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How To Use Capsule Decluttering To Cut Back On Closet Clutter How To Use Capsule Decluttering To Cut Back On Closet Clutter

Interior Design

How To Use Capsule Decluttering To Cut Back On Closet Clutter

Written by: Oliver Mitchell

Learn how to declutter your closet using capsule decluttering techniques. Achieve a clutter-free interior design with our expert tips.

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Welcome to the world of capsule decluttering! If you find yourself overwhelmed by a cluttered closet and an overflowing wardrobe, then you’re in the right place. Capsule decluttering is a method that allows you to simplify your wardrobe and create a curated collection of clothing that reflects your personal style.

In today’s fast-paced world, we often find ourselves surrounded by excess and constantly seeking more. Our closets become filled with clothes we don’t wear, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and uninspired. Capsule decluttering offers a solution by helping us focus on quality rather than quantity.

The concept of capsule decluttering originated in the world of fashion where it was popularized by minimalist fashion blogger, Caroline Rector. The idea is to create a collection of versatile and timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. By limiting your wardrobe to a carefully selected number of items, you can reduce clutter, save time getting dressed, and eliminate the stress of decision-making.

The beauty of capsule decluttering is that it can be applied to any area of your home, but in this article, we will focus specifically on your closet and clothing. If you’re ready to embark on a journey of simplifying your wardrobe and cultivating a more intentional sense of style, then let’s dive into the world of capsule decluttering and discover how it can transform your closet.

What is capsule decluttering?

Capsule decluttering is a method of organizing and decluttering your wardrobe by creating a curated collection of clothing that consists of a limited number of versatile pieces. The goal is to streamline your wardrobe, eliminating unnecessary items and focusing on quality rather than quantity.

The concept of a capsule wardrobe is not about restricting yourself, but rather about finding joy and satisfaction in having a collection of clothing that truly reflects your personal style and meets your everyday needs. It is about creating a wardrobe filled with pieces that you love and feel confident wearing.

When adopting a capsule decluttering approach, you typically select a specific number of items to include in your capsule wardrobe. This number can vary depending on your preferences and lifestyle. Some people choose to have 30 items or less, while others may opt for a slightly larger number. The idea is to keep it manageable and not overwhelm yourself with too many choices.

By intentionally curating a capsule wardrobe, you allow yourself to focus on quality, versatility, and cohesion. Each piece in your collection should be carefully selected to ensure it can be mixed and matched with other items, allowing you to create numerous outfits without needing a vast quantity of clothes.

Capsule decluttering encourages you to let go of items that no longer serve you or bring you joy. It’s an opportunity to assess your current wardrobe, identify pieces that are worn-out, ill-fitting, or simply out of style, and make room for new items that align with your personal style and values.

While capsule decluttering is often associated with minimalism, it is not about living with the bare minimum or sacrificing your style preferences. It’s about finding a balance between having enough clothing to meet your needs while avoiding excess and unnecessary clutter.

Ultimately, capsule decluttering is a mindset shift that can transform your relationship with your wardrobe. It encourages mindfulness, intentionality, and a sense of liberation from the burden of too many choices. By adopting this approach, you can create a closet that sparks joy, streamlines your daily routine, and helps you showcase your authentic style.

Benefits of capsule decluttering

Capsule decluttering offers numerous benefits that go beyond just having a more organized closet. Let’s explore some of the advantages you can expect from embracing this approach:

