Is your closet overflowing with outdated sweaters and old jeans that require a month long juice cleanse to get into? Do you really want to clean out your closet and pull some metaphorical weeds that take the form of sherbet Gap polos and asymmetrical halter dresses, but feel like you can't?
Chances are you're afraid to take anything out of your wardrobe because you're worried you'll regret it later. While an evening with merlot and a giant garbage bag sounds lovely in theory, in reality you're convinced you'll be cursing your trigger-happy ways when you need that one sweater you gave away. If you're a person that relates to those hang-ups, read ahead! Below are seven ways to clean out your closet without experiencing regret later. It's time to get that wardrobe under control.
Box It, But Don't Give It Away
To take the stress out from the equation, try the boxing technique. Rather than bringing out an intimidating garbage bag, bring out a bin and fold away any clothes you no longer like into it. Agree to store it in the back of your closet for two to three months, and if you don't open it to take something out within that time frame, you'll know for sure you won't miss what's being donated.
This tip works great because it takes out the anxiety from cleaning your closet—you'll feel more open to the idea of being a little more cut-throat with what stays and goes because you know it won't immediately leave your closet.
Toss Out Any Duplicates
Say you have five white collared shirts, three black cardigans, and more striped dresses than you can count. Unless each of those pieces have specific details that make them radically different from the others, chances are you have so many of them is because you bought them without planning. Look through your options, keep your most favorite ones, and then toss the duplicates. You won't even notice their copies are gone.
Give Away Anything That Doesn't Make You Feel Good
That's right, it's time to give away those "when I was skinny jeans." The same goes for any dress you can't sit in, any skirt that gives your confidence a hit, and any pants that make you feel bad when you look into the mirror. We often times keep these pieces for "someday when," but all they do is make us feel down on ourselves and force us to buy kale we'll never eat. Do yourself a favor and only keep things in your closet that make you feel beautiful. You won't miss them.
Gather Some Intel
Do some recon on yourself and record your styling habits. To really see what you never reach for and should give away, do this little closet organizing trick: Face all your hangers one way, and when you wear something, flip the hanger to point the opposite way. At the end of three months, you can see which sweaters, skirts, and pants you haven't had the inclination to wear, and you can feel secure that they belong in the giveaway bin.
Force Yourself To Wear Your "Maybes"
Some items are so blah that it's obvious they need to leave your closet, but what about the pieces that pop question marks into your head? To see if you truly like an item you're unsure of, make yourself wear it about three times in the upcoming week. If you can't find a way to style it, don't like how you feel in it, or don't feel happy or inspired while wearing it, you know you won't miss it. Toss it!
Find Ways To Wear Your Tricky Items
Say you bought a fur vest way back when, but never wore it because you haven't found a way to style it that felt like "you." You feel like you should get rid of it from your wardrobe and donate it, but you have a niggling feeling you'll regret it later on. To put those question marks to rest, challenge yourself to find ways to wear the piece.
Put it at the front of your closet where you'll see it everyday, and go make a Pinterest board where you can collect images of other bloggers, street style stars, and celebs wearing it the way you like. If you find a way you love to wear it, awesome, keep it! If you still feel weird every time you step out the door in it, you can be sure it's not for you.
Give Yourself Permission To Only Wear Your Favorites
Do you have a couple of jeans or sweaters you wear only because you feel guilty for not giving them a spin? You have your favorite pieces, but you only get to wear them occasionally because you have to give their less fab cousins some quality time, too. But do you really?
Gather up all the items that aren't your favorite in your wardrobe, and store them in a box for a couple of months. Give yourself a chance to only wear your most beautiful, feel-good, favorite pieces for a couple of weeks, and see how you feel. Are you really going to miss that meh sweater? Or those expensive pair of jeans you only wear because you feel guilty for not doing so? No, you won't. So why let them clutter up your style?
Getting rid of stuff is hard, but with these patient, calculated moves, it'll become all the easier!
Re-edited from a post originally published 11.14.2016 - TW