The Best Trick to Purge Your Closet + 6 Questions to Help You Purge

The Best Trick to Purge Your Closet + 6 Questions to Help You Purge

**Be sure to sign up at the bottom of this post to get a FREE printable guide with these 6 questions to help you purge your closet and create a wardrobe you love!**

Decluttering my closet and creating a simplified wardrobe has been one of my favourite decluttering projects yet. Simply because it’s had such a hugely positive impact on my life.

It’s so much more pleasant to get ready for the day when you aren’t sifting through clothes that don’t fit, you don’t love or don’t feel good in. Instead, when everything in your wardrobe is something you feel good in and look good in, getting dressed becomes so much easier. And a lot more fun!

Throughout the process of purging my clothes and simplifying my wardrobe, I’ve tried many different techniques and strategies to simplify. But through it all, I’ve found one thing that makes deciding what to keep and what to get rid of so much easier.

And that’s what I’m sharing today. You’ll learn the best trick to purge your closet. Plus 6 questions you can ask yourself as you declutter to make deciding what to keep and what to get rid of even easier!

First, a little background:

I first began simplifying my wardrobe when I was a stay-at-home mom with a baby and a preschooler.

In some ways, this made it easier to deal with my clothing. I didn’t need separate work clothes. Instead, I could wear what was comfortable and what I liked.

However, one of the big struggles for me, and I know a lot of other stay-at-home moms too, is getting stuck in a rut of stay-at-home mom style. There are endless amounts of jokes and parodies about moms in yoga pants and dirty t-shirts for a reason!

It’s easy to fall into a style rut as a mom, especially with babies and young children. You’re tired and maybe rarely getting a full night of sleep. Just getting a few minutes to shower can be a luxury. You spend your days changing diapers, being spit-up on, feeding babies and kids, wiping sticky hands and snotty noses, etc. And it’s easy for one day to start blending into the next.

And it’s easy to quit paying attention to what you’re wearing. As long as the majority of the people in your house look somewhat presentable, it’s a win!

You stop wearing anything too nice because it’ll probably get a stain within 5 minutes of putting it on. And definitely don’t feel like wearing something uncomfortable!

Look Good, Feel Good

But I am a firm believer in the idea of “look good, feel good”. When I look dumpy and frumpy in my clothes, that’s the way I feel. But if I am wearing an outfit I look good in, I feel better too.

When my daughter was around a year old, I wasn’t feeling happy with the way I was dressing. I decided I wanted to get out of that rut and start dressing nicer.

So what did I do? Started amassing a new wardrobe of clothes of course! I still wanted to feel comfortable, but I also wanted to feel good about the way I looked. I thought the only way to do that was to have more options in my closet to choose from.

Fast forward a couple of years. I had a closet full of clothes, some I felt good in, some I didn’t. And deciding what to wear in the morning was not always a fun process. I had to weed through a bunch of stuff I didn’t love, or wasn’t comfortable, only to end up wearing the same handful of outfits most days.

The Best Trick to Purge Your Closet + 6 Questions to Help You Purge
Photo by Crew on Unsplash

Purging But Not Making Progress

I had already started decluttering and minimizing the stuff in our house. But I had never made much headway in my closet.

When I first started decluttering, I did a massive purge of my closet, getting rid of multiple big garbage bags full of clothes. I honestly felt embarrassed about how much clothing I owned. But even after I was done, my closet still felt just as full as ever!

A lot of the stuff was still new or barely worn, so I felt guilty about getting rid of it.

In my quest to feel more stylish, I often purchased cheap or ill-fitting clothing, just because it was on sale, or it fit my idea of what I should have in my closet. I also thought the more options the better to make sure I wasn’t falling into a “mom style rut” again.

The Idea of a Capsule Wardrobe

Then I discovered the concept of capsule wardrobes.

The idea of a capsule wardrobe is you have fewer items of clothes but you love and feel great in them all. And they are easy to mix and match with each other too. Giving you plenty of outfit options, without needing a huge collection of clothes.

Some people limit themselves to a certain number of items in their capsule wardrobe. Other people focus on things like creating an ethical capsule wardrobe or a handmade capsule wardrobe. But the basic idea is always the same. You have fewer clothes but choose them wisely so you can wear and love everything in your wardrobe. Making it easy to get dressed and choose what to wear each day.

