The Closet Cleanout Guide You Need This Year

Have lots of clothing but nothing to wear? This handy guide will help you make the most of your clothes.

Are you holding on to that pair of outdated, too-small jeans from 1998? Or maybe feeling buyer’s remorse over that dress you bought on sale and never got around to wearing? Is your closet bursting at the seams – and you still can’t find anything to wear? Time for a wardrobe detox. This five-step process will help you keep the clothes you need and love, and donate or toss the rest.

1. Get Rid of Anything That Doesn’t Currently Fit
Jeans that don’t fit quite right, blouses that are a little baggy, shrunken sweaters, unflattering, oversized T-shirts – now is the time to be brave and get rid of everything that doesn’t work for you or accentuate your best parts. If you’re worried that you’ll gain or lose weight or need an item of clothing after it’s gone, try this trick: Put too-large and too-small clothing in a bag or plastic tub, store it properly and reassess in a few months’ time. You’ll probably find that you can live without these items after all – it’s a lot easier to part with something when it’s been out of sight and out of mind.

2. Get Rid of Anything You Haven’t Worn in the Last Year
If you’re like us, you probably have at least one or two outfits you plan on wearing “at some point.” But if you haven’t actually worn something in a year, whether it’s because it doesn’t fit (see above), because it doesn’t go with anything else you own or because you don’t feel great wearing it, then donate it. Make space for pieces that you look forward to putting on!

3. Keep the Pieces You Really Love, and Wear Them Often
It’s easy to fall into the habit of “saving” the clothes you love most – especially delicates and knits – for special occasions. Taking proper care of your favorites can help break this mindset and encourage you to wear them more often. Use our recommended laundry-care regimen:

4. Create Outfits
Keep a few classic, well-made pieces: a tailored jacket, a couple of casual tees, some fitted buttoned shirts or blouses, a killer pair of jeans and a pair of nicer pants in a flattering cut. Make five to six combinations you know will work, add shoes and accessories to each outfit, take photos and stick them on the inside of your closet door. Refer to the photos when you need inspiration or don’t know what to wear.

5. Keep Color in Mind
A splash of color can give every outfit an instant lift. Keep a few key pieces, like bright-colored T-shirts, patterned scarves, bold statement necklaces and colorful handbags that you can mix and match to brighten and individualize each outfit.

Have you done a wardrobe detox recently? We’d love to hear about your tips and tricks in the comments section!


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