As a neat freak of 40.5 years, I can say with absolute confidence that there are 15 clothing items you should never declutter.

In my strive for a zen like home and on the back of moving back 97 furniture boxes from Dubai (all I will say is that they arrived in a juggernaut lorry) into our two up two down terraced house, I became / I am absolutely cut throat when it comes to decluttering. I’ve had to be, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get through the front door.

Since my return from the Middle East, I’ve decluttered furniture, shoes (mmmmmm well over 100 pairs……..), clothes, handbags, perfume, cosmetics, exercise machines, hats, rugs, pots, pans, dvd’s, cd’s, books, jewellery, TV’s, DVD players etc etc etc.

To say I’m meticulous, no ruthless, when it comes to decluttering is an understatement and this leads me to a blog post that is of national, no worldwide importance.

You can declutter too much.

I did.

So I’ve sat down and in an effort to turn my regret into a learning lesson (I’m a Life Coach after all) and I’ve compiled a declutter series, in categories, of items you should not declutter.

I’m starting with clothes, shoes and handbags.

This is unisex article incidentally.

Here goes:

  1. Classic Pieces

I’m talking about signature good quality pieces that you will wear time and time again:

  • Denim Jacket
  • Tailored Wide Leg Black Trousers
  • Tailored White Shirt
  • Denim Shorts
  • Cape: Black or Grey
  • Long Floaty Summer Skirts

Noticed I said good quality.

Those classic clothing items that are investment pieces are always either going to be in fashion or come back into fashion. So do yourself a favour and save yourself money and hassle by keeping them. I write this list from experience. I’ve got rid of them all at some point and regretted it ever since. Don’t you do it.

2.  Classic Handbags

I see certain handbags as investment pieces: they are the best quality so last forever and they are also forever classic. Regardless of when you use them, you can confidently whip out your Mulberry, LV, Celine or if your lucky enough Hermes Birkin bag.

And my point is?

If you are a lucky owner of a classic model designer handbag, KEEP IT.

3. Old Skool Trainers

A random one, but my need for a pair of old skool trainers has popped up three times already in my life time and if I had just kept my original New Balance trainers (and looked after them) it would have saved me money ( quite a bit) and hassle later on.

Old skool Adidas, Converse, Nike or New Balance, I can guarantee they will always be in fashion and/or make a big come back. So keep them.

4. Timberland Boots

I’m a proud wearer of my Timberland boots and have been since I got my first and only pair when I was (I think) sixteen.

So mine are 24 years old and still going very strong!

Admittedly they do faze in and out of fashion (I wear mine regardless) but the fact remains, Timberland are still selling the same model, so they must still be in demand.

Durable, comfortable and funky, look after them and I promise you, you will wear them time and time again.

5. Ugg Boots

Same as Timberland Boots. I’ve had my Uggs since I was 18 and I literally couldn’t live without them.

Assuming you have the real ones and not the ones that flop at the back; they will last you forever in all seasons. My favourite look, which upon reflection, are the times when I normally mistaken for a shop lifter, is when I’m in my old skool Adidas tracksuit bottoms and my Uggs…….

However, you get my point. If you’ve got real Ugg Boots, protect them properly and they will serve you forever.

6. Barbour Wax Jacket 

Seriously don’t ever throw yours out. I’ve owned two in my life and I’ve for some ridiculous reason given them away and I’m gutted.

I’m currently sans wax jacket.

Classic pieces, even if you feel like a 55 year old Sloan Ranger Farmer Wannabe. Trust me, they are super cool, stylish, classic pieces and if you feel they are out of fashion now, there will come a time when you wished you had one.

7 . Puffa Jacket

I once gave my sleeveless puffa to my sister, realised the error of my ways and demanded it back.

But anyway, long sleeve or sleeveless Puffa Jackets are staple items. Although bulky, when you need one, you need one.

8. Brogues or Loafers

I recently got my husband two pairs of Loakes because they are investment pieces. Beautifully made and in my opinion, always in fashion, I knew that despite the hefty price tag, in the long run he would get lots of wear and enjoyment from them. He hasn’t got a pair of loafers, but the same principle.

So, if you own a classic pair or Brogues or Loafers, trust me, you will wear them time and time again. Keep them

9. Walking Boots

I bought a pair of Brasher walking boots a few years ago; begrudgingly. We were off to Cornwall walking and my husband insisted that my trusty Timberland Boots, would not cut the mustard. As with most of the sensible things I own now, Jason insisted I invested properly (thoroughly researched) and I grumbled at the price thinking of other things (shoes or handbags) I could spend that money on.

However, as per usual he was right. I’m not an avid walker by any means, but I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve used them and been thankful I wisely invested in a pair.

Like the Puffa Jacket, when you need walking boots you need them. So if you’ve invested in a good pair and are tempted to throw them out because you don’t use them. Don’t you will wear them again.

10. Rain Mac / Trench Coat

If you’ve got a rain mac or trench coat (same thing btw: Mac is Scottish and Trench is English) , think Burberry style, keep it. I don’t mean the cheap fashion ones, I mean a good quality water proof one.

Particularly if you live in England, you will forever fall back on this piece of clothing, time and time again.

11. Leather Jacket: Biker and Collarless 

If you’ve invested in a black leather biker jacket or collarless leather jacket, it will forever be called upon by you. They definitely fall in and out of fashion, but they will always return and you will be thankful you kept it!

12. Camel Coat

My husband bought me a beautiful camel wrap coat for my 40th birthday and I think it’s probably the best pressie I’ve ever received.

I’ve wanted one for years, always loved the timeless chic look of a lady in a camel coat but never wanted to invest in a good one. I’ve now got one and I know every Winter until the day I die, my camel coat will be out.

So, if you’ve got one. Keep it. You will wear it again and kick yourself for giving it away!

13. Waterproofs

When you need waterproofs, you need waterproofs therefore keep them. It’s tempting to get rid of them when they are not called on year on year, but there will be a time at some point in the future when you will need them, normally at a time when or where you can’t go out and buy some! They roll up into nothing anyway so this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle for you.

14. Panama Hat

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t roll your panama hat if you’ve got one……. Anyway, if you’ve invested in a genuine Panama hat it will last you a life time. I personally think they are forever in trend. Don’t be tempted to get rid.

15 . Cow Boy Boots

I threw mine out a few years ago and it makes me upset every time I think about them!

If you’ve got a pair of leather cow boys, please keep them. Timeless. I know they are not trendy now, but they will come back again!



Like what you read? Desperate for advice on something I haven’t written about? E-mail me on and let me know.

Also, these previous articles may be of interest:

How Decluttering Will Change Your Life

10 Ultimate Decluttering Topics

Five Minute Declutter Rule



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