Declutter Clothing….Is it Possible?

If you are anything like me, you have an archnemesis. In elementary it was that mean girl who just could not stop making fun of you. In adulthood, it is laundry. The bane of my existence. Yet, I am determined to to beat my laundry once and for all. It’s time to declutter clothing and keep it that way.

How? Oh, how is it possible?

Continue with me to see how to go from a horrible messy pile of dirty clothes… being that great housewife who always has perfectly, hung&folded laundry ready for your husband. And get some free printables along the way (end of post).

I Resorted to Pinterest

Before my breakthrough, I scoured my go to guide on all things decluttering (pinterest). Now, ya let me down pinterest. I have always been faithful, and you let me down.

  • I tried organizing my clothes.
  • I tried to see if my clothes brought me joy.
  • I tried to answer a ton of questions about my clothes to see if I should donate, keep, or trash.
  • I tried flipping the hanger one way and getting rid of the rest after a year.

Yes, it got me close, but no cigar. The struggle was real still. (ask my husband!)

Then through all my research, I had a breakthrough.

A lightbulb went off. It was a gift from God. Honestly, He knows how much I prayed to fix the situation to get better. (Some people have to work for organization).

It was not about keeping what I loved, fit well, or used. While all that is necessary, it is about what I needed to keep me functional. No more. No less.  My things (clothes) are to help me fulfill my goals in life.  If they stop doing that, they don’t need to be in my life.  I needed to find the balance of having something presentable to wear and not having astronomical laundry to do.

I decided to keep only one week’s worth of clothes.

That means, if I did not do my laundry for one week, I would make it. After that, I need to do laundry ASAP.

How did I come up with this magic number? I accounted for my laziness. I usually try to do one load of laundry every other day (I’m sure it will increase a babies increase). When I get lazy though, I do it all in one day and let it go about a week. It seems like it would be working, but we had so many clothes, the closet was cluttered, the clean clothes did not fit and ended up on the floor or in the laundry basket not folded and put away. It was chaotic. I did not want to have piles of clothes in random spots that I had to wonder “Clean or Not Clean”. I needed to declutter clothing ASAP and get rid of a lot.

Ready to take on challenge? Here are the guidelines.

1. Pick a set number of days and only have enough clothes for those days.

It does not have to be one week. It could be 5 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc. The general rule of thumb is whatever you can do to keep from getting overwhelmed by laundry. Whatever you need to do to keep up with laundry and not let it pile up while still feeling like you have enough to wear.

2.Get rid of the rest.

This is so hard. But! When you only have a set number of outfits you can have, it is easier to make a choice between keeping one shirt or another to meet your 7 shirt quota. Instead of feeling like you can keep anything you like, you keep only what makes life easier.

3. You can have more than just one outfit for the day.

Here is where it is about being functional. If you go to work or school then change into comfy clothes after you get home, make sure you have enough outfits for that day. Do not just keep work clothes.

Here is a break down of my week.

I keep 7 days worth of clothes.

I have…

3 pair of jeans. 7 shirts. 2 dresses. 2 dressy dresses. 4 skirts. 1 junk shirt and 1 junk pair of jeans. 1 pair of slacks. 3 pair of socks. 3 undershirts. 2 t shirts. 1 pajama pants.

As you can see, I have way more than just 7 outfits. This is because I need enough to function during the week. I dress up on Sundays and then change. I always change after work. I have junk clothes for outside work. I have enough to get through a week and not think, “oh, I am needing to do laundry.” So, make a list of the outfits you need to get through the week. Keep that number, get rid of the rest.

It is functional and not excessive.

4. Keep a weeks worth of clothing for each season and switch it out.

I have clothes that are for the winter and clothes for the summer. I switch out what I wear depending on the season. This way, I only have 7 days worth of clothing in rotation at a time. I am slowly building up to be summer, fall, winter, spring. I can rotate out my clothes to match the season (I have always wanted to coordinate my clothes colors with the season!!! 🙂 ).

See how you can keep life functional and easy, but still have a cute outfit to wear?

Maybe I just have a bad memory, but when I open up my seasonal box of clothes it feels like Christmas because I forgot what was in there.

5.Keep special occasion clothes you still wear.

It may only get pulled out once a year, but I have a maroon velvet dress I wear every Christmas that I would not get rid of. It is a tradition. So, I keep it because it has a use and I love it. Don’t throw things like this away that you know you will wear at a specific time every year. Now, those jeans that you are waiting to wear once you lose 25 pounds, toss them. Get new ones when you lose the weight (You deserve it).

If you know you will get pregnant again, store those maternity clothes away. No need to buy new, unless you don’t really like them to begin with.

6.Get everyone involved, including your baby.

Okay, some reason it is easy to get rid of your husband’s stuff. (Make sure your husband is involved! Or it may all end up gone!) But when it comes to cute little baby clothes…it is the hardest thing in the world!  You got to do it though. You can do it! Only keep your favorites and only keep what your baby will wear in a week (coordinate by outfit). Trust me. I thought I would be so sad, but it was wonderful. I get to see my little girl in my absolute favorite outfits every day. Since she grows up so fast, I no longer live with regrets that she only wore one outfit once.

7. Lastly, enjoy. 🙂

Now your laundry is cut down, and you don’t let it pile up before you do it. You know that in a weeks time, you will be running out of clothes. I have always done my laundry every other day, and it still was crazy…not anymore! :). Now putting away clothes is easier. I have room because I finally figured out how to declutter clothing!


Free Printables! Print and use these to limit yourself to a set amount of clothes!  Just write the number next to each clothing type.  Print off one for each family member!  Let the challenge begin!

Click here for printable one to help you declutter clothing (adult clothing).

Click here for printable two to help you declutter clothing (baby & linens).


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