What really stood out for me was that you had fewer items, but loved them all. Everything in your closet was one of your favourites and you got rid of everything else. I knew this was how I wanted my wardrobe to be. Only my favourites, nothing else.

Finding My Style

I would never describe myself as someone who is super stylish, but I was slowly figuring out how to dress in a way that made me look and feel good. My style was evolving and improving and I was figuring out what my own personal style is.

I discovered the idea of “uniform dressing” and found my “mom uniform”, the outfit formulas that help me look and feel my best. Letting me feel comfortable but still feel put together.

But even though the idea of a capsule wardrobe appealed to me, I was still having a hard time taking the leap and ruthlessly purging my closet.

I continued to slowly weed out my wardrobe, getting rid of a few things here or there. But not seeing the big change I was looking for and was struggling to get rid of the excess.

My closet still felt too full. I knew I had stuff in there that I didn’t wear. But I couldn’t quite figure out how to identify the stuff I didn’t love so I could only keep the clothes I love and feel great in.

The Best Trick to Purge your Closet

One day I heard a tip that changed everything and made purging my closet so much easier. And the best trick to purge your closet is this: try each item on, then decide if you look and feel great in it.

When you’re decluttering your wardrobe, rather than just looking at each piece of clothing on the hanger, try every item on.

I decided I’d give it a try, even though I didn’t think it would make much of a difference.

Boy was I wrong! Let me tell you, trying everything on was a game changer! Trying each item on and honestly assessing how it looks and feels is the best trick to purge your closet and get rid of things you don’t love or wear.

Yes, it takes longer to declutter your wardrobe when you try everything on. But it is the best way to weed out the clothes you don’t love, don’t feel great in or just don’t like wearing.

The Best Trick to Purge Your Closet + 6 Questions to Help You Purge

**Be sure to sign up at the bottom of this post to get a FREE printable guide to help you purge your closet and create a wardrobe you love!**

6 Questions to Help You Purge When Trying Everything On

As you’re trying on each item of clothing you own, ask yourself some key questions to help decide if it’s worth keeping or not.

I went through this process over the course of several days (because my kids didn’t have the patience for me to do it all at once!). I tried on everything I owned. Paying special attention to the things I didn’t wear very often.

And I can tell you, trying each item on and asking these 6 questions is the best way to simplify your wardrobe and only keep the things you love and feel great in.

As you try on each item, ask yourself:

1. Does it fit well today?

Try only keeping clothes that fit you well, today. Anything too big or too small, or not fitting your size and shape right now, doesn’t belong in your closet.

If you are in a position where your weight might change, you may want to keep some clothes in different sizes. However, I suggest being very selective about what you keep. Keep only your absolute favourite pieces that you will love to wear again.

If you’re planning to lose weight, for example, you’ll probably want to treat yourself to a few new pieces to celebrate. Don’t hold on to anything you don’t love or is just ok. Only keep what you know you’ll love.

2. Is it damaged, stained or needing repair?

Anything damaged beyond repair or stained needs to go. Damaged or stained items won’t make you look or feel your best.

If you have items that need repair, like hemming or replacing a button, give yourself a deadline to do the repair or have it repaired for you. Put a reminder in your phone, and if the item isn’t repaired by the deadline, get rid of it.

Often it’s easy to have good intentions to get repairs done, but they never happen. If you really loved and wore the item regularly, repairing it would be a priority. If you can’t be bothered to repair it, that’s a good sign that you can let the item go. And if it can sit awaiting repair for months, you haven’t missed wearing it anyway!

3. Do you feel good in it? Is it comfortable?

Aim to only keep things that feel good and feel comfortable as soon as you put them on.

If you notice you start adjusting an item as soon as you put it on, it’s probably not something you feel great in. Notice if you are pulling down the hem, pulling up the neckline, adjusting the fit, etc. Things that require constant adjustment need to go!

Also pay attention to how you feel in the fit and in the material. Only keep things that you are comfortable with the fit and feel good in the material.

For whatever reason, if an item doesn’t feel great when you put it on, don’t keep it because you will likely rarely choose to wear it anyway.

4. Do you look good in it? Do the color and style flatter you?

As you try each item on, look at yourself objectively in the mirror. Let go of what you thought you knew about the way an item looks on you, and really assess how each item looks on you.

