Does your overflowing closet make you anxious? Many people start to feel the urge to purge in the springtime, as the weather gets warmer and we swap our cold-weather clothing for lightweight summer gear. Typically, this is the time when many people realize just how many items of clothing they have- and how little is worn on a regular basis. If you’ve been thinking about cleaning out your wardrobe or doing a closet purge, there’s never been a better time, especially with the long holiday weekend.
However, before you begin, take some time to plan out your approach. These tips will help guide your cleaning, so you’re only left with clothing and accessories that you truly love, and will wear often.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to the closet purge. Some people advocate for keeping as much as you can store, because “you never know when you’ll need it.” Others, like Marie Kondo (author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) advocate for keeping only what you’ll use. In particular, Kondo’s KonMari method suggests giving away everything that does not “spark joy.”
Whether you follow the KonMari method or just use your own judgment, the key to a successful wardrobe clean-out is to be honest with yourself. Don’t keep anything you don’t actually like. Don’t keep things because they were given to you by someone special, or because you feel obligated to keep them around.
Try It On
If you’re having a hard time deciding whether you want to keep something, try it on and make a decision while you’re wearing it. If your first thought is how great you look, then consider keeping it. If your initial impression is more along the lines of “I forgot how itchy this collar is” or “did I ever look good in this color?”, think about moving it to the donation pile.
Box It First
Some people feel anxious about making the irreversible choice to sell or donate their items. To alleviate this stress, box up your items first and keep them in your house and out of the way for a set amount of time. If you’ve had the box for 2-3 months and have never cracked into it once, it’s a sign that you can give everything away without regret.
Toss the “Maybe Someday” Items
Don’t get caught in a trap of holding on to items of clothing that you’ll use “someday.” These items are typically things that we’ve outgrown, or pieces that just don’t suit our current lifestyle. Instead of keeping these around and feeling guilty about not using them, give them away to a friend who will actually use them, or donate them.
Ask a Friend for Advice
If you’re worried about making decisions on your own and need some advice, call a friend and ask for their help. They can either come in person, or you can open up a video chat and set it up near your wardrobe. Make sure to pick a friend you’re comfortable with, and ask them to speak as openly and honestly as possible.