I always thought I had loads of clothes but always felt flustered and overwhelmed by my wardrobe. On top of that, I would feel upset each time I would have to face the disaster that was my wardrobe. It wasn’t until I learned how to be ruthless when organizing my clothes that I realized how to express my style in my closet.

Now, I spend less time looking for something to wear and more doing the things that I care about. You can save money and keep your clothes organized, too! Let’s look at how to declutter clothes and how a closet can be maintained.

What is ruthless decluttering?

Cluttered closets can cause stress and emotional expense. Carefully decluttering your clothing is unlike reorganizing your closet.

The goal of organizing is to create a system that makes it easier to find things, while the goal of merciless decluttering is to eliminate things that are unneeded to you.

It can be difficult to find the motivation to declutter and downsize your wardrobe. But ruthless decluttering will allow you to sift through items that enhance your life and sort through those that don’t. By wearing clothing that you like, you can learn to like your wardrobe and personal style once more.

Should you try ruthless decluttering?

So, you are wondering, “Does my closet need to undergo ruthless decluttering?” It may not be necessary. Maybe your closet requires light organizing over a total reorganization. So, before you throw away your clothes, it is advisable to ask some questions first.

“How many clothes are in my closet? Do I get to wear most of them or am I stuck with things I rarely wear? Do I feel inadequate about my wardrobe?” If you answer “yes” to these questions, a closet purge may be just what you need.

What are the benefits of ruthless decluttering?

While it can be difficult to part with the clothes you spent hard-earned money to buy, ruthless decluttering is a liberating experience.

Although you lose that favorite shirt you never wear, you make room for clothing that actually serves its function in your life.

Mental clarity

In cluttered areas, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed, which is not a good way to start your day. In fact, mothers in cluttered homes have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. There’s no need to be worried about starting your day feeling stressed. A good ruthless decluttering helps alleviate stress.

Similarly, visual clutter can be considered to be a visual distraction that prevents your brain from functioning optimally. Because of overstimulation, clutter can impair your working memory.

While some people can easily thrive in a messy environment, most individuals enjoy being in a neat and tidy place.

Save time in the morning

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when confronted with a crowded closet early in the morning. I used to waste an additional 15 minutes looking for the perfect outfit to wear only to end up selecting the same outfit I usually do.

Ruthless decluttering will allow you to choose from fewer options. While it may seem depressing at first, these options only contain things that you really love, so you will no longer have to waste time in your closet than you have to.

Easier to keep your closet clean

Are you constantly cleaning your closet but can never keep it entirely organized? One possible reason is that you are organizing your closet, rather than ruthlessly discarding your clothes.

Eliminating unnecessary items means less clothing you need to clean up, fold, and store. This will save you a great deal of time and energy that you could use elsewhere.

Saves money in the long run

Women are likely to have $1,000 to $2,500 worth of clothing in their closets. Additionally, 50% of women won’t wear 25% of their wardrobe, which is worth about $600.

De-cluttering your clothing closet will help you understand your own style, so you will be more likely to make wise fashion purchases in the future.

Find items easily

Isn’t it annoying when you can’t find what you want to wear, but you know it’s there somewhere? Searching for that favorite cardigan is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

That is a lot of wasted time, and I prefer not to use my time searching for what I need. Additionally, ruthless decluttering allows you to see all your items at a glance, so you will relieve yourself of the frustration of failing to find that item when you need it.

So with that in mind, let’s focus on how to pare down clothing.

How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes: 8 Key tips

Now that you are aware of the benefits ruthless decluttering can have on your mental state and financial well-being, it is time for you to declutter!

Here’s how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes! You can take things to the next level by checking out our list of best decluttering books! You can also consider our ideas to involve your children in the decluttering process.

1. Get in the right headspace to start ruthless decluttering

Decluttering can initially feel overwhelming, especially if you have an emotional attachment to objects.

However, understanding why you’re decluttering in the first place will keep you motivated throughout the process. Think about what you want your closet to look like or how you want to feel when you enter your closet.

You may want to upgrade your wardrobe so it contains only quality items that you will wear often.