Sometimes it can be surprising to see something you thought you like, but really doesn’t look that great. Some items might look out of style, have lost their shape or just don’t fit your body or tastes anymore.

Pay attention to the color as well. Start paying attention to what colors work best for you and which ones don’t.

It can also be helpful to take pictures of yourself in your clothes to get a more objective view. Or invite a friend over who you can trust to be completely honest with you to help decide which items flatter you and which don’t.

5. When was the last time you wore it?

If you can’t remember the last time you wore an item, it’s time to let it go. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s probably time to go too.

Aim to only keep the clothes you love and wear regularly.

Sometimes you might have something that’s still in good condition, still fits, still feels good and still looks good, but you never choose to wear it. It might be something you loved and wore a lot but got tired of wearing. And that’s ok! You got good use out of the item. Not it’s time to donate it so someone else can wear and love it too.

If it’s not something you wear often, or look forward to wearing regularly, it doesn’t deserve a space in your closet.

6. Would you be happy to wear it for the rest of the day?

This is the final test, to catch anything that slipped through the previous questions.

You might be attached to an item for whatever reason (cost, what it says about you, sentimental reasons, etc.). And sometimes it’s hard to admit that it’s time to let those things go.

Asking yourself if you would be happy in it for the rest of the day really makes you think and decide if an item passes the test and deserves a spot in your closet.

I encourage you to put this to the test too! Put anything you haven’t worn or aren’t sure if you like front and center in your closet. Then plan to wear those items first, before reaching for your other clothes.

After wearing an item for a day, you’ll definitely know if you like wearing it or if it’s time to let it go. And sometimes the only way to realize an item doesn’t fit well or feel good on is by wearing it for a whole day and trying it out.

If you think you want to keep an item, but can’t wait to take it off by the end of the day for whatever reason, obviously it doesn’t belong in your closet!

The Results

I couldn’t believe how many things I tried on and didn’t even like! Trying on each piece of clothing in my wardrobe changed everything for me. I no longer just passed over things that I thought I liked and looked good in, but actually never wore. It forced me to think about each item. And I got rid of a ton of clothes.

If you’re in the process of cleaning out your closet, I highly recommend trying every, single thing on. Then see if it passes the test of the 6 questions above.

It is an eye-opening experience, and a great way to weed out the clothes you don’t need in your closet.

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Purging your closet is a great way to simplify your wardrobe and make getting dressed quick, easy and stress-free. From there, you might want to try out the idea of creating your own capsule wardrobe. After making my first capsule wardrobe I don’t think I’ll ever go back!

I absolutely LOVE having a capsule wardrobe. It makes deciding what to wear each day a breeze. And feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, knowing I’m no longer holding on to clothes I don’t wear or even like! Sometimes I go and stand in my closet just to gaze lovingly at all the empty space!

Getting rid of the things that you don’t truly love or wear is the first step to creating a simple, intentional wardrobe. One that flatters your body and your life. And makes getting dressed in the morning fun!

Start by trying on each item of clothing you own. Then use these 6 questions to discover if you REALLY love it.

Do you usually try on each thing in your closet when purging your clothes? Try it and let me know how it goes! Did it surprise you how much you were ready to let go of?

**Be sure to sign up below to get a FREE printable guide to help you purge your closet and create a wardrobe you love!**

The Best Trick to Purge Your Closet + 6 Questions to Help You Purge
Photo by Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash

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  1. I’d love to see a picture of your closet for inspiration! I can’t even picture what an edited down version of mine would look like. I have so many sections… casual work, dressier work, dressy, casual, work out, then my lazy day stuff… SO MANY CLOTHES.

    1. I have pictures coming! I’m planning to do a post showing exactly what’s in my capsule wardrobe and what my closet looks like now. Watch for those in the next couple of weeks!
      Since I’m a stay at home mom, that does make things easier because I don’t need work clothes and casual clothes. I currently have 40 pieces in my wardrobe. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you actually see all the different combinations you can make with that number, it is surprising!

  2. Great post! I used some of these techniques when I thinned my wardrobe down, but didn’t even think to try everything on- what a great idea! Mine is starting to build back up, and I’m definitely going to use your “try everything on” idea!

