I think I’m pretty good at keeping an efficient, functioning, decluttered wardrobe.  But recently, out of necessity, I had to empty out my walk in waMy decluttered wardrobe started with the ceiling outrdrobe to make way for some tradies to work in my home.

They took down the ceiling of my wardrobe to install a new heater (read the story here).  So my husband and I, ever the glass-half-full types, used it as an opportunity to “refesh”.

I thought I would share what we did and what we learned.  There were a couple of surprises.

First, of course, before they removed the ceiling, we had to take everything out of the wardrobe.  I was surprised by how much luggage we own.  We do travel quite a bit, and some of the luggage is used just to store things like my stash of wool for a half-finished project (sound familiar?).  The luggage fit mostly into the bathtub.  No baths for me this week, and it’s lucky I’m good at playing Tetris.  We live in a small two-bedroom apartment.  Space is not abundant, but it is adequate.

I decluttered my wardrobe into the bathroom!Where did everything go?

As you can see from the photo on the left, my husband’s work shirts found a new temporary home in the bathroom as well.

Our home was a big cramped for a week, but it functioned quite ok.  It helped that we thought ahead and knew what we needed.

Our guest bedroom, on the right, took the rest of our clothes, shoes and even more luggage.The wardrobe on the bed

Ahh, what bliss when finally we were able to put our things back into the walk-in wardrobe, complete with its new ceiling.  Of course we gave it a good clean out first.  There was plaster dust and regular dust too.

The Decluttering Part

We swore that nothing was going back into the wardrobe without being vetted first.  We each took care of our own things.  People often assume that I “organise my husband” but he’s a big boy and can organise himself.  That doesn’t mean I don’t offer suggestions now and then, but we are pretty much on the same wavelength anyway.

As I said earlier, there were a couple of surprises.

Surprise No. 1 – the gorgeously kitsch Christmas tshirt I bought to wear last Christmas and then totally forgot about.  What did I do about it?  I put it back in the wardrobe, but I also added a note to my diary for December 1st.  It said, “bring out Christmas tshirt”.

Surprise No. 2 – I have way more costume jewellery than I realised.  So what did I do about that?  I got tough with myself and really cut down.  I kept only those things that really made me smile, and that I could see myself wearing.  I played with them.  In fact, of all the categories of items that went back into the decluttered wardrobe, the costume jewellery took the longest time.  Surprise!

Where did the discards go?

Discards from the decluttered wardrobeSo perhaps now you’re wondering what happened to the things I didn’t want to keep.  Well, here’s a shot of the things that “didn’t make it”.  The photo on the left shows how much there was.  Two bags and a bunch of jewellery hanging from the door handle.

Where will it go?  Well, as I went through the piles, there were moments when I said, “I know just the person who would love this”.  The bag on the left is full of clothes that fit that category.  I will offer specific things to specific people.  If they decline (and that’s perfectly ok), those clothes will join the items in bag on the right.  The bag on the right is full of clothes in good condition that I will donate to Wear for Success.  I chose them because it’s a cause I believe in and they are close by to me.  When you have items to donate, keep it simple.  I’ll send some of the costume jewellery to them as well, but first I will offer it to my friends and family.  It feels good when your discards “find a good home”.



  1. Sandra Cohen 7 years ago

    Where do you put things that nobody can use or fix such as old polyester table cloths with stains, pulled threads or which are torn? They are not even suitable for use as rags.

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 7 years ago

      Unfortunately, some things are just rubbish. If you can’t use them in other ways – for instance, as a liner for your car boot – then they should be tossed.

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