Cleaning out my closet: research your personal style

This month I’m starting my spring capsule wardrobe. I switch a few things up between Autumn and Winter and again in Spring and Summer, but the more dramatic changes only happen twice a year. Although the majority of clothes stays the same during the year, I do enjoy a few fresh pieces!

Now we’re approaching spring, it’s time to start cleaning out my closet. I always use the same 10-step-method. This will not only help you clean out your closet, but also identify what pieces you’re missing.

01. Get everything out

When you want to clean out your closet, start by getting rid of everything in your closet. Turn it completely upside down. I usually put every single piece of clothing on my bed. And with every single piece I mean all the items in my spring capsule wardrobe, but also things like underwear and socks.

02. Cleaning out my closet

Cleaning is not exactly my cup of tea. So when I have my closet completely empty, it’s the perfect time for a good clean.

03. What do you love?

Next, you want to look at each item individually, what are the pieces that you love? Which clothing did you wear the most? What do you like about them? Is it the fit? The fact that it’s versatile? Does it compliment your skin tone or hair color? Really try to find out what makes you love this piece, so that you can take it into consideration for future shopping trips.

04. What do you never wear?

Take a look at the clothing that you have yet to wear. Even to this day, there are pieces in my closet that I don’t reach for as often as others. Find out why you didn’t wear these items. Do they not fit properly? Do you have trouble combining it? Are there similar options that you tend to wear more?

These steps are the most important ones. By doing this you learn more about your own behaviour. You can copy the perfect Pinterest look, but if it doesn’t suit you, you’re not wearing it in the end. I actually wrote a blog post: winter capsule recap in which I reflect on my previous capsule wardrobe.

05. Define your style

After I’m done cleaning out my closet, it’s time to define my style. I usually add pictures to my style inspiration Pinterest board. When I look at the board I try to find things that appeal to me. You’ll see that I like neutral colors, lots of denim, classic styles, different textures and a bit of edge. I take another look at my pile of clothing and select every single piece that reflects that.

06. Think about lifestyle and climate

Another thing to take into consideration is your lifestyle and the climate in which you live. I appreciate a more formal style, but in the Netherlands people dress very casual. I also like the look of skirts, but I know I can feel uncomfortable wearing them.

07. Mind the gap

Now take another look at your closet and identify the gap. Which items are missing? What do you need to create your perfect outfit? Make a shopping list for the items you need to buy.

08. Compile a uniform

This is optional, but sometimes it helps to compile a uniform. What is your go-to look?

09. Set a budget

Now it’s time to set your budget. What are you willing to spend on a good pair of jeans or a leather jacket? What are trendy items and in which pieces do you want to invest? What are you willing to spend on clothes for the coming 6 months?

10. Go (online) shopping

Once I’m done with these steps, I prefer to go online shopping. It keeps me focused and gives me more options. Shopping can be frustrating when you come home empty-handed, but with online shopping that doesn’t happen to me.

I use selection options religiously. When I’m looking for white sandals, I make sure no other color sandal shows up. As an added bonus I make screenshots of every piece and use photo-editing software to create complete looks.

How often do you clean out your closet? And do you have a system or routine? Let me know in the comments.


  1. First let me say I love the layout of your sight, very reflective of your lifestyle choice.

    Secondly, I try to clean out my closet every 6 months because I’m in my 20s and I buy everything I think is cute. I use to work at a department store and I would buy clothing I thought was cute, I thought maybe I’d wear it, but mostly I just didn’t want someone else to have it instead of me. Now that I am no longer working there I have stopped shopping as much. But I still have quite the clothing collection. My system is similar to yours and basically what I wear the most is what I usually keep. My current wardrobe is smaller than it was before but not as small as I want it to be. I am a Minimalist in training.

  2. Hi Mishele,

    Thank you for your kind words. Being surrounded by beautiful clothes would be hard for me too! I like to think I’m a minimalist in training as well 😉

    Good luck!

Leave a Reply