If you’re like most people, a good portion of what’s in your closet never sees the light of day. There are the jeans you want to wear but can’t, the dress that you can wear but don’t, and who knows how many pairs of shoes. There’s clothing that’s out of style, too small, too large, or just too far beyond repair.
Why people hold onto clothing for years or decades is a bit of a mystery. But thinning out your collection gets rid of the unnecessary bulk and leaves you free to focus on the best of what you’ve got.
1. Schedule regular evaluations
2. Learn to be ruthless
3. Try on everything that you keep
4. Choose a home to keep everything
You’ve probably heard it before: If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it. That’s great advice, but it’s got to start somewhere. And there’s no better time than the present.
Pick a day and sort through all of your clothing. If that’s too big of a job for one day, then you’ve probably put it off too long. In that case, pick a weekend and get ready to make some tough decisions. Going forward, make this a regular appointment with your closet that happens at least twice a year. Every season is better.
The reason closets get overfilled is because it’s so difficult to let go of things that once made us happy or that we hoped might make us happy one day. If happiness hasn’t arrived for a shirt or jacket in a year or more, it’s probably not coming at all.
That’s a tough stance to take, but it’s necessary for narrowing down your collection to its best. Cull the things that you’d hoped would work if it hasn’t really come to fruition. And if something is too sentimental to toss but you know you’ll never wear it (such as a special occasion gown), store it someplace else.
If there’s ever an eye opener, it’s trying on something that you’re attached to. Some things will look fantastic. Those are keepers. And some things won’t look as great as you remember or that you imagined they would. Those should go out the door.
You’ll want good lighting and a mirror for this job. Be honest, and try to refute the notion that it will come back in style or that you’ll lose or gain 10 pounds.
At first, you’ll need two piles: one for keeping and another for letting go. But once that job is done, there’s one more to tackle. What will you do with everything that no longer has a home with you?
Charitable donations are a great choice, and the IRS allows a tax credit under certain conditions. If you’ve got some very nice things, think about selling them on eBay or Etsy. Or you could have a garage sale, since spring is on its way. House Beautiful also recommends donating to homeless shelters where needy people will benefit immediately.
Thinning out your closet can be a stressful event. If it was easy, the volume of clothing, accessories and shoes wouldn’t be out of hand. Since it’s not easy, Elle magazine recommends trying to make it an enjoyable experience, with upbeat music playing and the goal of a beautiful new closet system in mind.
The Closet Works can help you design a custom closet system that fits your home and style like a glove. Download our ebook: Transcendental Organization and learn more about the art of organization and how we can help. You can also reach out to us with any additional questions or schedule a free in home design consultation.
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