Clothes Purging ~ How To Let Go

Org Junkie's Tips for Parting With Your Clothes

This weekend found me with a few hours to myself which meant I was finally able to switch out my seasonal clothes.    I’m not sure what kind of mood I was in but boy I wish I could have bottled it.  Let’s just say ruthless doesn’t even begin to describe the fierce parting I was doing with the clothes that crossed my path and looked at me wrong.  My goodness did I ever get on a roll and it felt great!  That first day I got a respectable garbage bag of clothing gathered up for the thrift store.

And then the next day, after evaluating how great I felt about a lighter closet and a freer me, I got really wild and gathered up TWO more bags of clothing to go.  I’m not kidding, I was on fire.

Here’s my final tally:

3 sweatshirts, 3 pairs of pants, 12 sweaters, 2 hoodies, 3 coats, 2 vests, 11 pairs of capris, 12 pairs of shorts, 42 shirts, 6 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of boots, 1 purse, 4 dresses, 1 skirt and 4 pairs of pjs.

Grand Total = 108 pieces!!!!

That my friends is called insanity right there and it has my name written all over it.  Now before you get all crazy on me and wonder what me, a girl who purges on a regular basis, could be doing with that much clothing, let me explain.

None of it was cluttered in my closet.  I am very fortunate to have a closet to myself that I don’t have to share.  Plus all my out of season clothing is stored under my bed.  So I had the space for it physically but what I now know is that just because you have the space for something doesn’t mean you have to fill it. At each season end I go through and giveaway anything that hasn’t been worn that season.   This year I changed my criteria slightly.  If I’ve only worn it once or twice during the season then obviously I don’t love it that much and it could go too.  This is the year I decided to ONLY keep the pieces I absolutely love and wear all the time which apparently isn’t that much lol.

For example, I realized that I have my few favorite jeans and wear them frequently.  Why bother with a bunch of others that are just okay if I’m only wearing my favorites anyway.  Me and this “just in case” business are done.  I only kept my very favorites because those are the ones that fit me great and the colors look good on me and as a result I feel great wearing them.  If it means I wear fewer pieces of clothing more of the time, well then that’s the way it’s going to be.

Org Junkie’s Tips for Parting With Your Clothes

1.  If you haven’t worn something in a year then out it goes regardless of condition, price or size.  Why a year?  Because you cover every season in that period of time.  If you haven’t worn it during the year, you probably never will.

2.  If you have a piece of clothing that you wear but are annoyed with it every time you do, seriously stop it.

3.  If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.

4.  If you hate to iron and your ironing pile sits there totally neglected while you wear all your favorite clothing over and over again, why do you still have an ironing pile?

5.  I’m not opposed to keeping your “skinny” clothes (and I know we all do it) but for goodness sakes you don’t need to keep all of it.  Styles change, your tastes change, your body shape changes so chances are good that when you get back to that size you’re going to want new stuff anyway.

6.  If you absolutely love a shirt but never wear it because you have nothing to wear it with, well guess what, a mate isn’t going to magically appear in the night.  Follow the one year rule.

7.  Sentimental clothes that you aren’t wearing shouldn’t reside in your closet.   Either take a picture of it and preserve the memory or limit yourself to one tote of “clothes to show my kids so they can laugh their heads off at me someday”.

8.  Don’t hang onto something that is “just alright” because you don’t have something better yet to replace it.  Let it go now unless it means you go naked, that wouldn’t be right.

9.  You don’t have to do it all at once.  Like I did try it in stages and be motivated by your success.  One day you could do shirts, the next day shorts, etc..

10.  Try everything on.  This one I can’t stress enough.  Do not hold something up and say oh this is so beautiful I’m going to keep it.  That’s too easy and what you might not remember is that, although it’s beautiful, the buttons gape at the front showing off your woman parts.  Nope we don’t want that now do we.  Get rid of it.

11.  You only have the space that you do.  Jamming your clothes into the closet and fighting with them every single day to find what you need won’t make your closet grow in the night.  It will only make you grumpy…every single day.  It’s not worth it.

And just in case you need a daily kick in the pants reminder, here is a copy for you to print out and stash away in your closet if you need to 🙂  Click on the link below for the pdf file.

11 Tips for Parting With Your Clothes

Hope that helps in your quest to do some serious clothes purging soon.  I cannot even begin to tell you how relieved I am to have tightened up my criteria and parted with plenty of perfectly good clothes better suited for someone else.

Related posts:

How to Make Weekly Household Purges Happen

Changing Clothes for the Seasons

Filed under: Closets, Clutter Control, Organizing Basics


122 Responses to Clothes Purging ~ How To Let Go

  1. 1
    Jenny says

    How empowering to get rid of all that stuff! I have learned so much reading your blog. We are preparing for a move overseas, and I have used your tips to help myself and my family decide what we really love and what we need. It’s not easy coming to terms with the fact that what we “want” often isn’t something that we need to keep. Thank you for all of your tips and advice. I have always considered myself organized, but you have made me a better organizer for sure!

