There is a long overdue project that I have been working on — organizing my closet and specifically, getting rid of things. I am not joking when I say I have a few items left from my early days in high school, as well as pieces just as old that I have worn MAYBE a handful of times. Now that I will soon be starting my professional career, I decided that it was definitely time for a closet makeover. Even without having a life checkpoint like this, it was still time. The only thing that was truly holding me back from cleaning things out is that I have a really hard time getting rid of things, especially if they are in good condition or useful. I always think to myself, “maybe one day I will wear it” or, “maybe one day it will be more my style,” etc. etc. the list goes on. I have every excuse in the book, which is why I am sharing with you a few tips that helped me through the process, just in case you are in the same boat as me!
How to Help With “But it’s nice!” Anxiety
There are tons of things I have that are in good condition but they are just not my favorite thing to wear. Still, I have a hard time parting with it. Maybe it’s the guilt that I spent money on something and never really wore it, feeling like it was a waste or I need to make use of it. But instead, it just sits in my closet and bothers me every time I see it. So, during this clean-out session, I let things go. If I was still having troubles, I made a sort of “happy trash” pile of things I could wear camping or when painting or doing yard work. It allowed me to know that I was making use of the items, but not obligated to wear them everyday.
Try it on. It may seem obvious, but just because something looks nice on the hanger, doesn’t always mean you will like it. There were a few things I had (like this flowy tank top) that looked so beautiful, but when I tried it on, it was a really awkward length and I had no idea what I would ever wear it with. I was thinking to myself, why did I ever buy this!? and if I have worn it, what did I wear it with!? So, even though it was really pretty and brand new and nice and all that, I had to let it go. In addition, make sure things fit right. As a kid, I was always told to buy things a little bigger so I could grow into them. Even when I stopped growing, I never really broke this habit (until recently when I realized all my clothes were just a little…frumpy). Make sure things fit right and are flattering to your body! (Too small or too big, get rid of it).
Are you comfortable? Do you feel like yourself? I can’t tell you how many clothes I have that once again, are really pretty and might even look great on me, but I just feel weird. Yes, it’s those dresses. Basically, all I can say for this one is, if you don’t feel like your absolute best, get rid of it! There is nothing worse than convincing yourself to wear something and then ten steps out your front door you are already regretting it. Then, going the rest of the day feeling self-conscious and awkward or whatever other self-loathing feelings you have. For me, I kept a few dresses that I could wear for special occasions and ditched the rest. On the same note, don’t ditch these items into your “happy trash” pile either. Even if you are just mowing the lawn, it sucks to feel ugly.
Sometimes, don’t try it on. If you haven’t worn the thing in months and always quickly flip past it in your closet, just get rid of it. I noticed myself start trying things on that I haven’t worn in possibly several years and saying, “oh hey, this looks kind of good,” but in the back of my mind, I realize I am trying to talk myself out of that guilt of being wasteful and convincing myself to wear something I don’t really love. I probably shouldn’t have tried it on. But if you did, and IF you really think you will wear it, put it in a “probation pile” space of your closet, and if you don’t wear it in the next few weeks, get rid of it.
Lastly, make limits. If you have ten swimsuits, belts, boots, or whatever else, it might be time to narrow things down a bit. Pick your favorite 3 and donate the rest. This number can be adjusted depending on the item and if you are a female. Your welcome, girls.
And now, an awesome tool I found that I wish I had before I started cleaning…the Should I Keep It Tree? Wardrobe Editing by Modern Eve.
What tips do you have for organizing your closet, and how do you get past the guilt of getting rid of good things? What do you consider to be wardrobe staples for casual and business wear? It’s your turn to give me advice!