10 Steps to Downsizing Your Closet

As busy human beings, we often forget about something as minuscule as our closets, much less the size of them. But, there are many benefits to having a smaller closet that’ll impact your life more than you think. For example, you’d have more time to utilize in the morning, possibly more money in your bank account, and generally less stress to deal with. Prominent individuals like former President Barack Obama, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs swore by having a compact capsule wardrobe. What a smaller closet can do for you is only limited by your imagination.


Check out these ten tips below and downsizing your closet will be as easy as buttoning your favorite shirt.

1. Make a Plan

This is where you map out your dream closet. First, think about your life as a whole and the clothes that you’ll need for it. Ask yourself questions like: “What clothes do I need for my job?” and “What’s the weather like near me?” This’ll help you map out the clothes you actually need.

Also, in this plan, give yourself a particular item limit. It’ll give you a clear goal to strive towards.

2. Define Your Style

Think about styles that you enjoy and bring out the best of you. If you’re drawing a blank, try finding outfits from your favorite magazine (or online blog) and make a vision board. This’ll give you some colors, fabrics, and other visual cues to look for once you begin to take on your closet.

3. Create Three Piles (Keep, Donate, Sell)

Keep things simple. Three piles are all that you need. It also keeps things organized so you can visually see your progress as you move through your journey.

Also, don’t introduce a maybe pile into the mix. There’s no room for “maybe” clothes in a stress-free life.

4. Make the Easy Choices First

This is the best way to make a substantial dent in your clothing stash quickly. Treat this like the lightning round of your favorite game show.

  • See any items that you don’t like anymore? Maybe they’re ghosts of fashion trends past that you haven’t got to throwing away. Chuck it.
  • See any items that don’t fit? Chuck it.
  • See items that are visibly stained and holey? Chuck it.

Start off your clothing purge on the right foot and get rid of the clothing items that are making the whole bunch look unsightly.

5. Be Honest With Your Clothes

When it comes to the rest of your clothing items, think about each one long and hard.

Here are some questions to run through with each clothing item:

  • “Have I worn it in the past year?”
  • “Does it fit well?”
  • “Does it bring me joy or confidence?”

If you can’t answer yes to at least two of the three, then you should probably either donate it or sell it.

6. Lock Your Inner Hoarder Away

We all have that little voice in our head that influences us to keep things we shouldn’t. As you go through your closet, they may try and argue with you over certain items. Some of the arguments that they might have are:

  • “This was expensive! You’ve got to keep this or your wasting money!”
  • “I may need it one day; just not today!”
  • “You never know, it might come back in style!”

All of these arguments are not good enough reasons to keep an item. Remember that if you have to convince yourself to keep an item, then you probably don’t need it.

7. Don’t Forget About Accessories

Things like shoes, jewelry, and bags can pile up just as quickly as clothes can. These little trinkets can also involve some serious emotional attachment. But, don’t forget that they’re a part of the downsizing as well. If you don’t love the item, then get rid of it.

8. Set a Timeline

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your closet. Decluttering can take a ton of time when done right. Doing it in one day can be quite stressful and cause you to quit in the middle of it all. But, don’t stress yourself out! Give yourself a due-date that works for your patience and your schedule. Set a schedule as you look towards your due date, and make progress towards downsizing your closet each and every day.

If you’re one of the brave souls who would like to accomplish downsizing your closet in a day, then at least map out a schedule for that day. That’ll keep your mind focused as you downsize to your heart’s content.

9. Curb Your Shopping Habit

Now that you have the capsule closet of your dreams, the only thing left to do is maintain it. The best way to do that is to stop new clothes from coming in. It can be hard, but it’s surely doable. First off, try not to get caught up in the excitement of trends. You often get introduced to pieces that you can’t wear long term; which defeats the purpose of utilizing a capsule wardrobe.

Also, if you do find something that you want to introduce into your closet, try and give yourself a couple days to think about the purchase. If you are still obsessed with this item after that time span, then go for it.

10. Be Realistic

It’s not a race to see who can live off the least clothing items. Don’t compare your closet to other people’s closets. Don’t fixate on drastic expectations, and focus on creating a dream capsule wardrobe that’s right for your life.

Whether you want to downsize to 100 items or 10, downsizing your wardrobe can bring many benefits to your life. But, treat your clothes like you’d treat your relationships or your food choices. If it isn’t bringing your joy or confidence, then you should probably chuck it. Also, be honest with your needs and your style so you can always have the right clothes for your lifestyle and look great in them as well. The minimalist wardrobe of your dreams is just within your reach, you just have to create the blueprint for achieving it.

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