  2. 2
    Elizabeth says

    This was a FANTASTIC post! I wish I had read it years ago! I really need to take your advice to heart and purge my closet! I have a closet full of clothes I can’t wear. Like you said, even if I get rid of the excess pounds, will I really want to wear those old clothes??? Hmm. Now to find an empty time slot to tackle this job! Thanks for such an inspiring, yet practical post!!

  3. 3
    Colleen P. says

    Wow, good purging! I have to admit, I don’t even have as many clothes as you just got rid of, and I still have things that meet the criteria for “go away and soon!”. I’ve hung onto it because “I won’t have any clothes” but if I don’t wear them already, what does it matter? I obviously do have clothes, I never go naked…Good food for thought this morning!

  4. 4
    Sarah at SmallWorld says

    Great job and great tips! My problem isn’t in getting clothes out of my closet and drawers. My problem is that I hold onto them in boxes or bags, thinking, “I need to save these for a garage sale!”

    • 4.1
      Maria says

      Me too ???? wow we really need to get Money in order to get new clothes
      OH MY!!

  5. 5
    Kristi @ Creative Kristi says

    I only have one issue with this post & that is rule #1….it doesn’t apply when you’ve been pregnant for 9 months of that year and then losing baby weight for the rest of the year 😉 But if something doesn’t fit 1 year after giving birth- that’s when I get rid of it….baby weight can come off really easy or take some time & even if it comes off easily there is no way your body shape will be 100% the same so something may not fit right anymore anyway 🙂

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Oh I definitely agree Kristi that we shouldn’t count pregnancy in the one year time frame. Starting the one year rule after giving birth makes great sense.

      • Allison says

        A baby’s first birthday is a great time to clean out your post pregnancy closet and get rid of a lot of baby stuff too. I have been surprised how much stuff we accumulated “just in case” and that we haven’t used or we know we won’t use again (not planning on more kids). We will have plenty to get rid of at this baby’s first birthday!

  6. 6
    Alicia says

    Great tips! I have a few things in my closet that I keep holding on to because I only wore it a few times. Or, instead of the fact I paid “so much” for it, I have a hard time getting rid of FREE stuff! LOL I dont know why…. anyway, I think I am going to re-evaluate my closet for the new season and clean out! Thanks for all the inspiring posts!

  7. 7
    Sharisse says

    Thank you!! I am getting ready to move in a couple weeks and I usually do well with purging clothes and other clutter in my house but still have even MORE things I can get rid of. One thing I do that helps me is post the items I want to donate on 99.9% of the time someone in my community could use them and will come to my front door and pick them up. I feel good about recycling to my community and it saves me a trip to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

  8. 8
    Melanie says

    Thank you! You have definitely inspired me to do some closet purging this weekend! 🙂

    • 8.1
      Laura says

      Yay, go for it!

  9. 9
    L2L says

    We are a military family and I hate to unpack. Thankfully the military will normally pack you but the unpacking is the kicker. I have a one tote rule for my clothes. As the seasons change I can keep only as much as what can fit in the tote. Everything else is given away. And even with hammy downs, I only keep one tote, the year ahead for my kids. I feel like the clothes can be more useful on a child than in a tote. I do only have 3 children so having years of extra clothes just doesn’t make sense in our house!!!!

  10. 10
    Kara says

    I’m usually really good at purging mine and my kids’ clothes (Hubby won’t let me do his 😛 and it needs it!) but this year I’ve slacked off a little. I still have less than 50 pieces of clothes total, including maternity clothes, but there are still probably 10 things in there I never or rarely wear and don’t know why I keep on to them. And I try going through my boys clothes 1-2 times a year to take out everything I don’t like or is worn out but haven’t done that either. I think that’ll be my project today.

    • 10.1
      Allison says

      My hubby also won’t part with a lot of stuff. On one occasion I took everything out of the closet and put it on the bed. A few piles were very high. He could keep everything that he wanted to put back in. As he had to pick up each hanger and put it back there were several things that he decided he didn’t need. He wasn’t happy at first but was happy with the result.

  11. 11
    Nolie says

    Thank you for this post. I am awful at holding on to stuff I never wear just because I might. I am going to attack my clothes sometime soon and stop holding on to stuff I never wear.

  12. 12
    Greta @ Mom Living Healthy says

    Great advice for when to get rid of clothes! I’m better at purging the normal everyday wear, but for dressy clothes I hesitate to get rid of them. I rarely need to wear a suit, but that one in my closet sure was expensive, so I just haven’t been able to part with it yet!!