    1. Good question! Because this was my first capsule wardrobe, I didn’t want to make it too difficult for myself or take the fun out of trying a new challenge. So I decided to only include the tops and bottoms I wear on a daily basis in my 40 items. For me this includes, jeans, leggings, sweaters, t-shirts and tanks. I decided NOT to include: shoes, outwear (jackets, gloves, hats, etc.), workout clothes (things I ONLY wear to workout in, not just comfy lounge clothes), undergarments (bras, underwear, socks and tanks/camisoles that I ONLY wear under something, never on their own), pajamas, accessories (jewelry and scarves), swimwear and formal clothes.

      I did this to make it easier and take baby steps to reducing my wardrobe 😉 Now that I’ve had a capsule wardrobe for a couple of months, I realize that 40 items is still a lot of clothes for me. For my next capsule I am going to try and include shoes, outwear and accessories in the 40 item limit and see how that goes. The important thing to remember is to make your capsule work for YOU. It’s not about the number of items, and if I have more or less than 40 items I’m not going to stress. The point is to challenge yourself to live with less to see if it makes your life better. The number isn’t as important as the intention behind it.

      Next week’s post is the exact process I took to create my capsule wardrobe. And I also have a post in the works that shows exactly what is in my capsule wardrobe. Hopefully those posts will give you a better idea of what my capsule wardrobe actually looks like. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have anymore questions!

  3. I’ve read numerous articles about minimalism, simplifying, and the capsule wardrobe. Melissa’s article about trying everything on and asking the 6 questions is so powerful! I knew when I read the 12 reasons people keep things that don’t work that Melissa was saying something new and that I had found the inspiration I needed to tackle my closet. I. had. no. idea. Between yesterday and today, I have freed up 55 hangars. 55! And one under-bed storage box. I am nowhere near a capsule wardrobe and probably won’t ever get down to one. I am not a hoarder, and don’t think of myself as a clothes horse. I was keeping things for “some day” keeping things for different weights, and keeping things recently purchased that didn’t work, but not wanting to waste the money. Melissa nailed my problem and I knew it! I love seeing AIR between my garments hanging in the closet and I love knowing that whatever I pick to wear, it is now WAY more likely to be enjoyable to wear and will look great and feel comfortable. May I speak for the partially converted? I am currently keeping about 10 pieces to wear if I reach my (reasonably attainable) weight goal. Please don’t judge me! These are things that are made well and look great on my slimmer self. I placed them off to the side, and I retain the option of tossing them later. Even though I didn’t go all the way, what I did was radical and made a HUGE difference. So if you are uncertain, I encourage you, just purge something! It feels awesome. Planning on tackling more drawers, and shoes in the near future.

    1. Wow!! Thanks you so much for sharing your experience. It sounds like you are making amazing progress. 55 hangers and a storage box purged is awesome, way to go!! I’m so glad you are finding my posts inspiring and helpful. I absolutely love hearing that they inspired you to take action and that you are already experiencing the benefits of less!

      I think keeping 10 pieces of clothing you love for when you reach your weight goal is great. It’s not too many things, just the well made pieces you would love to wear again. I think that’s perfect!

      I am so happy to hear about the purging you’ve done. Keep me posted as you continue on your drawers and shoes! Thanks you for your kind comment, it totally made my day! Thank you so much and thanks for reading!

    2. Wonderful article. I am aspiring to be a minimalist in all areas.i have adopted the “one in,one out” rule that keeps me on task to maintain. And periodically purge and donate. It’s a process. I found 6 piece capsule wardrobe ideas too hard as a goal,but 40 regular pieces is a new goal right now,and I can begin with your ideas.

      1. Thank you, Diane! I love the “one in, one out” rule too. Such a simple but effective way to keep the number of clothes you have under control. And I agree that finding what feels like enough for you is so important. I’m glad you’re finding your place of enough! Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Thank-you so much for the info! I find myself in this situation and want to get rid of “weighty” clothes. It is a weight I want lifted off me. Its such a agonizing thing to try to pick something out in the morning. I’ve gained weight, so not being happy with that just adds to the weight. But I do agree, if I like what I’m wearing I am happier with myself and stop beating myself up so much and see there is a way I can feel good at this weight and then work on losing some. All about perspective when you don’t have a bunch of stuff cluttering the view!

