Do you feel a desire to keep adding to a closet already full of clothes or a rack completely stuffed with shoes? And really, there’s nothing wrong with a little wardrobe update every now and then—save for the fact that you might soon find yourself running out of much-needed storage. The solution is simply to clean out your closet and drawers, and in doing so clear away items that might needlessly be taking up real estate in your storage areas. These are the things you need to say goodbye to so that you will have somewhere to keep the new additions to your wardrobe.
Needless to say, before you start ordering those skinny jeans and patterned tees, shopping for women’s pajama tops, and buying new shoes, make sure to say goodbye first to the things listed below. In doing so, you can free up storage space for your impending wardrobe update and maintain a carefully curated collection.
Things to Clear from Your Closet
- Clothes that no longer fit. Whether you’ve put on some pounds, bulked up after months of working out, or lost lots of weight, there are likely clothes in your closet that no longer fit you properly. Nothing looks quite as bad as ill-fitting clothes, so now is the time to say goodbye and welcome new ones that flatter your figure.
- Shoes that hurt your feet. When shoes start hurting your feet, it only means one of two things: either you’ve outgrown them or they were a poor fit to begin with. Footwear that causes pain or discomfort can lead to more serious foot problems later on. Say goodbye to these pairs and replace them with better ones!
- No–good bras. Bras with bent underwires or hooks can hurt you while those that no longer have a good fit can cause discomfort. They might even have a negative effect on your mood and self-confidence. So, feel free to part ways with them now.
- Old underwear. The same thing goes for old underwear—panties with overstretched garters, hosiery that are damaged or laddered, and lingerie that has worn down over time. They neither feel nor look good and can be a cause for embarrassment. So, do bid them goodbye!
- Anything with holes in them. No, holes in clothes are not a fashion thing, save maybe for ripped jeans. So, unless the holes are deliberate or small enough to be easily mended, it’s time to get rid of these clothes.
- Anything stained. If stains aren’t treated early, they’re likely to set and stay in your clothes forever. Let go of your permanently stained garments, and do the same for stuff with a funky smell that you can’t seem to wash off.
- Stuff that makes you sad. If something is making you sad, why are you even keeping it? Sentimental items like a handmade scarf from your late grandma are better kept with other memorabilia. But if you still have your ex’s clothes or things that they purchased for you, you’re better off getting rid of that stuff and replacing them with new pieces that don’t carry any emotional baggage.
- Things you aren’t using. Whether you care to admit it or not, you’re probably guilty of having made some compulsive purchases that you’ve only used once or twice, if at all. This results in your closet getting overstocked by things you don’t actually use. Do yourself a favor and say goodbye to this junk.
- Odd scarves. Take a good long look at your scarves. Then, take a longer, even harder look at your wardrobe. Do all of your scarves have clothes that they can match with? Those that go well with whatever is in your closet are keepers. Otherwise, they need to go.
- Seasonal items. Costumes, ski goggles, oversized trench coats, and similar items that you wear or use only once or twice a year shouldn’t be in your closet. You don’t need easy or frequent access to them so they are better off being stored somewhere else. Put them into sealed boxes and keep them in the garage or the attic.
A “Say Goodbye” Guide
Now that you know the 11 things you should say goodbye to, check out our guide below for how you can best clear and clean your closet so it can welcome your new stuff.
Set Aside a Full Day or Two
Depending on the size of your closet and the stuff you’re keeping in it, you will have to allow at least a full day or even two for clearing and cleaning it. That’s because the process can be time-consuming and may require lots of effort. You are going to have to inspect everything—from your tees and pants to your shoes all the way to your accessories. Give yourself time to process so you don’t feel rushed.
Lay Everything Out for You to See
You need to take everything out from your closet and place it somewhere that allows you to view everything at once. You can use your bed, the floor, or even a long table. Doing so accomplishes two things. First, you will get to inspect everything and anything that was inside. Second, seeing your closet empty will give you a better sense of its size, in turn giving you a better, clearer idea of just how much space you have to work with.
Prepare Four Big Boxes
Organization is important, and the boxes will be where you’ll place your things to keep them sorted. You should have four of them in total. One box will be for stuff that you can donate, and another will be for things that you will have to throw away. The third box will be for the items you will keep, while the fourth should be for things you are undecided about. Make sure you label the boxes accordingly so you don’t get confused later on.
Now is that time when you take a look at each and everything that you were keeping in your closet. Damaged items go directly to the Throw Away box. Ill-fitting clothes and shoes and lightly stained garments should be put in the Donate box, while everything you still plan to use will be placed in the Keep box. Then, place the items that you are unsure about keeping, donating, or throwing into the Undecided box. Once you are done sorting, move the Donate, Throw Away, and Undecided boxes out of your bedroom first, like in the garage or living room.
Leave No Room for Sentimentality
Oftentimes, people find it hard to say goodbye to things because they have “sentimental value.” That’s not wrong per se, but you will need to let go of it if you want to clear your closet of unnecessary stuff. Otherwise, you will only pile on things in your closet that you don’t really need. So, don’t get overly sentimental as you pore over your items. If you are really unable to let some items go, put them into separate storage for your memorabilia instead of storing them in the closet.
Do What You Need to Do Next
What’s next is obviously to put back in place all the stuff that you decided is worth keeping. Bring the Throw Away box to the garbage bin and the Undecided box to the garage or attic. And take the Donation box to your charity of choice, to the community center, or to a nonprofit nearby.
By now, you are ready for that much-deserved wardrobe update, though you will have to make sure that your new additions truly deserve space in your closet. As a bonus, your closet will be spic and span and very organized, with only the things you need and wear.