Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe

Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard

It’s time to start organizing your wardrobe! Spring is here and so is that pesky feeling of having “too much stuff.” It’s crazy what can be accumulated after a long winter! Not to mention, having to revisit Spring/Summer clothing for the first time in months. As a reader of ours you’ll know that we have a special love to getting things into tip-top shape (or at least I do!) I’ve always been drawn to organization blogs, videos, and perfectly polished Pinterest images, it’s all eye-candy to me. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still get caught up in the chaos of things! I still let my own closet law and order go out the window.

The best advice I can offer when starting on a wardrobe downsize is to stay positive and be brutally honest with yourself. Closet clean-outs can be fun and totally therapeutic when you're in the right mindset. So set yourself up for success with these fail-proof downsizing tips!

Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard
Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard

Take Everything Out

If you’re a fan of Marie Kondo then you’ll recognize this tip! While I don’t necessarily go all the way with thanking each piece of clothing I do think this is essential. It gives you a blank slate and allows you to pull anything that's fallen by the wayside or gotten stuck on broken hangers. It’s also a good visualization of just how much you truly own. Seeing a mound of clothing the size of the Eiffel Tower can put in to make you change your mindset reaaal quick!  

Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard
Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard

If it’s Seen Better Days, It’s Time to Go

This is usually one area of the closet clean-out that I tackle first. It’s easy to know which T-shirts and tanks I’ve been selfishly holding onto that have seen better times. During my sunless tanner days, I’d go through white t-shirts like crazy thanks to dyed underarms (I know, it’s gross!) As a general rule of thumb anything damaged, stained, or torn goes immediately out of the closet! It’s bound to happen to a few things over time! If you haven’t addressed the stain as soon as it happens, or taken the time to mend a tear it’s probably not going to happen. Save yourself a bill from the tailors and space in your closet by recycling it.

When in Doubt, Try it on

I can’t stress this tip enough! A quick try-on can make the decision between toss vs. keep very easy! If the garment is snug, odd-fitting, or just honestly doesn’t look good it’s time for it to go! The most common excuse that gets thrown around during a try-on is, saving it for weight loss or a rainy-day. When I said you had to be brutally honest with yourself to make progress I meant it! These excuses are a dime a dozen and will keep your closet packed and most likely disorganized. I honestly can't tell you how many times I’ve saved something in the hopes of it fitting better. Only to circle back and realize it just didn’t suit me well. When in doubt, toss it!

Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard
Your Fool-Proof Guide to Downsizing Your Wardrobe via. The Pacific Standard

One-in, One-Out

I know this suggestion will not please everyone, but it's worth trying if you want to stay organized! As a fashion blogger, I’m often gifted pieces from brands seasonally. It’s a generous perk to the job, but one that can fill up my closet quickly. Since I do also shop things can get out of control if I don’t utilize a one-in, and one-out mentality. Kevin is actually the person who suggested that I start doing this, and it’s really worked wonders! In the end, clothing is just material and can most often be replaced. I try not to get too overly attached to things in my wardrobe unless they served a special purpose or reminder (like a wedding dress or vintage hand-me-down.) Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, but in general, use your best judgment and if you make a few purchases, take out a few things.

Does It Fit Your Lifestyle?

We all go through lifestyle changes from changing jobs to moving to even just having a major change in your body (like being pregnant!) Going through these changes can be a great way to kick off a clean out, this was especially true for me after I found out I was pregnant. I realized quickly that I was no longer reaching for cheap, trendy pieces that would last a season and more so into pieces that were practical and actually made well. Don’t get me wrong, I still shop at H&M and occasionally Forever21, but I look for classic designs that won’t go out of style the following month. The same could be said if you switched from a job in the corporate world that required you to wear suits to a creative position that was more relaxed.

This attire change would no longer require you to keep all 20 of your 2-piece skirts or suits. A job change is a great time to sell pricer pieces that won’t get worn and put them into a wardrobe that is better suited for the current path your on.

Stick to Seasonal Clean-Outs

I’m one of those people who believe in only keeping out what I’m currently wearing. Living in California there is no need for fur jackets in the middle of spring, nor is there a reason to keep sundresses out in winter. Keeping these packed in with things “of the season” just adds to the clutter and makes it harder to sift through what you can actually wear. For this reason, I store off-season clothing in plastic storage containers until the time comes to wear them again. As a key part of this organization, I only clean out what is currently in season.