11 Rules to Help You Declutter Your Clothes ~ Day #3

Org Junkie's Tips for Parting with Your Clothes

Clothes, clothes, clothes.  How many can we cram into our closets?  That seems to be the game we all play isn’t it?  Before I get into sharing products for maximizing space, I want to encourage you first to go through all the clothes currently in your closet and toss the things that don’t belong.  And you can’t fool me, everyone has things in their closet that shouldn’t be there.  If you follow my rules below to help you declutter your clothes, something tells me you might just end up with one heck of a purge pile!  Want to show it off?  Post a picture of your purge pile on my Facebook page and you can be sure I’ll be celebrating along with you.  Here’s a little bit of tough love for you.

Now get to it! 🙂

Org Junkie’s Rules 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.  Try organizing 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 regular 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 Rules for Parting with Your Clothes

  christmas purge pile

Linking up:
Design Dining and Diapers

Thirty Handmade Days

Filed under: Closets, Purging


30 Responses to 11 Rules to Help You Declutter Your Clothes ~ Day #3

  1. 2
    Ann says

    Thank you for the printout. I know the rules, I’ve seen them bunches of times; but now I have no excuses when I’m going through & purging!

  2. 3
    kimmie says

    I keep stuff because my sister or mom has passed it on to me. It’s painful. LOL

  3. 4
    Liz in Georgia says

    I have TONS that I just don’t wear anymore! I think I even have skirts that are 5 yrs old!! Definitely out of style and just taking space…what am I waiting for??…It’s just that I have trouble really seeing what I need to get rid of and your list will help me a lot! There is a lot of emotion to it, too. Guilt and feelings of “what if”.
    I trust the process and have faith this will get done.

  4. 5
    Emilie says

    I have one bright yellow hanger in my closet. I put it on the right hand side of my clothes in October. Every time I wear something, I wove it to the right of the yellow hanger. Anything next October that is still on the left of the hanger gets donated. I do not look through it, it just goes. October for me is a month because when I had the idea it was October. I have done this for three years. I need to take my stack out the weekend.
    I also have stack of jeans, sweaters etc that I do the same way. I stack them all in one pile, as I wear them they go in another pile. In October, that pile goes too.

    There is one item that stays…a pair of pants in a size 26. Some day I am going to be a size 14 and be able to take a picture like they do on tv.

  5. 6
    Tyna says

    I am in the midst of my childbearing years, so I am either pregnant, nursing or losing weight for the last 5 years. I am pretty darn good about minimizing clothes. I have 5 dresses that I LOVE LOVE LOVE but I only am able to wear them for a couple of months every other summer. I don’t think I can bear to purge them. I’ll just have to be ruthless with everything else!

  6. 7
    Lana says

    How did you get into my house to see my closet and my ironing pile? Now that you’ve put my life out there for everyone to see, I guess I’ll have to get busy and do something about this. Thanks for the kick in the rear. 🙂

  7. 8
    Becky L says

    I did some purging a couple months ago. Then I was going through my closet this weekend as i realized i needed my long sleeved shirts back in my closet. I took 2 shirts out I didn’t want any more. One I sewed years ago and it hasn’t fit well these past few years. It’s gone along with one I really don’t like. Still working on downsizing a drawer that’s too heavy! I can live without that pile of clothes in there I rarely wear. I think that’s why the handle broke off (one of 4) there’s three left! Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. 9
    Raye W says

    Loved the list and the straightforward language you used. Sounded just like a best friend talking to me personally. When I realized that some of my items not only fit something in the list, but fit in more than one category (!!!), I knew it was time to let them go. Thanks! Looking forward to more of this series.

  9. 10
    Kim says

    I revently moved back to my parents house so it had been 4-6 years since all my clothes had been together. I also used to wear jeans, tshirts and hoodies every day and had approximately 1 noce outfit. But over the last 4 years i have been building my professional teaching wardrobe but i sill love my tshirts and hoodies ans wear them as a summer camp counselor so lots of those are necessary too. And now every once in a while i like to look cute when i go somewhere so i have those too. I am not at all into fashion but i have like 20 pairs of shoes, more than fots in my decently sized dresser and a full half closet (the other half is shelves) i have toooooo many clothes but i have just done a purging. It used to be 2 dressers and too many clothes for my closet. Soooo yeah… I have a lot of camp tshirts and sweatshirts that i use and love but some that dont fit but i put them in a box with my math team and Teens Against Tobacco Use and other meaningful shirts to hopefully make into a short quilt at some point. Since i just started this idea I suppose i have a year or so. Actually til i move out of my parents since there is a room that has all my apartment and future classroom stuff so the box could go there easily and then i guess ill have to see if i am going to actually sew it!

    Wow, sorry about the rambling! My current closet project is the shelves of my bedroom closet with books and momentos!

