Throughout this quarantine, I learned that I am happiest and most productive when I reside in a clean and organized space. With a fairly small bedroom, it is important to me to return things to their place as to not avoid a mess or a pile of displaced things somewhere in my room. Behind closed doors, however, lives my closet. I did not deep clean my closet in years. It took a little bit of motivation to finally decide to tear my closet apart but once I did it, I felt so much relief and comfort. Now I know what I have, I love it. I encourage you to take the time to do the same. When you start this process, be kind to yourself and ask these four key questions: Do I love this? When did I last wear this? Does this fit me as I want it to? Could someone else love this?
1. Do I love this?
Does the piece of clothing make you happy to have or does it serve a good purpose for you? If not, then reconsider why you have it at all. I am very guilty of buying a top or a skirt while shopping with my friends because it is cute in the store, and then never wearing it after I take it home. A great way to start your closet purge is to take everything out of your closet and your dresser to go through it one piece at a time. Take it off the hanger, even if that means you have to put it back on after. This forces you to consider every single piece of clothing that you have and weight its worth. Is it worth it for you to put back into your closet or not? If you love it, you keep it. This process will also help you compare clothing pieces to others. For example, if you have two pairs of light wash jeans, one that you love and one that you like, you know that you will always reach for the pair you love. You do not want to put something back in your closet if you have something similar that you know you already like better.
2. When did I wear this last?
Sometimes the very back of our closets can resemble black holes. As you are going through your clothes, think to yourself: When was the last time I wore this? What can I wear this with? Is it seasonal? I have two fun holiday sweaters in my closet that only get worn a few times a year, but it is only two pieces of clothing. If you are looking at your seasonal clothes, set them aside in a section of your closet and flip the hangers around so they face the opposite way. After that season passes, if there are hangers still facing the opposite direction, you know you did not wear that piece and that you probably will not in the future.
3. Does it fit me as I want it to?
Every day we are learning to love our bodies. The clothes we put on should always make us feel comfortable and confident. You know your body better than anyone else, and you know what you feel best in, whether it is an oversized tee or a bodycon dress. There is no use in keeping things that make you feel uncomfortable when you put them on because you are not going to wear them. Instead, they will just get pushed to the back of your closet. The same idea goes for occasional clothing. If your homecoming dress from ninth grade still resides in the back of your closet, consider whether you will wear it again. If so, you still need to see if it fits in a way you like and if it will serve a purpose in the future.
4. Could someone else love this?
Sometimes the most difficult part is letting go. It is a lot easier if you know that what you once loved is going to someone else who is going to love or need the thing you no longer want. Consider the quality of the item you are considering parting with: Could someone else feel comfortable and confident wearing it? Also, make sure that when you are parting with your clothing, it is not going to landfill. Often, if you donate clothes to thrift stores that they cannot sell in a certain timespan, the store will purge and send old clothes to the landfill. Instead, think about using online resale programs like Depop and Poshmark, or donating to charities. Depop and Poshmark are great ways to market your old loves and make them others’ new finds. Plus, when someone buys something from you, it will put a little extra something in your pocket. It is more likely that they will hold on to the item as well, decreasing its likelihood of ending up in a landfill. Also, charities will take unwanted clothing and redistribute it to people in wider communities who need it. If you are going to donate, take the time to research good charities in your area.
Although this process may seem daunting, taking the time to refresh your wardrobe and go through your things will help you reset. You will feel great having a closet made up of only pieces that you love and are excited to wear. Plus, the more you purge, the more room you will have for new pieces of clothing that you can work into your rotation.