Closet Decluttering Made Simple: 13 Items to Purge Today

Colder temperatures may have you dreaming of spring, and maybe spring cleaning. Has spending more time indoors made you aware of the sheer volume of clothing you own?  If you feel like you have nothing to wear amongst the metric ton of fabric bogging down your home, it’s time to curate your closet. Rediscover your favorite pieces and better define your personal style as you purge the following from your life.

  1. Pilled sweaters and ripped pants.
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Basically, anything that’s broken, ripped, or worn down. If it’s been there for a while and you still haven’t fixed it (if that’s even a possibility), it’s never going to get repaired. How many spare hours do you have to shave your sweaters, really? It’s okay to admit defeat, thank the item for its service, and toss it away.

  1. Dated items.
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So, you had a great collection of low-rise jeans in 2001. There’s probably photographic evidence of this somewhere, so let the real thing go now. Any other trendy clothing that’s no longer in style – like mullet skirts and trucker hats – can be sent off, too. Donate them so that a purveyor of “vintage” fashion can rediscover it for their time capsule.

  1. The style you’ve bought too much of.
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We all have a type of clothing we gravitate toward, from gray sweaters and pink tees, to white button-ups and black turtlenecks. If you have a lot of one kind of clothing, chances are, some of it is faded, stained, or otherwise just not up to par. Pare down your collection by keeping only the best of the bunch.

  1. Presents you aren’t into.
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We can all relate – someone gifts you some clothing you’d never, ever wear, but you keep it around. After all, there might be a time when they’ll ask you about it, or you’ll have to wear it for them. This is a fantasy. It rarely happens, if ever. Give the tasseled poncho away right now.

  1. Anything you’d pass over in the store.
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Act for a moment like you’re shopping in your own closet. What would you skim right by? That leather skirt may have been a great purchase at the time, but if you’re not feeling it anymore, it’s okay to admit the affair is over. Make sure everything you own is definitely something that would pique your interest today if you’d never seen it before.

  1. Items that no longer make sense to you.
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If you used to be all about the nightlife, maybe you have a number of sequined cocktail dresses. If you used to work in healthcare, maybe you own a lot of scrubs. If your life has been altered in some way where these clothes just don’t fit in with your current situation, they’re finished. Dress for the life you have and want to have, not the one you used to have.

  1. Clothes you hang onto because of their price.
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A Chanel suit or pair of Gucci loafers are pretty iconic, and you paid a bundle for them. But having paid a lot doesn’t mean you’re chained to it forever. Ship these off to a consignment store, or sell them online. You can even use the money to reinvest in a pricey piece that suits you better these days.

  1. Things you don’t feel good in.
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So technically, you can fit into those jeans – you just can’t really sit down. And that blouse is great – it’s just about an inch too short for your torso. Clothes that are uncomfortable or require you to constantly adjust them are not worth your time. They’ll fit someone else just fine, so toss them in the donate pile.

  1. Clothes you were talked into buying.
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“Every woman must own one cropped fur coat,” the saleslady told you. “This dress is definitely your color,” your mother said. If you have anything that isn’t necessarily your speed, but you were told you should buy it, reassess. Your closet should only be populated by things you want to wear, so unless you want an amateur personal stylist to make all of your decisions for you, stick to what you think is worth it.

  1. Anything you’ve worn just once.
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Special occasion garments, or bags and blazers you were initially attracted to, may be beyond their expiration date. Hang on to the memory of hitting all the right notes on that day, but let the actual outfit go. There’s clearly a reason you only reached for it that one time, and never again.

  1. Anything you haven’t worn in a year.
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If you didn’t wear it last spring, ask yourself why you think you’ll wear it this spring. Passing an item over for a whole year indicates that it really doesn’t align with your personal style. As you put it in your pile for resale or donation, determine what it is about that piece that makes you skip the hanger, and avoid that attribute in the future.

  1. Clothes you’re on the fence about.
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Otherwise known as “clothes that are good, in theory.” Perhaps you wanted a patterned statement coat, but it’s not really working. Maybe you bought a striped boat neck sweater because you heard it was a “wardrobe staple.” If it sounds great in your head, but doesn’t quite translate in real life, it’s not for you.

  1. Items that don’t go with anything else in your closet.
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Of course not every item will match with everything else you own. Still, you get real value out of your wardrobe by being able to build an entire outfit around a piece. If there’s a pair of shoes or a sweater that gives obvious “one of these things is not like other” vibes, it may be screaming to find a new home.