  13. 13
    Kari says

    I just did this a few weeks ago myself. Although unlike you my closet was soooo cluttered and I was fed up so I got to work! I got rid of two bags to throw away (stretched out sweaters, clothes that were too thin, covered in paint, etc.) and two bags for Vietnam Vets and these were just my clothes, not my husbands. Our closet looks so much better and I feel better getting rid of some of this stuff!

  14. 14
    Kate (This Mom) says

    I’m big on purging clothes…and I’m trying to get my husband on board. In my closet, once I have worn something, I move the hanger to the far end, so it’s very easy to see what items are in rotation, and what’s been on the left end for a year and never worn. Saves a lot of time when trying to decide what to keep. I do something similar with sweaters on shelves, and move the piles along as items are worn.

    I also have two daughters, and I’ve started being ruthless about what items I keep for my second, because my girls have way too many articles of clothing, and why waste space keeping things that aren’t in perfect condition?

    By the way, I love your blog (I’m a new email subscriber), and I wrote about you today as well:

  15. 15
    Tami says

    My husband is the ‘collector’ in the family that has a hard time letting go of clothes from season to season (even though he wears the same 5 outfits over and over again *wink*) So…early in our marriage I began putting little stickers on his clothes at the beginning of each season. When the season was over, if the sticker was still there…TOSS 🙂

    It was hard for him to argue with the sticker!

    • 15.1
      LisainKC says

      What a GREAT idea. I would like to start doing that for myself to really see what I use. Like you said, its hard to argue with the stickers! I know there are tons of clothes I don’t wear but when I look at them, I have a hard time deciphering which ones they truly are. I love your methodology!

  16. 16
    Stacy says

    i was just thinking i want to do this in my closet. will do it next week before my mil comes 😉

  17. 17
    Organising Queen (Marcia) says

    Laura, WOW!

    I switched mine around (in fact, my post is ready to publish tomorrow) and of course, decluttered.

    I could always do more though.

    I want whatever you had to come visit me too!

    I like to do the first one, and then do a second purge a couple of days later.

    I think I’ll go through again this weekend.

  18. 18
    Kim says

    LOL!!! My favorite line is “seriously, stop it” Love it!

    Thanks for the kick-in-butt. It’s just the order of the day. I was beginning to say to myself .. “Is it just me, or is my house starting to fill up with junk we don’t need?” That’s a good sign it’s time to start purging!

    Love reading!

  19. 19
    Rachel says

    My personal addition: Don’t keep it just because your one year old daughter “might” play dress up with it eventually.

  20. 20
    Deirdre says

    That’s great advice! I already abide by most of it but found a few other helpful tips! 🙂

  21. 21
    screwdestiny says

    Way to go, Laura! That’s some serious purging. I don’t think I even own 108 items of clothing. Lol. I am really good at cleaning out my closet every year though. I usually do it in the spring, but once in a while I’ll wait until fall. It sucks though because I’ve been steadily getting rid of more and more clothes every year, but I haven’t been able to buy a substantial amount in at least three years. Something needs to change. Haha.

    Oh, I almost forgot a really good tip I picked up from someone. I know a woman who, at the beginning of every year, turns all the hangers in her closet backwards. Then, when she wears the item of clothing on a hanger, she’ll turn it around the right way. At the end of the year, any hangers that are still backwards, she gets rid of the clothes because she knows she didn’t wear them.

  22. 22
    Stina says

    LOVED this! Thanks for the ideas. I definitely had an epiphany when reading this…if I don’t have a big closet already…and on top of it I need to share it with my husband…then maybe I really shouldn’t have every outfit ever in there. It really DOES drive me insane.

    It’s something I already know logically..but you worded it so I could have an ‘A-ha’ moment. lol.

    • 22.1
      Laura says

      So cool!

  23. 23
    Leeann H says

    Thank you so much for this post! I just got rid of a bag of garbage and three big bags of clothes from my closet. It feels so good. I can actually put away the clothes I wear. To top it off I have shared your post with my mom and she is feeling inspired to purge in her closet as well. What a relief!!!

    • 23.1
      Laura says

      That is just awesome, so proud of you!!!!

  24. 24
    Joyce says

    Time for me to get on that purge. The donation truck is coming by next week.

  25. 25
    Carrie says

    i just did a huge purge these last couple days too. two huge boxes of stuff that i was annoyed with the fit (mostly too short for tall me) went to the thrift store.

  26. 26
    Tiffany says

    Perfect, I have to remind myself not to purge so much and that once a season is ok, not once a month. I typically keep the purged items for my swap party though instead of trashing/thrifting them.

