Purge Your Wardrobe In 10 Steps

"The clothes maketh the man, Mr Potter." - Snape, probably

New year, new you, new wardrobe. Or at least a better organised, more refined version of the one you already have. As a reformed hoarder I know just how hard it is to part with clothes (when I moved into this apartment I had an entire suitcase of just cardigans and that is not a joke or an exaggeration), but I also know the joy of finally getting rid of things you don't actually need. It is therapeutic. And having experienced both sides of the spectrum I feel I'm quite qualified to guide you through this mystical process of self-discovery and chucking garbage bags of old jumpers in your mum's car.



1. Be In The Right Mood
God knows no one can make me do something I don't want to do, so I fully appreciate the importance of timing. 
Whether this is on a Saturday afternoon or 3am on a Tuesday, recognise the urge and just do it.
Two other steps that I would also consider to fall under this umbrella are:
A) Don't Look Too Gross
If you feel like you look like shit then you're not going to feel like trying on clothes, and if you do you won't be judging them accurately. 
and B) Put On A Base Outfit
Find clothes you can easily try other things on over the top of, like leggings and a singlet.
A neutral base that won't clash with or bunch up under things you're trying on.

2. Clean Your Room
There are several reasons for this.
A) This process is only going to create more mess before it makes things better
B) If your room already looks like a bomb site your piles are just going to get lost and it will be impossible to keep track
C) If you're surrounded by clutter I highly doubt you're going to be in the right state of mind to make proper culling decisions
D) Once everything else is tidy it should motivate you to finish the job by sorting out your clothes

3. Work In Sections
Separate the job into parts. For instance my dresses, jumpers and other hanging items like cardigans & jackets are all in different areas of my wardrobe so I would start by concentrating on one area and get that completely sorted before moving on to the next section. 
If you try and do everything at once then you're just going to feel overwhelmed.


4. Know/Define Yourself
Whose wardrobe is this going to be? If you want to reinvent yourself, this is an excellent place to start. 
Otherwise just figure out which elements of your current self you want to emphasise and keep that in mind when making your decisions.

5. Know Your Colour Wheel
It's time to explore one of the harsh realities of this world: just because you like a colour that doesn't necessarily mean it will look good on you. Knowing and working with your own personal colour wheel is an integral part of being a successful human being, and the sooner you make peace with this the better. Watch this video (followed by this one) by my all-time fav Mimi Ikonn to find out what season you are, and how to work with that, and then use that knowledge to cull the items that are washing you out. Moving forward, keep this firmly in mind when buying new clothes. Cooperate with your colouring.

6. Pick Key Pieces First
Go through and pick out the things that you love the most. Everybody has them. As soon as you see it you'll know, you'll get excited, you'll think about how much you love it and you'll put it in a very special, specific pile with the rest of the A Team.

7. Be Brutal
a) Does it fit
b) Does it actually look good
c) Would you wear this tomorrow if you knew you were going to see your ex
d) Would you buy it again
e) Does it only look good when you stand or pose a certain way
f) Would you be comfortable showing it to your most judgmental friend
g) Are you subconsciously keeping it for a concerning underlying reason
(Correct answers: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Not here to judge)



8. Get All The Rejects Out Of The Way
They are gone. Get rid of them. Get them out of your room. They are irrelevant.

9. Go Through Everything Again
Hang it up nicely so you can see what you have and get rid of anything that brings down the overall standard.

10. Repeat The Process
Every time I clear out my wardrobe I think I've finished the job for good, and each time I go back and end up getting rid of even more. The less you have, the more you'll wear it, and once you get rid of things you aren't actually wearing you can figure out what new items you need to buy to fill any gaps you may have. It gets easier once you realise you really aren't missing the pieces you've given away, and if you're doing it properly then chances are your refined wardrobe will allow your style to develop even more on its own, which necessitates further clear outs to keep the cycle rolling.
Such is life.


If you still need more inspiration I've put together a playlist of relevant videos which you can find here.
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