I have a confession to make: I’m a clothing hoarder.
I have a very tough time letting go of clothes whether it be for sentimental reasons or because I think I’ll need it again…someday in the nonexistent future for a nonexistent event. And they aren’t even crazy nice quality of clothes- a mix of Forever 21, Zara, and Urban Outfitters to name a few. You might be wondering “WHY would you want to keep that leather shift dress in your wannabe edgy, cool girl phase that you wore maybe twice?” I too don’t know the answer to that question. I have found myself in this situation too many times until I decided enough was enough!
It can be cathartic to get rid of old stuff- whether it’s clothes or not. It’s important to let things go to make room for what’s to come- including that new pair of jeans you’ve had your eye on for some time now! Keep reading for my tips and tricks on how to condense your closet and how to recognize which clothes are worth keeping.
Why You Should Throw Clothes Out
We use our hard-earned money to buy nice stuff, so why would we throw it out? I can give you a few reasons. First off, clothes aren’t made to last forever. It all depends on the quality, but things do fall apart and lose their shape. What’s the point of keeping something that isn’t what it used to be? Another reason is the more clothes you have, the harder it is to get dressed. You have so much stuff that you feel lost and end up wearing the same cycle of clothing over and over without realizing it. I hate it when I say “I have nothing to wear” because it’s so far from true! There’s just too many clothes clouding my vision. My third point is to make room for new clothes! While it’s important to cut back (the point of this post), we all have those times where retail therapy is a must. We need some extra wiggle room to put that stuff away!
You need to go into this with a strategy. Everyone has different criteria for why they want to get rid of stuff. For reference, my rule is if a piece doesn’t go with at least 3 other things I own then it’s time to give it the boot. Not only am I getting rid of something that I don’t need, I’m also curating my personal style because my pieces will be cohesive and make sense together.
Another strategy is to shop your closet. First look through everything (or go by categories like tops, jeans, dresses, etc.) and pick out everything you would for sure keep. These should be all your absolute favorites, and the items that make you feel beautiful! The pile with clothes in question should then look a little less intimidating. You now have to be a little more tactful. Things that you’ve had for a year or more that you’ve worn less than a handful of times should go. Anything that doesn’t fit you, make you feel confident, or go with your current style should also go. If you aren’t saving it for a special occasion- ones that will actually happen- say goodbye. Keep in mind my three-outfit rule! It will help you weed out your outfit outcasts.
If you’re still lost, below are a couple of Pinterest graphics I’ve found to be super helpful. Click here and it’ll bring you to my Closet Organization board where you can save these images (and check out my other boards while you’re there)!
What should I do with the clothes I want to throw out?
When I say “throw clothes out”, I don’t mean everything you don’t want should immediately go in the dumpster. The only time you should actually put clothes there is if there are deep stains, tears, and visually signs of wear that you can’t get rid of. Clothes in any other condition should go to younger sibling or relatives, or to Goodwill. I have some clothing donation bins in my grocery store and outlet parking lots. If your clothes are in super-good condition you can try to resell them on Ebay or Poshmark. I’ve personally never done either but have heard others having successful experiences. It’s worth looking into if you have the time and want the extra money.
Some Food for Thought…
Drowning in heaps of castaway clothes really makes you think: why do we buy all of this stuff? I explored the idea of resisting fashion trends in my very first blog post (which you can read here). But this cleanse further opened my eyes and I realized how much stuff I’ve accumulated that I don’t need. While following trends is fun, it’ll more often than not end up collecting dust in the back of your closet until God knows when. That’s why, if you want longevity from your clothes, it’s important to know yourself and what you feel confident in. Not every trend is going to be that, so you shouldn’t feel like you have to have it. It’s hard to practice this minimalistic point-of-view when we are bombarded with new stuff, particularly on social media, everyday. Building a capsule collection of pieces that are classic to your style will help prevent you from collecting unnecessary pieces. Having less stuff in general will make your life easier.