• Samantha Hebert

A 10 Step Guide To Purging Your Closet

All of us eventually take on the task of cleaning out our closets, some more often than others, the smaller the closet the more often the purge, but inevitably it must happen. Some of you have had the experience of standing knee deep in a pile of shirts, shoes, and more only to realize they are simply taking up valuable real estate in your closet. Time to purge, ladies!

Yes you could shove that shirt back into your closet with the idea you’ll like it better next year – yeah, sure you will. But you are wasting your precious time by keeping all this stuff while making it difficult to find something to wear. Use this 10-step guide to help you understand when to get rid of clothes. Trust us: Your closet will thank you.

1. It’s truly stained.
 With some effort, many stains can be removed. However, there are things that can’t be fully removed—intense ink stains, bleach, dried paint, large oil stains, and certain dyes, for example—so it’s best to throw these garments away.

2. It smells odd. Certain materials hold onto certain smells longer than others. If your piece smells of must, food, or body odor even after you’ve washed it, it’s time to replace it.

3. It’s damaged. 
While a tailor can replace a zipper or even a lining of a coat, the likelihood that you will make the effort is slim to none. If you are having a hard time with this one, make a repair pile, if those articles are still sitting there in three months, toss it.

4. You wouldn’t buy it right this second. This question is painful, because if it’s true then you made a bad purchase. But here goes, would you buy this item again right now? If the answer is no then out it goes—even if it’s only a month old. This method to be highly successful, and can effectively cut down your closet by 25%.

5. It doesn’t fit. Some women keep too-tight clothing with the hope they’ll lose enough weight to wear it again Getting fit is fabulous, but if you must keep some of the multiple sizes, only keep your bottoms, jeans and pants have a better chance at still being stylish long after the shirts are way outdated. Besides, if you lose some weight, you deserve some new tops. The same idea goes for items that are way too big: Do you plan to have it altered? Use your precious real estate for awesome pieces that look amazing on you right now!

6. It doesn’t convey the message you want it to. Admit it, we all use fashion as a means of telling people who we are who we want to be. That message is constantly changing. Certain pieces simply no longer remain relevant to the image we want to portray and that means it’s time to part with these pieces.

7. You equate it with bad memories. This reminds me of that super cute charcoal dress with the thick belt I wore to my mother’s funeral. It’s still so cute! But every time I look at it I say that exact thing – “that’s the dress I wore for my mother’s funeral.” Seriously just forget it! I’ll never love that dress again. So any item that reminds you of a rough patch you went through in life, toss it. Same goes for pieces left behind by painful exes, friends, or anyone negative. Purging your closet of bad memories can be powerful and treat yourself to some new “baggage free” clothes.

8. The trend is gone. Although many of us try to limit ourselves to the classic look, every once in a while we purchase that super trendy shirt or chunky sneakers. These items never stand the test of time. Of course, if you still love and wear these items, by all means, don’t stop! But if you’re over them and know you won’t reach for them, it’s time to let ’em go. Same goes for items that you have worn and absolutely loved but you’ve just gotten tired of wearing it. Say “peace out” to the item that has served its purpose.

9. You like it but never actually wear it. You know those pieces that you always seem to try on at home, but never seem to grab when you’re actually getting dressed? Odds are, you’ll never wear them outside of your bedroom, so why are you still hanging on to them? Chances are there is something about the piece you don’t like once it’s on. Our advice is to force yourself to wear the item, albeit you will have the problem figured out by the end of the day – it pulls, snags, or you have to yank and pull on the shirt to keep it in place, something makes the item undesirable. Come home and put it in the “to go” pile. It is better to use previous real estate for the things you’ll actually wear.

10. It’s totally stretched out or pilled. Do you think that “all stretched out” sweater is still going to look good on you? Do you think you will look chic in it? NOT! Yes, the laundry can help certain pieces retain their shape, but when you wear items often, they do stretch. If your trousers have sagging seats, your sweaters are pilled, or your bras and underwear are totally shapeless, it’s time to get new ones.

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