  27. 27
    MomsManyProjects says

    Wonderful job on decluttering the clothes! I hang all my clothes from one side of the closet as I use and wash them. Anything after a year that has been hanging out on the wrong side is out of there! I do the same with my family’s clothes, but hubby is a little more reluctant to let go of his clothes. Another thing is when I notice my boys are growing out of the clothes they are wearing, I’ll make a note of it and put it in a donate pile after washing them when they’re not around. They still sometimes insist the clothes fit so I have to be sneaky! UGH!

  28. 28
    Sue says

    I did this a couple of years ago with a friend. She helped me with her honest opinion telling me ‘that looks too tight’, ‘that is the ugliest thing on earth’. ‘that fits you perfectly.’ The other advantage is that when we were all said and done & had all of my keep clothing spread out on the bed she said ‘Why don’t you wear this with this?’ And showed me combinations that I’d never thought of before. We had a great time, had a bunch of laughs over my clothes.

    BTW, if you have women’s suits/blazers that could be worn to a job interview, consider donating them to your local Domestic Violence Shelter. There is a program that helps women get back on their feet by giving them a ‘power suit’ to go on interviews with. They might be willing to take other clothes too. Don’t forget children’s clothes. As a Domestic Violence Survivor I’ve seen women & children leave with nothing and have nothing. We’ve purged toys & donated them for the children at the center.

  29. 29
    Julie says

    great post. Thanks. I purged my closet a little a few weeks ago and it gave me the courage to purge some more.

  30. 30
    BlissfulBabe says

    This is a seriously awesome post! And your charming wit makes even more awesome! I copied and pasted it to keep in my files. I’m actually going to make it cute and hang it in my closet!

    I knew this stuff already, seriously. I just…. yeah.

    I’m going to now!

  31. 31
    Charity says

    Great post, Laura!
    I admit, I am like several who have replied that they purge regularly. I still have things in my closet that do need to go, but I can live with for right now. If I would literally get rid of what I don’t wear or don’t like in my closet right now, I wouldn’t have many clothes. I have purged so much, but have yet to add back to yet. I would encourage those posting to either donate to your local womens shelter, or reach out to a friend or co worker and bless them. I personally don’t like dropping off good clothes at the Goodwill because they turn around and resell them. I honestly think that finding another woman out there that is struggling makes more sense and is more economical too. With the job loss rising, why should a woman have to worry about staying clothed and keeping her children clothed when she can focus on taking care of her family 😉

  32. 32
    Andrea says

    I started reading your blog a few weeks back and it really helped kick my butt in gear to declutter… and I started with my bedroom. I did the same sort of ruthless spree to my dresser, closet, the pile in the corner of the room on the floor (oh wait, there was a laundry basket in the bottom of that pile, I didn’t originally start throwing them on the floor!)… anyways… I cleaned out! … and then I cleaned UP! I had a garage sale last weekend and with the clutter I normally would have taken to salvation army one box at a time, I made $280!!! Some of it was baby clothes, but a lot was just household clutter… today I’m making the trip to salvation army with (most of) the stuff that didn’t sell… and the back of my mini van is packed!
    It was so freeing to declutter… now I just have to remember to keep doing a little bit here and there, and not to let myself bring it back into the house… that’ll be the hard part!
    Thanks for your blog! I’m loving it 😀

    • 32.1
      Andrea says

      Ah, that felt so good! The back of my van is now empty! 🙂

  33. 33
    Clutter Hater says

    Wow, this is a truly inspirational post! I seem to have inherited my mother’s habit of hoarding clothes I don’t wear, ‘just in case’ they might come back into fashion, or fit me again… and a result have two wardrobes bulging full of creased clothes (not to mention the attic!) Your post has inspired me to tackle this dreadful habit, I’m already feeling a bit giddy at the thought of it though!!

  34. 34
    Maggie says

    Think of how much easier the move will be now. There goes a couple od boxes of stuff that you won’t have to pack. 🙂 Think of the things that you might even get rid of while packing (it probably won’t be another 3 bags worth, but a couple of shirts and such.) I love the clean feeling from when you get rid of stuff. It’s like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. I love when the donate box is over flowing because it means stuff that isn’t being used it out of here!

