That is not my closet. I wish it were. But it is not. Sad, I know.
As any of my friends will tell you, I clean out my closet regularly. And it becomes a party.
Every time I clean out my closet, I have a parade of friends who just nab up their favorite items. Most are gently worn but just things I haven’t touched in a year or more, some are freebies I scored at events but never wore. And it’s a party. And everything that my friends don’t nab up, I donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
In the past, I’ve helped a few friends clean out their closets. I actually really enjoy purging closets (and making room for newer, prettier things!), and I’ve developed a set of rules over the years to help me and my friends weed things out. And now that set of rules is yours.
My Closet Clean-Out Checklist:
1. It is in good condition.
For example: no holes, no buttons have popped off, the beading is still intact, no rips in the stitching/snags, etc.
2. You like it.
I feel like this one is super obvious, but I guess it still needs repeating – if you hate it, don’t keep it.
3. You’ve worn it within the past year.
Exceptions are for pieces with sentimental value (e.g. wedding dresses) and for pieces that are serving as inspiration for a healthy living (I have a dress that is way too small for me currently, but I like to try it on every few months to see my workout progress). This is a great way to get rid of pieces you never wear – I go through my closet at the end of each season and think to myself, “what didn’t I wear this season?” – there’s always at least one or two items.
4. You don’t own any pieces that are essentially identical to it.
This one’s tricky. Obviously, white button downs and other everyday items / basics are an exception. However, if you have multiple grey cable-knit sweaters in the exact same shade of grey, get rid of at least one. Or if you have two pairs of khaki capris but only wear khaki capris once in a blue mood, chuck a set! You can create so much extra room in your closet this way.
5. It fits. And you look [objectively] good in it.
Again, exception for pieces that are serving as inspiration for a healthy living. And, obviously, if you’re pregnant, you’re excused from this one. However, think long and hard on this one. Does the dress / skirt / pair of pants / whatever fit you properly? Does the item draw attention to parts of your body that you love, or to parts of the body that you hate? If the answers to those questions are “yes” and “to parts that I love,” keep the item. If either of your answers deviate from those responses, chuck it.
6. You feel great about yourself while wearing it.
Don’t keep things that make you feel like crap about yourself. I feel like this one is pretty obvious. I have friends who hate seeing their bodies in tight clothes – even when they know they look good, they’re still self-conscious. Get rid of those pieces! You should feel like a rockstar every time you leave the house.
Purging your closet is a great way to make room for new, fabulous items… but it is also a great way for you to figure out what your “style” is and start curating a closet filled with items that are undeniably “you”. Every time I step into my closet after a clean-out, it is like a breath of fresh air – I look around and am just filled with joy at the sights of all of the pretty clothes, the thoughts of how I want to style them for future shoots, and even the memories of past times I wore the pieces.
I firmly believe that clothes shouldn’t be a burden – that, instead, they should make you happy. And so cleaning out your closet is really just you making room for more happiness… right?
Do you ever clean out your closet? What are your favorite tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments!