Welcome to Wednesday and Part 2 of our mini-series here on the blog.  {Go back and read Part 1 if you missed it!} 

Last week I introduced this series of posts that’s all about creating a wardrobe that brings you joy instead of stress. This week I’m going to walk through my favorite ways to discard old items, unwanted items, and unworn items that are inevitably sitting in your wardrobe.

This may be the hardest part of the process, so if you can stick it out the rest is smooth sailing! What I’ve found through the years is that so many of us are sentimental about the pieces sitting in your closet. Clothing brings back memories and memories are powerful reasons why people resist purging barely worn items. Unfortunately, for this process to work you have to set those feelings aside and remember at the end of the day, it’s just a sweater or a dress. If you have a couple special pieces that you will truly never wear again, go ahead and set those pieces aside and send them to that special storage place.

Here Are the First Four Steps to Efficiently Clear Out Your Wardrobe 

  1. Start with Your Hanging Clothes: touch every item. Yes, put your fingers on every item of clothing on every hanger. Pull it out, look at it in natural light. Think about why you have it, how you wear it, what does it mean to you. Do you see a tear, pull, stain, or failure? Do you remember that you have to pin, tuck, pull, and finagle it to make it fit the right way? If you think of any of these things, take it off the hanger and lay it in your ‘discard pile’.
  2. Continue the process with items in your dresser. I want you to lay hands on every article of clothing you own. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t think one category is less
    important than other. Everything from camis to dresses is included.
  3. Move onto shoes. Chances are your shoes are still going to fit, so I want you to look for wear and tear in your shoe selection. If there are shoes you have worn for years without stopping to notice what condition they are actually in, go ahead and give yourself permission to identify which shoes are just too junky to keep on wearing. Put them in the discard pile.
  4. Reassess Your Wardrobe. Theoretically, by this step, you should only have a wardrobe of items that you love. Step back and take a look at your closet. Do you still see an item that you know deep down you wear? Be honest with yourself – it’s not doing you or anybody else any good to keep on lying – and remove it from your wardrobe. If you’re afraid that by taking out so many items you won’t have anything to wear, you’re probably right. And that’s a good thing. You want to get in the mental space to know that more is not always good.

What To Do With It Now? 

  1. Create two piles on the floor: one pile with the ‘Absolutely Nots‘ and one with the ‘I Could See Myself Wearing This Again‘ clothes.
  2. Gather up the Absolutely Nots and determine the state of the clothes. If they’re in pristine condition consider making a little money via local consignment stores or online via websites like Poshmark or ThreadUp. If they’re a little too worn to resell bag them up and take them as fast as you can to a local donation center. Believe me when I say you don’t want those old habits sitting around your house for long. It’s very tempting to dig into the bag and pull out that dingy white sweater on a chilly morning.
  3. With your ‘I Could See Myself Wearing This Again‘ clothes, put them in a tote and stick them up in your closet or under your bed – out of sight, out of mind. If you can go through two months without thinking of or missing any of those clothes, out the door they go!

Now I know your initial reaction is going to rush out to the mall or jump on the Old Navy website and order 2-day shipping of new pieces. Don’t. Wait for a couple days. Get used to less. Get to know the current selection in your wardrobe. Try to pinpoint why you enjoy wearing those articles of clothing; is it the fit, style, color, shape? The next step is to start to understand your style so you can determine what you need in order to fill in the holes. And we’ll start talking through that next week.

PS: I’m off on another adventure today so apologies in advance for the radio silence. I’ve heard the internet in the middle of the ocean is a little spotty. 😉