Project Purge: How to Declutter your Closet

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Do you ever have the urge to purge?

A few weeks ago, after many unsuccessful attempts at organizing my closet, I came to the realization that it isn't the space that's the problem - it's the stuff.  I own way too many things - clothes, shoes, scarves, purses, books, craft supplies, beauty products ... you name it, I've got too much of it.

I finally decided it was time for me to get rid of stuff, and simplify my life.  And thus project purge was born.

Over the course of two weekends, I got rid of two extra-large garbage bags of clothing, shoes, and accessories.  One went straight to my local thrift store, and the other was divided up between friends and family who would make good use of them.  It can be very overwhelming to go through all of your possessions and get rid of things, especially when you are emotionally attached to them!  To help you through this process, here are my top tips for decluttering your closet:

  1. Define your style.  If you notice that your sense of style is changing, it may be a good idea for you to define exactly what you like and do not like before purging your closet.  Chances are, you'll be able to get rid of a lot more if you are able to identify items that are no longer congruent with your current sense of style.  
  2. Pull everything out of your closet/wardrobe/drawers. Pulling everything out helps you to see exactly how many items you have, and how much space you have to fit these items.
  3. As you're pulling everything out, go ahead and throw away worn or damaged items. Yes, you do have to get rid of your favourite tights with the hole in the crotch, AND that worn out sweater with the stain across the front.  Getting rid of the old and frumpy is a must, as it helps you to sort through your remaining clothing.
  4. Group items in a way that makes the most sense to you.  Do you like your clothing grouped by colour?  Style?  Season?  Choose a sorting method that works for you, and sort your clothing into piles
  5. Go through each pile.Start by picking out your favourite items.  Identify your absolute favourite pieces of clothing/shoes/accessories.  Anything you wear often that is still in good condition should also be added to this pile.  These items can go back into their respective storage spaces, so you're free to start negotiating.
  6. Try things on. When trying clothes on, I ask myself the following questions:
    • Does it fit?
    • Is this item free of any rips, tears, or stains?
    • Do I feel amazing in this item?
    • Does this item highlight my best features?
    • Does this item make me feel comfortable?
    • Can I pair this item with clothing I already own to make an outfit?
    • Is this item made of a material that is long-lasting?
    • Is this item one-of-a-kind? (To ensure I don't have duplicates of the same item)
    • Is this item versatile?
    • Does this item fit with my current sense of style?
If I was able to answer yes to all of the above questions, the item was put back into my closet.  Anything left behind that fit any of the below criteria was immediately tossed into the giveaway pile:
    • Items I wore in high school
    • Items I wore as a teenager
    • Items made out of uncomfortable materials
    • Items that were not flattering on my body
    • Items that I have not worn in the past two years (Excluding formal clothing)
    • Items that do not fit with my sense of style

7. Brand new items.  I had SO many of them!  If an item still had it's tag on and it no longer fit me/fit my sense of style, I kept it to gift to a friend or family member for Christmas.  If I could return it to the store, I made sure to set it aside with its reciept, and I took it back as soon as possible.  If it had a tag and I wanted to keep it, I made sure to wear it as soon as possible.
8. Deal with the leftovers.  Chances are, if there is anything left in a pile at this point, it's not something you really want.  Still, take the chance to go through each item and make sure it's something you want to give away.
9. Put everything away.  Start with the items that you like the most, and end with the items you like the least.  This is a chance for you to go through things one more time, and make sure that everything you're keeping is deserving of a space in your closet/dresser.

Once you're done, go through the items you have decided to give away, and sort those into piles based on who you are giving them to.  Pack them up in bags or boxes, and get them out of your house as soon as possible, to avoid you going through them again and pulling items out to keep.

And that's it!  I went through this process twice in a two week-span to make sure I really got rid of everything that I didn't want or need.

I hope this helps those of you who are looking to declutter your life!  If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comment box below!

Happy decluttering!

xoxo, Jayy

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