I may not be a hoarder, but when it comes to clothes, I hold on to items longer than it took Rebecca Bloomwood to realize that she was a shopaholic in Confessions of a Shopaholic.
If you know me, you know that I consider myself a professional thrifter. I can always find the crazy deals, but sometimes, this gift can get me in trouble. I would often buy things just because the price was right, but not because it complimented my body type or was my desired style. And the “alright” items began to build up and fill my closet.
When I realized that I still had clothing items in my closet that I hadn’t touched since my early high school years, I knew that it was time to get serious about cleaning out my closet in order to obtain an “I’m one year from graduating from college and need to be an adult” look.
I thought I loved having options (which is why I held on to pieces for way too long), but when I noticed that rushed mornings can be frustrating with too many options, I began to think that too many clothes could actually be a problem.
So I started asking myself these questions:
Do I wear everything in my closet? No.
Do I love everything I own? No.
Do I feel like everything represents my own style? No.
Can you relate?
Well, I decided to make a change. But instead of following most closet purge techniques, I created my own decluttering system.
A few months ago, I started out by moving items in my closet that I rarely wore into a new section (I have an organizing system for my closet. My shirts are color-coded while my skirts, pants, and dresses are together by length). I also added items of clothing that I wasn’t quite sure if I liked or not. Throughout the past few months, I would try to pick items out of this section as much as I could. If I liked wearing the item that day, I would keep it. If it was uncomfortable, didn’t fit, or didn’t give me confidence, I would put it in a box to take to Plato’s Closet to sell. (I’m a poor college student. Any income is income I need. If Plato’s Closet won’t take the clothes, the items will gladly be donated to my church’s give-away. I don’t think there is any shame in selling clothes even though most closet purges suggest donating from the start.)
Once I felt motivated and found the time, the next step was to clean up my style Pinterest boards. “Wait, what? Why did we go from our closet purge to Pinterest?” you might ask. Well, I think focusing and refreshing your mind is important to know what your “dream closet” looks like.
I started cleaning my style Pinterest boards from the top and worked my way down. There’s no way that I got to the bottom of any of them, but it gave me a good idea of what I like. This refreshed my mind to what my ideal style is, and I was guilt-free while deleting the pins that were not my style anymore.
With the images fresh in my mind, I started going through my closet again. I would ask myself:
Do I enjoy wearing this?
Do I feel confident when I wear this?
Does this item actually fit me well?
Does this match my desired style?
Would I buy this if I was shopping?
Would I want to be seen wearing this when I see a boy I like?
If the answer was no, I would add the item to my box to sell. With my dream closet pins fresh on my mind, it was easy to say goodbye to items that I had held on to for far too long. It was refreshing to see a closet full of items I actually enjoy wearing, even if it did basically cut my options in half. I would rather have a closet full of items I love than a closet filled to the max with items I don’t feel confident or comfortable wearing. Plus, it felt pretty good to know in the end that I got rid of 118 ITEMS OF CLOTHING!
3 Plaid shirts
2 Pairs of Pants
7 Pairs of Jeans
7 Pairs of Shorts
4 VS Bras
1 Bathing Suit
11 Pairs of Shoes (2 Toms, Tennis Shoes, 3 Moccasins, Flats, Boots, 2 Heels, Sandals)
It’s now time to refresh my closet with new items. Obviously, this won’t happen over night, but I believe it will get there. I get inspiration from Minimalist Closet pins when making new clothing purchases. Also, while cleaning out my closet, I made a list in my phone of items that I threw into my give-away box that were essential to my closet. For example, I’m in need of a new, plain white t-shirt and an olive green jacket. While I’m out shopping, I can know what to look for instead of aimlessly searching for new items.
My focus is now quality over quantity, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more content about how my closet looks. Happy closet purging, lovelies!