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  • Writer's pictureMara Clements

Clothing Decluttering Tips: Declutter Your Closet to Heal Your Relationship with Your Clothes

As we transition into the cooler fall weather, you might be reconsidering your wardrobe and how to make it suit your lifestyle and personality better. Each year, we have the opportunity for a refresh so that our appearance can accommodate all the ways that we’ve changed in the past year.

This year, what if instead of running to the store to purchase new items, you focused on making space in your wardrobe first so you can feel excited about the pieces you truly love and make room for the new ones? I’ll walk you through some tips for how to declutter your closet and downsize your clothing for a fresh start.

Minimal clothing on a rack organized by color and sleeve length

As you read, follow along using the free organizing worksheet I’ve created to help you heal your relationship with clothing, along with a printable question list to have handy while you declutter your clothing. Click here to get it sent to your email address!

Healing Your Relationship with Clothing: Mindful, Intentional Home Organizing

The outcome of decluttering is making space for your best self to shine. The actual process of deciding which items to keep, however, is an underrated component of organizing that can also have long-term benefits.

Imagine you are looking at your closet. How does it make you feel, and more importantly, why?

Perhaps you have lots of “aspirational clothing” that is shaming you for not being a certain size. Jeans that aren’t meant for your unique body type, workout clothes that are too tight, a dress you don’t ever feel confident in- all of these just bring negative energy into your precious space.

Or maybe you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum. You have lots of clothes that are reminding you of a past version of yourself that no longer resonates with who you are now. Sparkly tank tops from when you used to go out clubbing, worn-out sweatshirts from your previous relationship, a pair of shoes that reminds you of a hard time you went through: just more negative energy piling up. Perhaps you feel guilty for spending money on an expensive piece that you never wear. You have permission to let go of it. You paid for a learning experience at the very very least.

Your clothing is keeping you tethered to either the past that you’ve been trying to move on from, or the future that may never come. Decluttering and getting rid of clothing that is causing you shame or anxiety is a way to honor your present self, who is worthy of living and cherishing TODAY. No matter what you look like!

Practice appreciating your clothing for what it gave you in the past and let go of the perceived need to “fix” yourself. You are enough as you are.

Mara Clements, professional organizer near Lancaster, PA sitting on a set of stairs

Choosing to donate items can also help you appreciate them even more than you ever could if they were left hanging untouched in your closet. Notice how good it feels to give items a better home, to someone who really fits with the piece style-wise and in their current phase of life.

Making space also helps you see your closet anew, creating a renewed sense of excitement for your favorite pieces. Imagine walking into your closet and only seeing what you love. As you sort through which clothing items bring you joy and represent your current self, you are curating a sense of your personal style. You will then be able to make more intentional purchases in the future that are more aligned with this vision, similar to a capsule wardrobe.

(If you’re looking for even more help discovering your personal style, my clients get access to a local resource guide with a listing for my favorite personal stylist in Lancaster! If you’ve worked with me in the past, ask me for your copy.)

Questions to ask yourself when decluttering your closet:

1. Do I wear this?

A simple yet underrated question! If you don’t wear it, odds are that it is not serving its full purpose in your possession.

2. How does my body react when I hold this item?

Are you filled with light and energy, or do you feel weighed down? Aim to keep only what brightens your authentic self.

Woman wearing sunglasses and smiling with a sign in the background that says "You are beautiful"

3. Does this serve current me? (instead of future me or past me)

You as you are right now are worthy of wearing clothing you love and that loves you back.

4. Is this piece worn-out? Has it served its time?

Clothing has a lifespan. Let yourself grieve when its time is up, and celebrate the happy memories you’ve experienced with it. If you are holding into it for the memory, chances are you have a photo of yourself in it that is worth more than the piece itself.

5. Would I want to wear this on my birthday? Would I pack this with me on vacation?

Some fun questions to help you consider which pieces are truly your favorites and aligned with your best self.

6. Would I want to wear this later this week?

If the previous questions don’t work for you, you might try getting a bit more practical with this one.

7. Would someone else love this item more than I am right now?

You can appreciate a piece of clothing while also acknowledging that it’s not meant for you. Pass it on to someone else who will love it!

After decluttering your closet, you might find that you need a new layout. I’m partnered with Modular Closets, which offers custom closets that are perfectly suited to your specific items. Ask me about how we can work together on designing your dream closet! (In the meantime, here’s a link to one of my favorite closet organizers for purses.)

Free Printable Worksheet Download for Decluttering Your Closet

Free printable worksheet PDF download to declutter your closet and develop your personal style

Whether you want clothing to be a way to express yourself or simply a functional way to show up in the world, decluttering your closet can help alleviate stress and make mental space to go forth as your most confident, inspired self!

Click here and follow the steps to get the closet decluttering worksheet and printable question list sent to your email. It will help get you started on healing your relationship with your belongings and ultimately, yourself! I’m wishing you the best, and am here if you need help. Contact me on this site's home page.

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