Girl panicking as she cleans out her closet

Cleaning Out Your Closet: How to Break Up With Your Clothes

I know just how difficult it can be to muster up the strength to go through your closet and pull out clothing to donate or sell. For most girls, and even guys, clothes are personal. The items of clothing you choose are what make up your individual style, and your style is how you tell the world who you are. Cleaning out the closet can feel like taking away pieces of yourself, but it doesn’t have to. Styles change frequently, and that crop top you loved this season might not be so “you” next season. Here’s how you can clean out your closet efficiently and with as little emotional break down as possible.

Go through your closet regularly.

Not everyone can or needs to comb through the closet every season, but everyone needs to at least once a year. How frequently you clean out your closet needs to be based on what you feel you can handle. If you’re like me then you should clean it out after the end of every season, or multiple times a season, in order to maintain control over your closet. However, it might work better for you to aim for a deep closet clean out twice a year or once a year. Don’t do more than you can handle, but also don’t prevent yourself from getting rid of old clothes regularly just because you’re emotionally attached.

Keep it or Ditch it Guidelines

When deciding which items to rehome, consider the following:

  • Have you worn it in the last year?
    If not, then make like Elsa and let it go. You won’t even notice it’s gone.
  • Do you feel comfortable in it?
    This isn’t about fit. It’s about how you feel in the item. If you feel like a trillion bucks in that mini skirt then you keep it, but if you feel exposed you need to say good bye. If you don’t feel confident, beautiful, and like yourself in something then it has no place in your closet or in your life.
  • Does it fit?
    Is it too big? Is it too small? If it’s pinching, bunching, pulling, or constricting breathing or feeling, then it needs to go. Even if you think keeping it will motivate you to get in shape. Clothing doesn’t motivate you to lose weight, that comes from your soul.
  • Is it damaged?
    Unless you really are going to have a damaged item repaired, stop holding on to it. You also shouldn’t keep unrepairable clothing just because you really really loved wearing it.
  • Is it a timeless piece you will want to wear the next year, or is it a piece that has already lost appeal?
    Super trendy clothing should probably be donated at the end of it’s season. Trendy doesn’t translate through the decades, but a classic color, cut, silhouette, or style can stay indefinitely. Unless it’s damaged, too small, too big, or never worn of course. But, hey, if that trendy trucker hat makes you feel amazing then rock on, girlfriend.

It’s not you, it’s them.

Tossing out clothes is an emotional endeavor, I know, but it is necessary for fashion survival. Don’t think of it like you’re abandoning these clothes that have given you the best years of their lives. Think of it as giving them a new lease on life. They’ll be going to someone who needs and wants them much more than you do. Take what you think you can sell to a consignment shop, take everything else to Salvation Army or Goodwill, and look on the bright side. You could possibly make a few bucks and get a tax deduction simply by streamlining your wardrobe.

Last Updated: April 06, 2016