  1. Simplified wardrobe: One of the primary benefits of capsule decluttering is that it simplifies your wardrobe. By curating a collection of essential and versatile pieces, you eliminate the stress of decision-making and reduce the time spent choosing outfits.
  2. Streamlined daily routine: With a capsule wardrobe, you eliminate the need to sift through a sea of clothes every morning. Instead, you have a concise selection of garments that are easy to mix and match, making your daily routine more efficient.
  3. Elimination of clutter: Capsule decluttering helps you get rid of excess clothing that is taking up valuable space in your closet. By letting go of items you no longer wear or love, you create a clutter-free environment that promotes calmness and enhances your overall well-being.
  4. Saves money: With capsule decluttering, you become more mindful of your purchases. By focusing on quality over quantity, you invest in timeless and durable pieces that will last longer, ultimately saving you money in the long run.
  5. Enhanced personal style: Creating a capsule wardrobe allows you to define and refine your personal style. By carefully selecting items that align with your aesthetic preferences and lifestyle, you cultivate a wardrobe that truly represents who you are.
  6. Boosts creativity: Despite having a limited number of clothing items, a capsule wardrobe encourages creativity. You are challenged to mix and match pieces in unique ways, discovering new outfit combinations and expressing your style in unexpected ways.
  7. Reduced environmental impact: By adopting a capsule wardrobe, you contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry. With fewer impulsive purchases and a focus on long-lasting quality pieces, you help reduce waste and minimize your carbon footprint.
  8. Less decision fatigue: Having fewer options in your wardrobe reduces decision fatigue. You no longer need to waste time and mental energy deciding what to wear, allowing you to allocate that energy to more important aspects of your life.

These are just some of the many benefits that capsule decluttering can bring to your life. By embracing minimalism and consciously curating your wardrobe, you can experience a sense of freedom, confidence, and ease that extends far beyond your closet.

Step 1: Assessing your current wardrobe

Before diving into the process of building a capsule wardrobe, it’s essential to assess your current wardrobe. This step allows you to understand your clothing preferences, identify items that no longer serve you, and set the foundation for a more intentional and curated collection.

Here are some key steps to follow when assessing your wardrobe:

  1. Take everything out: Start by emptying your entire wardrobe. Take out every item of clothing, including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, and accessories. This step ensures that you have a clear view of what you own and prevents items from being overlooked or forgotten.
  2. Sort into categories: Group your clothing into categories such as tops, bottoms, dresses, and so on. This sorting process helps you visually see the different types of clothing you have and makes the decluttering process more manageable.
  3. Assess each item: Go through each item and assess its condition, fit, and how often you wear it. Consider whether the item still resonates with your personal style and aligns with your lifestyle. If the item is worn-out, ill-fitting, or doesn’t spark joy, it may be time to let go.
  4. Identify duplicates: Look for duplicates or similar items. If you have multiple pieces that serve the same purpose, evaluate which one is your favorite or most versatile. Consider keeping the high-quality one and letting go of the rest.
  5. Consider sentimental items: Some items may hold sentimental value, such as heirlooms or special occasion pieces. While it’s important to honor sentimental attachments, be mindful of whether these items are taking up valuable space in your everyday wardrobe. If they are rarely worn, consider storing them separately or finding alternative ways to display and cherish them.
  6. Organize and declutter: As you assess each item, sort them into three categories: keep, donate/sell, and toss. Only keep the items that you love, wear frequently, and that align with your style and goals.
  7. Consider seasonality: Depending on your climate, you may need to consider seasonal changes when assessing your wardrobe. If you have items that are only suitable for specific seasons, you can create separate capsule wardrobes for each season or store off-season items in a separate space.

Remember, the goal of this step is to create a mindful and curated collection of clothing. Be honest with yourself about what you truly need, wear, and love. Letting go of unnecessary items will create space for new, more intentional additions to your wardrobe.

Once you have assessed your current wardrobe and decluttered, you’re ready to move on to the next step: setting your capsule wardrobe goals.

