Decluttering your closet can be a daunting task – trust me, I know. It can be hard to let go of the things that we invested so much money in (like that leather jacket you never wear anymore), that hold sentimental value (the purse your friend gifted to you years ago), or that you might need for some unknown reason in the future (that inevitable Hallowe’en party that you’ll end up buying a new costume for anyway.)
All that said, culling your wardrobe can be also be an extremely rewarding and uplifting experience. If you often find yourself looking at your closet full of clothes and thinking, “I have nothing to wear!” then the answer isn’t necessarily that you need to go out and consume more. In fact, I think it’s much more effective to get rid of the items that are cluttering your closet and getting in the way of putting together outfits that you love.
So, here are five questions that will help make the task of clearing your closet much easier, resulting in a wardrobe that brings you more fulfillment with less.
1. What shape is it in?
This is the first question to ask, and can easily rule out quite a few items right off the bat. If it’s ripped, stained, stretched out, has holes, smells weird, etc., it’s definitely time to let it go. Most of these items will unfortunately need to be trashed, but if it’s somewhat salvageable it could potentially go in your donate pile.
2. Have I worn this in the past year?
If the answer is no, it’s a pretty dead giveaway that you’re not going to wear it anytime soon, either. It’s time to move on, so either put it in your sell or donate pile, depending on the item. If you’re having trouble letting go, at least move it into storage – if you still haven’t pulled it out within six months, say your goodbyes.
3. Does it fit me?
So, you’ve established that this item is still in good shape, and you’ve worn it in the past year – but it actually doesn’t fit that well. Perhaps your weight has changed, or it never really fit you that great in the first place but you’ve been wearing it anyway. Or, maybe your style has changed and it doesn’t really fit in with anything else in your wardrobe.
If it’s not the perfect fit, you have a couple of options: for an item you really love, consider investing in some good tailoring to perfect it. If you decide it’s not worth the cost, then it’s probably time to sell it or give it away to a better home.
4. Would I buy this today if I saw it in a store?
Your item has made it past the first three questions, so here’s where we need to get picky. Be honest with yourself – do you still love this item so much, that if you saw it in a store today you would still buy it? This can really help to separate out the items that you really want in your closet from those that you’re on the fence about.
5. Does it bring me joy?
Last but not least, here’s the real clincher: does this item still make you happy? Even if your item made it past all of the previous questions, if the answer here is no, it may not be worth keeping in your closet. It could also indicate that you need to re-evaluate your style and what you’re buying.
If your items are in good shape and you would probably still purchase them, but they don’t make you happy or feel good, then something is amiss – and it could just be that you’re not 100% clear on what you should be choosing to bring you that happiness. That’s a bigger question for another time, so stay tuned for more advice on how to better define your personal style and build a curated wardrobe that makes you look and feel great.
Let me know the tips or tricks you use to clear your closet in the comments below! Until next time,
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I loved reading this! I’ve been living in Singapore for a few months and leaving to move back to the uk in 3 weeks. It’s got me thinking about my wardrobe and all my winter clothes… I really want to buy some new things and try cut down on old items, I’m over 30 now so really want to find a more age appropriate style. I will definitely be following your tips, thank you!
I’m so glad you found this helpful! Thanks for commenting, and good luck with your move 🙂