When and how to get rid of clothes

Having to let go of old clothes almost always involves a special type of sentimental feeling. They can bring back a flood of memories in the same way that certain songs or photographs can.

how to get rid of clothes and declutter your closet

But don’t worry, it’s not just you. Psychology tells us that people tend to have a unique emotional attachment to clothes.

The Guardian cites emotions as the latest sustainability wave in fashion, which emphasizes the bond between customers and products.

And the numbers don’t lie: this strategy, which is meant to combat fast fashion’s seasonal mentality, boosted sales for products meant to last by an impressive 20%.

Learn How To Get Rid Of Clothes And Free Up Clutter

While we can argue that “buy less, but better” is definitely the way to go, what’s left to do with the old piles of clothes gathering dust in your wardrobe? How long are you really willing to wait for that printed dress you had when you were 20 to go back in style?

People have various reasons for letting go of old clothes. Not only is it very therapeutic, but even science says that it can be mentally good for you.

Bustle highlights how cleaning can help you concentrate better, enhance creativity, and improve your mood.

Perhaps you also decided to trade your fast fashion items for a more ethical lifestyle. Whatever your reasons may be, organizing doesn’t have to be boring.

You can read more in-depth on how to declutter your closet. But before you jump in and start discarding your worn-out t-shirts, here are some things to consider.

Tips On A Successful Closet Purge

tips for a successful closet purge

Does it fit?

Have you ever bought clothes a size or two smaller as motivation to get fit? It’s okay, we’ve all probably done it. We know body size can be a touchy topic, but it won’t do you any good to keep ill-fitting items around.

Moreover, these might even be flooding your thoughts with negative body images — and nobody needs that. Do yourself a favor and only keep the clothes that make you feel and look your best.

Decluttering School Tip: Can the clothing be easily tailored for a more flattering fit? WILL you get it tailored? These are also considerations for this section. In most cases, people find going to a tailor to be a chore and it never gets done. Sound like you? Get rid of the clothes now.

What does the item mean to you?

If you’re not loving an item, why are you keeping it? This can apply to favorite clothes as well as work clothes, pajamas, etc.

If you answer no, then it’s time to ditch it. You, too, can apply this system when letting go of clothes. If the item reminds you of a pleasant or sentimental memory — whether it be your first pair of work pants or the jeans you wore during your wedding proposal — then, by all means, no need to trash it.

However, do set them aside and store them properly so they don’t just take up unnecessary space in your closet.

Decluttering School Tip: You don’t always need to get rid of those special, sentimental clothing items. However, it’s important to realize the amount of space and clutter they can create in your everyday wardrobe, your closet space, and your home in general.

We recommend considering other methods of preserving their memories – like through photos or creating something like a t-shirt blanket.

Is it too trendy?

With fast fashion, it’s so easy for yesterday’s hottest trend to become today’s fashion faux pas. We can go on and on about the benefits of a sustainable, timeless wardrobe — but first, getting rid of these previously trendy pieces you can no longer incorporate into any of your looks will help you move forward.

This is especially true for those one-time wear pieces you have probably forgotten about by now.

Decluttering School Tip: When tempted to purchase trendy pieces, do your best to consider how that piece will blend with your more timeless wardrobe staples. Buy fewer trendy articles of clothing but wear those frequently while they are still in fashion!

When you find yourself wearing those items less, get rid of them (or sell them!). You could even treat yourself by being able to replace it with something more new and fashionable.

how to get rid of clothes you don't wear
You can get rid of clothes you don’t wear by selling them online!

Could it benefit someone else?

This is probably the most effortless question to answer on this list because it’s almost always a yes. Take your old corporate clothes, for example. Perhaps you’re going through a career shift and no longer have to work your office job and sports slacks and blazers every day.

But there’s someone out there who still does and may not be able to afford them.

Or maybe you’ve got some old bridesmaid gowns you haven’t looked at in years, but your younger sister happens to need a prom dress.

You could easily donate clothes like these to people in need. However, do remember to be practical when donating to charity. It’s important to make sure the clothes you give away are actually wearable, as emphasized by Pretty Me’s guide to wardrobe cleaning.

Writer Sheena Dizon suggests sticking to gently used wardrobe basics, outerwear, sneakers, rain boots, and hats. On the other hand, non-everyday items like heels or clubwear are better off being given away to friends and family or sold off to thrift stores.

Fortunately, many organizations or stores around will gladly take your secondhand piles off of your hands. Style Craze outlines many of them, such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army, which are some of the oldest groups in the world that aim to help the poor.

If all else fails, there’s always the internet. Creating accounts on eBay, Poshmark, and ASOS Marketplace takes just a few steps before you can begin selling your stuff online.

And before you know it, not only will your wardrobe be clean, you’ll also be raking in a few extra bucks while you’re at it.

What is your best tip on how to get rid of clothes?

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closet purge

Author’s Bio: Clara Grace is a freelance lifestyle writer and part-time yoga instructor who has made the switch towards a more sustainable lifestyle. In her past time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and spending time with her cat, Riley.





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2 thoughts on “When and how to get rid of clothes”

  1. After doing the Closet DMC Marathon, and realizing that our local thrift store was still open I called and ask if they were taking clothes today? I then stated I have a large box, every thing is clean and ready to sell. (Which it was). The response was YES but we close in an hour. I am out the door! When I arrived she said with a smile you made it! (I did NOT want the box sitting around tempting me to change my mind about any thing)! Feels soooo good!!


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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