Declutter Motivation Tips -How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes


Hello beautiful people, I have been missing you! Are you ready to read my favourite declutter motivations tips and learn to be ruthless when decluttering clothes? I hope you are, because it’s 2021 and we are not playing games anymore!

In this article, you will learn the best strategies to effectively downsize your wardrobe without feeling overwhelmed by the task.

Sometimes, saying goodbye to your clothes can be VERY difficult.

For this problem, you will learn why giving away your clothes can be so hard.

I will also talk about the best strategies to help you be more conscious about your belongings, know how to keep everything clean, and set your priorities straight. I know it is hard to find motivation sometimes, when you need to declutter your clothes. But trust me, being ruthless during the process when downsizing your wardrobe will help you tremendously!

It is important to say, the tips and hacks I wrote will help you to know how to minimise your wardrobe and find motivation for decluttering.

Nevertheless, you can use some of the tips for other organisation projects, as the main goal is to be more conscious about your belongings and the purpose they have in your life. 

Finally, I selected the best declutter motivation tips and highlighted what things you should NOT DO while doing a decluttering project.

Let’s build a more conscious and organised life, step by step!

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Why is it key to make decluttering a habit? Find decluttering motivation tips and learn to love the process!

Declutter motivation tips-How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
Celia Michon Unsplash

Simply put, to avoid decision fatigue, lower stress, and save time for priorities. This basically doubles down to find motivation for decluttering with these tips as you don’t have to spend eternity with the process.

Let me explain.

According to Medical News Today, decision fatigue is a psychological phenomenon when a person’s ability to make good decisions gets worse after each new decision they make in a day. 

No matter the level of difficulty, you can lack motivation.

Although heavy analytical decisions require more energy, the core issue is the quantity and the capacity of the brain to have sufficient energy to tackle all these decisions with good judgment.

This scientific theory is one of the reasons you must automate low-stake decisions, such as deciding which outfit you’ll wear today; by automating low-stake decisions you relieve stress and anxiety.  

Another benefit: Saves energy for high-stake decisions that require a fresh brain to make good decisions.

So, this is why it’s key to make decluttering a habit. Once you do this, you will find the energy to do it and share your declutter motivation tips with your friends and help them.  

As it will leave you a clean organized space with room for calmness hence you won’t lose the energy you need for your priorities.

Why is decluttering so hard? And why you need to be ruthless when decluttering clothes?!

“Why is decluttering so hard?”

To give you a proper answer, I’ve found scientific studies and experts’ opinions to explain why you struggle to get rid of stuff.

Therefore, you’ll be able to be more aware of how your mind works and get ready to gracefully let go.

So, according to the journal of consumer psychology we see our possession as an extension of ourselves and what we hold valuable. 

As a result, it is hard to get rid of things because we feel we are losing value as a person, rather than just losing an object. 

Bear in mind, what we hold valuable is different from person to person. But, as stated by the tidying expert, Marie Kondo:

      “When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an    attachment to the past or a fear for the future.

So, you may struggle to let go of things because it means you are letting go of the past that makes you feel secure or getting into an uncertain future.

Nonetheless, you can try to take control of these emotions when you are aware of them and ask yourself: “What is the purpose of this item for the present me?”

This is an important question I’ll talk about later in this article, but is one of the most important queries to decide what is truly valuable for the present you!

What should you NOT do when decluttering clothes in your home so you don’t lose motivation? 

When we tackle a new project we can make a lot of mistakes, these are the 5 most common mistakes you could make while decluttering your wardrobe:

  1. Not segmenting your clothes: If you want to have a calm decluttering project experience then the best thing you can do is to segment and classify your clothes. If you do this you will feel less overwhelmed.
  2. Not taking breaks: Some people love to do a decluttering project in one day. If that’s you, good for you! Even so, if you have too many clothes or are very unsure about what to get rid of, it is best to take breaks and do your project in segments. 
  3. Not saving time: Lean your clothes in a blanket or a card box when you are decluttering. This way when you need to take a break you can quickly and easily store them.
  4. Not having a reason: You must have your goal clear. Why downsizing your wardrobe is good for you? Think of the long-term benefits, this will help you stay motivated and have more confidence when you need to remove something from your life; this time clothes, but it applies to other life situations. 
  5. Not having a plan and schedule: Similar to having a clear why. A plan and schedule of when you are going to do this project will motivate you to take action. Make space in the calendar for this important project!

How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes – My favourite motivational tips

Declutter Motivation tips- How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
Steve Johnson from Pixabay

Here you will find the best 10 Strategies to be ruthless when decluttering clothes. 

