Ask yourself these 8 questions when you start cleaning out your closet! The answers will bea dead giveaway if something in your closet it worth holding on to!
It’s starting to get warm here in Washington. Which is news to me, because coming from the south I wanted it to be a lot colder, a lot longer. Either way, I’ve started to declutter and organize my closet. Just like with most areas, I like to live an organized life.
My closet used to be an area I hated to think about decluttering, but it’s actually kind of fun! Now that I know what I’m doing, of course.
Do you have a pair of shoes that are about half a size too small and you’re hoping your feet will shrink overnight so you can wear them? What about that mini dress you once loved, that has now found its way to the back of your closet?
Cleaning out your closet can be intimidating and quite honestly sometimes a negative experience, but it doesn’t have to be! I had a terrible time getting rid of clothes that still had the tags on. Why would I get rid of something that I haven’t worn yet?! (I mean, I haven’t worn it since I bought it, but that’s a different story)
If you are wanting to start cleaning out your closet, here are some questions to ask yourself! Hopefully through this checklist you will learn what clothes are worth holding on to, and which you can get rid of!
Before You Get Started…
I get it. There are about 800 other things you can do on your day off that sound more enjoyable than cleaning out your closet. However, it’s what my great grandma used to call a necessary evil. Living an organized life will take some work. Decluttering your home, especially your closet will take time and some hard negotiating with yourself.
Keep in mind that feeling you have every morning when you look into your overstuffed closet every morning and think to yourself “I have nothing to wear!” If you are holding onto clothes and accessories that you never wear, why are you holding on to them? If this sounds like you, it might be time to start dedicating a few hours to decluttering your clothes!
Schedule Some Decluttering Time
Regardless of the size of your closet, cleaning out your closet is going to take some time! You should make sure you are dedicating a big portion of your day to cleaning out your closet. To have the most effective decluttering experience, you should hold each item in your closet and make a decision on it before moving on.
As I am sure you can tell, even if you only have a few pieces of clothes, this can take some time. I recommend making sure you set aside enough time to declutter your closet entirely. Do you know how many times I have started a project and ended up leaving it half way through? Making sure you have enough time when cleaning out your closet is key to success.
Are you finally ready to tackle and start cleaning out your closet (or if you’re like me, both closets)? Here are 8 questions to ask yourself when you start cleaning out your closet!
1. Does this fit?
Obviously this should be your first and most important question you ask yourself when cleaning out your closet. Are you holding onto anything that you are hoping will magically fit you? Is an item of clothing too big or too small? If so, odds are you or your clothes won’t be changing in size any time soon.
If this is the case, it’s time to say goodbye to those items of clothing! I was holding on to this white and cream lace dress that I bought in 2018. Tags were still on and it had never been worn. I made the mistake of purchasing it when I could have sworn I would have been able to fit into it on our annual summer family cruise. Plot twist, I couldn’t fit into it then, and I couldn’t fit into it now.
Added bonus, when you start to think about clothes this way when you’re shopping, you can save yourself some serious money. Do you ever buy something that might be half a size too big? What about shoes that are just one size too small? Knowing that you are buying something that doesn’t currently fit, is a great way to spend excess money. When you are both shopping and cleaning out your closet, make sure you are only keeping items that truly fit you. Right now.
2. When did I last wear this?
This was another big eye opener for me. The sheer amount of clothes I was holding on to and haven’t worn in YEARS was mind blowing. Crop tops, high waisted shorts, and sequin dresses that once had their time to shine back in college, simply did not fit my style now.
It’s not that after you graduate you can’t wear your old college clothes – that is not what I am saying at all! In fact, I am in full support of you wearing whatever you want, whenever you want. But the point is, my life and priorities have changed since undergrad. I don’t spend every night going out anymore, so almost half of my wardrobe was unnecessary.
A good rule of thumb that I like to stick by is this: If I haven’t worn it in the last 12 – 18 months, I should probably get rid of it. Worst case scenario if I find myself needing that one article of clothing that I donated, I simply get to go shopping again.
3. Will I ever wear this again?
Okay this one goes hand in hand with the above question. For me personally, it was easy to see clothes that I haven’t worn in over a year. In almost all of those cases, the clothes that fit that category also fit this one.
There was one pair of overly distressed jean shorts that I wore to almost every crawfish boil and tshirt night downtown. The shorts had more holes in them than actual denim. Even though they were probably worn 500 times, none of those times had been in the last almost 2 years. When I really thought about it, was I ever going to actually wear them again?
If you are likely to never wear that item again, then why are you holding onto it?
