It’s Not Just About Letting Go, It’s Knowing What to Keep
One of my most-requested blog posts is tips for letting go of clothes you don’t wear. Even if you don’t do a capsule wardrobe, having a closet of clothes you do wear can really simplify the process of getting dressed every day.
I’ve been taking notes each time I’ve gone through this process over the past two years. Check out all my tips below!
1.If you haven’t already, start by sorting your entire closet into 4 seasonal bins (spring, summer, fall, winter). Use a 5th bin for items you haven’t worn in a long time (1-2 years) but that you’re not ready to let go of yet. Everything else goes into a donation or “for sale” pile. You don’t wear it. You don’t need it. Boom.
(Side note: This is the very first step I took to start my capsule wardrobe. Read more about that process here.)
2. Items that are brand name and in good condition can easily be sold on eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, or various second-hand consignment shops like thredUP (I blogged about it here), Uptown Cheapskate or Plato’s Closet (may be UT only). Or create an Instagram account for your closet and sell using Venmo or PayPal!
3. Once you put something in the donation pile (even if donating to your sister or nanny), don’t go back through it. Trust the decision you already made.
4. Look at the clothes in the bin for the current season and try to wear each item at least twice for the next month. If you still aren’t wearing it, save it for the next season or repeat steps 2-3.
5. Consider your current stage of life. Do you work? Are you a stay-at-home-mom? Are you breastfeeding? These things can influence what you decide to keep. If you just quit your job to be a stay at home mom (like me), chances are you don’t need all of your work attire anymore. Let it go. I promise if you go back to work, you will want new clothes and you’ll have a job so you’ll be able to afford them.
6. Think about what else you are letting go of as you let go of your old clothes… old habits, old beliefs that aren’t serving you, etc. Physically letting go of something can liberate you in other areas of your life. Embrace it.
7. Would you wear it on your birthday? Or for a meaningful event? Similar to KonMari “does it bring you joy” method, if it isn’t special enough to wear on your special day, then you don’t really love it. You won’t even remember it when it’s gone, so let it go.
8. Would you wear it on Instagram? If not, why? The answer to this question may help you decide to let it go.
9. The best way to forget about what you’re giving up is to be excited about what you’re keeping!
10. It’s okay to do a little shopping as part of your closet clean-out. Just give yourself healthy boundaries. For example, I keep only about 40 items (tops, bottoms, shoes) in my seasonal capsules. If I buy something new I try to let something go, a 1:1 ratio.
11. Make sure the items you keep are things YOU love, not things you think other people will love. This is as much a self-reflection exercise as it is a personal style exercise. So go all in. Get to know yourself better. Be honest about what you truly like to wear, not just how you want to look. You are one-of-a-kind and so is your style.
12. Take photos. Not just mirror selfies but have your spouse/friend/family member take pics of you outside to get a feel for how it looks in a more realistic setting. My blog has definitely helped when it comes to letting go of clothes because I can instantly think of a post wearing that item and decide if I really like how it looked or if I was even comfortable in my own skin wearing it.
Once you let go of several items, the “letting go” process can become like a seasonal closet audit. Try to wear all the clothes you have in a given season as many times as you can. If you find yourself not wearing something, move it to the next season or put it in your “not currently wearing but not ready to let go” bin. Revisit the next season and if you still don’t wear it, let it go.
I hope these were helpful and provide some ideas you haven’t thought of before. If you’ve already been doing some spring cleaning, I’d love to know what’s working for you. Please share in the comments so others can benefit from your experience, too!