Carefully read them and be impeccable about what stays and what doesn’t!

1. You will never know until you try

Literal speaking. 

Maybe you have already done this, but stay with me if you haven’t, ok? 

Have you thought for a long time about what clothes you should get rid of but never try them out?

This is a common mistake, instead of trying your clothes, you may just stare silently, evaluating, analyzing, visualizing how you would look wearing them. 

And, minutes go by…

Leading us to a dead-end.  And, feeling frustrated. You are losing your speed so take these declutter motivation tips and don’t forget to utilize it!

Solution: Stop overthinking and take action! 

You won’t be sure if your clothes fit you or not until you try them on and judge how you feel wearing them.

This brings us to the next strategy!

2. THE basic questions to ask yourself when creating a wardrobe you’ll love – Hence getting yourself pumped up and declutter motivated

When you need to be ruthless you have to stay with the clothes that make you feel beautiful, relaxed, and empowered.

To help you decide which clothes to keep, these are the basic but fundamental you should ask yourself: 

  1. Can your body move and bend comfortably?;
  2. The undertones of your clothes compliment your skin undertones?;
  3. Is it damaged or stained?;
  4. When was the last time you wore it?;
  5. Does it have a purpose in my life?
  6. Am I motivated to wear this outfit?

I have previously talked about the essential aspects you need to consider when choosing the garments for your personal wardrobe, so you can learn more about Q1 and Q2 in my post Basic rules to fashion.

Now, for the remaining questions, I will explain smart declutter tips and tactics that’ll help you take action and give an honest answer to those dilemmas.

3. Experiment…with deadlines! A Pro Declutter Motivation Tip!

Toa Heftiba Unsplash

You know, deadlines can be stressful. However you need to be ruthless when getting rid of items that don’t serve you anymore.

If you lose motivation while decluttering, you will get lazy and never get anything done even if you are following my top declutter motivational tips!

Therefore, if you own damaged or stained items that can be repaired, set a deadline and give them a proper space in your calendar to repair them.

If you don’t have time for that, then maybe this garment is not an actual priority and it is a red flag, telling you it is not that necessary for your life. 

So, if it is not necessary in your life, why are you keeping it? 

Ask yourself what is the purpose. 

If the only purpose it serves you is staying there like deadstock, I think it’s wise to say goodbye.

Note: This was just an example of garments that needed repair but deadlines apply to the majority of the strategies I have listed here. 

4. Do I ever use this? Am I motivated to use this? Or do I need to get declutter motivated again?

Sometimes we have clothes we never use, how can you identify them? Easy:

The hanger trick!

The hanger trick is old but effective. 

This is a perfect trick to spot the clothes you never use.

This tactic needs to be done with a deadline you are comfortable with, but  3-6 months to 1 year is the usual time people are comfortable with.  

And, if you haven’t used it or are skeptical about it, give it a chance, worst-case scenario it won’t work, best case scenario you will have an aha moment! And, spot the clothes you never wear! 

For this strategy you need to:

  1. Turn all your clothes hangers the wrong way ( facing backward)
  2. After you wear a garment, place the hanger the right way ( facing inward)

And, that’s it. 

A very easy trick to find how many times you have worn in a pre-established period and spot the soulless clothes in your closet aka clothes that are just taking space in your life.

Tip: If you don’t want to turn the hanger’s hooks facing backward then you can reverse the rules, the result would be the same, just that in this case the hooks facing inward would be the ones corresponding to the garments you never wear. 

Finally, this trick does not work if you wear something every few months. 

In this case, I recommend: build an excel sheet, list, or take selfies and build albums.

Building lists is easy, you just have to add the wardrobe item and the times you wore it. See? These declutter motivation tips will help you get over the edge, organized and in LOVE with the process as the result will be a ruthlessly downsized, beautiful wardrobe!

With the albums option (which is my favourite), you need to name each folder with the garment name, then after 6 months have passed (or the time you would prefer), see how many selfies each album has. 

I like this option because it generates a more visual impression than the list, here you can see your facial expression and can compare selfies to see which outfits and garments you like more, besides counting the selfies to realise how many times you wore that item.

And HANG ON! Ha-ha, dad joke, couldn’t miss it! Didn’t you got motivated with these declutter tips? I would be all over social media posting #decluttermotivationtips #ruthlessdecluttering to show everyone how bang I did with my place!

5. Take them out

Similar to trying out your clothes, taking them out is a great strategy to figure out the purpose this garment has in your life. 