  35. 35
    Maggie says

    Excuse the misspelling, I meant of. 🙂

  36. 36
    LisainKC says

    We are going to be moving in about 6 weeks and I have a BUNCH of clothes. I admit that it is my ‘weakness’. I had gotten rid of a whole bunch of clothes about 2 years ago when we moved (and I mean a whole lot of clothes!) but still have too many! Now I have lost about 60 lbs. and find that the size I gave away is the size I wear now LOL. I can still wear some of the clothes I have but alot of them are just too large. I need to start going through them and just tackle it bit by bit and get them ready to go out. I’m disabled so its a really hard job for me. Do many of you find that it is easier with another person to gauge whether things fit you well/look well? I have found that sometimes it is good to have a second opinion around to also give me that nudge to get rid of things if I get ‘weak’ LOL. I swear – I’m trying to get better at this – but it does take some time LOL. Not all of us are born organized junkies sorry to say 🙁

    • 36.1
      Laura says

      Oh yes having someone help you is an excellent idea and I’ll definitely have to add that to the list.
      I wasn’t born an organizing junkie either, just ask my mom LOL

  37. 37
    Christa says

    My tip is to do it gradually, all the time. I keep a trash bag in the basement or closet and add to it now and then when I discover something I haven’t worn or don’t like or that doesn’t fit. When it’s full or when it and a second one is full, I’ll call for a Goodwill pick-up.

  38. 38
    MarytheKay says

    I always wait too long between “purgings”–but when I finally do it, I LOVE it. It just feels so freeing! I find that sometimes I need to go back through a day or two later, and do another purge…for those things that I just couldn’t let go of the first time. Sometimes those extra couple of days helps me be more honest and realistic with things that I really will NOT wear again! 🙂

  39. 39
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    When we renovated our closet and bathroom, I did a MAJOR clothes purge. I’m not much of a “clothes” person, so maybe it’s easier for me…? Anyway both hubby & I donated tons of clothing! We really wanted the new closet to be organized. It is a good-sized closet, but both of us have our clothes in there, with room to spare. It’s nice to be able to find things easily.

  40. 40
    thursday says

    Oh my goodness that’s a lot of clothing! I only have two pair of shorts and maybe 5? pair of pants total. It’s a disaster when they rip because I really don’t have much (nor do I have a closet, so…). I did put together a pile of clothing I thought I should get rid of because I didn’t think I liked them much. Come spring, however, I realized that little sweater I hated last year is awesome. Glad I was lazy!

  41. 41
    Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

    I started swapping out seasonal clothes last summer and I’m not sure why I never did that before–I used to just keep it all crammed in there all year! I, too, did my seasonal swap a couple of weeks ago and it feels SOOOO good to have my closet all organized and ready to go. I will actually be able to find the clothes I’m looking for (I hope). I agree with the trying it on theory–this is so important because even if you can still fit into something once you get it on you will sometimes realize that the item is no longer your style or fits differently than it did before (I’m basically the same size as I’ve always been but something about having kids has just changed the shape of my hips!)

    Great article and tips!

    • 41.1
      Dauna says

      I know~ I started last year! I still don’t understand why I kept it all in there (tight fit) and swapping it out gives an opportunity to look through everything once in a while (twice a year).

  42. 42
    Dauna says

    I think after reading this I will get rid of pretty much my whole (winter) wardrobe. I don’t love it anymore, and really, I hope I am not this size come next winter. So, either way, I’ll have to buy a whole new wardrobe. I may keep things that I would LOVE and would still wear if I lost weight (some shirts), but aside from that, its all going to good will…This is my project for tomorrow afternoon.

  43. 43
    laura says

    I’m curious what you recommend for kids and teens? years ago, when they were still small (translation: I controlled their clothing) I kept about 10 total, seasonally-appropriate outfits for each and we had a family closet back then. Now…..there are 5 of them, ages 16,14,10,4,2 and they have their own individual closet space. I still control the littles clothes, but the 3 older ones? their rooms are OUT of Control!

    • 43.1
      Laura says

      I’d make a rule…I love rules…clothes on the floor might suddenly disappear if not picked up. Do they do their own laundry? That also helps…did you read my post on the no sort laundry method?

  44. 44
    Valerie says

    oh my gosh THANK YOU! i am going to print this off and put it on my closet door so i can refer back to it as i purge!!!!!!!!!
    my next problem tho is…. what do you do with it? hassle with a garage sale or craigslist, or just haul it to goodwill???

    • 44.1
      Laura says

      For me it was just easier to take it all to the thrift store and be done with it. My girlfriend owns the thrift store so it helps her out as well.

  45. 45
    Cori says

    Great reminder…I have been storing boxes of clothes from high school and college for a couple of years. When I got pregnant I was sure my body would just bounce back into those clothes, because I was breastfeeding right 🙂 In the meantime, I was wearing sloppy clothes that I didn’t love. I keep hoping someday soon, I would fit back into my size 2 shorts. I never felt great about myself, because didn’t fit well and they weren’t ME!

    A few months ago, I decided it was time to be realistic. I went through my boxes of clothes and took most of them to a consignment store. I ended up making really good money on them and was able to purchase a few pieces of clothing I actually felt good in!

