How to organize your wardrobe (with a change in the season)

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Fall is here, at least on the calendar. It used to be that people would stop wearing lightweight, sleeveless tops and lightweight pants in the fall.  With climate change, more people are wearing most of their clothes year-round.  They add a sweater or a pant liner to lightweight clothes for the fall. There will be some clothes you won’t wear in the colder weather because of the colour or pattern on the cloth.  Besides, it is fun to change up your clothing and feel like you have a new wardrobe without spending time or money shopping. You will learn many ways to declutter your clothing and 4 ways to organize your wardrobe.

Start wearing outfits for the last time this season 

Now is a good time to start wearing those items of clothing that you won’t wear in the colder weather one last time, wash it and put it away until the warmer weather is back.  You can put clothing in a secondary closet, in bins,  towards the back of your primary closet, set aside a drawer in your dresser or put them on a shelf.  Some people don’t like putting away clothing because they forget they did and buy new clothes in the spring.  If this sounds like you put a reminder in your calendar on your phone that tells you where to look for your warmer weather clothing.

Which clothing should I keep?

Whether you put some clothing away or keep all your clothing available year-round it is a good idea to organize your clothes every once and a while.  See if they fit, if they are in good repair, if you feel good wearing them and if you get compliments then you should keep it.  Donate clothes you don’t like wearing before they go out of style or become dusty.  Let someone else enjoy them.

Find a decluttering style 

Find a decluttering style that works for you. Some people like to declutter their clothes by:
  • category,  one category at a time eg. look at all your pants, then shirts etc
  • as they wear them – you put it on, don’t like it,  donate it
  • spending a little time every day and remove a few pieces of clothing
  • having a box in their closet and when they find something they don’t like put it in the donation box
  • spending an afternoon or evening and going through all their clothes at one time
  • one room at a time – you may have clothes in a number of places

Consolidate: only clothing in your closet. 

Sometimes organizing your clothes is more about organizing your closet.
Take everything out of the closet. Use the closet for clothes and not for other things.
Collect all your clothes together. Many people have clothes stored in multiple closets and don’t really know what they own.

Organize based on your activities

Group your clothes into categories by activity/lifestyle eg- work, party, pants, tops, sweaters, jackets, skirts, exercise, formal, gardening etc. Decide how much of your week you do these activities and keep a proportional amount of clothing in that category. For example, work 40 hrs/ week, exercise 3 hours/week, formal 4 times/ year, pants/ tops/sweaters 80% of the time, skirts 10% of the time. You can see you need pants tops and sweaters that suit work and casual, not many skirts, a couple of formal outfits with different accessories to change their appearance, 1- 3 exercise outfits ( not 15 because they feel good and are fun).

Organize a colour palette.

Build your wardrobe based on a colour palette, eg, blue, grey, black than tops sweaters, jackets will be mixed and matched to have a large number of outfits without a large number of clothes. Consider the Pareto Principle you will wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time.  Reduce the number of items you almost never wear by donating them so someone else can enjoy them before they go out of style, get mouldy and dusty.
Now you know what types of activities you do, and you have a colour palette in mind.  Sort your clothes by category.  Pull out all your pants and decide how many you need and which colours.  Next look at sweaters, shirts, skirts, dresses, suits etc.

Decide what percentage of clothing to declutter. 

If you need a simpler way to start organizing your wardrobe, look at how much space you have to store your clothes.  Look at how many clothes you have.  Pick a  percentage that you need to reduce your clothing by.  Look at each category of clothing and reduce each category by the percentage you have chosen.  For example, if you choose to reduce your clothing by 25% and you have 16 pairs of pants,  24 sweaters, 32 pairs of shoes, 8 dresses, 40 exercises outfits.  You would let go of 4 pairs of pants, 6 sweaters, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses and 10 exercise outfits.

Capsule Wardrobe

You may have heard of capsule wardrobes. Wikipedia explains a “Capsule wardrobe is a term used in American publications as early as the 1940s to denote a small collection of garments designed to be worn together which harmonized in colour and line. The term capsule wardrobe was revived by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s.”  If you want to further reduce the amount of clothing you own, you may want to organize a capsule wardrobe.  Here is an article to help you design it in 5 easy steps.  The less clothing you have the easier it is to care for.

What do I do with the things I don’t need?

Here is an article to help you know what to do with the clothing you no longer want to wear.  Don’t keep it in your closet let others enjoy it.
Take time to clean up your closet while you are removing your clothes.  Wash the walls, vacuum or wash the floor.  You might want to add lighting or paint or a shelf.  Make it a space you can take pride in.

Did I miss anything? Now I’d like to hear from you. 

Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favourite ways to declutter your clothing.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Need help?

If you need help decluttering and organizing your wardrobe book a virtual organizing appointment. It allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home.


Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

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