When you go to your closet, are there plenty of items in there, but you still feel like you have nothing to wear? I get it. Sometimes I still feel that way even as the owner of a women’s boutique.
I hope after reading this article you won’t feel so discouraged. First, let’s talk about what you do have in your closet. Are you holding on to things that you probably won’t wear again? Maybe because they don’t fit anymore, or you bought it twenty years ago and you’re hoping it comes back in style, or it wasn’t even that cute when you bought it but it was on sale and you couldn’t pass up that great deal!
So that you are not overwhelmed with the idea of purging, my suggestion is that you go through your closet by starting with just one category at a time.
Let’s start with tops. Go through each item and decide if you want to keep it based on the following questions: Does it fit me well? Do I like this color on me? Do I feel good wearing it? Out of the twenty tops you have, you’ll probably be able to find anywhere from two to five tops that you can get rid of. Another rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it in the last year you probably won’t. If you have more than five, then you’re off to a great start.
After you go through your tops, then continue with the next grouping - pants. Again, look at fit, style, how long you’ve been holding on to dated pairs, and when was the last time you wore them. You might have to try things on again to see how they look on you. I must admit that I was a little shocked to find that some things just don’t fit me the same way they used to. It can be discouraging but as we age things will not stay the same, and I shouldn’t expect them to. There is plenty of nice clothing that looks great for all sizes.
If you feel up to it move on to the next grouping of clothing, like outerwear. Then after that you can look at your shoes, accessories, handbags, etc. I’m not suggesting that this all must be done within a certain time frame.
If you’re not sure what to toss even after these suggestions, you may want to hire a stylist or organizer to help you decide. Or ask a friend or family member to help. I find that moms often appreciate the opinions of their daughters (though you might have to pay them to get them to help). If you have a friend you think you can trust to be honest, invite them over and offer to do the same for them. Who knows, you may find yourself swapping clothing that isn’t good for you but is great for someone else!
Now that you have decided what you want to toss, let’s now figure out what you’ll do with it. There are a variety of ways of putting what was not useful for you anymore in the hands of someone who might really appreciate it.
One option is to donate your used goods. There are also plenty of resale clothing outlets who will take your gently used goods for a small price in your local area. When my kids were young, I did this all the time because they were constantly growing out of their clothes, and most of the merchants were very selective on what they sold, so don’t be offended if they don’t take some of your garments that you felt like they should be honored to have. What’s becoming most popular is online resale outlets that you can send your merchandise to. Some of these outlets will give you cash, and some will allow you to earn a credit towards your future purchase from them. These options are win-wins because you know that your garments are going to someone who will really appreciate them, and of course, you get a little extra cash! If you have high-end clothing, handbags, shoes or jewelry, there are many outlets both online and local consignment boutiques.
Let’s face it, you may have items that are too damaged to be sold or donated. You can find ways to repurpose them like as rags to use around the house. You can also lookup ways to donate textiles to be recycled either from a local drop-off box, a retailer like H&M or Madewell who accept some damaged garments to recycle, or even a website like Bra Recyclers that lets you send in your damaged bras! You can also host a Clothing Swap for your friends and invite them to bring their used or sometimes never worn garments, shoes, or accessories and have fun exchanging!
What you’ll need to get started:
- Rolling rack or any rack
- Several boxes or bags for sorting
- Sell online or locally
- Reserve for your party