Don’t worry, I am human. I know that some things I will probably never wear, but I still hold on to. If you are in the same boat, I have a challenge for you. When you come across some items you just can’t seem to get rid of, keep them. After a few months, and even a year, did you actually get around to wearing it? If it’s been a year and it’s still sitting in the same place in your closet, I think it’s safe to say you can get rid of it.
4. Is it still in good shape?
Some things like tshirts are always better once they are more worn out. But you don’t want your entire closet to reflect this. I mean, unless you do! If so, more power to you!
I’m talking about the other parts of your closet. Have those skinny jeans lost their skinny? Does that blazer that was once fierce and polished look dingy and worn out? Make sure you are taking the time to make sure the clothes you are holding on to are in good shape.
Regardless of how much you paid for something or however long you’ve held onto it, if it’s in poor shape, it might be time to say goodbye.
But what about the things you really love that are in poor shape? They might be missing a button, have a stain on the shoulder, or are just terribly fading. Are you going to take the necessary time and resources to spruce them up? Keep in mind the effort it may take to revive a once loved clothing piece. If you don’t see yourself spending the resources to get it fixed, it might be time to pass it on.
5. Is this even my style anymore?
I hate to keep throwing it back to college Lauren, but it was a big gray area when I started cleaning out my closet. Just like with some of the above questions I asked myself, this idea of what my current style was, was a big one for me.
Your style will undoubtedly change throughout your life. Whether it is age, a milestone you reach, or a new career path, what once worked for you then might not now. This is a good thing! When you start to see your style evolve and change into something that represents you, it can give you a whole new outlook on your fashion sense!
Not sure what your style truly is? Make sure you are subscribed so you can be first to know when I post new blogs! I have one in the works that will help you figure out your personal style. It’s quite common to not know what kind of style you gravitate towards, and that article will help you pinpoint it to a T!
Anyways, it can be easy to want to hold onto something in your closet that you are attached to. I’ve had an LSU jersey that my boobs haven’t been able to fit into since sophomore year of college. Did I keep it? Absolutely. But here’s the thing, it’s not in my closet anymore. (it’s actually in a display case next to all my other LSU jerseys, but I’m crazy)
If you are having trouble getting rid of things that just are no longer your style, you don’t have to get rid of them. There will undoubtedly be a few items that hold too many memories. It might take a few decluttering sessions to get rid of, or you might not ever get rid of it. The point here, is to remove it from your closet. If it’s special to you, then by all means hold onto it. But don’t let it just sit in your closet collecting dust, knowing you’ll never wear it again.
6. Would I buy this a second time?
Imagine you are out on an all expense paid shopping trip. If you saw this article of clothing on a rack, would you want to purchase it again? If your answer ends up being no, you can probably safely get rid of it.
For me this was actually pretty simple to do, because I shit you not almost a third of my closet still had the tags on. So it was actually like I was shopping in my closet. What surprised me though? Was the fact that if I was really being honest with myself, I wouldn’t repurchase it.
I had a really big issue with buying things just because they were on sale. It was super easy for me to justify a purchase because I was saving so much money on it. The thing is, I would have saved even more money, by not buying it at all! And that never rang true in my head until Brad said it to me when I was first cleaning out my closet.
7. How do I feel when I wear this?
Long story short, if wearing that item doesn’t make you feel amazing, then get rid of it. Confidence can make any outfit seem so much better than it actually is. So if you are wearing something that doesn’t make you feel confident, why are you holding on to it?
Not only is confidence and how it makes you feel important, but also how comfortable is it? I had been holding on to a pair of thigh high boots that I have worn three times. Each time I wore them I ended up taking them off once I got to the bar.
2. Why was I holding on to them if I hated wearing them?
Don’t ask me why, but we have a tendency to hold onto things that we actually hate wearing. Be honest with yourself when you are considering keeping these items in your closet. Is the Instagram picture you get really worth being in pain or unable to breathe for the entire night?
8. Does this have the EX factor?
Okay this one is my last question I like to ask myself. It sounds silly, but stay with me.
If you were seen out by your ex wearing this item, would you be satisfied? Do you want him (or her) to do a double take? Would you hide behind a tree so he wouldn’t see you in it?
Even though I am in a super happy and confident relationship, this is something that gets me every time. If you find yourself going back and forth on an item when you are cleaning out your closet, ask yourself this. “Would I be happy I am wearing this if I ran into my ex on the street?” Odds are, this question can give you clear insight on almost any item in your closet!
So there you go!
8 questions you should ask yourself while you are cleaning out your closet.
When you come across an item of clothing, a pair of shoes, or even accessories, ask yourself the questions above! If you answer a hard NO, I think you know what to do with that piece.