How to declutter clothes, 5 effective techniques

Do you want to declutter the clothes in your home (and keep them simplified for good)? 

There is no time like the present to get started, but sometimes just knowing what to declutter first, or how to declutter them, what to do with the clothes you aren’t keeping can hold you back.

Consider me your fairy decluttering godmother.

With the 5 actionable clothes decluttering strategies in this post, you'll be on your way to having enough clothes, but not too much asap!

Hint: Hidden in the depths of this post, you may find a bit of bonus content to help you on your clothes decluttering and simplified wardrobe journey. Here’s the first one:

The Clothes Course >>>

#1: All at once Marie Kondo style

Have you ever tried to start decluttering by just keeping what sparks joy? It’s a nice theory, and even works for some things. But when you’re a mom you also have to make a lot of tactical decisions, not centered around joy, but around necessity. 

But, Marie Kondo does have other decluttering methods, and while my understanding is she thinks you should use this particular method for everything in your home, I think it only works for some areas when you have kids. 

And clothes are one of them. 

When decluttering clothes, your first step should always be gathering ALL of the clothes for one person into one area at a time. 

When you do this you are able to see what you have, shop your stash for what you want to keep, piece outfits together and then put the ones that are staying all back into the closet. 

I recommend decluttering clothes for one person at a time.

Doing more than one is going to get overwhelming and very confusing very quickly. 

This method can feel very daunting, and that’s okay. But it really does work. Otherwise you will declutter some clothes, find more buried in another closet, add them back to the decluttered space eventually and end up right back where you started. Overwhelmed, confused and forgetful about what you actually have and what you need. 

Frump Fighters has a really good guide all about how to build wardrobes that match your style that I have recommended for years. 

Check it out here! 

2: As You Go Method

One of my favorite strategies is what I call the “As You Go” method], and I find it helps me get on top of my decluttering in the cracks of my day as a mom.

You’ve probably heard of the “As You Go” method before if you’re in my course Decluttering Simplified and it's easy enough to do, but it isn't always something you can really excel at without knowing exactly how to use it for different areas of your home decluttering.

The As You Go method for clothes looks like washing, drying and then deciding what to declutter as you put things away. 

This method can work, especially if you have already done a big declutter of the clothes like in the Marie Kondo method. But it is slower, and often ineffective because they clothing you are washing and drying are the clothes your family is wearing. 

So eventually you need to do a bulk declutter of the clothes to get rid of the stuff shoved in closets, drawers and bins saved for the future. 

You can find a more in-depth look at this blog post here to learn how exactly to declutter clothes, and build capsule wardrobes for your kids.

3: The easy decluttering decisions

When you're a mom trying to declutter, getting caught up in all of the decisions you have to make can be really difficult.

So rather than trying to decide what to keep and how to make sure you have the clothes you need and want, here's something you can do instead: get rid of the clothes that are easy to get rid of. Doesn't it feel good to look at clothes with holes and stains that have just been totally worn out and let them go?

Now that you’ve let that go of those broken and unwearable (or clothes you wouldn’t feel good about seeing sold at a consignment store), get rid of the clothes you hate wearing, or you hate how they feel, or how they make you feel. 

We keep a lot of clothes for the idea of them. 

They would look so cute, IF… (it was a different color, I wasn’t breastfeeding, I had my pre-baby body…)

I wore this for so long when I …. (was in a totally different season of life again).

If you want to join me in decluttering ALL of your clothes, even those clothes from our old lives, why not have a look at this course that shows you exactly how to declutter your clothes, build a wardrobe you love and finally get and stay caught up on laundry. 

4: The clothes you never wear (and never will)

Grab the donation box and toss it all in. When I do this I like to play a game called “keep, or don’t keep”. I have played this with friends even. And I definitely play it with my Gemini teenage daughter who struggles to decide what she likes. 

Sometimes getting another set of eyes on your wardrobe is just the thing you need to know how you really feel about your clothes.

