Simplify your clothing collection: Tips for decluttering your wardrobe

If you’re looking to make space to try out a new style or you’ve been inspired to have a clear-out, cleaning out your wardrobe is a great way to shed the weight of unwanted clothing to make space for new, exciting pieces. Whether you’re embarking on your yearly spring clean or having a much-needed declutter for the first time in years, going through your clothing collection is a great way to condense your wardrobe down to make space for new seasonal wear and upcoming trends. 

Cleaning out your wardrobe can be a daunting task to undertake, which is why our style experts are here to help. From offering you helpful tips on how to clean your wardrobe, to advice on how to stay organised and inspiring you with versatile, stylish clothing to add to your repertoire, we’ve got you covered.

How do I start decluttering my wardrobe?

The key to successfully cleaning out your wardrobe is to have a system that works for you and understand the ‘why’ for doing this. Clutter is never really about the items themselves, it is more about our relationship with them, and by cleaning out items you no longer love, you can help free up space in your wardrobe and your mind. Although getting started on this task may seem like a chore, once you discover the joy of a neat, clean and organised wardrobe, you will never want to go back to the life of cramped clothing and tangled hangers. By following these simple steps, you can declutter your wardrobe quickly and efficiently.

  1. Remove everything from your wardrobe. The first step and undoubtedly the easiest is to completely clear out your wardrobe and drawers. We advise placing all of your clothes in clear view of the wardrobe, in a large space so you can see everything you own clearly. This will help you get a better idea of how many items you have and allow you to sort them into categories to see what you have too much or too little of.
  2. Discard any damaged clothes. To make the sorting process quicker, we suggest keeping an eye out for any damaged clothing pieces whilst you are sorting your items into categories. Whether it’s a jacket with a broken zipper or a t-shirt with stains,  you have likely been avoiding wearing these pieces for a while and therefore they should be removed to make space for new pieces.
  3. Sort through items that fit. A lot of the clothing we hold onto and never wear are pieces that do not fit in the way that we like. Whether they are too big, too small or made from a less favourable material, try your clothing on and decide whether it makes you feel fab or frumpy. You can then decide whether you’re going to keep or chuck!
  4. Sell or donate items that you no longer want. Once you’ve got piles of clothing that you know fits well and brings you joy to wear, it’s time to gather the garments you want to get rid of. This does not include any sentimental items that may be hard to part with. A tip to help you decide what to throw away is to consider whether you have worn it in the last year, if you haven’t then it’s likely time to part ways with it. When we say discard an item, however, we’re not suggesting that you put this in the bin, especially if it is in good condition and could be loved by someone else! You can choose to donate unwanted clothing to a local charity, sell it on a second-hand clothing platform, or have a swap party with friends and family. If it truly is the end of the road for a garment due to damage, then be sure to take it to a local clothing recycling service so that it can be discarded properly, preventing unnecessary additions to landfill.
  5. Organise and store your items in a way that makes sense for you. A wardrobe that is organised in a way that is functional and makes sense for your lifestyle can help make it easier to maintain. We recommend organising your wardrobe either by season, colour or style, this way you can have a clear picture of what you own and makes it easier to put together outfits. A tip to help save space and create a simple seasonal wardrobe is to put larger seasonal items such as oversized coats and jumpers into storage when they’re not needed.

What is the rule of 3 for clearing a wardrobe?

When cleaning out your wardrobe, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you may wear a certain article of clothing again, even if you haven’t worn it in years, making you reluctant to get rid of it. To try and combat those thoughts, we suggest enforcing the ‘rule of 3’ - If you cannot imagine how you would realistically wear the piece of clothing in three different ways, then you should get rid of it.

This rule not only helps you clear out clothing you no longer need but it can also inspire you to be more creative with the outfits you create. Whether you imagine the piece of clothing for separate occasions or in different styles of outfits, visualising various ways to style one piece will help you get the most out of your clothing and get more out of your clothing’s price-per-wear.

What are the benefits of cleaning your wardrobe?