Step 2: Setting your capsule wardrobe goals

Setting clear goals is crucial when building a capsule wardrobe. It helps you stay focused, defines the direction of your wardrobe, and ensures that your collection aligns with your personal style and needs. Here are some steps to help you set your capsule wardrobe goals:

  1. Define your lifestyle: Consider your daily activities, work requirements, hobbies, and social events. Understanding your lifestyle will guide you in selecting clothing items that are both functional and representative of your daily life.
  2. Identify your personal style: Take some time to reflect on your personal style preferences. What colors, patterns, and silhouettes do you gravitate towards? Look for inspiration in fashion magazines, Pinterest, or even your favorite style icons to help you define and refine your style.
  3. Set the season and duration: Determine the season and duration for which you are creating your capsule wardrobe. This could be for a specific season, such as summer or fall, or for a set period, like three months. Having a defined timeframe helps you choose appropriate clothing items and ensures that your capsule wardrobe remains relevant.
  4. Consider your color palette: Selecting a color palette for your capsule wardrobe can make styling and mixing and matching easier. Choose a base color or two, such as black, navy, or beige, and complement them with a few accent colors. Having a cohesive color palette ensures that your pieces can be easily combined.
  5. Determine the number of items: Decide on the number of items you want to include in your capsule wardrobe. This can vary depending on your preferences and lifestyle. Some people aim for a specific number, like 30 items, while others may have a slightly larger or smaller collection. Remember, the goal is to keep it manageable and reduce decision fatigue.
  6. Consider your unique needs: Take into account any unique needs or specific occasions that require special clothing. If you have a formal event coming up or need workout attire, factor in those needs when choosing items for your capsule wardrobe.
  7. Keep functionality in mind: Ensure that the clothing items you select are functional and versatile. Look for pieces that can easily be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. This helps maximize the number of outfit combinations you can create with a limited number of clothing items.
  8. Define your budget: Lastly, consider your budget for building your capsule wardrobe. Set a realistic budget that allows you to invest in quality pieces while still staying within your financial means.

By setting your capsule wardrobe goals, you establish a clear vision and direction for your wardrobe. This will guide you in making informed decisions when it comes to selecting and curating your collection of clothing and accessories.

Once you have set your goals, it’s time to move on to the next step: sorting and organizing your clothes.

Step 3: Sorting and organizing your clothes

Now that you have assessed your current wardrobe and set your capsule wardrobe goals, it’s time to sort and organize your clothes. This step allows you to create a functional and well-structured wardrobe that reflects your personal style and makes it easy to find what you need. Here’s how you can approach sorting and organizing your clothes:

  1. Group similar items together: Start by sorting your clothing items into categories. Group similar items such as tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and accessories. This step makes it easier to see your collection and allows you to identify any gaps or redundancies.
  2. Arrange by color or style: Once you’ve sorted your items into categories, consider arranging them further by color or style. This step creates a more visually appealing and organized wardrobe. You can arrange items from light to dark within each category or group similar colors together.
  3. Review your capsule wardrobe goals: As you organize your clothes, refer back to the goals you set in the previous step. Make sure that the items you’re organizing align with those goals. If there are any items that don’t fit your style, no longer serve a purpose, or deviate from your color palette, set them aside to be removed from your wardrobe.
  4. Consider storage solutions: Explore different storage solutions that suit your space and needs. This could include using hangers, shelves, bins, or drawer dividers. Ensure that your storage solutions allow you to easily access and see your clothing items. Consider storing off-season pieces separately to maximize space and keep your current season’s capsule wardrobe easily accessible.
  5. Label and categorize: Label your storage containers or areas to make it even easier to find and put away items. This step helps maintain the organization of your wardrobe over time. You can also categorize your clothing further within each storage area, such as organizing tops by sleeve length or pants by style.
  6. Consider clothing care: As you organize your clothes, take the opportunity to assess their condition and consider any necessary repairs or cleaning. Remove any items that are damaged beyond repair or no longer serve you. This step ensures that your capsule wardrobe only consists of items that are in good condition and ready to wear.
  7. Maximize visibility and accessibility: Arrange your clothing items in a way that maximizes visibility and makes it easy to access each piece. Consider hanging or folding items in a way that allows you to see everything at a glance. This helps prevent items from getting forgotten or buried at the back of your wardrobe.
  8. Take note of any gaps: As you sort and organize your clothes, take note of any gaps or items that you may need to complete your capsule wardrobe. This will help you make intentional purchases and avoid impulse buying.