Because if you are feeling uncomfortable by wearing them, it is a sign you should get rid of it.

Take the advice of the renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo:

“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

But, hey! This does not mean you have to be extremely happy, bursting with joy with everything you have. 

What it means is that you have to own things that help you in some way aka have a purpose.

And, that purpose should be beneficial to you, it should give you energy, convenience, encouragement, peace, and tranquility. In short, only positive benefits.

If the contrary occurs and it gives you worries, sadness, anger, or just stays there taking space, then it is not good

More is not better, quality is better.

6. Play the I will move game

Ok, but what if I don’t want or can go out to test my clothes?

Good question! 

In this case, you can play the I will move game. 

In this game, you have to imagine you will move out or travel to another country, but you just can’t take the minimum quantity of outfits to this new home. 

It will be different for each person, but as you want to be ruthless we are going to choose only three outfits per situation. 

For example, you can take three outfits for casual activities, three for work activities, and three for fun activities. (You can add more categories if you want, but just three outfits per category)

You can repeat the contest as much as you like.

However, the first winners would be your absolute favorite clothes, the second round winners would be your maybes, and the third round would be the ones you don’t like very much and are the ones you should consider letting go of. 

Tip: You can also play this game with friends (via Zoom or video chat), and see how comfortable you are feeling while wearing your garments “in front” of other people. This will add a valuable social component, but focus on how you feel rather than be influenced by what your friends/family say they would like you to wear.

Note: Bear in mind three is a good minimum number but also restrictive, if you have too many clothes think what is the minimum of clothes you feel comfortable with and play the game based on that. 

Let’s not rush, after all, some people can live with just the bare minimum, but it is also acceptable to want to have different outfits options, what we should do is seek balance and be conscious of the number of clothes we are happy with.

7. The Yes-Maybe-No Box strategy – A decluttering motivation magic tip

Thom Bradley Unsplash

What is the fastest way to purge clutter? 

The Yes-Maybe-No Box strategy is a  great tactic to quickly downsize your wardrobe. 

Especially if you use a timer. 

You have to try on your clothes, set a timer, and quickly decide: which you love and can’t live without (Yes box); which you are unsure to keep ( Maybe box), and which you don’t like and are ready to get rid off (Bon voyage! box).

This is a fundamental tactic, but to get the ruthless, fierce mode on, you should apply some of these tips: 

  1. Have an inspiration capsule wardrobe Pinterest board 

This is a great idea to fire up your motivation and identify which clothes match up your style and colour preference. You can do this with your favourite music, preferably one that gets you on ruthless mode!

  1. Set a restrictive period to decide

Don’t give yourself a lot of time to make the decision. Remember you are not throwing away the clothes, so you can change decisions later, hence don’t think twice.

Now, what happens after you have chosen the clothes for the maybe box? 

A grey area, in this case, you need to ask yourself: when you will like to wear them? 

Write your answer in a handwritten note and leave the box in a place you can’t see. 

Set a deadline, it can be between 3 months to 1 year, and schedule it in your Google calendar. 

Then, if time passes by and you never needed or remembered those garments this is a good sign you should be ruthless and say Bon voyage! 
Note: Special garments like formal clothes don’t apply to the maybe box strategy.

8. One in and one out – ruthless decluttering

This is a good tactic for those who want to know how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes but also love variety and trends. 

This tactic consists of deciding which old garment should go out if a new one that is similar in purpose, i.e., for work, comes in. 

This is the perfect tactic for those who want to keep their outfits and wardrobe options moving but still want to keep a minimalist, clean, and organized closet.  

9. Find a new purpose for your declutter motivation journey

This strategy is for those clothes that you don’t want to keep but don’t want to throw either. 

In this case, I recommend you some tips to give your clothes a new life and a new purpose, which I think is something we should do if we want to live a more sustainable conscious lifestyle!

  1. Donate 

I could write a list of different international organisations where you could donate your clothes.

However, if we want to lower the carbon footprint, I think an amazing idea is that you look for local organisations that help your community!

Your donation could serve different purposes like: 

  • Helping homeless people, that need warm clothes but can’t afford them and would recover confidence and dignity after wearing clothes in good condition; 
  • Helping people who want to succeed in job interviews, but don’t have the necessary resources to buy work clothes in good condition.

Some organisations that have those missions are Dress For Success (only for women) and Career Gear (only for men). However, it is up to you, please feel free to donate your clothes for the organisation and for the values that you hold dear 🙂

Tips about donating:

  • Donation box

Some people don’t like to have their donation box in the closet because they feel tempted to take them out. In this case, it is better to have a donation box with a lid, and in another room, so you don’t have to constantly see your clothes until it is time to donate. 