    1. Yes, I agree. If you don’t feel good in your clothes or have a closet full of things that you don’t feel good in, it can make getting dressed difficult and make you feel bad. It’s amazing how great letting go of the stuff no longer serving you can feel! I love what you said about how your perspective can change when you remove the clutter. So true! Thanks for reading!

  5. I had my teenage daughter help me complete a successful purge of my closet. She watched me take each thing out of my closet and hold it up and her face said it all. When I got to something I felt sentimental about, she delivered the perfect motivation to purge it by saying, “Do you want to look like your mother?” 🙂 She made me be far more ruthless than I would have been alone, and her choices were pretty spot on. I only overruled a few of her decisions. It’s been a few years and I need to enlist her help again!

  6. I am starting a remodel project soon. I started to stress about how to store all my “stuff” while the project was in process. I cruised Pinterest for the best garage storage ideas, how to strategically stack more under my bed, and reorganizing my closet to fit more. One day it just hit me, “all this stuff is causing stress, just get rid of it!” I started on stuff I hardly look at, the shoes I don’t wear, the clothes I still don’t like, DVDs, books, home décor, and the list goes on. I have weeded through a lot of clothes but I have given myself a deadline. Once June 10th comes, if it doesn’t fit, I won’t keep it. If it fits, I better love it or it is going. Until then, I keep getting rid of more stuff; yesterday was 5 Rubbermaid boxes of fabric. If I haven’t sewn any of it for 7 years, it isn’t going to happen. I have taken pictures of sentimental things, given things to my kids, and donated a lot. I am feeling lighter and lighter by the day. I haven’t missed one thing that I’ve parted with. I can’t wait for June 10th. When I need inspiration I read blogs like yours, I watch Tedx videos, then get moving. Get it out of my house. I do have one question, this is a struggle for me. One of my best friends gave me a beautiful set of crystal wine glasses (I do like wine), but they don’t fit in any of my cabinets (they are tall). I have to keep them in the box and store them, which isn’t convenient for use. I love the glasses but wouldn’t mind passing them on if I didn’t think she would be crushed when she came to visit and I told her the wine glasses were gone. Any ideas?

    1. Sorry for my late response Tracey, we were away for a day and then had family visiting, I apologize for the delay!

      It sounds like you are making fantastic progress in your house. Your story is so inspiring. You are really living proof of the freedom that comes from getting rid of things you no longer love or need in your life. Thank you so much for sharing!

      As far as the wine glasses go, my opinion is that if the glasses aren’t working in your home and are bringing you more stress than joy, I would let them go. I believe when someone gives a gift, you are under no obligation to keep it forever. They gave it to you to show you they love you. You thanked them and appreciated the gift. But if the time has come that the gift is no longer used, or loved or just doesn’t work for your life, you can let it go guilt free knowing it was given with love and that love was appreciated. I know I would feel bad if I gave someone a gift and later found out they were keeping it simply out of obligation or guilt. I would want them to feel free to do whatever they wanted with the gift, including passing it on if it no longer served them.

      Another option is to explain to your friend how the glasses don’t fit in your cupboards and how it makes it difficult to use them as a result. I’m sure she would understand why you wanted to get rid of them. And you could even offer them to her if she wanted to take them.

      However, I think you wouldn’t even need to mention getting rid of the glasses specifically to your friend, unless you want to. You could share the changes you’re making with all of your decluttering and minimizing work and tell her what a positive impact it’s had on your life. But you wouldn’t need to go in to specifics about what you’ve gotten rid of if you don’t want to. It’s your home, your life and your stuff. You are doing some amazing work to transform your home and the stuff inside of it. Keep that in mind and remember what you want to achieve by decluttering your home to help guide your decisions.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with! Thank you for reading and for sharing your inspiring story!