  46. 46
    Marjorie says

    I have this post starred in Google reader and have been re-reading it during my decluttering adventure. #2 is one that I get stuck on. I have a few items that are expensive, cute, and they fit, but are annoyingly, not quite right for different little reasons. At the end of the day, I question why I dragged it out to wear. Yet I continue to try to love them expecting to change my mind each time I wear them, stubbornly refusing to admit my expensive mistake! Most of my stuff goes to Goodwill. I might try taking these to a consignment shop like one of the posters above to lessen the blow.

  47. 47
    LilGuapa says

    I stumbled on your site after trying to get info on how to stop hoarding. While I’m not a hoarder (nor pray will ever be), I do have issues with acquiring stuff. especially clothes. This article was right on time as I have bagged up Items to give away to a friend, donate and throw away. I’m starting in my bedroom and working my way down the steps. I just want less STUFF in my life. I wish that you could come help me, but this blog in a true inspiration and a much needed help.

  48. 48
    Leslie says

    I just came across your website by accident – I loved this article because its the first one I’ve read that actually validates the idea of keeping “skinny clothes” and “sentimental clothes” – it irritates me all the organization sites that constantly say “get rid of it!” I’m going to enjoy looking through your site some more.

  49. 49
    Kim says

    Oh I’m so INSPIRED!!! Hitting my closet today!!!

  50. 50
    Steffy says

    Wow! I think this has given me inspiration to get rid of a lot! I recently moved in with my fiance and I feel bad about taking up more than half of his walk in closet! With stuff I rarely wear. Looks like I’ve found a project to do tonight 🙂

  51. 51
    Steffy says

    By the way, if people are nervous about getting rid of clothes incase they WILL miss them, try putting the clothing in a box or bag in your garage or basement. Once a week or so goes by and you haven’t thought twice about it, I think then you’ll realize that it won’t be hard to part with! 🙂

  52. 52
    Amanda Robbins says

    I love your site. One idea someone gave me years ago was to put everything for the current season in a box. So if its summer, you put it all in the box and then after you do laundry, you hang the item or put it in a drawer. At the end of the summer you donate what is left in the box. I mean if you didn’t wear it the whole three months of summer, then your not going to wear it in the future so its time to go. This really helped me see what wasn’t working for me because when I tried to wear the things that I had “outgrown”, I felt terrible in the clothes and uncomfortable. These items went back to the box and I didn’t have any problems giving them away after that.

  53. 53
    Dee's house says

    I like the part about if you like one particular jeans, just wear those!

    and I’ve gotten really good about not buying a garment unless it looks absolutely fabulous on me and I love it. Otherwise.. no, no, no!

    dee 🙂

  54. 54
    Elda Hymas says

    I turn all my clothes inside out before storing or hanging. If at the end of season it is still inside out, I donate it. If I did not wear it during the season, chances are good I won’t wear it the next.

  55. 55
    Kasandra says

    THANK YOU! I just got a new job, and I have six months to figure out how to move from Connecticut to Florida in a little tiny car. You lay out some great criteria, and I think I’ll spend my Friday night in purge mode…newly inspired by your list! I laughed at several of your comments~your writing cracks me up. I’m thrilled to have found your blog, and I can’t wait to look through other posts (after my donation bags are dropped off in the morning, of course).

  56. 56
    Heather says

    I can’t thank you enough. everything you said made perfect sense and I just needed to hear it. I doesn’t matter how much something cost, if I haven’t worn it in a year I won’t wear it at all,. I made the mistake of trying to do it all in one night and it ended up taking me an entire night and the next day but I now feel so much better. Thank you

  57. 57
    Marie says

    This may seem over the top, but I plan my working clothes for a couple weeks on a Sat or Sun afternoon when I’m doing the laundry. AND I write it on a calendar kept hanging in my closet. First it helps eliminate the morning chaos (I am not a morning person). Second it helps you try new looks, mix and match instead of always wearing the same favorites. That also helps me cull out the stuff I no longer like to wear. It helps me keep up on mending, ironing and dry cleaning by knowing what I want to wear ahead of time and it helps me keep up on what needs to be replaced. Finally it helps me think about how I want to look and present myself when I’m alert and have time to be creative and inventive. I stater doing this when I had a job requiring a lot of travel so I had to be prepared for weeks at a time. It’s a habit I’ve kept for years because it really works once you get started.

  58. 58
    Kitty says

    Help! I’m really bad at parting with clothes I’ve spent a lot of $$ on. Over the last year I’ve lost 12lbs and have gone down 2 dress sizes. Yay for me but what do I do with my now larger sized, expensive clothes. I feel so guilty dumping them. 🙁

    • 58.1
      Laura says

      Have you thought about taking them to a consignment shop? That way you can make some of your money back and don’t have to feel guilty about just giving them away.