By sorting and organizing your clothes, you create a functional and visually pleasing wardrobe. You’ll be able to see and appreciate the items you have, making it easier to create outfits and maintain a clutter-free space.

Now that your clothes are sorted and neatly organized, it’s time to move on to the next step: decluttering and letting go of the items that no longer serve you.

Step 4: Decluttering and letting go

Decluttering and letting go of items that no longer serve you is a crucial step in building a capsule wardrobe. It allows you to create space for the pieces that truly align with your style and goals. Here are some steps to help you effectively declutter your wardrobe:

  1. Be honest with yourself: As you go through each clothing item, be honest with yourself about whether it still serves a purpose in your life. Consider whether the item brings you joy, represents your personal style, and fits well. If an item no longer resonates with you, it’s time to let it go.
  2. Consider the last time you wore it: Reflect on the last time you wore each item. If it has been over a year and the item hasn’t been worn, it may be a sign that it no longer aligns with your current style or needs.
  3. Inspect for damage or wear: Assess the condition of each item. If an item is damaged beyond repair or shows significant signs of wear, it’s time to bid farewell. Holding onto these items will only take up space in your wardrobe.
  4. Set aside sentimental items: Sentimental items hold a special place in our hearts. If there are items with sentimental value that you’re not ready to part with, set them aside. Consider finding alternative ways to preserve their memories outside of your daily wardrobe.
  5. Separate items for donation or resale: As you declutter, set aside items that are in good condition but no longer serve you. These items can be donated to charities or sold online or at consignment stores. By giving them a new home, you ensure they have a chance to be appreciated by someone else.
  6. Dispose of unusable items responsibly: For items that are damaged or beyond repair, dispose of them responsibly. Check your local recycling guidelines or consider repurposing them into cleaning rags or other DIY projects.
  7. Embrace the art of letting go: Letting go of clothing items can sometimes be challenging, but remember that it creates space for new opportunities and a more intentional wardrobe. Appreciate the memories associated with each item and release them with gratitude.
  8. Revisit your goals: Throughout the decluttering process, continually refer back to your capsule wardrobe goals. These goals will keep you focused and help you make informed decisions about what to keep and what to let go.

Remember, the goal of decluttering and letting go is to create a wardrobe filled with items that you love and wear regularly. Be intentional about what you choose to keep in your capsule wardrobe, and let go of the things that no longer serve you.

Now that you’ve decluttered your wardrobe, it’s time to move on to the exciting part: building your capsule wardrobe!

Step 5: Building your capsule wardrobe

Now that you’ve assessed your current wardrobe, set your goals, sorted and organized your clothes, and decluttered items that no longer serve you, it’s time to start building your capsule wardrobe. This step involves carefully selecting and curating a collection of clothing items that align with your personal style and meet your lifestyle needs. Here’s how you can build your capsule wardrobe:

  1. Refer to your capsule wardrobe goals: Begin by going back to the goals you set in Step 2. Use these goals as a guiding light to help you make choices that align with your desired style, color palette, and lifestyle needs.
  2. Start with the basics: Begin by selecting versatile basics that can form the foundation of your capsule wardrobe. These essentials include items like neutral-colored tops, well-fitting jeans or trousers, and classic outerwear. Basics provide a solid base that you can easily mix and match with other items.
  3. Choose statement pieces: Add a few statement pieces that reflect your personal style and add interest to your capsule wardrobe. These could be bold prints, unique textures, or eye-catching accessories. These statement pieces will elevate and add personality to your everyday outfits.
  4. Consider versatility: Select items that can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Opt for pieces that can be dressed up or down and can transition seamlessly between different occasions.
  5. Focus on quality: Prioritize quality over quantity when choosing clothing items for your capsule wardrobe. Invest in well-made garments that will stand the test of time, both in terms of durability and timeless style.
  6. Stick to your color palette: Keep your color palette in mind when selecting clothing items. Choose colors that complement each other and reflect your personal style. Having a cohesive color scheme makes it easier to mix and match pieces.
  7. Consider different styles and silhouettes: Choose a mix of different styles and silhouettes to add variety and dimension to your capsule wardrobe. This can include a combination of casual and formal pieces, different cuts of trousers or skirts, and various sleeve lengths.
  8. Ensure appropriate layering options: Depending on your climate and the season, make sure you have appropriate layering options in your capsule wardrobe. This includes items like cardigans, blazers, or lightweight jackets that can be easily added or removed to accommodate changing temperatures.
  9. Don’t forget about accessories: Accessories play a crucial role in completing an outfit. Select a few key accessories such as scarves, belts, or statement jewelry that can add a finishing touch to your looks.
  10. Stay within your designated number of items: Remember to keep the number of items in your capsule wardrobe within the range you set. This will encourage you to make intentional choices and prevent your wardrobe from becoming overwhelming.

