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A Guide to Mindfully Detoxing Your Wardrobe

If you’ve ever stared blankly into a closet full of clothes and said to yourself, “I have nothing to wear,” we both know you probably do, you just have nothing you really WANT to wear. If you’re reading this you’ve probably experienced that exact scenario, so we’re here to help.

A wardrobe detox can work wonders for simplifying your closet, making it easier to choose an outfit every day. Instead of complaining and going out to buy new clothes straight away, sorting through your pieces can be refreshing and give you a fresh perspective on your closet. A good declutter every now and then can really make you re-evaluate what works for you and what doesn’t—so get ready to say goodbye to well-loved pieces, and to revive some forgotten essentials back into your daily style.

Start With A Bin And Donation Bags

Before getting started, and to avoid creating a huge cluster in your home, make sure you have a bin at hand and a couple of bags for throw-aways and donations. While detoxing your wardrobe, keep in mind that storing out-of-season clothes in a bin will really help you see and wear more of the pieces you’ve been neglecting. So while you try to narrow down the items you want to keep, also choose a few that you don’t mind storing away until their season comes around (eg. heavy winter coats or summer shorts and dresses). Try not to trash anything unless it’s damaged in a totally unsalvageable way, even if you were to pass it onto someone else—mostly you’ll find this will be things such as an old pair of dirty, ripped shoes.

Find An Upbeat Playlist

The goal is to stay awake, and have full energy! If the music makes you want to dance, then that’s exactly what you need while you declutter and organize your wardrobe.

Look At Your Clothes In A Different

Take ALL (yes, everything!) of your clothes out of your closet and lay them out on your bed, put them on the floor, lay them out on your dining table…you get the point. Sometimes when we look at our pieces in a different place than they are normally stored in, it’s easier to visualize how we would wear them, or whether we would still wear them at all.

Create A YES And NO Pile

First things first: sort through each item and create a YES and NO pile—which means the items you want to keep and the items you want to discard. It will make it easier to further analyze your YES pile.

If you’re the creative type, you can even take a second look at your NO pile and figure out how to re-use the pieces in different ways, or even get crafty with scissors, a sewing machine, and clothing dyes instead of buying new clothes to replace old ones. Say yes to conscious and mindful detoxing! A good DIY project can even revive ripped or damaged clothing!

Sentimental Or Expensive Items

These pieces will likely be in your keep pile, even though you can probably let go of a few. They’re the items you know you never wear but have a special place in your heart. There’s nothing wrong with hanging on to a sentimental piece but try to be mindful if you have several of them. If an item has been in your closet for a long time and you’ve had no desire to wear it, then you should first use the 1 year method to decide if it’s a keeper. For example, if you haven’t worn it for the past 2 winter seasons, maybe you should say your goodbyes.

If you’re really having trouble parting ways with it, ask yourself: Would you regret giving this away or be upset seeing it on someone else?

If you answered “no,” you could always donate it to a church or non-profit organization knowing it’ll go to someone who really needs it, or if it’s an expensive piece then sell it online! If you answered “yes,” then put it in plastic and keep it safely stored in the back of your closet. Everyone has a couple of sentimental pieces tucked away somewhere.

Ask The Important Questions

Now that that’s all out of the way, take a look at your YES pile. Be super ruthless and strong-willed! Try to imagine your clothes are somebody else’s and you’re helping them detox their wardrobe instead of your own. Now ask yourself some important guiding questions as you sort through:

  • Do I feel comfortable wearing this?

  • Does this easily go with other essential pieces?

  • Does this colour suit me?

  • Does this fit me?

  • Is this annoying to wear?

  • Do I feel good when I put this piece on?

  • Are there damages to this and are they worth fixing?

  • Would you buy this is you saw it in a shop today?

Create Categories

It’s overwhelming sorting through all your clothes at once, so it might help you to do one category at a time. It’s just like browsing through an online shop—create categories to place each item in such as: jackets/coats, t-shirts/blouses, jeans, trousers, workout clothes, pyjamas, dresses, undergarments, boots, sneakers, and so on.

Write it all down if it helps you envision it better, and try to decide whether a specific category needs more eliminations than others. I mean, how often do we really need 20 t-shirts? Narrow it down to a more realistic number and go through your list of important questions while doing so.

Identify Essentials

As you organize, try to visualize your ideal pieces and how you would style them. If you can, create a “mood board” of some sort—so choose essential colours and styles you know you love and that will match with almost everything you choose to wear on any given day. This will help keep your wardrobe to a minimum, and you’ll end up being able to pair other pieces with your essentials that are wearable every day instead of clothes that are hanging in your closet “just in case”. Your essentials should be the pieces you can’t live without and will feel great anytime you put them on.

Re-Organize Your Closet

While detoxing, you may have found some pieces that you had forgotten about but can’t wait to add to your daily outfit essentials. While you put everything back into your closet, make sure you can see all your clothes and try to re-organize folded items and drawers on a regular basis so you’re not neglecting the clothes that need more loving.

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