Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let go of old clothes

Keeping clothes organized remains one of my biggest personal simplification challenges. We will discuss my closet transformation in a future post!

For now, I'll state that it's important to do a clothing audit at least once a year. When attempting to purge clothes, ask yourself the following questions for each piece--and answer honestly:
  • Have I worn this in the past year to 18 months? (If not, place in your "give to charity" pile)
  • Is this still in good shape? Are there holes, tears, stains, or buttons missing? (If you or a professional can't fix the item, toss it.)
  • Am I still this size? (If not, place in your "give to charity" pile)
  • Was this part of a fad or is this item classic/still in style? (Old fad = give to charity)
  • Why am I keeping this item of clothing? (Practical reasons = keep. Sentimental reasons or it was expensive = give to charity or sell online)
What one piece of clothing is hanging in your closet that you know you should get rid of, but can't? (Mine is a pair of quality jeans from high school that I am determined to fit into again someday. Oy!)


  1. Why do I have to give away my sentimental clothes? Can I keep some of them? I swear one day, I WILL make a quilt out of all of those all t-shirts!

  2. Would my piano suspenders be sentimental, expensive or practical?

  3. Nectaria, I DID make a quilt out of all my college t-shirts! If you don't think you ever will I would suggest sending it to someone to do it for you, it is totally worth it. I love the memories of mine and the free closet space it frees up! I bought a dress for my next "hot date". Yeah, too bad that hasn't happened yet and I've been sitting on the dress for a year...

  4. Nicely done, Laura! Nectaria, I say go for the quilt! Gather the sentimental T-shirts in the same place and put them aside for this purpose. BUT I would say to give yourself a deadline. If you haven't made the quilts by, say, end of January, toss 'em!

    Corey, I don't know how to categorize your piano suspenders. "Old fad?" "Item that should have never been produced?" In any case, I'd toss 'em. :)

  5. When you make your Goodwill pile, you should also separate out the clothes that are still in good condition and bring them to a secondhand store like Second Time Around. My friend Amanda does this and if the clothes sell, they give you a check! You can track how many of your pieces sell online and if stuff ends up not selling, you can pick it up after a certain amount of time and try a different place.

  6. That's a great tip, Lauren. Thanks!

  7. Hi Sarah, met you at the Men at Work opening last saturday. I'm guilty of holding onto sentimental clothing. Just wore my T-shirt from my high school french exchange trip the other day! I'm sorry but I do eventually get rid of these clothes, but only when I feel they are keeping me from a truly valuable new life experience (getting rid of the old to make room for the new). Of course when they are too soiled, they get trashed. This is a great blog, glad I found it!

  8. Lauren, have you ever heard of the Buffalo Exchange? I regularly sell at Second Time Around and Modern Millie, but I really want to try BE, because they have a different take: rather than consigning, they pay up front! Doesn't that sound great?

  9. Sarah, I love your blog! I like this article too because I just cleaned out my closet a few weeks ago. I brought my clothes to the local shelter, and the guy there was very grateful. The clothing was in good condition, but much of it was either a bit outdated or didn't fit anymore. :( It IS really difficult to part with more than a few items though. Plus for some reason, when I get rid of things, I just think, "Ok, now I need to go out and buy some new wardrobe staples to replace what I just got rid of." Thanks for the good tips!! :) --Cheryl P.


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