    1. Hi Chrissie, there is a sign-up form at the very bottom of the post. Once you enter your name and email, the printable will be emailed to you right away! Let me know if you have any problems. Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. I just found your “12 Reasons We Keep Clothes….” and “6 Questions to Help you Purge” articles. Thank God! I really need these! I already decided that, after 68 years, I want to get a grip on my closet and be a (God-forbid!) minimalist! I am 6’1″ tall, wear a size 11-12 shoe (narrow), and have a 35-36″ inseam. Even though a lot of retail places boast of “tall” clothes, most stop at a 34″ inseam at the most! So, not only am I limited where I shop, I am limited in what styles I can buy! Are you crying yet? LOL! Anyway, the other problem I have is my weight. I have gained almost a whole size in the last 2 years, and, at my age, it is so hard to lose it. Needless to say I have kept all my “other size” clothes as well as even lower sized clothes I was wanting to get into before gaining. On the positive side, I am going to put your 2 articles to work in my life! I have purchased so many things “on sale” that are not right: color, fit, size, etc.,but they were a good buy! Anyway, I will attempt to do some serious purging – thank you so much!

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m so happy to hear you found my posts and that they have been helpful for you! I can relate to your struggle with finding clothes that fit. I am not as tall as you but am fairly tall and it’s always been a struggle to find pants and sleeves that are long enough! I’m excited for you that you’re ready to tackle your closet and get rid of the items that no longer make you look and feel great. Good for you! I’d love to hear about your progress, definitely keep me posted! Thanks for reading and sharing more about your journey. Good luck and happy decluttering! 🙂

      1. Hi Barbara, apart from our height, shoe size, and the fact that I’m 69, your post could have been written by me! I have 3 wardrobes full of clothes, some are brand new, many which I have kept ready for when I lose weight. Maybe we can inspire one another.

        1. Hey Chrissie – good to hear from you! I haven’t started purging yet, have you? And as far as getting out ALL my clothes it would take much too long at one “try on” to go thru them. So, first I am going to tackle some coats and blazers and dresses (I never wear a dress!) that are hanging in the clothes storage closet in the basement. Then I will go from there. I have sooooo many different colored clothes, and want to stick to a neutral based wardrobe, so this will be hard but good! How is your purge going?

          1. Hi Barbara, not started yet, have had family staying as it’s half term, but they’ve all gone now, so hoping to start within the next couple of weeks. I did have a big clear out a couple of months ago. We are planning to downsize this year, so I have another good reason to purge my clothes. Whereabouts do you live?

          2. Hi Chrissie – good for you that you did already clear out some stuff a few months ago! I did tackle that basement closet today! Also a couple of boxes/plastic containers of jeans, capris and some exercise clothes I had been hanging onto hoping to fit into! I love exercise clothes so I have a lot! Anyway, saved a few things, but most of it went! I feel better already! I’m planning on going over my regular closet soon – that will take some time. Also have 2 more big plastic containers of summer stuff to go thru. I live in NE TN USA, where are you from?

          3. Hi Barbara, I am in Weymouth, Dorset, England, UK. I think you are my first friend in the US. Well done on sorting your basement closet! I’m hoping to make a start in one of my wardrobes today, I don’t need as many leggings etc as I have. I’m hoping to cut down my 4 wardrobes to 2, which this space! I don’t know what the time is where you are, it is 08.10 here. Have a good day ??

  8. I just keep certain clothes thinking that colour might come back in the next season and if I get rid of it I would have to get another item for the new season again but I am just going to try and use your method to make my wardrobe a better place to choose what clothes I will wear in the future.

    1. Good for you Caroline! I think that’s one of the biggest reasons we end up with too many clothes – when we keep things “just in case” or because we might want to wear them “sometime”. I’m excited for you as you create a wardrobe that will work better for your life! Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

  9. Did you say 30 items? Ha ha ha ha you are so funny. Don’t you mean 30 tops of a certain style? And then 30 more tops, of another style? Or 30 pairs of jeans? Or 30 maxi dresses? Or 30 tee shirts? Or 30 (or40) cardigan sweaters? Or 30 (or 60) scarves? And you didn’t mention shoes. 30 pairs of shoes? Hmmm….as you may have guessed, I have some work to do. Thank you for your inspiring words! I will get back to you. 🙂

    1. Your comment made me laugh Bev, thank you! I understand exactly where you are coming from – I used to have a closet and dresser stuffed full of clothes. I never imagined I would love having a smaller wardrobe so much, but I really do love it. It makes life some much easier! It can be done! Thank you for reading and giving me a giggle. I look forward to hearing back from you about your progress!

