Closet Purge: How to Decide What to Keep and What to Ditch in Your Wardrobe

by Katelyn Cheek

Closet Purge: How to Decide What to Keep and What to Ditch in Your Wardrobe

The change of seasons is a great time to take stock of what’s in your closet. If you’re like the majority of women, you’ll find some items with which you’re ready to part ways. Here are six questions to ask yourself as you purge, plus ways to sell those garments you no longer need.


A new season calls for new styles. But before you can update your wardrobe, it’s important to get your closet in order. Don’t let the overwhelming mess or an overflow of clothing keep you from conquering your dressing space. Edit down your attire to the essential and favorites. When it’s time to purge, ask yourself these six questions to determine if clothing stays or goes.


1. Do you like it?
I mean, do you really like it? Does the color complement your skin and hair color? Does the silhouette flatter your figure? Do you feel good about yourself when you wear it? If you answered “no,” then out it goes.


2. Does it fit?
We are all guilty of holding onto clothing that doesn’t fit as well as it should (or as well as it once did). Perhaps you’ve gained a little weight or finally shed those unwanted pounds. If so, get real and let it go. The exception to the fit question would be sentimental value. If it’s special and a tailor can alter the garment, then you can keep it.


3. Do you try it on and take it right back off?
This happens to all of us. There’s that one top, bottom or accessory we had to have, but the reality of working it into the wardrobe isn’t happening. If you find yourself doing this often, it’s time to let it go. Keep only those garments you love and that make you feel your best.


4. Have you worn it in the last three months?
If you haven’t worn something for three months (excluding seasonal items), there’s probably a reason. Sell or donate those items to make room for items you need or want. As for those seasonal items, take inventory after each season. If you didn’t wear it during its respective season, out it goes.


5. Can you wear the item in different ways?
If you’re unsure about whether or not to keep a piece of clothing, consider its versatility. Can you wear it with jeans, a skirt or shorts? Or can you style it for three different occasions? This might be harder with trendier pieces, but any garment worth keeping should be able to be worn in multiple ways.


6. Would you buy it today?
If you’re unsure about any item of clothing, ask yourself one thing: Would you buy it today? If it’s something you loved in the past but your style has evolved, let it go. Chances are it’s outdated and isn’t representing you well.


Moving On
After you’ve cleaned out your closet, it’s time to sell or give your items away. You can donate clothing for a small tax write-off. But if you’re interested in making a little extra money, here are five great options.


  1. Plato’s Closet—They give you cash on the spot for your gently used clothing. It’s an easy way to earn a few bucks on your way to the mall.
  2. Consignment store—If you’re not strapped for cash, a consignment store is a great option for selling used clothing. Simply drop off your clothes and let them sell. You’ll earn a percentage of the sales.
  3. Online consignment—Online consignment companies such as Poshmark and Threadflip allow you to sell your clothing to your friends and social media followers. Simply upload an image of your item and set a price. Once it sells, ship it out. Each company receives 20 percent of your selling price.
  4. Clothing swaps—Online fashion swap sites like Bib + Tuck are great resources where users can swap items from a list of approved brands with other Bib + Tuck users. (No cash is exchanged.) If you’re not into swapping online, plan a swap meet with your girlfriends.
  5. Garage sale—A garage sale is a great option to sell your clothing the old-fashioned way. Although a garage sale takes a little more work, you can create a buyer’s paradise (and sell more stuff!) when you team up with a few friends and neighbors.