  59. 59
    ghunybee says

    its so funny i have been in my room cleaning most of the day and funny it still looks almost the same accept now my bed is made and the closet is on top of it… just came across the website and decided to take a look. was doing most of the rules already when i decided to read the comment posted and noticed that all were in the early AM. LOL seems like that when the motivation hits to get rid of it all. after 12 pm an then you only to a half hour sleep before you go to work the next day and its not like you already didn’t have the whole weekend. i just thought most people would get a good laugh out of this comment when posting from 2 am to 6 am.


    • 59.1
      Laura says

      Too funny!!

  60. 60
    Olof says

    Thank you for some really great pointers. I have started the 52 week challenge on my blog and the first thing on my list are my clothes. So this week I will tackle my crazy overstuffed closet and go a bit wild. I´m pregnant so I need to put all of the non pregnancy clothing in storage until delivery. I also need to purge all of the clothes I haven´t worn in over a year and need to put my professional clothes in storage until I go back to work in a couple of years. I made sure that they were classic and nothing that will really go out of style. Thank you for your inspiration.

  61. 61
    Helen says

    One of the most useful tricks I found for purging my closet was to really work out just what my style was. I set up a pinterest board and went crazy pinning all the fashion photos that I loved and would wear. Gradually a pattern emerged that helped me realize that, for example, while that grey work skirt looks great and is in great shape I’m NEVER going to wear it (except out of a sense of obligation) because I just don’t like the a-line cut. With a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted my end wardrobe to be I not only purged like crazy but also, for the first time, had a really clear roadmap for new items I might be bringing in to replace worn out pieces or finish an outfit. This means that in the future I’m going to have to spend an awful lot less time purging because I won’t refill my wardrobe with useless items!

    • 61.1
      Laura says

      That’s a terrific way to find your style…love it!

  62. 62
    Madison says

    I love my clothes and got rid of a ton of stuff – not only clothes but other clutter too. I still look for tips and photos of before and afters to keep me motivated. I have to recommend a book that totally helped me let go of almost everything – Goodbye clutter, hello simplicity.

  63. 63
    Melissa says

    “Me and this “just in case” business are done. ”


  64. 64
    LL says

    Thanks girl. I’m doing it today. I’m SOOO over this clothes clutter.

  65. 65
    Whit says

    I needed motivation… I’m moving in two days and need to part with A LOT of clothing. I hated getting rid of some while I was making less money because I thought that I might need it if I couldn’t afford something new. Now my finances are under control and I can get rid of it. Thanks for that little push to do it.

  66. 66
    becky says

    thank you! I bought a bunch of stuff I couldnt return and didnt want it and theres no way i can get it somewhere to sell (Im abroad) and i was so stressed over it. Now ill just let my 300 bucks go (its a LOT of money for me), donate the clothes and learn my lesson.

  67. 67
    Andrea says

    Hi would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using? I’ve loaded
    your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.

    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a honest price?

    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  68. 68
    Hell Thirteen says

    I had a really long, really bad period of my washing machine not working and my washing pile just building and building…. so now I’ve been attacking it with gusto, taking advantage of the warm weather to hang them out to dry. It has been crazy.

    I went through them all prior to washing, because what’s the point in wasting electricity and soap powder and conditioner on things that are beyond help, ruined, or just not wanted? None.

    I went through them again as I was hanging them up to dry. If something was still stained after washing or looked a bit worse for wear, it was gone. Then I had more space on the line to hang another load of laundry!

    I had to go through it all a third time putting things away. Actually here’s where it started to get really messy, because I’d be so productive that I’d have more clean laundry than I had space to put it away! So I had to take out each drawer and go through the lot, every time I had more to put away. I went through my wardrobe so I could hang more stuff up. I don’t know how many bags of clothes I’ve thrown out! Still so much to get through, too.

    Reading this has given me some stricter guidelines to adhere to, cos I know I’ll have to get rid of a lot more before I’m done!

  69. 69
    Lhmac says

    Wow. I can’t use all of those tips, because they’ve never worked for me before, but there’s certainly some in there that I can use. I’ll be sure to look in my closet and try them out. Thanks!

  70. 70
    Donna says

    Cleared my closet and feeling lighter and freer. Remaining clothes fit well and look great. Sent tons of shoes to Goodwill – only kept my favorites. The secret to keeping my closet lean and clean? No shopping for new clothes and shoes unless absolutely essential and goes with everything else. Buy quality instead of quantity – one great jacket instead of 3 iffy choices. Saving lots of money and look cute everyday!

  71. 71
    Kiana says

    This is such a great list! Thank you so much for posting this! I have big dreams and plans for my closet and this will help SO MUCH!! Thank you!!!

  72. 72
    Darlene says

    Please add me to your mailing list or send instructions on how to find your blog. Are you only on Pinterest?