      1. Thanks! I am working on this *problem* of too many clothes! (And all the while, noting the irony of having “too many clothes”!) Trying to pare down, but having such a hard time letting go of those old “friends” that I never really wear. I’ll keep you posted! 😉

  10. On another note, has anyone had any luck selling their nice, nearly new clothes on ebay? I have so many things that I keep because I have this idea that I could probably sell it, and make a little cash. But so far, I have not gotten around to taking all those pictures and making those ebay listings. Ideas? Input? Experience? Should I just look the other way and give it to Goodwill? Or wait, isn’t there a resale store nearby that I could take my stuff to?? Yikes. It’s making me a little crazy.

    1. I have personally never sold any clothes on eBay. Maybe someone else with experience selling clothes on eBay can chime in. I have sold a few items on Facebook buy and sell groups. But I donate the vast majority of the clothes I’ve decluttered. Selling clothes can take a lot of time and effort – you have to take pictures, post items, correspond with potential buyers, set meet-ups or ship items, etc. I think it’s important to decide for yourself if what you might be able to earn from the clothes is worth that time and effort, or if you’d rather just donate things and enjoy the space you’ve freed up in your home instead. There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s just important to decide if it is worth it for you. Sometimes it’s simpler to just donate the clothes and speed up the decluttering process. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  11. This is wonderful! (As well as the “12 Reasons Why…” article so many others have mentioned. I’ve been procrastinating my dressing room clean-out for literally years. You’re approaches make so much sense to me. I’m about to begin and have decided to add a little bit to number 2.

    Being just a couple inches over five feet, many of my jeans and pants are a little (sometimes a LOT) too long. When I was younger it was well within my style to simply roll the cuffs up.
    I prefer a more clean look these days, but in the transition have bought pants with the intention of getting them hemmed – and of course never have. So I’ll be asking myself, “Does it need repair or alteration?”
    I’ll ALSO be asking myself, “Is this something I’m willing to care for appropriately in order to wear? (dry cleaning, ironing, hand wash, etc.)… No explanation on this one, I’m SURE!

    Thanks again for your terrific and inspirational ideas!!

    1. You’re so welcome, Jessica! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the posts and found them helpful! Yes, you make some great points! It’s really important to be honest with yourself and decide if you’re not only will to spend the time or money altering clothes. But also if you’re willing to follow any special care instructions. I’m with you – I can’t be bothered to dry clean or hand wash most items, so I try to stay away from those types of clothes. Thanks for reading and for sharing your great insights!

  12. The chore of reducing the amount of clothes I have has definitely plagued my daily life for years now…. I’ve read article after article. Blog post after blog post, but none of them made sense to me. The thought of buying just a “few” $300 piece as some suggested just wasn’t feasible for me…. this article hit home with me and you have given me the tools and motivation to start this and do it RIGHT! I cannot thank you enough!!!!

    1. Wow, that’s so great to hear. Thank you, Catherine! I’m so happy to hear this post resonated with you and helped you find what you needed to declutter your clothing. Thank you for reading and happy decluttering 🙂

  13. I signed up but was looking for the guide regarding he closet purge and the six questions. I wound up getting the life decluttering action plan. Which I am sure is great but right now It’s my closet I hate!!

    1. Hi Pazely! I checked it out, I’m not entirely sure what happened, but if you check your inbox, you should find the closet decluttering guide now. I just sent it a moment ago, if you don’t receive it soon, let me know and I can send it again. I apologize for the confusion and I hope you find the guide helpful! Thanks for reading and happy decluttering!

  14. I recently heard the term “Capsule Wardrobe” and I have read all the articles I could find on it, bought a couple of books, and pinned I don’t know how many articles on the subject on my Pinterest page…..which is where I just found your articles on purging your closet. You summed up in just a few paragraphs everything I’d read and added some extremely valuable advice. I was a teacher for 35 years and retired five years ago. I still have some skirts and tops I loved and wore in my career. Your advice on focusing on who you are right now hit home with me Also, trying on everything in your wardrobe is so logical and common sense that I can’t believe I haven’t done it yet!With these two articles on purging a closet, I feel I have the inspiration and knowledge on how to get it done! Thank you so much for your free, timely articles. I am so looking forward to reading your other posts. Bless your for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Ruth! It absolutely made my day! 🙂 I’m so happy to hear this post really resonated with you and helped you make progress with your capsule wardrobe. Trying each item on really is a game changer! It made such a difference for me when I was decluttering my own wardrobe. Thank you for reading and thank you again for your comment. I hope you enjoy your simplified wardrobe 🙂

