#JUNKFREEINJUNE Fashion Over 50s Lifestyle

Wardrobe De-cluttering

June 26, 2019

Wardrobe De-cluttering – it can scare the hardiest of fashionistas! Have you looked into your Wardrobe lately? One of the prompts for #JunkFreeInJune was to venture into our wardrobes and de-cluttter! Having recently moved house, I have been through this process although I may have gone too far and now am scratching around to find something to wear!

For some ideas on how to start Wardrobe De-cluttering, I’ve asked Christine Blundell from My Private Stylist and resident Fashion Editor for Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond, to put together a plan for Wardrobe De-cluttering. Will you take up the challenge?

Wardrobe De-cluttering

One thing I know from personal experience is that physical clutter is also mental and emotional clutter, which is why I particularly like Sue’s theme of Junk free in June. Some great ideas on her calendar, if you haven’t done so already make sure you download it.

Let’s talk wardrobe de-cluttering- a scary thing it can be too! So many things hiding away in the back and the bottom that haven’t seen the light of day for many a year in some cases. Often the thought of doing it can be worse than the actual doing itself, and the longer we procrastinate the scarier it is! So put on your big girl pants and get ready to get organised and in a few hours you can have a wardrobe you will take pleasure to open instead of approaching it with fear and trepidation, hoping a mountain of mess doesn’t jump out and attack you before you can shut it all back in!

First thing you need to do is set aside a good chunk of time, preferably when you have a few hours uninterrupted as it’s best to do the declutter in one big bite. You will need:

     A full length mirror

    4 bags:

      1 for giveaways or to sell

      1 for throwaway

      1 for keeping- these will be going back in your wardrobe only after passing a few tests.

      1 for repairs, washing, dry cleaning, or alterations


       Take everything out of your wardrobe, yes EVERYTHING! and put them on your bed.


        Try on the clothes you haven’t worn for a while:

        Ask yourself the following questions:

How long since I have worn it?

Unless it’s a special occasion garment then if you haven’t worn it in 2 years, ask yourself why? It could be that you have an emotional memory attached to when you wore it or who bought it for you. If you can’t bear to part with it, then try to store it somewhere away from your main working wardrobe.

How does it make me feel?

I won’t go all Marie Kondo on you and ask if it sparks joy and thank it for being your friend etc, but if, when you put a garment, you feel uncomfortable or the Colour makes you look terrible etc but it is still in good order, then it goes into either the giveaway or sell bag.

Do I still love it?

If you don’t still love it and WEAR it, then perhaps it may be because:

Does it still fit me?

We all have garments that we hold onto with the hope or intentions of losing that weight. Keep one favourite garment as a goal and donate the rest as when you lose the weight you will deserve a new wardrobe!

Does it suit the person I am now?

We evolve and change who we are and the clothes we once wore may no longer express who we are at this present stage of our life. If this is the case then it’s pointless keeping it hanging in your wardrobe.

Does it fit with my current lifestyle?

We may have reached a time in our lives where we have retired, or changed employment roles and therefore clothing that once suited our former roles no longer applies. If, for example you have had a corporate role where tailored garments were appropriate but now are irrelevant, therefore a large part of your wardrobe is no longer necessary, consider donating them to a registered charity such as Dress for Success which helps to improve the employability of women in need would be very much appreciated by them and the women they assist when going for interviews and starting work.

Wardrobe De-cluttering

If the answers to the above questions are all YES, then does it need repairing, dry cleaning, alterations?

If the answers are NO, then it goes back into the keep bag

If the answers are YES, then it goes into the bag for repairs or cleaning etc.

If you have any garments that you can’t decide if you want to part with, then put them in a box or somewhere apart from your wardrobe and if, after six months you still haven’t gone to that box and retrieved it and worn it, then it’s time to say goodbye.

Remember that if you have unworn clothing taking up valuable space in your wardrobe, if you instead had the actual money hanging there, ask yourself how much would it total, because that’s how much money you are wasting?

Once you have sorted out all the bags, take the keep bag and hang the clothes back in your wardrobe (no wire hangers please!) and work out a system that suits you best, hanging by categories and/or colour for example all your black clothing, all black skirts together, all black pants together etc.

 Now you should have a tidy, workable wardrobe that is a pleasure to open and easier to find your garments.

One more thing- take all your shoes out and sort out which ones you no longer wear, ones that need throwing out and any that need repairs.

Finally- congratulations on a job well done! You deserve a nice cup of tea or coffee (or something stronger if it has been traumatic!)

In order to avoid doing a huge declutter do a seasonal one to keep on top of it.

Your wardrobe is prime real estate so only allow garments you love and wear to live there!

You might find the wardrobe wastage calculator quiz below, an interesting one to do, go to:   

Wardrobe wastage calculator

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Miriam June 26, 2019 at 21:59

    Absolutely fabulous post! And so relevant. Every so often I’ll tackle a small part of my wardrobe but I think it’s time I gave it a complete overhaul. One question: what do you do with beautifully tailored clothes made just for you (by your mum) that you don’t wear anymore but can’t bare to part with?

