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Questions to Ask When Decluttering Your Closet

Have you ever stood in front of your closet and said, "I have nothing to wear?" And yet, there you are staring at a closet full or maybe even over stuffed with clothes. I reached that point a few years ago. Some mornings I was exhausted before my day had even really started as I tried to decide what to wear.

When my husband and I moved into our home 11 years ago we had upsized significantly and I had finally gotten my dream of a walk-in closet. I was on a mission to fill that sucker up! With a career in retail management I had no problem finding items to buy and add to my collection. Little did I realize at that time, that the more I filled up my closet the more difficult it was to find items and to decide what to wear.

These days I am working hard to pare down my clothes and to let go of items in my closet. Decluttering your closet can be a challenging project! As I have been working on my own closet clean out I have been asking myself specific questions. These questions have really helped make my decisions on what to keep and what to let go.


We wear about only 20% of what we have in our closets 80% of the time


Before You Start to Declutter

  • Give yourself a block of time to work.

  • Make sure you can see everything you are working with. Set aside any items that you do wear on a regular basis.

  • Work on categories of clothes to prevent overwhelm or if you are limited on time. For example, all bottoms, all active wear, or all summer clothes.

  • Coordinate your closet clean out with the end/start of a new season. This is a great way to easily determine what you have worn recently and what does and does not fit.

  • Try not to think about the money you spent an item as a factor of whether or not to let it go. If it isn't being worn, let it go. The space in your closet and preventing decision fatigue are also very valuable.

  • If you're unsure then TAKE TIME TO TRY ITEMS ON!


The average person spends $1700 each year on clothing.


Questions for Decluttering Your Closet

  • Have I worn this item in the last 12 months?

  • Do I like the way this item fits?

  • Is the style of this item flattering on my body?

  • Does the color of this item suit my skin tone?

  • Does this item need repaired or hemmed and will I commit to completing the alteration needed?

  • Is this item beyond repair (stained, ripped, stretched out, snagged)?

  • Is this item out of style?

  • Can I match this item with other items in my wardrobe to create outfits?

  • Do I have more than 1 of this item or another item that is very similar?

  • Does this item require high maintenance like dry cleaning or ironing?

  • Will I miss this item if I let it go?

  • Have I had a lifestyle change that affects the way that I dress? New job, new baby, weight loss or gain?


44% of women can't find an item in their closet at least once a month.


Over the last few weeks I have let go of over 100 items of clothing from my closet. The experience has been cathartic and freeing. I am far off from being a minimalist or having a capsule wardrobe, but I have learned over the years that clothing should be more about quality versus quantity. I hope that these guiding questions are able to help you as you tackle your own closet!

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