CategoriesSustainable Style Tips

An Easy Alternative to Purging Your Closet Each Season

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If the thought of cleaning out your closet has ever made you want to cry into a bottle of wine, this post is for you. Or maybe you went a bit overboard on your last wardrobe purge only to be left with a few underwear and some mismatched socks. Not a great sitch, my friend. While going through a big closet purge every season is awesome and results in a streamlined wardrobe with space to shop any necessary gaps, it can be a daunting, time consuming task.

But last week when I wrote about planning your outfit ahead of time to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh and always look polished, I also had this post in mind. Not only does planning your looks ahead of time get the most out of your clothing, it also gives you a more intimate perspective of what you actually wear and love on the daily, and also what you seem to keep putting back on your rack. This intimate knowledge of your personal inventory allows you to discard clothing on an on-going basis, which eliminates unworn clothes piling up in a scary mess, and results in a clean, streamlined wardrobe. Here’s how to do it:

Keep a little basket (let’s be honest I just reuse a shopper bag, but if you’re Martha Stewart then go nuts and get some sort of cute, Pinterest-worthy receptacle.) beside or in your closet, and discard on a regular basis. Once your bag (or fancy basket) is full, then you can take it to a consignment or donation shop. I love this idea (it’s what I do, because I don’t have enough clothing to do a major cleanse), because it gives you some extra time to determine if you are really ready to let go of a certain piece. If you put it in the basket thinking you’re over it, but find yourself searching for it a week or so later, it will still be there, hanging out in your basket, so you know you should be hanging onto it. Nine times out of ten this never happens – typically once a garment is out of sight, it is out of mind.

It’s time to put something in the basket when you’ve passed over these types of garments several times (like, 3 or more times in the course of a week or two):

– because you didn’t love it or feel great in it. Every. Time.

– because nothing in your closet works with it.

– because it doesn’t fit.

– because you have no idea how to wear it and even an Instagram or Pinterest search can’t motivate you to make it work.

– because you keep saying you’ll bring it to get altered but for some reason it’s still. hanging. in. your closet.

There are other reasons as to why clothing can end up in your discard basket, but the biggest question to ask yourself is: “is this the third or fourth consecutive time I’ve picked up this piece, only to put it back down?” If the answer is yes – discard. If you really do need it, chances are you’ll be able to grab it from your basket before it’s full.

Let me know your thoughts on this process – would you prefer it over a major closet purge?

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    1. ahahah well at least you’re a focused shopper! And if you love and use them all, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

    2. LOL Dom i dont know what to say – you’re the greatest. Handbags also have more longevity than clothes, so it’s not so bad!!!

  1. Your method for keeping a closet clutter free and containing only clothes you actually wear works very well for me. I’ve been doing just like you advise for several years now, of keeping a container (I use a small cardboard box that can be closed) on a shelf in the closet and every time I see an item I no longer want it goes into the box and when the box is full it goes to the Diabetes Assoc who do pickups in my neighbourhood in Ottawa. Love the idea, it really works and it’s zero effort – thanks for spreading the word.
    P.S. while your declutter you should review your shoe collection too, and if shoes don’t fit properly because they have stretched out try my new invention (patented in Ottawa in 2015) of two part PORON foam inserts that will cushion and stabilize high heels.

    1. Virve! Thank you so much for your insightful comments and sharing your amazing invention! I’m definitely going to check it out. I’m glad that someone else is using this method and finds it useful! Thank you so much for reading and visiting xo

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