear? Read our guide to a therapeutic declutter.

Moving into Autumn/Winter is the perfect time to downsize your cupboards, although this can seem like a daunting task. Use this step-by-step guide to help you organise exactly what in your wardrobe you need – and get rid of the pieces that are gathering dust!

1. Start with an end goal in mind

It’s easy to open your wardrobe and feel overwhelmed, but take a strategic view of your editing. If you’re stretched for time and without a plan, your productivity is likely to be low.

Before you edit, you need to declutter. A great way to start is by throwing out all the clothes that are no longer of a wearable quality.

As well as this, think about why it is you're re-arranging your wardrobe. Have you had a lifestyle or career change? What occasions do you require your clothes for? If you no longer have a practical need for some of your garments, there’s an instant reason to throw some pieces out.

2. Don’t underestimate the power of the one year rule 

Allowing for lockdowns, have those clothes that sit, unused in the back of your wardrobe ‘just in case’? Get them all out and think about the last time you really used them. If it’s been at least twelve months then you more than likely don’t need them anymore. So put them in the charity bag, sell them or dispose of them.

3. If you’re unsure, try it on!

Got some pieces that have failed the one year test, yet you’re still unsure whether you should throw them? The best thing is to just put them on and see how well they fit. Ask yourself three simple questions. 1. Do I feel confident in this? 2. Does it fit properly? 3. If not, is there anything I can do about this in the near future? If the answer is no to any of these questions then let the item go.

4. Colour code your clothing

Now that you’ve decluttered the excess pieces you can work with what you have left in order to streamline your wardrobe. The best technique for that is to arrange your clothes by colour so you can work out exactly what you have. It’s much easier to notice five similar black jumpers if they’re all placed together.

5. Take some time out

Although you may just want the job over and done with as soon as possible, the next stage of your edit is to simply step away from the task at hand. Take a close look at what you pick up over the next week or so, and you’ll realise what you ultimately won’t miss. Remember, for a more minimalist wardrobe, you may only want one item of each colour and style, so take note of what you’re most and least drawn to, and get rid of the things that pass you by.

6. Organise clothes by season

Depending on how much space you have, try and organise your clothes in this order: autumn, winter, spring, and summer. If you have too many clothes for them to all fit in one wardrobe, do a rotation twice a year, usually around mid-to-late September for the autumn/winter items, and May for your spring/summer clothes, in order to keep them best organised. We recommend flat pack vacuum bags (available on QVC) for compactly storing away last season's wardrobe to a quarter of its size for storing under beds/in cupboards. They work in conjunction with your vacuum which sucks out the air, safely compressing the contents and ensuring moths/moisture are kept out. If you’ve managed to cut your wardrobe down so all your clothes fit in one space, have another section for the pieces you wear all year round.

7. Don’t shy away from buying new clothes in the future

The time will eventually come for you to add to your wardrobe again, but if you’re feeling bogged down with the thought of it overflowing, just make more conscious shopping decisions and avoid impulse buying. When you do take your new purchase home, keep the tag on and let it remain in sight for a week. If you’re no longer convinced by it a week later and it's still in pristine condition, simply return it.