Perhaps you want to shave a few minutes off your morning by simplifying your morning routine. Knowing your “why” can help you declutter your closet more effectively.

2. Set a deadline

Scheduling a day and a time is a great way to declutter clothes efficiently. Set up a time and day where you can thoroughly go through your closet.

So, one to two hours should be enough time to get through a brutal decluttering process. You can also include ruthless decluttering in a home cleaning or set aside a separate day to ruthlessly declutter your clothes.

Decluttering Clothes
Decluttering Clothes

3. Make ruthless decluttering fun

Would you like to know how to be ruthless when decluttering your clothes? Make it fun! Decluttering doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be a lot of fun when paired with a fun or relaxing activity.

Such as, you can call a friend or family member or watch your favored Netflix program while sorting through the clothing in your closet.

You could also use your idle time to organize a dance party as you organize your wardrobe. The deluge of recycling options is practically endless, so decluttering doesn’t necessarily have to feel like a chore.

4. Motivate yourself with a reward

As was stated, throwing away your belongings is a difficult task, so rewarding yourself with a reward may encourage you to get started. Even if it might be unwise to reward yourself with an expensive shopping spree, the reward doesn’t have to be lavish to motivate you to pick up the cleanout process again.

Treat yourself to an ice cream or plan a date with a friend afterwards. You’re more likely to have a good time if the enjoyable activity follows a task that is otherwise mundane.

5. Lay out all your clothes

Arranging your clothes into piles will help you keep track of the clothes that you have. Furthermore, this can give you an idea of what you want to keep and what you intend to refresh.

You can also dust your closet and closet organizers before putting your clothing back inside.

6. Create a sell, keep, donate, and discard

Sorting your clothes into different categories is how to be ruthless when decluttering clothing. You should set up a sell, save, donate, and discard box. When packing the crate, keep in mind the following things.

If your unused clothes still look excellent but do not fit your tastes or unique style, you can make a quick profit by selling them.

Sell your items on websites like Poshmark and ThredUP. You could also sell them at a consignment shop. You’ll be surprised at how much you can make from used items!

The “keep” box contains your favorite items that you will wear frequently. There are a number of questions you can ask yourself to determine whether an item is worth keeping.

Do you have clothes you do not wear but that are not in sellable condition? Sometimes, the shipping fee exceeds the price of the item, so it may not be worth selling at all.

Donating your used clothing to a secondhand store is a great way to help end homelessness.

Do you have clothes that are tattered and worn at the seams? If an item is otherwise of no use to you or others, then throw it away.

Alternatively, if you are a skilled sewer, then you can give your clothing a new life by repairing the damage or by finding ways to re-purpose them.

7. Ask yourself questions as you start ruthless decluttering

As you begin ruthlessly decluttering your clothes, you may struggle with distinguishing between items that should be kept and those that are worth throwing away.

If you’re having trouble choosing an outfit for a summer outing, consider the following questions.

Have you frequently worn this item of clothing in the past? Are you more likely to wear this item if all else is inappropriate? If so, you should certainly hang on to it.

Likewise, you should keep clothing that you wouldn’t normally wear but will nonetheless be useful when cold weather arrives (think winter clothes!).

Maybe you don’t wear that black dress every day, but when you do, you feel your best. Keep clothes that make you feel confident about your style and clothing that you are comfortable wearing.

Too often, we buy things that look good on display or mannequins but don’t feel right on our actual bodies. If the clothing does not make you feel happy, then you should pass it up.

I’m guilty of keeping clothes that are not large enough to fit me today. “Goal weight clothes,” signify a reminder to me of my previous weight loss and dieting goals.

However, this can often have negative side effects, including reduced self-confidence and difficulty letting go of items that do not provide value. For this reason, it may be easier to let go of things we don’t care for than of things we don’t appreciate.

Do you need five pairs of the same hoodie in different colors? Most would not. Now, if you enjoy wearing the “Steve Jobs,” look, you may be an exception. However, if you have the same article of clothing in several catalogs, it may make sense to remove them it.

8. Avoid second-guessing as you ruthlessly declutter

Be it digging through that “sell” box or leaving an item aside for later, refrain from second-guessing your decisions. Ruthlessly decluttering your clothes requires you to make choices.