  • Take a photo before donating

In the Journal of Marketing, scientists of the Ohio State University found that it is easier to break old habits and attachments if you take a photo of the item you are struggling to let go of. 

Try out this tactic if you see it is difficult to donate or give away one of your belongings, you may only need a photo to remember the good times you had with it or to help you detach from the attachment feeling you are experiencing. 

  • Sentimental items

Letting go of sentimental clothes or items related to loved ones that have passed away is difficult, and should not be a quick process.

Take your time to analyse which clothes you have a strong emotional connection with.

Which items bring back the most cherished memories? Those are the items you should keep.

As for the other ones, ask yourself if you really need every item that was related to that past, is there a better way to remember them? 

Sentimental items are special but don’t need to become clutter, repurpose them as decorations if you can, and encourage yourself to donate the ones that could serve another person who needs them.

Remember: your home should be a balanced reflection of your history and culture but also of who you are today

  1. Closet Swap

This is a very personal thing to do and you should only do it if you have close friends and if they have similar clothes sizes. 

I don’t think this activity is complex, but if you have never heard of this, it consists of organizing a group activity (could be via zoom!) where you pick the clothes you would like to switch with your friends and vice versa.

It would be upon the participants if the swapping is permanent or just temporary. 

However, it is a good chance to try new clothes without the risk of spending more and learning more about your personal style, which will make you more conscious of new purchases in the future!

10. Create a capsule wardrobe

I think that we must get the best out of our time.

It is one of the most valuable assets you have, you can buy a lot of things, but time? You can’t. 

This is why it is crucial to build a core wardrobe, because it helps you not to think about what to wear each day; therefore your day is already easier, and you can tick off one decision. 
This is long-term advice to declutter your wardrobe, so if you wish to know more about this click here: how to build your wardrobe, you will be able to build a core wardrobe but also get to download a freebie; to help you find your favourite everyday basics!

Declutter Motivation tips

Declutter motivation tips-How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
Alexandra Gorn Unsplash

How to start decluttering when overwhelmed? AKA the Ultimate Declutter Motivation Tips! 

Check out these declutter motivation tips to find out how to start and maintain the motivation along the way!

  1. Make this decluttering project an experience

If you want to have a more conscious lifestyle, why don’t make this decluttering project an experience? 


Level up the game of this decluttering project by cleaning and organising your closet so you can have a fresh renewed space! 

Remember, your bedroom is your sanctuary and your closet should not be an exception. 

To achieve this, I will give you tips about how to arrange your wardrobe neatly, tips for folding clothes, and the best clothes organizers to have wrinkle-free and beautiful organized clothes.

  1. Declutter Clothes buddy 

Finding a clothes decluttering buddy is a great way to find support.

Look for friends who will also like to declutter their clothes and ask them to join you in this activity, schedule the days you can connect and share your thoughts, challenges, or progress while decluttering.

Alternatively, if you wish to do this alone but still want support, how about a declutter accountable buddy? You just need to tell your friend to check out if you have done what you say you would, sometimes we are more encouraged to take action if someone knows about it.

  1. Have a goal, seat a deadline, and give yourself a reward 

I previously talked about setting a deadline and a goal for decluttering. However, if you want to stay motivated, rewarding yourself for each segment you complete is a great way to do so!

This way your brain remembers the final satisfaction; which makes it easier to start decluttering again.

Note: The rewards mustn’t be more clothes! (Unless you need to buy more clothes because you have given away everything and need to build a wardrobe from scratch) 

The reward could be a healthy snack, buying a book, or an activity you wish to do when you have finished the decluttering project.

  1. Uplifting Playlist or Podcast 

In my article home office has never been so much fun, I have talked about using your favourite music or podcast while working to keep you motivated. 

However, this is not limited to staying motivated while working, generally speaking, music lifts the mood and helps heavy tasks be more bearable.

And, if you are trying to have a more minimalist way of life. Here is a knowledge gift for you! 

Some good podcasts to hear if you want to have a more organised minimalist life are: 

  1. Poppy Tree Minimalist: Mia is the host of this podcast, she is a minimalist who started the podcast as a beginner, with a clutter filled life, and now gives insights about the challenges every beginner may face in this new journey.
  2. The Millennial Minimalists:  Lauren and Kelly are the hosts of this podcast, they are two Canadians who share tips about having a simple conscious life and the challenges that come within.
  3. The Minimalists: Joshua Fields and Ryan Nicodemus are the hosts of this podcast, this podcast is one of the top podcasts about minimalism. They have episodes talking about how to declutter your life, have financial intelligence, and a positive mindset to achieve your goals.

