Adulting 101: five tips on clearing out your wardrobe for good

Adulting 101: five tips on clearing out your wardrobe for good

Is your wardrobe starting to look like a cave of wonders? Avoid the hoarding life with this simple advice to declutter now

Let’s be real, there’s at least one item of clothing in your wardrobe you regret buying. It’s in an unflattering colour, or in a style you’d look ridiculous in, or is (quite simply) hideous. The bad news: you paid money for that. The good news: it might find a more appreciative home after you commit to a wardrobe clear-out.

As painful as it sounds, getting rid of a good portion of your (probably already full to bursting) wardrobe is actually good for you, both in terms of physical space-saving in your home, and also mentally and emotionally. For example, surveys show that having a tidy living space helps many students concentrate better on their studies – simply because a lot of physical stimuli in front of you means your brain is unable to focus on any one thing in particular. Along the same vein, having a tidier, more slimmed-down wardrobe will make your mornings much easier – simply because you won’t be standing there for ages agonising over what to wear.


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With that in mind, here are five tips to follow for the ultimate wardrobe spring clean:

1. Before you begin, clear space for a Keep pile, a Maybe pile, and an Unwanted pile. Everything that you absolutely have to keep, you put in the Keep pile. Things you know you won’t ever wear again can go in the Unwanted pile. For the stuff you’re not sure about yet, you can put into the Maybe pile.

2. Take everything out of your wardrobes and drawers. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. A proper clothing clear-out will only work if you go through all of your stuff with utter ruthlessness – even your shoes, hats, and accessories.

3. Be super critical when you assess your stuff. Does it still fit you? Can you seen yourself wearing it in a year’s time? Have you worn it in the past six months? Is it still in good condition? If you’re saying no to any of these questions, then it’s time to get rid of it. If you still can’t quite let it go yet, put it in the Maybe pile.


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4. Group similar items together. Put jumpers with jumpers, and shorts with shorts. If you find yourself with nine white shirts, for instance, then maybe it’s time to winnow that down to three white shirts, max. Who needs nine white shirts?

5. Once you’ve got a definitely Keep pile and a for-sure Unwanted pile, it’s time to tackle everything in the Maybe pile. It’ll be tough, but really assess if you’ll ever wear it again, or if it might not be better loved in someone else’s wardrobe. Pack away the few items you are still reluctant to part from for a few months – six months, max. If you still haven’t worn them by then, you should get rid of them.

So what can you do with the stuff you no longer want?

Organise a clothes swap night with your friends. What doesn’t look good on you might look fabulous on your bestie. They might have a jacket you’ve been lusting after forever that they’re keen on getting rid of. If nothing else, it’ll make for a great get-together – especially if there’s pizza and movies involved.

Sell your really great pieces. If you’ve been hanging onto a designer bag, or a pair of vintage boots you’ll never wear again, then head to online sites like eBay, Carousell, or even Etsy to make some money, or to physical stores like Milan Station.


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Many retailers, like H&M and Topshop, accept clothing donations in-store. In return for a full bag, they’ll give you a discount voucher to use the next time you shop with them.

There are also plenty of charities in Hong Kong that accept wearable clothing donations, like the Crossroads Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and Hong Kong Salvation Army, and old clothing recycling banks dotted around the city. You can find a list of all recycling bank locations here.

Trust us – once your wardrobe clear-out is complete, you’ll feel amazing, and you’ll have loads of room for all that new stuff you’ll probably buy in the coming year. What are you waiting for? Get decluttering!

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
(Nearly) everything must go

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