Where to start when sorting out clothing

The weather is turning and it is certainly darker in the mornings. It gets to this time in the year where we want to spend more time in bed and less time choosing what to wear. We look at our wardrobe and still have the summer clothes as well as some winter clothes left from last year. It is the perfect time to have a good sort out and ensure your wardrobe is only filled with the things you love but most importantly that make you feel good.

The best place to start is by removing all clothes from the wardrobes, chest of drawers, cupboards and even laundry basket so you can see exactly how much you have. This first step is usually quite alarming to most, so be prepared to be shocked by the quantity that you have. A good way to think is the 90/90 rule. This idea covers most seasons as Autumn and Spring can be similar in terms of what you wear. If you haven’t worn the item for the last 90 days and don’t plan on wearing it for the next 90 days then it is safe to say you won’t miss it. Maybe someone else may get a better use out of the item so you can consider passing it on to charity or selling it yourself. There is of course an exception when it comes to hobby clothing but this can be discussed in another blog post in the future.

Once all your clothes are in one big pile you can work through the pile and sort into four sections. 1. Keep 2. Not sure. 3. Donate 4. Dispose. Everything in the dispose pile should only be disposed of if it cannot be passed on. Most charity shops have a contingency for the items that are not in a good enough condition to be resold.

Once everything is categorised into these piles you can focus on the ‘Not sure’ pile and spend some time with these items. Common thoughts here are I have only worn it once and I would like to wear it again. If you do not have an occasion to wear it again then really consider whether you would or whether you have a guilt of parting with the item because of the money you spent on it originally. Another common thought is I will keep this just in case. The just in case is a waste of your time and wardrobe space, trust me. Whatever that just in case meaning, you will be able to find something similar in the future if you need it.

With the Donate pile, ensure you donate these items either the same/next day or week if possible. It is all too tempting to keep looking in that bag if it is lying around gradually taking items out and creeping them back into your room without a plan for it. Keep it somewhere that is becomes an obstacle to remind you to take it to the charity shop. If you put it in the garage, the chances are it’ll be forgotten about.

The Dispose pile. With this pile, do not take this too lightly, plan how you will dispose of the item, ensuring it is recycled where possible and not ending up in landfill. This conscious effort in how you dispose of items should be considered when you purchase things too. There is a worldwide shift in attitude towards fashion and you only need to look at the amount of programmes and documentaries about it online and Netflix.

The Keep pile. Firstly categorise your clothes into sections. If you find you have similar items such as three grey jumpers but you rarely wear grey, then pick your favourite one or two and part with the rest. Anything that is damaged beyond your own scope to repair it can be passed on also. Try to be honest and logical during the process. Also putting the item on and seeing how it makes you feel wearing it can help decision making.

I will do a separate post on how to re-fill your wardrobes and drawers using the space effectively so keep an eye out for that soon.

On 2nd November I am holding a workshop on how to declutter the kids rooms ready for Christmas, so book on if this is something of interest to you. I hope to see you then!

Have a fabulous week everyone.


Reclaiming Interiors was founded by Lauren Paige Smith, a Professional Organiser and Interior Stylist. She is member of APDO and qualified with a Master’s degree in Interior design. Also a qualified yoga teacher, Lauren is passionate about wellbeing and slow, intentional living in a home that brings happiness and calm. She is on a mission to help people to restore the love for their home.

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