How to Declutter Your Wardrobe: Trying On & Deciding What to Keep

I’m going to show you how to declutter your wardrobe with a bit of a twist. I plan to try on each item of clothing and make it fun to declutter. After trying each one on, I’ll give the thing a thumbs up, a thumbs down, or not sure, then decide if I’m going to keep or get rid of the item.


First, I’ll go through dresses, having well over a dozen to sort through. I have a lot of dresses for work, but I also have a few for special occasions.

While there were a couple of specialty dresses and sentimental pieces, I chose the ones that were the most flattering fit and could be worn for various occasions. The biggest winners were colors or patterns that lend versatility to my everyday wardrobe. I did have a couple of the same dress in different colors, so to declutter, I chose the ones I could wear most often.

Two of the keepers:

Decluttering dresses

How to choose dresses to keep and donate

The biggest thumbs down were dresses that no longer fit, like the two below. 

Minimalist closet organization

Getting rid of dresses that don't fit

Both of these were tight. Dresses that are too tight take up valuable space, so I chose not to hold on to those. The dresses I gave thumbs down to weren’t flattering or comfortable, which motivated me to remove them from my wardrobe.

Tops and jumpers

Next, I’m going through tops and jumpers. Just like dresses, the keepers were the ones that were comfortable and versatile. I chose versatility even more with tops because I want to mix and match pieces with pants or skirts.

If a top went with a skirt as part of a set, I kept it because I don’t own a lot of skirts, and the outfit looks nice together.

Also, like dresses, a sentimental piece ended up staying because my mom made it. She hand-knit a jumper for me that I love because she made it herself, and it’s both warm and comfortable.

Minimalist closet ideas

I kept this one even though it tends to need ironing because I can pair it with many pairs of pants I own.  

Decluttering tops

This is one of the ones I chose to get rid of because it’s ill-fitting and, like others I’m decluttering, hasn’t been worn in quite a while. 

The others I decluttered also tended to be overly patterned or didn’t work with other pieces for mixing and matching.

Decluttering skirts

Skirts and pants

The skirts I had were keepers because there were so few, and all the skirts were flattering.

How to declutter your wardrobe

Pants were another group that was primarily keepers. All fit well and look good with various tops or jumpers, especially for work.

How to declutter your wardrobe

Going through the process of decluttering your wardrobe is more effective if you try each piece on. While I kept a lot, I didn’t make any impulsive decisions I regret. I now know that what I have in my wardrobe are pieces I will wear.

I’ll do this a couple of times a year to keep my wardrobe decluttered. How often do you declutter your wardrobe? Comment below to share your decluttering tips!

Join the conversation
  • Marna Marna on Dec 09, 2022

    I am picky about how pants fit. If they either bag or are too snug in the crotch or seat, or are too long in the legs, they go in the give-away box. Occassionally they shrink or stretch out and they have to go. I have also decided to weed out certain colors and try to narrow down my wardrobe to things that are easier to mix and match, such as red, black, white and blue.

  • Hi Marna, Yes absolutely agree! I am keen to do the same with my wardrobe and narrow down to a small colour range. It makes it so much easier to choose outfits (especially for me that has no sense of style). lol