So much of how we care for our belongings reflects how we live, the phrase ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ can apply to your wardrobe as well, and is just one of the many benefits of clearing it out. Further benefits to a wardrobe declutter include:

Helps you to shop smarter and save money

Once you’ve cleaned out your wardrobe, you will be able to see clearly what items you already own that don’t need repurchasing and what items are missing from your collection. This will not only make it easier to shop but it will also ensure you don’t waste money on unnecessary clothing items.

Saves you time getting ready

The feeling of having too many clothes can be overwhelming and results in you choosing the same outfits over and over again, therefore by simplifying your wardrobe, you can help prevent this and make choosing outfits each day a quicker and easier process. A functional wardrobe full of clothing you love that fits you well will not only save you time but can also inspire you to be more creative with putting together new looks with your existing pieces.

Inspires you to clear out clutter in other areas

Organising can be a great way to destress and by clearing out old items that no longer serve us we can make physical and emotional space. Once you’re in the mood to clean out your wardrobe you will likely feel motivated to organise other areas of your home and life too. 

Helps you feel less stressed 

Cleaning out your wardrobe can be a freeing and inspiring task. Getting rid of clothing that no longer fits you or aligns with your current style can feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders. It will help you feel much more calm and relaxed when getting ready every day as you will have a manageable and organised wardrobe to pick from.

Makes room for new pieces

Creating space allows you the chance to build something new, and an organised and streamlined wardrobe will give you space to add new pieces when you’re ready. Whether your style has changed, you’re switching out clothing for the new season or you’re curious to try new trends, a decluttered wardrobe will give you the room to expand your collection with thoughtful pieces that suit you and your lifestyle. 

What clothing can I add to my wardrobe once cleaned? 

Now that you’ve created more space for your clothing, you may want to consider what classic items are missing from your wardrobe and how you can keep your garment collection simple going forward. You may feel inspired to create a capsule wardrobe consisting of a collection of pieces that can be used for a variety of occasions and mixed and matched with existing clothing in your wardrobe. This is a great way to narrow down the number of items in your wardrobe and keep it minimal.

The key is to choose items that are versatile and can be paired easily with each other. To successfully create a capsule wardrobe we recommend owning no more than 40 items of clothing. We suggest investing in some staple trousers, skirts, tops and dresses that can be coordinated with one another to create endless outfit combinations, examples of which are outlined below.


A pair of classic jeans are a must-have item for any wardrobe. Suitable for year-round wear, a pair of blue jeans is one of the most versatile pieces to have in your collection. Jeans that fit you well and make you feel good are likely to stay in your wardrobe for years to come. Once you’ve cleaned your wardrobe, we suggest investing in a pair of jeans that make you feel your most confident and pair well with most items in your wardrobe.

If jeans aren’t something you find yourself reaching for regularly, then investing in a good-quality skirt is a great alternative. A skirt made from high-quality fabrics that offer a flattering fit to suit all body shapes is ideal. We suggest opting for a beautiful colour that can be worn for many different occasions and paired with many existing items in your wardrobe. Whether you’re going to work or lunch with a friend, a midi-length skirt ensures you look great no matter the occasion. 

Ladies' Dresses and Ladies' Tops

A casual dress is another must-have clothing item to invest in once you’ve organised your wardrobe. Suitable for a variety of occasions, a simple dress like a jersey t-shirt style dress that can be styled and accessorised in a variety of ways is perfect. Whether you keep it simple with sandals and a hat for the summer or layer it up with boots and a knitted cardigan for autumn, investing in a versatile, casual dress is essential to ensuring you always have a stylish outfit in your wardrobe rotation.

A white top is another wardrobe essential that will likely pair with a wide range of existing clothing in your wardrobe. For an alternative to a plain white t-shirt, we suggest opting for a white top with a unique neckline or textured fabric to help add dimension to your look whilst keeping it suitable for all occasions. Any white top can be dressed down with jeans for a casual look or dressed up with a patterned skirt for a more formal style. 

Keep your wardrobe clean and simple with LilyElla

If you require some mental motivation to get started on cleaning out your wardrobe, we’re here to help. Hopefully, you’re now feeling inspired to clear out your wardrobe and give it a much-needed refresh with some classic styles. Browse through our full collection of ladies' clothing and accessories to find new items to refresh your newly organised wardrobe.