  73. 73
    Ria says

    I love your tips. We have moved a lot in the last few years and I always packed those clothes that might fit next year or if I changed the buttons, etc. etc. You think I would have figured it out by the 3rd move that none of that happened. LOL. Over crowded closet — look out — it’s purge time!

  74. 74
    Marjolein says

    Ha! I’ve actually already did this myself a few weeks ago. First I threw out 6 garbage bags, and this weekend I decided there was still too much I didn’t really like but kept ‘just in case’ and filled another 2 bags. Great post! I feel so much better since i’ve gone from 3 closets with “noting to wear” to just 1 clothing rack but actually liking everything that’s on it. I hope other people will feel as relieved thanks to your great post!

  75. 75
    Kat says

    I recently went through a closet purge following your inspired organizing tips.
    Then packed for a week long trip. Half way through that trip, I ended up taking two shirts, a pair of shorts and a pair of capris to the local good will. Why? The hotel bath had huge mirrors and I just could not go out in those baggy clothes ever again.
    Good mirrors help with closet reality. =)

  76. 76
    Mara J says

    I have a vicious cycle of having folks give both my sister and I huge trash bags of clothes they no longer want at least once or twice a year. While that’s nice, it’s always leaves us overran with more clothes than we need … and normally this seems to happen right about at the time when we had just purged down from last offering! My mother unfortunately in this case was always the “just because” voice of it all and it seems to have rubbed off onto me as time has gone on. I’ve got a small closet filled with nice work suits that were given too me, various dresses from past occasions, tons of dress shirts and nice sweaters … you get the idea. And most of the nice stuff I don’t have a reason to wear since I just finished high school but don’t work just yet (looking, but no luck). I’ll admit, as planning to go into a profession of wanting to work in teaching, I know I need it later on down the road, but that little “just because” voice prevents me from getting rid of something that will just sit in my closet for another possible few years. =/

    Now that I’m moving from my parents house to my fiance’s via train travel the week after Christmas, I’m forced to really focus on what is needed vs. just “wanted” since it all has to fit into a large family suitcase and a small duffle. Downsizing even more than what I’m use to is going to be tough … time to follow these rules I guess. =)

  77. 77
    Lanie says

    I love this article – I bought the huggable hangers and redid my whole closet and it inspired me…..I bagged up 2 bags and that is a good start for me since I have trouble letting go of things. I recommend two great books the Letting go of the clutter with feng shui and goodbye clutter, hello simplicity. I refer back to them to inspire me and try to bag up at least one grocery bag of miscellaneous things once a week. It has been working and my apartment has better energy flow now.

  78. 78
    Darlene says

    I have been putting this off too long. I have got to make room for an exchange student & my spare room (aka junk room) is lost in all kinds of clothes…all mine! I went on Pinterest to get ideas & motivation to “get to it!” Yours was the first Pin I saw & it was the only one I needed to do the trick. I printed your list & taped it to the wall in that “junk room” & now to get BUSY! Thanks you so much! 🙂

    • 78.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      So excited for you and so glad I could help! Yay!! You’ve got this girl!!!

  79. 79
    Sruthi Ramesh says

    Thank you so much! You are the most beautiful thing that happened to my closet!

  80. 80
    Stu says

    I LOVE this article! I appreciate that you keep it real and straight forward. A daily swift kick in the butt is what I need and I did print out your list and will even put it in a sheet protector and tape it to my closet. Your arguments, logic, rational are solid. It’s time to let go! Thanks for the motivation!!!

  81. 81
    elisabeth says

    I tend to keep clothes for sentimental reasons – or I should say did until I came across the idea of the “memory quilt”: Make sthg beautiful AND useful out of those pieces!

  82. 82
    June says

    THANK YOU for this – and thank you again for the printable version! So perfect. 🙂 xx

  83. 83
    Kathryn says

    Can’t thank you enough for this!!!!!!!!!! I have struggled with a huge closet and always thought that the more clothes, the better. But it’s actually the opposite!! I am about to do my FIRST big closet overhaul and get rid of most of my clothes because I don’t love them! I’m nervous but your article definitely helped SO SO SO MUCH! Thank you!!!!

    • 83.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Wow that’s such a nice comment, thank you! Good luck to you on your big closet clean out, you’ve got this!!!

  84. 84
    I Love To Cook! says

    we re getting ready for a garage sale tomorrow and i have found that letting go of clothes has not been an easy process for me.  actually, it s been the most difficult aspect of becoming minimalist thus far during our journey.  i spend a good amount of time deciding if i should keep something or not and during the process i think i m doing a good job of letting go.  but then, i look back in my closet and wonder why i still have so many things in there that i don t plan on wearing.


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