How To Purge & Pare Down Your Closet
~ Donate, Sell & Toss What’s Left~
There are key steps to paring down your closet, the larger your closet the more overwhelming it can be. Here are the steps I followed to eliminate 16 garbage bags of clothing from my life.
Before you start, please remember not to worry about how much things cost, how little you’ve worn them or if they were gifts. Want to take it even further? Let go of sentimental attachments too. Having an overstuffed closet of things you don’t wear IS baggage and it’s time to let it go. (Note: this does not apply if you wear everything and/or have room for tons of stuff).
Once you’ve let go of the psychological barriers and you’re ready, go through your closet step by step.
1. Take out pieces that are the wrong fit or size.
2. Take out pieces you don’t wear.
3. Take out pieces you don’t like.
4. Take out pieces that need repair. If you will repair do it now and if not toss!
5. Do the steps with your accessories, socks and underwear too.
Now you should have a good pile of clothes to get rid of. If not, start the steps over and/or call your friends for assistance by hosting a ‘keep it, store it, lose it‘ night. If you offer them snacks, wine and hint at the possibility of free clothes they will come.
Thought you were done? No way! Now try on EVERY piece of clothing you have left and analyze in front of a mirror. Check these again for fit, size, is it flattering etc. One you go through it all you should have pared down your closet, good job.
Now look at that HUGE pile of clothing to get rid of…… what are you going to do with it? First you need to organize everything into 3 piles.
Pile #1. Toss. These pieces are ripped, stretched out, faded and all undergarments. Do yourself a favor and don’t wait, take them right out to the garbage bin.
Pile #2: Donate. These are pieces still good enough quality for someone else to enjoy, bring them to your local clothing charity or call to arrange a pick up.
Pile #3: Sell. These are pieces with monetary value. If you have the time and patience I suggest selling them, if you really cannot be bothered then donate the pieces. If you’ve decided to sell the quickest way is to go to a consignment store. They will pick through the items choosing what they’d like to sell. Usually consignment stores are more partial to pieces reflecting the current season, big coats, sweaters and boots in fall-winter, shorts, tank tops and sandals in spring-summer. Jeans, cardigans, t-shirts, blouses, pants etc are good for all seasons. The stores usually keep around 60% of the profits and give 40% to you. If you are more ambitious list on eBay and vintage/handmade pieces on Etsy. Tip: Jewelry tends to sell best in ‘lots’ and it’s much less work for you. I’m going to group mine by color, style or decades. Good luck!
What’s Left For Me
Getting all my things organized have made it a very busy week for me. There are four garbage bags of clothing to sell, enough storage items to fit in a 5×8 and just a small amount I’m taking with me into the sublet. Here’s what’s coming with me.
1 turtleneck, 3 v-neck sweaters, 3 long sleeved shirts, 7 t-shirts and 6 cardigans.
3 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of dress pants, 4 sweater blouses, 7 blouses.
9 dresses, 8 skirts. Added: 1 floral dress found in my Calgary storage.
3 purses in addition to my daily purse. Brown with long strap for concerts, floral for road trips and silver for dress up evenings.
4 belts; thin red, basic black, basic brown and obi.
4 hats; black angora, toque (beanie), tweed and oversized beret.
5 pairs of gloves and 5 scarves (2 not shown).
8 total footwear; 4 pairs boots, 2 pairs of loafers, 2 pairs casual shoes. I just realized if/when I have a formal event I’ll have to visit storage for a pair of appropriate heels!
4 jackets. I switched out the far right jacket with a black wool trench brought back from Calgary storage.
Not shown; possibly a top or two in the laundry hamper and 8 layering tank tops. Also bringing undergarments, 6 pairs of stockings and 4 pairs of tights and a small jewelry box.
I’m in constant need of validation, what do you think of the pieces I’ve kept?
If you have any more tips for purging please leave them in the comments.