That is the question!

Did you have great intentions to declutter?
Get mentally prepared for a good clear-out, open the wardrobe, start your ‘keep’, ‘donate’ or  ‘throw’ piles .….
Only to find your ‘keep’ pile grows exponentially?

Let me guess:
A desperate cup of tea was required, distractions took over, the moment passed, you avoided the bedroom all day, then later that night hastily put everything back  – to be tackled another time

Rest assured, this happens to most people!  


Here’s my decision-making guide:

Ask yourself these three key questions for each item (don’t worry, it only takes seconds) 

  • Do you love it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Does it flatter you?

Answer these and the whole process gets much easier.


Trousers & Jeans

These have the hardest life of anything in the wardrobe, so if they’re looking a bit tatty, the fabric is shiny from ironing, or the pockets have torn – throw out pile.

Pants can be most unforgiving if they don’t fit properly, so if you’ve lost or gained weight but the trousers are still in good condition – donate to charity pile.


Dresses & Shirts

If you answered yes to the three key questions – keep pile.

If you answered yes to all three but bought it 20 years ago for a special occasion, and haven’t worn it since, I would suggest that you’re unlikely to wear it again – donate to charity pile.  

Be honest with yourself here, if you have another special occasion you are soooooo going to want a new shirt or dress!

As with trousers, if it’s bobbled, tatty, torn or generally worn out – throw out pile.



A great jacket will take you anywhere, and make any outfit look really smart, but if you hold it up, find it’s moth-eaten with a theatre ticket in the pocket from 1978, then I think you can safely say “Alas poor jacket, I knew you well”, and toss it!  

For the rest, check that:

  • all the buttons are still on
  • the lining is in good condition
  • It fits and doesn’t ‘date’ you.  


If it passes the test AND it fits with your current lifestyle – into the keep pile.
Otherwise – you know what needs to be done.



Ahhhhhh the shoes, how many of us have fallen in love with shoes, bought them knowing full well they didn’t really fit, and consequently stashed them, shamefaced, in the back of the wardrobe?

I personally have bought many shoe-stretching contraptions, none of which really worked.

So, ladies and gentlemen; some hard and fast rules for shoe decluttering:

  • Can you walk in them (for more than 5 minutes)?
    • Yes – keep pile
    • No – donate pile
  • Are they comfortable?
    • Yes – keep pile
    • No – donate pile
  • Do you take them off every time you put them on?
    • Yes – donate pile

Scuffed and worn out shoes badly let down an otherwise beautifully put together outfit, so toss any that have got damp and are ruined
“Away you mouldy Brogue”! (Sorry, Shakespeare!)

Final words:

Go at your own pace,
Be ruthless down to the last remaining remnant, the final sartorial memory.
Just imagine how easy it’ll be to get dressed, and what a clear start to the day you’ll have with a fresh, organised wardrobe.

Special Offer for Brain Tuners:

If you live in the Auckland area, tell us (in the comment section below) how some professional wardrobe decluttering would help you, and one lucky reader will enjoy a Complimentary Wardrobe Edit with Iona!

Iona-Eadie-Askew-life-coachIona Eadie-Askew
Evolve Life Coaching | Weight Loss and Wardrobe
Iona, trained in London, now lives in Auckland and has many more tips to share on her website.