  15. I’ve worked from home since 2006 and we have 2 cats, so my husband and I joke that I’ve finally attained my dream of becoming a stay-at-home-(cat)mom! Until a couple years ago, I went into the office periodically, and enjoyed the process of “dressing up”, but it was painful to choose the outfit because I had so many to choose from (from my in-the- office-daily life), but only 1 day to wear it (till my visit). I don’t have a problem banishing an item from my closet the moment I don’t feel comfortable in it, but I still have too much stuff that I never wear.

    I’m trying to dress better even though I work from home (not in sweats and tees, though I am in leggings and a tee right now bc I had conference calls starting early this morning), and I’ve stopped shopping at places like Forever 21 or Old Navy for “filler” items. I can find higher end pieces at consignment shops for more “special” items, though it’s hit or miss for capsule basics. I think one of my big problems is with t-shirts: band tees, cute tees with fun designs, clever tees…I probably have 25 tees like this, but wear maybe 5 all the time. I don’t want to do the t-shirt quilt, because I’d rather make a regular quilt, and I really don’t need more than the 2 quilts I already have (minimizing my house stuff). I feel stuck about the t-shirts! I’m excited to try the capsule wardrobe concept, and maybe I can pack away the tees and if I don’t miss them after a couple months, I can set them free. You’re articles are totally inspiring me to declutter and minimize (something I’ve wanted to do for years)!

    1. I’m so glad you are finding my articles helpful! That’s great! I think your idea of packing away the t-shirts you aren’t sure about is a great one. I often find some time and space away from my items helps give me more perspective on whether I should keep them or not. And I think simply noticing that you have more clothes than you wear or need is a great first step. It means you’re already paying attention to what you’re wearing and how often. That’s great! Thanks for reading and good luck as you declutter!

  16. The six questions to ask yourself and the challenge to try on every piece of clothing in your closet is probably the best decluttering advice I have read in a long time. It reminds me that this was how I used to go through my wardrobe years ago, before I became sick and the challenge of decluttering became insurmountable. I am not deluding myself into thinking I will suddenly be able to devote great swathes of time and energy to this task because that is physically not possible but this article has given me hope for the one thing that will enable me to decide on what stays and what goes when I had no such criteria and the process was just mind blowing. If I manage 2 or 3 items per day or even every few days, by the end of the year I should have thoroughly done my first decent decluttering in a long time. And the key to making it work is trying everything on. I know this will take more effort physically but it’s like a light bulb moment for me in the ‘how do I decide between a dozen perfectly good items that are similar’ conundrum. Looking at your clothing and imagining what you will look like (hoping anyway!) is seriously not the same as putting it on and feeling whether the waistband pulls around your middle or whether you constantly pull this hem up or down etc. And nothing tells you whether you will look like you imagined you would like putting an item on. Thank you so much for reminding me of this vital clue. I now feel as though I can finally start. I have a model to work with that I just know will get the job done, even with my limitations (I won’t start, waste several hours and end up putting almost everything back). I can’t wait to get started now. Thank you so much.

    1. I’m so glad to hear this was helpful for you, Beverley! Trying everything on made such a difference for me when I was decluttering my wardrobe too. And you’re exactly right about making slow and steady progress. If you can declutter a few things consistently, it will make a big difference! Thanks for reading and take care!

  17. I really appreciated this post Melissa. Like you I’ve already simplified most everything else but cleaning out my closet has always been a challenge. I like to sew and I like lots of pretty colors so it’s been extra hard for me to let go of my creations. This summer I’ve been systematically wearing my clothes and if I can’t stand to wear something for a whole day or activity then it goes. I haven’t had time or mental space to Declutter in one go but at least I know that by the end of the summer I will know what no longer fits or makes me happy.

    1. I think making a point to wear everything you own and really assessing how you feel while you’re wearing it is a great idea. It really helped me get rid of the things I thought I liked but didn’t actually feel good in when I wore them. And you’re right, it’s a great way to keeping working on simplifying your wardrobe, without needing to spend a lot of extra time focusing on decluttering. Thanks for reading and sharing your insights and experience!

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