When your wardrobes and drawers are overflowing, picking out clothes can be a painful experience. And if you’re like me, you’ve more than once muttered to yourself that you’ve nothing to wear… while drowning in options. Take some time out in the coming days to do a proper closet clear-out, and see just how great it feels to have a more streamlined space.
Here are 10 things to remove from your closet to free up some space and make getting dressed in the morning a quicker and easier experience:
1. Non-clothing items
Closets and wardrobes can be dumping grounds for all sorts of stuff – spare blankets, unwanted gifts, kids’ toys, wrapping supplies, sentimental items… If you’re extremely stuck for space and these items can’t go anywhere else in your home, at least place them on a high shelf or in some other way separate them so that you don’t have to dig through old photos to find a pair of socks.
2. Anything that doesn't belong to you
If it doesn’t belong to you, you shouldn’t be storing it in your space. Even if you share a closet with someone else, separate your belongings so it’s clear where your items end and theirs begin.
3. Excess hangers
There’s no harm having some extra hangers for any future purchases you may make, but be realistic about how many you really need. This will obviously depend on how many new items you typically buy and how many you remove from your closet on a, say, 6-monthly basis. But you’ll be surprised by how much tidier your closet looks and how much extra space you have just by removing excess hangers.
Bonus tip: I keep a few in the laundry room so I can immediately hang things up instead of heaping them in a pile.
4. Empty bags & shoeboxes
We’ve all done it – you buy something new, unpack it in your closet, and then leave the bag or box lying there. Or, let’s face it, sometimes you don’t even bother to take the thing out of the bag. Empty and remove all unnecessary packaging for a neater, more streamlined look.
5. Clothes with (unintentional) holes
Keeping one pair of ratty clothes for tackling DIY projects is fine, but let everything else go. You’re so much better than a pair of hole-y pants.
6. Clothes that don't fit
Your body will naturally change shape as you age and go through certain events (pregnancy being but one). As such, clothes that fit you at a different time in your life will no longer work. Sometimes it’s easy to embrace your new figure, but other times it can be a struggle. (Ask me how I know.) But wishing you were a different size or shape doesn’t change the reality of the situation, and will only make you feel miserable each time you open your closet and see those old clothes peeping out at you.
Anything that’s too big or small or just generally doesn’t flatter your current shape should be removed from your closet. If you feel it will fit you at some point in the reasonably near future, then box it up and put a deadline date on it. If the date passes and it still doesn’t fit, go ahead and donate it.
Your closet should only be filled with things that flatter your current size and shape and that make you feel good. If all you feel is guilt or self-loathing when you look at something, let it go.
7. Worn out shoes
They’ll ruin an otherwise nice outfit, and they’ll most likely be bad for your feet. Make your hooves happy by chucking anything that’s in poor shape.
8. Broken or unloved accessories
Between broken costume jewellery and belts and bags that have seen better days, it’s time to clear out anything that doesn’t add a little je ne sais quoi to your sartorial choices. It should set off your outfit or in some way protect you from the elements. If it’s doing neither, it’s probably not for you.
9. Anything you don't wear
It sounds obvious but how many clothes are in your closet that you pass over on a regular basis for something better? And how many things have you put aside, promising yourself you’ll repair them? If it meant that much to you, you’d have sewn that button back on by now.
Also, don’t keep things just because they were expensive. The money is already spent. You’re not getting it back by keeping the thing hanging in your closet. You can, however, stop torturing yourself about it by either selling it on to someone who will wear it, or by donating it to a worthy cause.
The simple fact of the matter is that there may be things in your closet that have been sitting there for donkey’s years, yet you can’t quite figure out why you don’t like them, or you keep trying to make them work. The reality is that it doesn’t really matter why you’re not wearing something, so stop trying to figure it out and just fling it.
10. Sentimental clothes
You may want to keep the dress you wore on your first date with your now-spouse, but if you’re not going to wear it again, it should be stored elsewhere.
It doesn’t feel great when your clothes are bursting at the seams, and it’s not ideal when your closet is in that state either. So if you struggle to close those doors, it’s time for a quick closet clear-out.
Over the next few days, see if you can tackle each of the above items. The result at the end will be a significantly more streamlined wardrobe, and clothes you’re comfortable in and are proud to wear. And the time you invest in it will be almost instantly refunded when you see how much quicker and easier it is to get dressed in the morning.
When you’re not fighting clutter, it’s so much easier to find clothes that fit and flatter.
When was the last time you gave your closet a good clear-out?