  10. 11
    destiny says

    Great tips! What do you do with all of the purged items? I can easily throw out the clothes that are looking bad & donate some of the items. I have taken items in the past to consignment stores & sold some on eBay. But eBay takes a lot of time when I am trying to purge everything way down & lots of times consignment shops are no longer taking items for the season. Do u have any good tips as to what to do with the really expensive name brand items that I don’t want to just throw away or donate? I don’t have time for a yard sale & I would agree to get rid of so much more if I had a better solution!

  11. 12
    Sabrina says

    We should all get rid of anything from our homes that make us unhappy. Rule for the house should be only bring items into our home that make us feel happy, grateful, and deserving. Great post.

  12. 13
    Teija Nelson says

    I am not into the one year rule. Here is my reasoning. Last year we went on a fancy trip. This year, not so much.But, it is always possible that hubbie will say we have a dinner to go to. Last year I was working full time. Now I am retired. So, I may need one fancy dress and several work type outfits this year. So, my theory is the one year-review rule. Maybe I need a few of the things that I haven’t worn in a year-but not all.

    • 13.1
      dw says

      I am so with you on this.. the 1 year rule doesn’t really make sense. This year I pulled out two leather jackets that i have had for over 12 years – and haven’t worn for about 4 years. They are high quality, looked great, and when the weather gets cooler they will find their way back into rotation. I saved an oversized black blazer from a long time ago, because it was very flattering, and it also has a place in this year’s look. The one year rule doesn’t do anything for you – if it’s a classic, or distinctive, or fills a niche (maybe one you won’t need to fill this year – like a black-tie affair) you should keep it). I have regretted things I have gotten rid of; I can’t recall EVER regretting keeping something that I had not worn in a year. I say go through your closet regularly, and ditch what really doesn’t work and doesn’t excite you. I have one small closet, and one dresser (and a bunch of under the bed boxes with shoes). They are all chock-full, and if I buy something new, I do try to get rid of something old. I love clothes and shoes, and have more than one woman needs, but that’s really okay. As long as your wardrobe isn’t overwhelming you, keep whatever you like!

  13. 14
    Krissy says

    I’ll be tackling a complete closet re-do later this fall and I’m just starting to think things through. Your tips and posts will be invaluable in this process! I become quite sentimentally attached to some items of clothing, but that’s starting to feel burdensome rather than a “comfort” attachment. What’s more, I usually wear the same things over and over and over… the things that work! So, it’s time to try on, save a few specials, and really pare down. Thanks for this series- looking forward to more!

  14. 15
    Susanne says

    You’ve convicted me about my ironing pile and my mending pile. Seriously been sitting there for years. I probably couldn’t even tell you what’s in it. Tomorrow morning it’s gonna go. Not even gonna look through it.

  15. 16
    jen says

    Thanks for this list. Tackling my master closet this week as part of my 31 days Nester challenge! Would it be okay for me to put a link to your site so my readers can access your list?

    • 16.1
      Laura says

      Yes of course Jen, thank you!

  16. 17
    Emily says

    Ugh. I freaking love this thing we call the blogosphere!
    I basically blog jumped about a half dozen times and landed here via the 31 day challenge (which of course, I would only find at the END of the challenge!)

    Your linkup caught my eye because this past weekend, my hubby went on a fishing trip and I got bored and tore EVERYTHING out of my closet and dumped It in the living room. Repainted it, put down pretty paper…. and then got bored with THAT and stopped. But the closet looks so pretty that I refuse to put anything back into it unless I know it belongs there. Lol!

    Your post is incredibly well timed!!!!!
    Thank you!

    • 17.1
      Laura says

      That’s AWESOME, love it! 🙂

  17. 18
    Tania says

    Agree on not keeping all the just in case (small or big) clothes. I accomplish this by establishing a capsule wardrobe of what I need. I gained 45 lbs in the last few years and now I’m on the way back down. I also had huge lifestyle changes including what type of clothes I wear for work and fun (urban to a more country/small town locale). Instead of evaluating each piece just on its merits separately, I’ve determined exactly how many jeans I’ll need in each different style (I’m a denim most days chick), how many dresses, etc. So instead of keeping 5 pairs of size 27 boyfriend jeans, I’ll keep 3 and sell the other 2 for example. This helped me trim my small size wardrobe down and feeling better about letting the excess go via resale or donation. I know I have exactly what I need as I lose weight so it’s less anxiety letting the rest of it go.

  18. 19
    Vanessa says

    Just one more rule for your list…I’m not sure where I heard this rule from, but here it is…. ” If you saw it in a store today, would you buy it?” If yes, Keep; if no, Toss…..This simple question has changed the way I purge and sort forever.

  19. 20
    Mags says

    This is one of the best lists I’ve seen. Of course, it’s still easier said than done, but I’m a bit of a secret hoarder. I’m guilty of having an ironing/mending/dry cleaning pile that’s been sitting in my closet for YEARS!

  20. 21
    Jules says

    Great good items where can I sell them i have tried on Ebay but it takes too long and they maybe sell in 6 months time. Need a quicker fix .
    Any thoughts on where you can get decent money for decent clothes?

    • 21.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Facebook Marketplace is a good one that a lot of people use. I’ll have a post coming up on how to do this soon!


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