Clothing: What Do I Keep & What Do I Toss?

Ok, it's the season to purge again!  Are you with me?  Closet clean out time.  You have to make room for all those cute new fall styles you are wanting, so the time is now to go through that closet!

  If you are really serious about this, I recommend finding a friend which you trust who will be honest and ruthless with you!  They have to be bold enough to tell you what is worth keeping and what goes straight to the toss pile.  They have no emotional attachment to your items and can offer a fresh and objective eye. It will speed up the process and give you a few laughs along the way.  I have done this many times with others and they love the feedback.

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The easiest time to do a purge is at the change of seasons.  I do this yearly in the Fall and then again in the Spring.  Today, I want to talk about how you decide whether to keep an item or get rid of it because let's be honest sometimes it is hard getting rid of an item!  Maybe you spent a lot on it, it's sentimental to you or it's a name brand you like.

I recently read a book called, I have nothing to wear!  by Jill Martin and Dana Ravich.  I highly recommend it if you are trying to find your style and/or doing a closet revamp!  One of the things that I loved was how they continually emphasized this question to ask yourself, “Does it make me look like a 10?” Closet Clean Out Tips by

I loved this idea because why in the world would we want to wear something less than a 10?!  Think about that.  Even in my house with my husband, I want to look like a 10.  That doesn't mean that I'm dressed in my heels and apron, but it does mean that even a comfortable lounging outfit can be trendy, without holes and stains and be flattering.

There are many ways to approach a closet clean out and I am thinking of doing a post on that, but today let's assume you've done the manual labor with that ruthless friend getting rid of anything less than a 10 and now you are ready to ask some specific questions about each item which is left in your keep pile.

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Here are the questions I ask myself when I go through each and every piece  of my wardrobe or a friend's.  I think it helps me purge rather ruthlessly.

1. Do I like this item?  Is it something I am often drawn to wearing?

2. Do I have anything to wear with it?

3. Is it in good condition?  No holes, rips, stains, tears.

4. Does it look good on me?  Am I a 10 when wearing it!

5. Is it comfortable?  Do I like the way it feels when I wear it or am I always pulling and tugging at it because it isn't a good fit?

After asking these 5 questions, you can feel a little more clear about what to keep or get rid of.

One thing I told myself was that this was a meaningful process with an end result in mind.  I wanted to make my wardrobe more “me” and be happy with each and every piece I ended up choosing.  I tried very hard not to fall into a trap of feeling guilty for having purchased something which I didn't really end up wearing or even liking.  It's easy to beat yourself up about former mis-purchases.  As they say, just “let it go!”  and vow to do better next time.  WE all have things in our closet that we regret buying! I have found it a real learning experience to find what I truly like, what looks good on me and what my style is. A 10!

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Occasionally, you will have a piece which has personal meaning to you.  You may not have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, but it was something you wore on your night of your engagement or it was a special piece from an important relative.  If this is the case, then keep it!  But one or two of these items is all you should have.  Most of us have pictures to remember those special events.

After you have weeded everything out.  Then the next step is to decide what to do with everything.  Just because you put it in your toss pile doesn't mean it goes in the trash.  There are many other options.

Here are the places you can consider when choosing to get rid of something.

*Goodwill/ Vets/ St. Vincent De Paul: These are items which don't hold a lot of value, but aren't stained, faded, or torn.  They can be worn by someone else.  You can receive a donation tax receipt.

*Other organizations such as Dress for Success take specific items such as suits or work appropriate clothing.

*Local consignment shops: These differ in the way they approach selling or buying your items.  Some will take your items up front and give you the money they are worth.  Others will take your items and pay you a percentage when an item sells.

*Online resale options: Twice Clothing Resale.  Here is the post about that.  Another one is Thred Up.

*Lastly, there may be a good friend who may benefit from your donation,  a local clothing swap you can attend or a garage sale.

The options are endless.  Leg work is involved, but it will prove to feel freeing!

I used this method with clothing, but this also can be used when sorting or organizing just about anything.

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Let me know what you are doing to pare down your wardrobe and what resources you have discovered.

Let's all vow to look like 10's!  Are you with me?

To life feeling like home!


  1. Great advice! It can be so hard to part with items sometimes, but it is nice to give yourself room for great new clothes 🙂

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