Building a capsule wardrobe is an ongoing process, and it’s perfectly fine to make adjustments and additions as you go along. The key is to curate a collection of clothing items that make you feel confident, reflect your personal style, and meet your lifestyle needs.

Once you’ve built your capsule wardrobe, it’s time to move on to the final step: maintaining and enjoying your curated collection!

Step 6: Maintaining your capsule wardrobe

Congratulations on building your capsule wardrobe! Now that you have curated a collection of clothing items that align with your style and needs, it’s important to maintain it to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Here are some key tips for maintaining your capsule wardrobe:

  1. Regularly evaluate your wardrobe: Set aside time every season or every few months to evaluate your capsule wardrobe. Take a look at the items you have and consider if they are still serving you well. If there are items that no longer bring you joy or align with your style, remove them from your collection.
  2. Practice the one-in, one-out rule: When adding new items to your wardrobe, follow the one-in, one-out rule. For every item you bring in, remove a similar item from your capsule wardrobe. This helps maintain a balanced collection and prevents your wardrobe from becoming crowded.
  3. Be mindful of impulse purchases: Avoid impulsively buying new items that don’t align with your goals or needs. Take the time to consider how a potential addition will fit into your capsule wardrobe and if it truly complements your style and lifestyle.
  4. Take care of your clothes: Properly care for your clothing items to ensure their longevity. Follow care instructions, wash items appropriately, and store them properly. This will keep your clothes in good condition and avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
  5. Adapt to changing seasons and needs: As the seasons change or as your lifestyle evolves, make necessary adjustments to your capsule wardrobe. Swap out seasonal items as needed and consider adding or removing pieces based on your current needs and preferences.
  6. Stay connected to your personal style: As you maintain your capsule wardrobe, stay connected to your personal style. Experiment with different combinations, try new outfit pairings, and embrace your individuality. Your capsule wardrobe should still reflect your unique expression of style.
  7. Avoid trends: While it’s tempting to chase after the latest fashion trends, focus on timeless style instead. Opt for classic and versatile pieces that won’t go out of fashion quickly. This ensures that your capsule wardrobe remains relevant and functional for years to come.
  8. Celebrate your successes: Take the time to appreciate and celebrate the success of maintaining a capsule wardrobe. Reflect on how it has simplified your life, reduced decision fatigue, and enhanced your personal style. Embrace the freedom and joy that comes with having a curated collection of clothes that you truly love.

Remember, maintaining your capsule wardrobe is an ongoing process. It requires regular attention and evaluation to ensure that your collection continues to support your lifestyle and reflect your personal style.

By following these tips, you will keep your capsule wardrobe organized, versatile, and enjoyable for years to come.

Now it’s time to put these tips into practice and enjoy the benefits of your well-curated capsule wardrobe!

