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Declutter your wardrobe: wear more of less

The average woman owns about 100 pieces of clothing, but wears only 30 of them. The other 70 odd pieces just get in the way of what you want to wear. And for many of us, that means you buy- or accumulate (if it’s passed on to you)- more clothes.

By downsizing your wardrobe, you may find things you never knew you had, and therefore, less that you need to buy. Some declutters aim for a capsule wardrobe, that is, 15 or 20 items that can be mixed and matched to create many different outfits.

A capsule wardrobe

There’s no rule, but capsule wardrobes often contain a perfect pair of jeans, a pair of pants, an ideal dress (not necessarily black, but usually basic for dressing up or down), t-shirts for layering, etc. (We have a video on the basics in the frugal closet of faircompanies’ Nicolás Boullosa).

Refashion what you already own

Cleaning your closet, is also a time to re-evaluate whether you can mend or remake some of your clothes into new-again garments (see our story on Redesigned Clothing).

Finding your personal style

In the process of thinning your wardrobe, you may be forced to think about what you really like/need/want. Learning what is your personal style- the colors, fits, fabrics that work best for you- can also help to keep your wardrobe from filling up again with too many impulse buys gone wrong.

One way to help discover your personal style is to create an inspiration board: a collection of photos, mementos, fabric swatches, etc that make you feel good (some inspiration boards on flickr).

How to declutter a closet

The process of decluttering can take many shapes, from trying to create outfits out of what you own to see what works and what doesn’t, to simply giving away what you haven’t worn in the past year.

In this video, faircompanies’ Kirsten Dirksen tries the pile method. First, she sorts what she owns into 3 stacks: to keep, to give away and the undecideds. She then tries on all of her undecideds for her “volunteer” (her husband) and finally, she tries to find a new home for what she doesn’t want (passing it along to family, thrift shops, and even consider a clothing exchange party).