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  • Writer's pictureSouth Coast Organizers

?'s to Ask Yourself When Purging Clothes

When tackling your closet, it can be hard to make decisions on what clothes to keep and what to donate. Here are some questions to ask yourself when purging your clothes to help you decide which items to keep.

Does it fit right now?

Many of us fluctuate in weight and sizes, so it’s hard to decide what to keep. My advice is to keep what fits you right now and about 10% of your clothes that are not your size. Pack those items away and store them elsewhere in the house. I would hate for you to go into your closet daily and see a bunch of items that don’t fit you anymore. Many of us end up feeling bad about ourselves and that’s no way to start your day. Remove the clothes that aren’t fitting now and keep the items that fit you and feel comfortable.

Is it worth the space it’s taking up in your closet or in your home?

How much space do you want to allocate for clothing that might fit again one day? Think about what space you want to use for your clothes and use that as your boundary for how much you can keep.

Is it comfortable to wear?

Is there a weird tag sticking out somewhere? Can you not figure out how to style it? Do those shoes hurt your feet? Do you feel confident in this item? If you don’t feel comfortable in a clothing item, you’re not going to wear it. Period.

Does it need to be repaired? Is it worth it?

Any clothing that is stained or ripped needs to be put in its own pile. Do you want to try and repair this item? If it wasn’t stained or ripped, would you wear it? Think about these things before making a decision. If you decide to move forward on repairs, put these items in your car and schedule time to drop them at the tailor’s or dry cleaners.

Do you think it will “come back in style”?

Do you want an entire attic full of clothing that may come back in style one day? Would your children or grandchildren enjoy the clothes now? Have them over to look through your closet and maybe these items can be worn and loved now! Decide how many items you want to save and determine a home to keep them.

Are the tags still on it?

Many of my clients are sales shoppers. They see something on sale and buy it–even if they don’t want or need it. They see the sale price and purchase it because they feel like it’s a way to save money (even though it’s the opposite). When you have items in your closet that still have the tags on them, think to yourself “would I buy this item at full price?” If the answer is no, go ahead and add it to the donation pile.

Are you feeling guilty because this item was expensive?

I’ve had clients in the past feel bad for how much money they spent on an item that was only worn once or not at all. The money is already gone and keeping it isn’t going to get your money back. Is it an item that can be sold? Try selling it BUT give yourself a deadline. It takes effort and time to sell clothing online so make sure it is worth your time.

Do you love the way you look in it?

I can tell by someone’s facial expression if they like a clothing item. When working with clients, I’ll hold up a clothing item, they will proceed to make a face like they just smelled a nasty dumpster, and then say they want to keep it. Like, what?! If you don’t like the way an item looks on your body and fits you, you will not wear it. We all want to feel confident in our clothes! If your clothes don’t make you feel that way, donate them!

Does it fit your current lifestyle?

If you haven’t been to a black tie event in several years, there’s no need to have 6 formals. Think about your current lifestyle and social life and make sure your wardrobe reflects that. I’ve become a much more casual gal, so I got rid of most of my heels. I kept a few basic pairs that can mix and match my wardrobe but there’s no need for me to have 10 pairs of heels when I only wear them 3 times a year.

Am I keeping it only because it was a gift?

Just because someone gave it to you, doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. If you’re worried about the gift giver's feelings, wear the clothing item in front of them or take a picture of yourself in it and send it to them. Show them that you’ve worn it, appreciate it, and then let it go. Most of the time, they will never know! If they’re upset about it, show them this post and blame it on me :)

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