If you’re anything like me, you have an over stuffed closet full of things you haven’t worn in 5 years. I recently went on a closet rampage and cleaned out bags and bags of clothes to send to Goodwill. And If I’m honest, I haven’t missed anything I gave away. If you’re also about to take on an intense closet intervention or want to embrace the capsule wardrobe trend, here are 7 things you should definitely clean out of your closet this year.
1. The same shirt in 4 different colors
Yes, I also grew up in an era where if a shirt fit you had to buy it in 7 colors. But you do not need those kind of options! If you have duplicate pieces pull them all out, line them up and you’ll quickly see you really only wear 1 consistently. There’s an infinite amount of outfit possibilities, let’s not limit ourselves to the same a-line dress 5 days a week.
2. Too small or too big clothing
We all hold out for someday squeezing back into our expensive sweater after we accidently shrunk it in the dryer. But you’re cultivating a wardrobe to wear now, and unless you turn back time to being 13 or preventing the dryer fiasco, it’s time to let it go. Same goes for the dress you bought two sizes too big because you loved the print. I know it can be difficult to let go of pieces you may love or spent a lot of money on, but it’s important to be realistic and keep in mind the “quality not quantity” type of wardrobe you want. Look at these pieces and ask yourself what makes them special and worth keeping? Could you get it tailored to correctly fit? Could you resell it online?
3. Worn out bras that are barely hanging on.
I’m not talking about your delicate lace bra that gets pulled out on special occasions. I’m talking about the stretched out T- shirt bra you bought at target two years ago that’s barely in one piece. I’m not sure why I used to think it was okay to still hold on to bras from 2001, but I feel like I was trained to never let them go. I’ve now developed the habit of throwing out old or beyond help bras once a year. Then treat yourself to a couple new bras and a proper fitting. You can also drastically lengthen the life of your bra by proper care.
Here’s a few tips:
Don’t fold your bras to save storage space as it can deform the cups over time.
Always wash in warm water and rinse in cool. Hot water can warp your bra.
NEVER put your bra in the dryer. Always hang dry.
Buy bras that fit snug on the very last hooks. While the band naturally stretches over time you slowly move to tighter hooks to keep the same fit.
4. The outfit you once really loved but is now abandoned in the back of your closet
I swear every couple months I go through a style crisis and begin to hate the outfit I once adored. The dress and jacket I once wore 3 times a week and prized above all, is now gathering dust from lack of affection. We all go through style changes, but when it’s clear you’re no longer interested, it’s time to let it go. Pieces can still be versatile and maybe you just need to style that leather vest in a new way. But if you’ve tried it in different outfits and still don’t find yourself utilizing it…let. it. go.
5. All those freebie t-shirts, hats and tote bags
Over time we can easily build up a collection of random shirts, hats and bags covered in festival logos and local advertisements. You and I both know you stick to the same five worn in t-shirts. As you go through these pieces really ask yourself why you haven’t worn it and would you really ever wear it? Yes, it seems nice to have an array of hat options and totes for the unexpected adventure, but by giving away what you don’t need, you’ll open up a lot more space in your closet to see what you have and will actually be worn.
6. Anything you haven’t worn in over 6 months
I understand this is a hard rule with changing seasons. Maybe you just haven’t gotten the chance to rock that floral romper since you’ve been stuck in sweaters for months. But I’m talking about the beautiful silk blouse you bought for that date last year that you’ve still never worn. Face it, you’re probably not going to wear it. If you’re still struggling with what to keep, look at each piece and ask yourself these questions:
- Does it flatter my shape or complexion?
- Can I see it pairing well with the rest of my wardrobe?
- Do I still love it?
- Does it still fit?
- Do I feel comfortable in it?
- Would I buy it again if I saw it in stores now?
- Is it damaged?
- Why haven’t I worn it?
7. Anything that you’ve been telling yourself you would repair and haven’t.
If you’ve had the piece longer than 6 weeks and haven’t gotten it hemmed, or cleaned, etc, it’s safe to say you never will. Don’t hold on to an amazing dress that will just sit in you closet because it’s made for a woman who’s 6 foot and you’re 5’3. If you love the piece, make an appointment and get the dress hemmed for your height. If you’re holding on to a pair of jeans that need to be patched, get them patched this week or send them to Goodwill. They are just taking up space in your already overcrowded closet.
Follow these tips and I promise you’ll be surprised by how much new space you have in your closet, and that you only cleared out things you didn’t even wear!
This article was originally published on February 15, 2017.