How to Cut Back on an Overcrowded Wardrobe

If you’re someone who believes they need a new outfit for every occasion, your closet and dressers are likely brimming with apparel. However, regardless of your shopping habits, overcrowding your clothing storage spaces is a common problem, and one that you can easily cut back on simply by implementing a few rules for yourself. This way, you’ll always be in fashion but you’ll have the room to support your favorite clothing items.

Make Some Room 

Making room for new clothes is a challenge, especially if you have a hard time parting ways with old pieces. This is why, more often than not, we’ll shove new clothing-filled hangars into a closet without removing older clothing pieces, only increasing the number of clothes we have.

If you’re running low on room and feel like it’s time to thin your selection, consider revisiting what you have and seriously consider letting go of older, less worn pieces. If you have a particularly overcrowded closet, you can always utilize the ‘one for one rule,’ where every piece of new clothing replaces an item from your collection.

Donate, Don’t Toss

Part of the challenge in making room for new clothing and tossing older clothing is in the word itself: tossing. Throwing clothes into the garbage adds to landfills, and it also feels unfair to the clothing. This is challenging to wrap your head around if you generally have a hard time saying goodbye to belongings.

For that reason, change up the way you look at this departure by donating your old items instead. Any clothing items that are lightly used and still wearable should be donated to local shelters that directly provide apparel to those in need. With this approach, you can feel better about your spring-cleaning, rather than plagued with guilt over its environmental impact. Of course, you should still shop smart to begin with!

Need an extra push? Check out They will send you a bag to fill with your unwanted items, and then they will sell them for you online and give you credit towards their site to purchase other pre-loved clothes! Or, you can give someone the gift card if you prefer to purchase new clothes. It’s just a way of knowing that other people are able to use your pre-loved clothes!

Limit The Space You Utilize 

If you are frequently bringing new clothes into your wardrobe, you’re likely running out of space faster than you can take your new purchase out of the bag. If this is the case, you may want to get ahead of the problem and build in a space limitation rule to prevent an overwhelmed closet.

These rules are specific to your personal space limitations and preferences, though could be anything from a one for one replacement rule. It can also look like a ‘hanger count’ rule, where you don’t allow yourself to buy more apparel than fits on the hangars you currently own. Get creative with your limitations, and then stick to them!

Practice the One-Year Rule

Last, but certainly not least, you can practice the one-year rule. The one-year rule is specific to clothing you rarely wear and doesn’t need to include any special occasion clothing items, as you’ll wear those less frequently. Instead, this rule applies to all daily wear pieces.

First, you take a look at your closet, go item-by-item, and determine what stays and what goes. If you land on a piece that you know you haven’t worn within the last year, and don’t see yourself wearing any time soon, it’s time to donate it. This ensures you’re not losing clothing items that you actually wear, and also ensures someone in need gets a like-new item!

There’s nothing quite like the feel of a brand new outfit, but it has less of an impact when it becomes a crumpled mess on your closet floor after a single wear, not to be found for months. Take back your clothing storage space by implementing these rules to ensure your clothing is treated well, stored beautifully, and is ready to impress at your next event.


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