Tips and tricks for capsule decluttering success

Capsule decluttering can be a transformative process that simplifies your wardrobe and enhances your personal style. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to ensure success as you embark on your capsule decluttering journey:

  1. Start small: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with a smaller section of your wardrobe, such as tops or accessories. Once you gain confidence and see the positive impact, you can gradually tackle the rest of your closet.
  2. Take your time: Capsule decluttering is not a race. Set aside dedicated time to focus on each step of the process. Give yourself permission to reflect, make decisions, and let go at your own pace.
  3. Try the hanger trick: To identify which clothing items you actually wear, turn all your hangers in the opposite direction. As you wear and return items to your closet, hang them in the normal direction. After a few months, it will be easier to see which items have remained unworn.
  4. Ask yourself the right questions: When deciding whether to keep or let go of an item, ask yourself questions like “Does this item reflect my personal style?” and “Will I realistically wear this in the next six months?”. These questions will help you make more informed decisions.
  5. Consider a trial period: If you’re undecided about letting go of a particular item, put it aside in a box or a separate section of your closet for a designated trial period. If you don’t reach for it during that time, it’s a clear sign that it can be safely decluttered.
  6. Get a second opinion: Sometimes, it’s helpful to have a trusted friend or family member provide an outside perspective. They can offer valuable insight and help you see items objectively, especially if you’re emotionally attached to certain pieces.
  7. Donate or sell responsibly: Give your pre-loved clothing a new life by donating them to local charities or sell them online or at consignment stores. This way, your items can find new homes and contribute positively to sustainably conscious fashion.
  8. Avoid shopping temptations: While building your capsule wardrobe, be mindful of potential shopping temptations. Unsubscribe from retail newsletters and avoid browsing online stores aimlessly. Focus on enjoying and maximizing the items already in your collection.
  9. Create a capsule wardrobe inventory: Keep a list or take photos of the items in your capsule wardrobe. This inventory helps you visualize your collection and reminds you of what you already have when considering new purchases.
  10. Make adjustments as needed: Your capsule wardrobe is not set in stone. As your style evolves, your needs change, or new occasions arise, feel free to make adjustments and add or remove items from your collection. Flexibility is key.

Remember, the goal of capsule decluttering is to create a wardrobe that reflects your personal style, simplifies your daily routine, and sparks joy. Embrace the process, trust your instincts, and enjoy the journey of building a curated collection of clothes that truly bring you happiness.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll set yourself up for a successful and rewarding capsule decluttering experience.

Now, it’s time to embark on your capsule decluttering adventure and create a wardrobe that truly represents you!


Capsule decluttering is a transformative approach to creating a more intentional and curated wardrobe. It offers numerous benefits, including a simplified closet, a streamlined daily routine, and a reduced environmental impact. By carefully assessing your current wardrobe, setting clear goals, organizing your clothes, and decluttering items that no longer serve you, you can build a capsule wardrobe that reflects your personal style and meets your lifestyle needs.

Throughout the process, remember to be honest with yourself, stay connected to your style, and make intentional choices when selecting clothing items. Focus on quality, versatility, and functionality, and don’t be afraid to let go of items that no longer bring you joy or align with your goals. Building a capsule wardrobe is an ongoing journey, so take the time to regularly evaluate and adjust your collection as needed.

Embrace the freedom and creativity that comes with having a curated wardrobe. Mix and match your pieces, experiment with different combinations, and let your personal style shine through. Enjoy the simplicity and ease of getting dressed, knowing that every item in your capsule wardrobe has been thoughtfully chosen and contributes to your overall well-being.

Capsule decluttering is more than just organizing your clothes; it’s about creating a lifestyle that prioritizes quality over quantity, mindfulness over impulsivity, and self-expression over trends. It’s a way to reclaim control over your wardrobe and free yourself from the burden of excess. By adopting a capsule approach, you’ll not only achieve a more organized and stylish wardrobe but also contribute to a more sustainable and conscious fashion industry.

So, are you ready to embark on your capsule decluttering journey? Take the first step today and start transforming your closet into a curated collection of clothing that reflects your unique style and enhances your daily life.

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