top of page

Closet Purge Tips- Which ones work?

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

There are so many ideas and tips on how to tackle purging your closet of unworn items. But what’s the best approach for you?

Tip #1- Take everything out

This technique lets you get the big-picture effect of your clothing and accessories by comparing items against each other and figuring out gaps in your assortment- it’s like shopping your closet! However, this process can take ages if you have a lot of items to go through, need to try on pieces or have a hard time making decisions. In addition to being mentally overwhelming, piles of clothes on your bed are visually overwhelming too.

Use the ‘take everything out’ approach if you have a friend or family member on hand to help as well as the energy and time to commit to a full overhaul. Some will use year-end to do a big purge, others will do so before or after a big shopping trip- before is best to create space and plan.

While going through the process:

-Take notes (yes, actual hand-written or electronic notes) to track what you need to replace

-Use your piles wisely- have bags at hand for donations, trash and dressmaker fixes.

Tip #2- Turn your hangers in one direction at the start of the year and flip the direction after you wear, wash and rehang. Clothing on hangers facing the original direction should be purged.

This is an easy, low commitment way to tackle purging your unworn clothes and can visually stimulate you to mix in certain clothing you tend to forget you own.

The main problem with this approach though is that there are some items you will absolutely love and just not wear in a year. Then, there are some items you constantly wear but that need to go- you know that fuschia pink shirt that’s now looking a little pastel.

While going through the process:

-Remember your directional system!

-Set your date in advance for the final purge. It may not need to be a full year once you notice certain trends.

Tip #3- Create a maybe (or definitely not) pile as you go along

This is also a minimal commitment approach. When you get dressed for the day or an event and something is off (see questions below), don’t just hang it back up in your closet and forget it. Set it aside for a decision at a later date. This is perfect because you don’t need to invest the time (right then) to purge an item. But bear in mind if you aren’t drawn to wear an item or it’s in a category you don’t wear often, e.g. evening wear, you might forget it’s there anyway.

While going through the process:

- Commit a dedicated basket, box or space for your maybe items

- Set a date to review your items or deal with them when the basket or box is full

- Wear your ‘maybes’ for a final decision

Tip #4- Ask yourself a million questions

Does it spark joy? Would I buy this again? Is it flattering? Is it out of style? Will I ever be this size again? This will go hand in hand with either of the above processes and can help you focus on pieces you’re unsure about.

Or it will not- sometimes you don’t have to over-analyze your clothes. Keep it if you like it and get rid of it you don’t.

Tip #5- Set a time (15 minutes a month or Saturdays at 2 pm) or a group of items (today I’ll tackle dresses or work wear)

You can purge your clothing on a continual basis and it’s not as rigid as you may think. The basic idea is that if the mood strikes and you have a few free moments you can sort and purge a section or category of clothing. Scheduling a frequent purge may fall by the wayside in the day to day busyness of life but it’s a great way to stay on top of things if you are able to stick to a routine.

While going through the process:

- Keep the end game in mind- what’s the look you want to achieve for the actual space and with your style

You may find yourself drawing on more than one of these approaches for a closet purge.

Whatever your timeline, your reasons or your preferred process, commit to purging- it’s an absolute necessity in ensuring your closet and your wardrobe reflect the best you.

What’s your preferred closet purge tip or do you use a combination?

bottom of page