Nonetheless, the more you clean, the easier it is to trust your gut instinct. Standing by your own decisions is the best way to declutter clothes effectively.

Ruthless decluttering like a pro? Maintain your wardrobe!

Well done! You’ve decluttered your closet. However, shaving just half of your clothing is not enough to win the battle. The other half of the challenge is to maintain a decluttered closet. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this.

Ruthlessly declutter by tracking your wardrobe

You can simplify ruthless decluttering by tracking the frequency you wear a particular item. There are easy and convenient methods like the “hanger-turning trick,” or you could use a more elaborate tracking system such as the “pen and paper” method.

A good way to keep track of your clothes is to use your hangers. Whenever you use a piece of clothing, turn the hanger around. It is essential to have a simple wardrobe.

Toss any clothing you have not worn within a specified time frame. Keep doing this as frequently as you like.

Another easy and efficient way to track your clothing is with pen and paper. Begin by making a list by writing down all the items you own and placing a checkmark beside each item when it is worn.

This method can be time-consuming if your clothing closet is cluttered, but it is wise to visually track your most frequently used clothes and gadgets. You can also try using notetaking apps, such as Google docs or Notes, if you prefer to keep up with the information digitally.

Apps for curating your wardrobe can also be used for more-advanced tracking systems. Furthermore, the app can forecast future outfits and help you plan them.

Planning your outfit ahead of time will save you time and money in the morning. There are many affordable applications such as Stylebook and SmartCloset that do this for you.

Be conscious with your new purchases

Now is the time to fill those empty spaces with new items. However, a crucial part of ruthless decluttering is keeping your wardrobe uncluttered.

Does the new item fit your aesthetic and style? Do you feel comfortable wearing this item, and do you anticipate wearing it often?

You should ask these question before determining whether purchasing a refrigerator is worthwhile to you or will end up staying in the back of your closet.

Remember to shop your closet before any new purchases are made.

Buy it later

Another way to guarantee a clean home is by buying desired items later. For instance, you may prefer a pair of new shoes. You might think that it is absolutely necessary right now.

Before making the purchase, leave those pairs of shoes in your cart for about a week. The vast majority of the time, you’ll forget about them. However, although the price seems expensive, it still might be a good deal if you decide to make the purchase. This strategy helps us avoid impulse buying by delaying gratification.

Keeping the number of articles in your clothing closet to a reasonable number can prevent your closet from becoming a messy mess again. I recommend building a capsule wardrobe!

A capsule wardrobe contains about 10 to 14 of your favorite pieces to mix and match, and can be worn together.

Before you go on a shopping spree, determine what your closet needs and what it doesn’t. Then, plan out your capsule wardrobe and set a budget.

Take your time shopping for items you love. It is more important to find a wardrobe you enjoy rather than rushing to make a purchase.

Set a date to ruthless declutter your closet again

Don’t feel embarrassed if you have clothing all over your floor again. Set aside some time to get rid of your old clothing items by sorting through them and choosing outfits that work for you.

As previously described, it’s essential to set aside an hour to ruthlessly declutter your clothing. Refresh your wardrobe seasonally, and give yourself a treat after you’ve accomplished your goal.

Since humans are forgetful, it can be easy for us to fall off the wagon in our decluttering journey. Therefore, it’s helpful to contract a friend to assist us in our ruthless decluttering efforts. Perhaps you can start a ruthless decluttering routine together and keep each other accountable.

Ruthless decluttering doesn’t have to feel ruthless!

Now that you know how to be ruthless when decluttering your clothes, you can enjoy your decluttered closet every morning. Letting go of your belongings may be difficult at first, but it’s a good feeling to walk into your closet every morning.

You won’t have to stress about what to wear, you’ll save money, and you’ll have more time to search for clothing in your wardrobe. You don’t have to feel ruthless while decluttering your closet; you can learn to love it again!

Now that you are already saving on your wardrobe and are no longer purchasing new clothes, keep the momentum going by signing up for our “Savings challenge” package.

It is loaded with budget-saving opportunities, such as the “Master Your Spending” challenge that will help you avoid spending on anything but necessities!


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