Start with your shoes. Gather all your footwear together and have a good think about what you wear often, the pairs you genuinely love and which have seen better days. Do you really need three pairs of black high heels? Maybe not.
Think about your lifestyle and weigh your choices with that in mind.
Empty your closets and drawers. Get absolutely everything out of your closets and off your coat rack and place it all on the bed. This will let you see the true extent of what you have. (It’s often an eye-opener and will shame you into action.) It also means you can review everything in good light, try things on and make good judgments.
Choose three words to describe your style. As you’re surveying your wardrobe, think about which three words best describe your style. Your interior tastes will inform this too. Maybe you’re “arty, monochrome and modern” or “retro, Scandinavian-influenced and bright.” Perhaps “smart, sophisticated and individual” sums you up better? As you sift through your clothes, pick up each piece and ask yourself whether it fits with those three words.
Keep only what you love. Not sure about something? Hoped you’d find something to go with it or that it might fit you better one day? Get rid of it.
Keep only what you love — that way, getting dressed each day will no longer be an exasperated cry of “I’ve got nothing to wear!” You’ll be surprised at how easily your “uniform” starts to come together once you’ve got a capsule of outfits that automatically define your look.
Have a system for seasonal wear. Set aside everything seasonal. If it’s warm right now, gather up your favorite knits and sweaters and store them away. Do the same for coats, scarves and gloves. Conversely, if you’re heading into the colder months, think about how to make sure those items are close at hand, and store your shorts and flip-flops instead.
Pick out special-occasion wear. There’ll be items of clothing that you wear once in a blue moon, or that hold sentimental value, such as evening gowns, tuxedos or wedding dresses. Store such occasional wear near the back of your closet or in a separate area, as seen here.
Choose a handful of each. Now that you’ve cleared out what no longer fits, doesn’t match your style or only gets worn at certain times of the year, you can get down to business.
Ban excessive loungewear. Many of us keep old clothes as loungewear for the weekend, or for when we’re painting, gardening or dyeing our hair. While it’s useful to have a couple of pairs of old pants, sweaters and T-shirts, you don’t need a whole drawerful. Be ruthless and pare back.
Consider your accessories. Look at your belts, ties, scarves and jewelry. Do they still fit in with your remaining wardrobe? Select and keep only those that enhance your core style.
Invest in a drawer organizer like the one shown. Having everything easily accessible like this will help you make quicker decisions when you’re dressing in the mornings.
Donate what you don’t want. Now that you’ve selected your keepers, pack up all the items you’re parting with.