There’s nothing wrong with having a closet full of clothes, shoes, purses, and everything in-between. In fact, there are many benefits of having a full wardrobe like having the perfect outfit for every occasion or not having to do laundry week after week.
But sometimes a wardrobe becomes so big it becomes a burden. You start to wonder why you have ten tops that all look the same. Or why you can’t find anything. At this point, you know it’s time for a good clean-out.
But choosing which items to get rid of can be hard. It’s easy to grow attached to things even if we never wear them. So in order to make this process easier, below is a list of helpful tips and tricks you can use to make this task much less stressful.
Try on everything especially if you don’t wear it often
Sometimes we keep outfits for years, thinking the right time to wear them is right around the corner. Unfortunately, in the meantime, both our size and tastes have changed. The best way to convince yourself that you’ve “moved on” or out-grown certain outfits is to try them on.
You might be surprised how many times you ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” If you have a lot of clothes, doing it all in one day can take a while. So you may want to do a few outfits each day to break it up.
Make the process enjoyable
If you don’t like trying on clothes or decluttering in general, pair it with activities you do like. This will make the process much more enjoyable and might even make it something you look forward to.
For example, grab a few margaritas and have a good friend come over to help you. Or put on a TV show that makes you laugh so you can listen to it while you work. Just whatever you do, don’t put on a good movie or something you haven’t seen before or you may get severely sidetracked.
Start with just one item
If you’re someone who has a really tough time letting things go, start with just one item. In many cases, our anxiety makes us think something is more important to us than it really is. So we end up keeping everything, even when we don’t need it.
Finding one item to start with is super easy. Just choose something that doesn’t fit, is stained beyond repair, or you know you will never wear again. Once you get rid of just one item (and you see how easy it is), getting rid of more stuff will be a piece of cake.
Have a donation bag or bin ready at all times
Another technique to help you get rid of clothes is to think about the good your clothes can do if you donate them. Maybe they will help someone who needs clothes for a job interview or help keep them warm in the winter.
To be prepared, it’s always a good idea to keep a donation bag or box ready at all times. So when you find an item you are willing to donate, you can easily move it out of your field of vision and forget about it. You can also keep a separate box for friends or family in case you have something you would like to pass along.
Take photos or repurpose things you’re attached to
There’s nothing wrong with keeping items for sentimental reasons but you shouldn’t keep so many that they overwhelm you. If this is the case, try photographing them. A photo may bring you enough comfort to get rid of the actual physical items.
You can also repurpose many types of items by turning them into other keepsakes. Clothes, for example, can be turned into quilts. And old fashion jewelry can be turned into magnets, artwork, and other crafts.
Think about the money you can make
If you don’t want to deal with going online, you can also give your clothes to a consignment store that will sell your items for you. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can rent a table at a flea market or have a tag sale right at your house.
Image the space it will free up
Remember, the more space you have, the more shopping you can do to fill it up again. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s nothing wrong with having a closet full of clothes, you just don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of things you never wear. Or have a closet so packed you can’t find anything.
The goal should be to have a closet full of items that you love and wear. Some may find it helpful to keep a list of things they could really use but don’t have yet. Like a raincoat or pants in a new and exciting color, for example. That way, when you go shopping you know exactly what to look for.
Get rid of duplicates
One of the most simple ways to start cleaning your closet is to get rid of duplicates. Some of us tend to buy similar-looking items over and over again so we end up with 10 black blouses or 15 white button-down shirts.
In most of these cases, we only end up wearing the one or two that we like the best, while the others sit there. By ridding yourself of all these duplicates, you can see what styles or colors you are missing so you can mix things up a bit.
If you’re having a difficult time getting rid of things, try compromising. For example, allow yourself to replace some of the items you get rid of. So if you donate three dresses that are too small, allow yourself to purchase one dress to replace it with.
Or if there are four shirts you can’t decide what to do with, keep two and toss two. That way you are still freeing up space in your closet and making it work more efficiently. But on the plus side, you still feel like you have some control over the situation.
Get rid of anything that causes you physical pain
One of the things you should definitely get rid of is anything that causes you pain – like shoes that don’t fit. Shoes that give you ankle pain or rub the skin off your feet should always be discarded. There are thousands of other shoes out there and many of them will actually be comfortable.
You should also get rid of items that are too tight or too small. Like the bra that’s so tight, it cuts off your circulation or the jeans that squish your stomach. Clothes like these should be either adjusted (like using a bra extender) or replaced with something that fits much better.
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What are your best tips for cleaning out your closet? Please share in the comments!