Closet clarity: A stylish wardrobe decluttering guide

guide to decluttering
Decluttering your wardrobe
Photo- Mapodile via InStock

Decluttering your closet is the ultimate shortcut to savouring the joy of dressing up daily. If you often find yourself standing in front of a wardrobe bursting with clothes yet struggling to put together an outfit, it’s a clear signal that decluttering is long overdue. Whether it’s that dress you’ve worn only once or those pants that haven’t fit for ages, bidding farewell to the unnecessary will bestow upon you a closet that’s not just organised but also a source of daily inspiration and tranquillity.

With busy schedules, having time to declutter can be a luxury, but standing in front of a cluttered wardrobe whenever you need to dress up can be quite demoralising. We guarantee that when you are done reading this, it’ll be easier to take some time to sort through those clothing items you seem attached to and let that closet breathe.

In addition to a loaded supply of top trends and tips from our 2023 fashion issue, this guide will help you cultivate a sustainable approach to decluttering your wardrobe.

“Reducing waste while incorporating trends in my style is important as a fashion creator and editor. Decluttering helps me reduce space and make room for more versatile pieces.”

Wumi Tuase, our Fashion Editor, champions the art of decluttering with precision. Her rule of thumb? If she notices her clothing carousing into the same few outfits on repeat, it’s an unmistakable sign to dive into declutter mode. As a fashion editor and content creator, Wumi’s wardrobe isn’t just a personal statement; it’s a dynamic canvas reflecting the latest trends. She orchestrates a meticulous closet update to keep pace with this ever-evolving fashion landscape. For Wumi, decluttering isn’t merely a tidying task; it’s her compass to ensure her fashion choices align with sustainability principles.

An organised closet simplifies your style and saves time. Choosing outfits is a breeze, freeing you to experiment with creative styling and accessories for a unique, sophisticated look. Decluttering curbs impulsive purchases, promoting sustainable and intentional shopping. Stylish and eco-conscious – a win-win!

Decluttering sustainably- An easy guide
Photo- Anastasia Shuraeva

Your best guide to decluttering

The decluttering process begins with a deep cleanse of your closet. Lay out all the clothes and divide them into three piles: keep, donate and discard. If you need help selecting what needs to be in each pile, our article on decluttering will help you finetune the process.

After sorting these out, we advise building a capsule of essential, versatile pieces that can easily be mixed and matched. This helps you consistently reduce clutter and ensure you always have stylish outfits. Check out our guide on building a capsule wardrobe.

Declutter to sustainably save the planet.

The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s total carbon emissions, and by 2030, it is projected to increase by 50%. In light of this, sustainability should be a cardinal point while decluttering, and it is beyond just tossing away unwanted items. In addition, exploring sustainable options that keep the environment safe by reducing waste is the way to go. Here are a few ways to declutter responsibly.

  • Donation: Consider donating gently worn clothing to local charities that support those in need. Your unwanted clothing can find a second home with someone else.
    Recycling: Some of your clothes may not be suitable for donation or resale. A good option is recycling. Look out for textile recycling programs in proximity to you.
  • Upcycling: This is an eco-friendly way to breathe new life into your garments. Get creative and repurpose old clothing items into something new. Try transforming an old T-shirt into a trendy tote bag or a pair of worn-out jeans into stylish shorts.
  • Repair and tailoring: Before discarding clothing with minor damage, consider getting it repaired or tailored. A little investment in fixing a torn seam or replacing a button can extend the lifespan of your favourite pieces.
  • Sell online: To sell your used clothes, platforms like Jiji, Obinrin, Poshmark and Depop allow you to sell pieces you no longer need. Many Nigerian thrift stores also help you declutter conveniently, including Wardrobe Merchant, Greenr, and EA Declutter Abuja.
Quality hangers- decluttering process
Image- ProStock Studio

How to maintain a decluttered wardrobe

After decluttering, it’s essential to maintain your freshly organized wardrobe to ensure it stays in top shape. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do just that:

  1. Invest in quality hangers: Upgrade your hangers to slim, non-slip, or wooden types. They help you maximise hanging space, prevent clothes from slipping off, and create a visually tidy closet.
  2. Categorise by type and colour: Arrange your clothing by type (e.g., shirts, dresses, pants) and then by colour within each category. This method makes it easier to locate items and creates a visually pleasing display.
  3. Drawer organisers: Invest in drawer dividers or organisers for underwear, socks, scarves, and jewellery. These small additions make a big difference in keeping smaller items orderly.
  4. Shoe racks and cubbies: Keep shoes in their place with dedicated shelves or cubbies. By doing this, you will prevent them from being out of place and getting damaged.
  5. Hooks and pegs: Install hooks or pegs inside closet doors or walls to hang up your bags, belts, or scarves. It’s a space-saving solution that keeps accessories visible and accessible.
  6. Declutter regularly: Maintain your organised closet by periodically reassessing your items. Donate or sell pieces you no longer wear and ensure your wardrobe stays clutter-free.
Double waistcoat and trousers with pleated skirt insert in wool, Fendi.

Decluttering improves your style

When you’re left with classic and functional pieces in your closet, it motivates you to explore various styling options with a clear purpose in mind,”

– Wumi Tuase

A decluttered wardrobe simplifies your life and sparks creativity in styling. “When you’re left with classic and functional pieces in your closet, it motivates you to explore various styling options with a clear purpose in mind,” Wumi notes. A curated closet streamlines the process of putting together outfits, empowering you to genuinely explore and express your unique style.

Like our fashion editor, pairing different pieces together to create stylish ensembles is the most significant benefit of having a decluttered closet. Styling outfits with items from your closet is a cinch by following these steps.

  • Mix and match: With fewer items, creating stylish outfits is effortless. A classic blazer pairs well with various tops and bottoms, from denim to tailored pants.
  • Build capsule wardrobes: A capsule wardrobe includes versatile pieces like a classic white button-down shirt, well-fitting jeans, and a little black dress that form the basis of many outfits.
  • Embrace your style: A decluttered closet helps you recognize patterns in your clothing preference, whether a classic and timeless style or a more bohemian and eclectic look, allowing you to understand your unique style better as you experiment with your favourite pieces.
  • Efficient morning routine: A well-organised closet streamlines your morning routine. Basically, spending less time deciding what to wear begets efficiency, thus reducing stress and bringing a wave of positivity to your day.
  • Quality over quantity: After decluttering, you’ll likely appreciate quality over quantity. Invest in well-made, timeless pieces that align with your style. These wardrobe essentials will serve you well for years to come.
  • Eco-friendly fashion: You contribute to sustainable fashion practices by cultivating a curated wardrobe. Embracing a less-is-more approach reduces the demand for fast fashion and minimises textile waste, making your style choices more eco-friendly.

Your path to style and environmental impact

In a world overflowing with fashion choices, embracing the path to a sustainable wardrobe is not just a trend; it’s a lifestyle. For Wumi, this journey revolves around the concept of versatility. Regular decluttering isn’t merely a habit; it’s a commitment to both financial prudence and environmental responsibility. It’s a philosophy that inspires us all to take a more sustainable approach to fashion.

Let your closet be a space of inspiration where every piece tells a meaningful story. Simplify your fashion journey, support ethical brands, and reduce waste. By doing so, you’ll not only elevate your style but also play a significant role in minimizing fashion’s environmental impact.


  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

  • Grace Hans-Bello

    In love with all things artsy and beautiful. That, of course, includes the women I write about.

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