Before and After Photo  

This is perfect to NOT forget what you have achieved.

If you want to change your lifestyle and be more aware of the items you own then take a before and after picture of your organising project. 

If you like to share things on social media, you could also create a #declutterchallenge and document your progress on IG, Pinterest, or your favorite social media account, you may inspire other people to declutter their closets!

How to neatly organise your wardrobe – Super declutter motivational tips for your clothes

You know what’s life-changing? 

Knowing how to fold clothes.

Honestly, it may seem trivial but more often than not little details make big differences. 

Having an organized neat closet and drawer brings calm, joy, and peace to your mind, this is an energy boost and evidence of the organisation your mind is developing.

To accomplish this task I have chosen the KonMari method from the one and only Marie Kondo. 

If you don’t know her, quick bio: She is a Japanese decluttering and organizing consultant whose tidying goal is to create sacred, powerful spaces filled with energy.

She is also author of the best selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, co-author of the book Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life, and host of the popular binge-watching Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

So, yes you are learning from an expert, not a fake guru. 

Explaining this method just with words is kind of tricky (and dull!) that’s why I have found an amazing video from Marie Kondo’s Youtube channel, The KonMari Fold | Basics; this is a basic video to start with a super easy and neat explanation; just like we would expect from a declutter expert!

Items to help you create a peacefully neat closet

  1. Marie Kondo Tidying and Organisation Books

“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”-Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo is a tidying expert.

If you want to know how to declutter when you are overwhelmed or want to improve how you organise your home and workspace, I suggest you read Marie Kondo’s books. 

This will help you change the way you perceive organisation, understand the power of tidying up, and how a clean space makes you a happier and more efficient person. 

  1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ($9.99 Kindle)
  2. Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life ($13.99 Kindle)

2. Clothes Storage Boxes

I have written about how your bedroom is a sacred place. This is a place for you to feel calm, relaxed and to recover your inner energy.

To achieve this, a good design is c-r-u-c-i-a-l. 

Therefore, investing in thoughtful design accessories, such as storage boxes is a long-term investment to have a calm, soulful and functional bedroom. 

I don’t want to overwhelm you with multiple choices, hence I have listed 3 beautiful design and minimalist organisation boxes that will help you apply the folding KonMari method as well as having beautiful sleek designed boxes. 

Plus, these are excellent organisation accessories if you want to know how to downsize your closet!

Hikidashi Box | KonMari ($77)

Hikidashi Box  KonMari Marie Kondo organizing boxes  image 5

Socks/Misc Divider/Kondo/ ($17.47+)

Socks/Misc Divider/Kondo/Mariekondo image 3

3. Personalized Canvas Closet Storage Custom Text ($59)

Personalized Canvas Closet Storage Custom Text image 1

3. Clothes Rack 

Quality over quantity.

If you want to know how to downsize your wardrobe a great tip is using clothing racks, as their open space design helps you be more conscious of your belongings, hence you appreciate more the clothes you have and naturally seek to have a clean space rather than a cluttered closet. 

  1. Hanging Clothes Rack ($105.71)
Hanging Clothes Rack  Ceiling Mounted Hanging Clothes Rack  image 0

Clothing rack black – detachable ($332.05)

Clothing rack black  detachable image 0

Gold, black, silver rolling rack ($500+)

gold black silver rolling rack image 0


Finally, if you want to know how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes you need to remember  3 main points:

  • The clothes you own need to serve a purpose in your life.
  • Always have a clear why when you begin a project.
  • Decluttering your clothes is vital to lower your stress and save you time and space for other important areas of your life. 

On the other hand, knowing how to downsize clothes and learning the basic rules to fashion to build a wardrobe will help you save the energy you need for more important events in your day!  

I hope you have found the declutter motivation tips valuable and make your decluttering wardrobe project an experience to have a clean optimized space that functions for your benefit, bringing you calm and helping you make more conscious purchasing decisions. 

If you are interested in organisation and productive topics I invite you to look at my articles home office has never been so much fun and why working in your PJs is a bad idea, I guarantee you will get golden tips to have a more enjoyable and efficient time while working from home!

Oh and I would loooove to read your comments, I want to build a helpful community so please feel confident to share your experience while decluttering your wardrobe or if you have any interesting ideas that may help others declutter their closet!

And if you have made it this far, thank you, please let me know below if you have liked the article and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter!

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