Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Purge: Cleaning Out Your Closet


Something about the beginning of fall makes me want to organize ALL of the things.  My closet being one of them, the biggest one of them, actually.  

I've always been a hoarder of clothes.  I attach memories to things (but I was wearing this when I got engaged...) and despite not wearing some things for 7 years, I continue to hold onto them 'just in case'.  But when we moved into our house last fall, I knew something had to change.  Half of the clothes I was packing up, hauling two states over, and unpacking - I never even wore.  It was a waste of closet space, my energy going through them every morning and even a waste of money that I could get for those pieces that sat untouched for years.  

Once we were finally settled in the house, I did a giant closet purge.  I was ruthless with myself and while it was hard to let go of some things, it felt gooood once it was over.  So much so that now I do a closet purge at the beginning of every new season!

Here are a few questions I ask myself when deciding what to keep and what to toss:

Does it fit?  Is it damaged at all?
Have I worn this in the past year?
Can I remember the last time I wore this?
Is this item currently in style, or fit with my personal style?
Would I buy it right now I were out shopping?

If you answer 'no' to any of these questions - out it goes.  And I don't literally mean TOSSING all of the pieces you don't want anymore in the trash.  You can sell or donate, but you should throw out those items that are stained, torn or pretty much falling apart (old pajamas I'm talking about you).

SELL
My go to for selling my clothes is Plato's Closet, or any similar re-sale shop.  I know lots of people complain that they don't give you anything close to what things are worth, but it's all about the convenience factor for me.  I like being able to just drop bags of stuff off and come back and collect my cash, no matter how much it may be.

Another option is taking things online.  Poshmark is all the rage right now - create an account, take photos, list your pieces and when they sell, you ship them out.  But honestly, I'm too lazy for all of that.  Especially the stopping at the post office part - I despise that place!  They also take 20% commission on products that sell, so for higher value items, it's worth it to go the Ebay route.

DONATE
Anything that doesn't sell at Plato's Closet for me, goes straight to Goodwill or The Salvation Army.  I've never personally used any of these, but there are other organizations that take specific clothing.  For instance, Dress for Success takes any gently used, clean work clothing to provide for disadvantaged women.  The Cinderella Project is another one that takes prom or bridesmaid dresses for young women that may not be able to afford them.  Local women's shelters are always in need of clothing, too.

Other things that make the big 'clean out' easier are fun music (duh), having three trash bags - a donate, sell, and toss - and making sure to start the project ONLY when you have enough time to finish it.

And one final thing while we're talking about closets ;)  Last fall, I switched all of my hangers over to these ones and what a difference it has made!  They take up so much less space than traditional hangers, don't leave those ugly 'hanger bumps', and nothing slips off of them.  Worth the money.

So go forth and clean out those closets this weekend!  You'll be glad you did!

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38 comments

  1. I REALLY need to do this soon! I try to purge my closet at least twice a year and donate everything. It's so nice to have a clean, organized closet!
    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. I'm actually planning on doing this on Sunday when I get back from Florida!! I have 0 room to move anything in my closet and I wear about 50% of my clothes! I sell a ton on eBay it's just easier and more secure than anything else to me!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. I was/am the same way as you--attaching memories to clothes, but also did the same thing when we moved into our house. It was time for a BIG purge! I don't mind it as much anymore since it always feels good to donate stuff you barely use to people who could really use it. Plus, you make room for more pretty things!! :)

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  4. I love cleaning out my closet! I used to be super attached to my stuff, just like you - but had to just force myself to get over it. And now, I really try to only hold onto things that I love. My closet is a lot better now. It could probably still be better - and I'd definitely like some of those hangers - but it's a work in progress, lol:)

    Also, one day - my closet will look like the one in that photo! Goals.

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  5. Purging my closet (and the rest of my apartment) is on my goal list for this month! I love the feeling after getting rid of things you don't use. These are all great tips, I just hope I can force myself to part with my clothes (I get sentimental about them too).

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  6. I just did the great purge this past weekend and love the feeling of a clean closet and dresser. I'll be adding a few pieces to my wardrobe this fall, but know it won't add to much to my closet!

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  7. I did a closet purge earlier this summer before I moved and it felt fantastic! The only problem is that I still have a big bin of items I'm trying to sell on Poshmark...but I may just give up and bring them to a consignment shop soon!

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  8. I have zero problem getting rid of clothes. I have the mind frame of if I haven't worn it in a year, then it's got to go! Plus the more you get rid of, the more you can replace with new stuff! :)
    Ally- Life as I know it

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  9. I'm working on cleaning out my closet and it really is so hard! I'm doing Poshmark and then donating the rest. I have so many things I don't wear but I'm scared to get rid of them!
    xo Southern Style

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  10. I did a big purge of the closet and dressers earlier this week. I love getting rid of stuff. I could probably toss more, but I do sometimes worry I'll regret getting rid of something. I need to follow the worn in a year rule.

    xo, Carly | carly blogs

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  11. Fall is a great time to clean out your closet! I often have issues with attaching sentimental value to clothing and then keeping it way past its time too. - Svetlana @Life with a Side of Wine

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  12. ahh i really need to clean out my closet! i have a lot of things that i havent worn in a long time! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  13. Too funny - cleaning out my closet and making my fall closet swap is on my to do list for this weekend - I always feel so much better when it's done. I've always just donated everything but I think soon I'm going to try to sell a few of the nicer pieces.