Don't be shy, let someone in on the clothes decluttering project with you!

Someone you trust who can help you voice out the kind of clothes you want to keep, and actually like. In addition to the decision support, I think you’ll find it really fun. 

I just hold up a clothing item, say “keep or don’t keep” and they respond with their real feelings about the clothes. 

But if you watch your initial reaction and then let yourself explain why you could, should or would wear it, you’ll only end up more confused.

You need someone who can read your body language and facial expressions. Support you in your personal style and preferences and be honest with you.

If you don't know anyone who fits the bill, remember I'm available for clothes decluttering support one on one over here. Once you sign up for Decluttering Simplified I will reach out to ask if you’d like additional support . You can also go on the hunt for the perfect support in a smaller, less committed way inside of the Clothes Course. 

If that sounds good, here’s how to get started:

  • Get the Clothes Course
  • Check Your Email to Log In
  • Follow the 4 steps to declutter your clothes, build your simple wardrobe that you love and manage your family’s laundry and clothes moving forward

Click right here >>>

5: Focus on what to keep

Sometimes the easiest way to declutter is to focus on what you want to keep, and what fits into your current closet or dresser space.

Most of us have more clothes than can actually fit into the space that we have. That’s why we have overflowing baskets, drawers we can’t open or keep organized and piles of clothes scattered throughout our homes. 

If you do the Marie Kondo method of decluttering and pull it all out. You can choose a strategic wardrobe and put it all back one at a time to make sure it fits.

Then you are focusing on what you want, which feels like less of a loss. And you are holding yourself to a physical boundary of what actually fits into the space that you have.

It’s a self-correcting way of decluttering clothes. 

Whether you declutter your clothes all at once, one person at a time, or you declutter the more slowly over time, I am cheering you on every step of the way. 

Decluttering your clothes and making the laundry situation in your home is about so much more than just having a clean house. It’s about taking control of the things in your life that you have control over. And that will start to trickle into every other aspect of your life as well. 

For me decluttering my stuff simplified my life massively and now I can’t help but to always look for ways to create more space and time for what I truly want. Rather than accept that my life is being overrun by things I don’t want, like or even need. 

Key Takeaways

I hope this post has given you a roadmap for some big wins with simple strategies that you can use today. Some of these you may have tried and others will likely be new. Either way, there should be enough for you to dig in and get going again, or for the very first time.

They don't look so hard, do they? I kept #5 in there because I know you deserve to enjoy this process and learn what it really looks like to have a manageable amount of stuff in your home.

Haing less clothing can feel scary and make us think we won’t have enough, or that we are being wasteful. Especially as parents. That’s especially true if you’re a parent on a tight budget. Declutteirng clothes can feel like a risk. It’s so common to feel this way, but there is also inherent risk in having too much. When you strategically have less you are actually mitigating risk and being more wise with your resources. 

You might also be thinking that if you declutter clothes you will be doing more laundry. 

You won’t be. 

It will be the same about of laundry.You just won’t be able to fall behind as easily and it will be within reach to actually stay caught up on laundry forever. I haven’t been behind in a decade. 

You might be doing laundry more often. But you will not be doing more laundry overall. But even if you are doing laundry more often, wouldn’t that still be worth not having piles of clothes all over the place, all the time? 

Finally, fast fashion markets to us very well. It makes us want to buy all the cute things, matching outfits and fun accessories often due to FOMO. 

For many of us though, we do love to have and wear cute clothes. To adorn our children, and we should do this if we enjoy it. But if the way you are doing it now is overwhelming you and not sustainable, you have to change it. 

Too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Even when it comes to cute clothes. 

Remember, if you want a step by step guide to declutter your family’s clothes, build a wardrobe that meets your needs and stay caught up on laundry forever you can always get my Clothes Course.

 It is an incredibly helpful roadmapy to help you finally get control of the clothing situation in your home. 

Get it right here >>>


Even if you have little time, energy or day to day support