I have those clothes. You know the ones. They sit in the back of the closet and never get worn. I consider tossing them every so often, but I really don’t have a reason for getting rid of them. They aren’t worn out, they still fit and the color looks good on me, but for some reason or another I simply never wear them. Every so often I move them to the front of my closet only to find them hanging in the far most corner by the time the season ends.
Well this year I said, “enough’s enough.” I boxed them up and prepared them for donation. Only for some strange reason I couldn’t actually give them away. Just before the truck was scheduled to arrive I convinced myself I might actually wear them again.
So out came the Adidas workout pants that I’ve owned since college but have never actually worked out in. They are the kind of material you want to wear on a rainy day, but I never seem to workout when it’s raining. There’s the black turtleneck, which would be perfect for wearing out on the slopes, but I rarely go out west anymore. Or how about the giant cotton sweater that is just perfect for cold weather. The trouble is it’s so large and warm that I’ll sweat to death if I attempt to wear it inside.
I cannot believe that I’m finding it difficult to donate these things. I know my odds of wearing them again are slim to none, but I hate the idea of having to buy replacements if I do end up needing them.
I’m sure I’m not the only person out there with a hodgepodge of clothing that I never seem to wear yet can’t seem to get rid of. Do you have such items hanging in your closet? Do you find it difficult to get rid of clothes you rarely wear? Do you have rules for when to purge them?
34 thoughts on “Do You Have Rules for Purging Clothing?”
I put a small piece of painter’s tape in the neck or waistband of each item, then removed it as I wore the items. Anything with tape at the end of the year was donated. Wrong size – donated. Sentimental value only – took a picture of the item, then donated it. Any new clothes must be able to be worn at work or home. I have 1 grungy outfit for painting, gardening, etc. I have a couple of things for special occasions. But a 500 s.f. flat with one tiny closet doesn’t allow me to accumulate much!
Oh the lack of space is a good reason for purging. Maybe I have too many closets in my house 🙂 I like the tape idea it’s similar to the suggestion of another commenter to turn the hangers around. That way I can see what I wear and what never gets worn. Great idea!
You make wardrobe capsules for things like gym clothes, beach clothes, date night clothes, etc. A capsule is a small group of clothing where each piece works with the others.
If you did your everyday clothes like that, you’d start to look like you were wearing the same thing everyday because you’d always be in the same colors. For things like workout clothes, it doesn’t matter as much.
This is interesting. I will definitely think about it as I look through my closet and in the future when I buy clothes.
I turn my hangars around backwards at the start of summer and again at the start of autumn. When I wear something, and it comes back from laundry room, it goes back turned around right ways. if I make it to the next year (ie for summer clothes, i get back tot he start of summer) and i haven’t worn something, it goes to goodwill. I don’t however, put special occasion stuff in this rotation- that tends to be too expensive to replace if I happen to need it, even if only rarely. Anything that is just too tight or baggy is automatically shunted tot he goodwill box- there isn’t enough room in the closet for anything that just plain doesn’t fit
Agreed! If it doesn’t fit it has to go. Love the backward hanger idea. I am definitely implementing it!
I once read “use your closet for storage, not as a museum”. Haven’t gotten round to living that rule though..
I’m pretty good about that. I only have one t-shirt from my childhood that I can’t seem to part with. Everything else has gone to donation. I had good times at concerts back in the day, but I definitely don’t need t-shirts to remind me of those times 🙂
I get rid of clothes for obvious reasons, like gradual shrinkage, tired fabrics & faded colors, styles, etc… but mostly I base it on how they make me feel when I wear them. Who do I feel like? Capable me, or discombobulaed me? Flowing me, or blocked me? How do others react when I’m wearing them? Do I find I’m brushed off consistently in a certain garment? I’m fortunate to live in a town so eclectic & comfortable, we can wear literally anything, so for me its all about what I experience as a person while wearing a certain thing. If it consistently brings me a sense of good connection & identity, internally & externally, it stays, regardless. If it doesn’t, out it must go!
Love this comment! I never thought about my clothes on a spiritual/connected level. It’s an interesting concept.
Clothing that I’ve received as a gift, especially from particular people in the family, are hard to get rid of. I feel guilty getting rid of them. That stuff accumulates and I have to get in the right mood, take a big breath, and let it go into the Goodwill bag, knowing that I’ll probably forget all about it after it’s gone. I also have trouble getting rid of classic clothing that may come back in style someday.
I used to struggle with that too. I know find the more I do it, the easier it is to do 🙂