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  14. I try to do this seasonally. The Fall purge is upon us!

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  15. I started doing this last weekend, and it's the most liberating feeling! I usually donate it all, but I also love Platos Closet :-D

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  16. i do a closet purge semi regularly but it's been a few months so i really need to do it again. i am not a fan of platos closet *only* because the ones in my area are never taking clothes, so i always waste time going over there lol. i sell on ebay and donate the rest. the postie comes to my office, there is no way in hell i am going to the post office lol. checking out those hangers!

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  17. I has to start doing this too since we've moved so much in the past few years. Sometimes I look in my closet and I panic like "omg I barely have any clothes" but there really was NO POINT in keeping all the things I didn't wear anymore. I also hold everything to memories too. I have a stupid Abercrombie tube top hung right on front actually because John has a picture of me wearing it and it was his favorite picture of me for the longest time. So I can't get rid of it, even though I will NEVER wear it ever again. It's pretty stupid lol. And I love PLatos! I've been going there for years. I used to go by and sometimes get over $100, but the last few times I've gone they're like "it's all just a little too plain." hahaha meaning my style is so much more mature and old and "boring" now. I also do email for expensive things, but it really is a hassle. Worth it sometimes though.

    x. Morgan

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  18. I get the same urge a couple of times a year! I need to go through all my stuff now too.
    I do Ebay some things, but it is a super big pain in the a** ...so donating happens most often ;) lol
    Have a great weekend!
    xx Em
    beauty blether

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  19. I need to do this ASAP- especially now that I'm moving into the one-bedroom with Ryan until we get our house finished. I even have some stuff from college that NEEDS to go! And your Plato's Closet sounds a lot better- I used to go in college and they wouldn't let you leave so I'd have to sit there for an hour to get a measly $20. Lame!!

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  20. I'm currently doing a closet purge right now! It's hard to make yourself get rid of perfectly good clothes but if you don't wear it or don't like it, it's not worth the space it's taking up. I'm giving myself zero mercy and then rewarding myself with some new fall pieces :)
    Kelsey
    www.thepeacockroost.com

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  21. I so need to do this to my WHOLE HOUSE.... my closets look like I could be on the shows for hoarding!

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  22. Oooohhhh how this post gave me that reminder nudge of how I desperately need to get to doing this. When we moved I thought I purged a lot...but...there are a TON of clothes in my closet I seriously never wear. And I hold on to them too, "just in case" ugh, I gotta get to this!

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  23. Gosh I have a problem with this too. I was kind of forced to though when we moved into our house because my closet is small. But still, there are items that I haven't worn once in the past year that I can't part with because "what if?" Maybe I can do it now!

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  24. I was such a hoarder through college but not anymore! If the buy something new I typically toss something old to free up hanger space, ha! Now if only my husband would follow these same practices.

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  25. nice! I I do these ALL THE TIME!!!

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  26. I need to do this!!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  27. I love ebay but hate the commission they take, 10% for your sale and paypal take 3.5% but I guess in the end it's worth it to get rid of stuff I never wear anymore! I've sold a ton on ebay and I've encountered some pretty coocoo people haha This one girl couldn't spell anything right so it was so hard to try to figure out what she was trying to ask me about some leggings I was selling on ebay. Anyways, yeah, I am overdue for a garage sale!
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

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  28. Purging my closet is quite possibly one of the greatest/happiest things I like to do. It's great to see what you have and love every piece. I definitely hold on to a few things for sentimental value, but the rest is outta there. I do a lot of eBay and have thought about doing a blog sale. What are your thoughts on those?

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  29. This is definitely something that I try to do every year. It definitely feels great afterwards and you have so much more room. :-)

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  30. I've been doing this a little bit each season, and it feels so great. I use Poshmark to sell as well! xo

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  31. My closet needs a desperate purge. Next time I clean out I'm using your questions!! I also need to try selling to Plato's maybe I'll have better luck this time around :)

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  32. Need to do an actual purge of my closet. Lately I've just been moving it to other closets :(

    liz jo @ sundays with sophie

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  33. I've been trying to this too... and I suck at it. I want to try and consign my clothes... but the hassle!!! I'm thinking about trying to do the real real. I think they have local agents who will come evaluate your closet... But finding the time... I suck! lol

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  34. I planned to do my clean out this weekend, but it didn't happen. Really love these tips. I send some of my nicer used stuff into ThredUp. I love making room for new things!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  35. Purging my closet is probably one of my favorite activities, lol! You and I follow pretty much the same process - I have about 6 bags waiting to be sold/donated as we speak. :)

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  36. I do a closet purge twice a year when I switch out my fall/winter and spring/summer wardrobes. Anything that I didn't wear that season, goes. Usually I let my sisters and friends look through it first and whatever they don't want, I donate. It's nice to have the clean closet feeling. :)

    Also, I am in the process of looking for a neutral purse that can go with most anything. When I checked out the Poshmark website, the pretty brown bag on the front page (in a picture with a girl wearing a white top & brown jacket) is pretty perfect. Since you're into fashion, have you seen a bag similar to that one in a store somewhere? I want to know what that bag is and where I can get it! Hopefully they don't rotate images on that home page so you can see the one I'm talking about, haha!

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