    • Reply Christine June 27, 2019 at 13:16

      Hi Miriam, I completely understand about the beautiful clothes made for you by your mum and not being able to part with them as they have such strong emotions attached to them. I would suggest perhaps placing them in another wardrobe apart from your working one if possible. The day may come when you feel able to let go or you may wear them. Being tailored I imagine the style is ageless .
      Christine x

      • Reply Miriam June 27, 2019 at 14:50

        That’s so true Christine and in fact I’ve done just that. Packed them up in a bag and relegated them to the back of the wardrobe. For now. xx

  • Reply Melissa Willings June 27, 2019 at 08:43

    I’ve got to start doing that – I’m just too fat and the whole arm thing – I used to like sleeveless dresses, but it’s not such a good look now…being old is dull. #Lovinglifelinky

    • Reply Christine June 27, 2019 at 13:20

      Hi Melissa, don’t be so hard on yourself. We can decide to age positivity, just differently ! With the arm issue, I think all of us as we mature we either think our arms are too flabby ( this is me!) or too scrawny!
      I find sleeves to elbow length are great or a light shrug or kimono.
      Christine x

  • Reply Natalie June 27, 2019 at 08:48

    Very good wardrobe decluttering ideas Sue and Christine! I try to do this every season. #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 27, 2019 at 11:39

      It makes it easier to manage if you do it seasonally Natalie – great idea x

    • Reply Christine July 6, 2019 at 19:09

      Thank you Natalie, I am so pleased you enjoyed the post and sounds like you have a great plan doing the regular declutter.
      Christine x

  • Reply Joanne Tracey June 27, 2019 at 10:08

    I try & do this at least once a year, sometimes twice &, as you know, did it only last week. I have hung on to 2 things that I can’t fit into – one is, believe it or not, a t-shirt and the other is a Saba black dress that I adore and have worn once.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 27, 2019 at 11:39

      Yes I read about your decluttering last week and thought great minds! x Nothing wrong in keeping a favourite that you adore.

    • Reply Christine July 6, 2019 at 19:10

      Hi Joanne, I would be hanging on to the Saba dress too! Christine x

  • Reply Vanessa June 27, 2019 at 11:12

    I have so few clothes now that it makes it easy to keep on top of it. I tend to wear things until they wear out, purely because I dislike shopping haha.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 27, 2019 at 11:37

      Yes I recently moved Vanessa and completely went crazy cleaning out my wardrobe. The result is I now have nothing to wear LOL:) x

    • Reply Christine July 6, 2019 at 19:12

      Hi Vanessa, I am totally opposite to you, I love shopping! Christine x

  • Reply Deborah June 27, 2019 at 11:28

    I need to do this. I’ve got old stuff I don’t wear anymore but also stuff that I’ve had for over a decade and have kept ‘just in case’.

    Fortunately I don’t actually buy much stuff so my wardrobe isn’t too scary. I’ve bought like… one shirt this year for eg (though there are a few things I’d buy if I had the money!).

    I have some old shoes from my previous life (before 2012) I really should send to the Op Shop.

    • Reply Christine July 6, 2019 at 19:15

      Hi Deborah, sometimes the thought of doing something makes us procrastinate, but often the actual doing of it isn’t nearly as bad! Christine x

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle June 27, 2019 at 13:17

    Gosh this post is so timely! My WIR is a disaster area (and in fact I just said that in a comment on SSG’s post). I will bookmark this to refer to and to inspire and guide me when I get around to sorting my WIR chaos out (when I get back from Straddie). Thanks Christine & Sue! 🙂 xo #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Christine June 27, 2019 at 13:24

      Hi Min, so pleased this is a time post for you and helpful tips. I know all too well about a wardrobe in chaos and need to take more of my own advice!
      Christine x

  • Reply Nikki @ Wonderfully Women June 27, 2019 at 13:40

    Have started but after creating one small pile, time got away from me. Hopefully this weekend will see the continuation of this job that needs doing but I really don’t like.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 27, 2019 at 16:57

    I recently did a wardrobe de-clutter – donated a big bag of clothes, boxed up some “maybe” outfits, and sorted out the rest. I think I’ll need to do another one in a year when I’ve decided if I’m going back to work or not. Then I can get rid of some of the clothes that I wore for work but don’t wear at home or when I go out. I love the sense of order and tidiness that staying on top of things creates. Thanks for all the great tips x

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl June 27, 2019 at 17:55

    Sue this is how wardrobe decluttering should be done! All I do is fish out things and place them straight into bags for donation. There is no middle ground with me. But I do feel so much better having found 2 large bags of things for donation last week! It was a huge mental load off my shoulders and was the subject of my post this week too!

    SSG xxx

  • Reply Candi Randolph June 27, 2019 at 23:17

    Although it takes some time, I absolutely agree that taking everything out of the closet and going through the process of deciding what to do with it is almost soul cleansing! It’s interesting the things I’ve found on the top shelves of my closet…great advice Christine! Thanks, Sue for helping us to stay junk free, even in our clothes closet 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 28, 2019 at 22:03

    A massive job but one well worth doing every so often. I must admit it’s about time I had a look through my wardrobe! As we have distinct seasons I tend to do this sort of clean out when we change seasons and I move all my summer things out to make room for the winter clothes. Great post thanks Christine and Sue!

  • Reply Shelley June 30, 2019 at 01:16

    Well, dang, I missed the June challenge, but I might just be able to accomplish freedom in July now that I’m inspired by your tips on this post! Thank you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 2, 2019 at 06:00

      Hi Shelley, lovely of you to visit and leave me a comment. It would be great to have you join in the July challenge so I hope to see you there. Have a beautiful week. x

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