As we’re getting closer to spring, this is a good time for a closet edit. Think of it as spring cleaning your closet!
Maybe you just did one at the end of the year, but now that winter is winding down, I’m guessing you still have things hanging in your closet that you haven’t been reaching for. Or perhaps you are one of those women who hates to let go of things and you haven’t done a closet clean out in quite some time.
Either way, this is a good time to re-evaluate your closet and freshen it up for the new season, so I’ve rounded up a list of 7 things to get rid of from your closet right now.
Mind you, this is not a big closet purge. If you haven’t done one of those in a year or more, I have instructions on that here: How to Purge Your Closet & Love Your Wardrobe Again.
This is just a seasonal closet edit. There’s no need to take it all out and try it all on. Just set aside an hour one evening or a Saturday morning, and go through each item one by one. I like to touch each piece and think about the following criteria.
7 Things in Your Closet to Get Rid of Right Now
#1. Clothing items that don’t fit your body or your current lifestyle.
We all change as we age, and that’s not a bad thing. Our bodies are getting older, and our weight shifts even if the scale doesn’t move. And more often than not, let’s face it, the scale moves. It’s okay. Dress for the body you have now, not the body you had 10 years ago or the body you want to have.
And it’s not always our bodies. Lifestyles change too. Maybe you retired, or your office went virtual during Covid, or the business dress code changed. Your wardrobe should reflect your current lifestyle.
If you babysit your grandkids 5 days a week, and your closet has more dresses and suits than jeans and joggers, it’s time to reassess your closet. Your wardrobe should work for you, not the other way around.
If it doesn’t bring you joy, and you don’t get excited about the idea of putting it on and wearing it right now, either donate or sell it, or put it away in what I call a “maybe bin” that you can revisit later if you regret getting rid of it.
#2. Anything you haven’t worn in the past year.
Okay, so give it two because Covid. Exceptions might be special event dresses or accessories, but I recommend trying them on to be sure they still fit. I’m always surprised by what doesn’t fit or work for my body after just a year or two. Why take up closet space with things that don’t fit or make you feel fabulous?
It’s a good idea to try on anything you haven’t worn in the past two years. Also remove anything that is worn out or stained. Freeing up that closet space will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier.
And don’t forget about jewelry and accessories. This exercise isn’t just about the clothes. We often overlook accessories when purging our closets, at least I do, but they also have a way of piling up and getting out of control. Scarves, belts, shoes, jewelry… it all counts here.
#3. Shoes that hurt and anything that is uncomfortable.
There’s no sense in keeping painful shoes and undergarments in your closet. Yes, I’m singling out undergarments because they’re often the most uncomfortable things in my closet.
If the shapewear makes you want to cry when you think of stuffing yourself into it, or the shoes give you blisters, or the off-the-shoulder top requires a strapless bra (and you detest wearing a strapless bra)… just let it go.
Give yourself permission to rid your life of uncomfortable shoes and clothes. Life is too short, plus you probably aren’t wearing them anyway.
#4. Worn out bras and underwear.
Experts say you should replace your bras every 6 mos. I definitely stretch that to a year, but if your bra is looking worn and stretched out, it isn’t doing its job anymore, and it’s time to replace it. The same goes for old, grungy underwear and shapewear.
Toss them today, and treat yourself to something fresh and new. Plus, underwear has come a long way in recent years.
I’m also loving the Wacoal Body Base Shorty right now (and I found them fully stocked at Macy’s!) I like these under jumpsuits and dresses, and also with my white denim.
For bras, we are all different, but if you have a larger chest, I highly recommend the Freya Balconette Bra. It runs true to size, but make sure you’re looking at the U.S. sizes.
Look for raw cut edges to avoid visible lines and creases through your clothes. Also, if you find them rolling down, try the next size up. I usually wear a medium in shapewear and a small in most other things.
#5. Anything with tags still on it.
If you have anything hanging in your closet with the tags on it, and you’re thinking you’ll wear it eventually, here’s a hint: You probably won’t.
If you don’t love something enough to rip the tags off and wear it right now, there’s a reason, and you probably don’t need it.
If you need something to go with it to make it work for your wardrobe, then by all means, put it on your shopping list and make that intentional purchase, but don’t leave it hanging there and assume it will suddenly start working for you one day.
We all make purchasing mistakes, and it’s painful to let go of something you spent good money on and never wore, but it’s better to pass it on and let someone else enjoy it than to leave it in your closet to mock you. Let. It. Go.
#6. Things you’re keeping for sentimental reasons.
I get it. I kept a few dresses that I wore to my wedding-related events in my closet for years. Never mind that I gained a clothing size during my first year of marriage and never fit into those dresses again. I couldn’t bear to let them go because they brought back such happy memories, but I finally did, and you know what? I haven’t missed them.
If you have anything hanging in your closet purely for sentimental reasons, take a picture, and pass it on. As I said above, it’s better to let someone else enjoy it now while it’s still in good condition than to let it rot in your closet until it isn’t worth anything to anybody.
#7. Anything that is out of style.
I realize this is a tough one for many ladies. I get questions all the time about certain items and if they are in style or not, so this may not be as easy as it sounds. Here’s a tip: If you aren’t sure, it’s probably out of style.
If it was a huge trend or fad for a short period of time, it is best to let it go. I’m thinking of those long tassel pendant necklaces, cold shoulder tops, shark tooth tunics… you get the idea.
Of course, there are those items that you think will come around again if you just wait long enough. But the fashion industry loves to tweak things just enough to make them feel fresh and new, even when they’re inspired by the fashion trends from a past decade.
There are a few very rare exceptions, like my Frye riding boots, but for the most part, I don’t keep anything in hopes that it will come back around again. When it leaves my closet, it leaves my house.
Every once in a great while, if it’s a quality piece in a classic style, I might put it away for a season and revisit it the next year. (I keep out of season clothes in plastic bins in the basement.) But more often than not, I end up getting rid of them the next year anyway.
So, Now What?
Once you have removed the items you no longer need, sort them into three piles: sell, donate, and trash. If you’re really ambitious, maybe you need a 4th pile for repairs, but be honest with yourself. If you aren’t going to bother getting them repaired, just donate and be free of the clutter.
Then bag them up and take them to your car. Seriously, do it right now. Otherwise, you have just moved the visual clutter from your closet to your bedroom floor. Unless it’s going in your “maybe bin” you should get it out of your house immediately.
If you don’t have time to drive it to the donation center right away, at least get it to your car so it’s one step in the right direction. Maybe you can sweet talk your husband or your teenager into taking them to their intended locations, or put it on your calendar and commit to doing it yourself within the week. You will feel so good when the task is finished.
Not sure where to go? There are lots of donation centers or women’s shelters that will take clothes and accessories. And if you have things to sell, I’m a huge fan of Style Encore and Clothes Mentor — two upscale consignment shops that will go through your clothes and give you money on the spot. Anything they can’t sell, they will offer to donate for you. Look them up and see if you have one in your area.
Otherwise, there are traditional consignment shops, and of course you could sell yourself on Poshmark or eBay, but that’s another task entirely. Whatever you decide to do with them, make sure to see it through within the week.
Then you can go back to your refreshed and rejuvenated closet and organize it for the new season. Make a list of anything you need to complete an outfit or to replace something you may have tossed, and you will be all set the next time you go shopping.
Need help? My Spring Wardrobe Essentials should get you started.
Stay In Touch
If you liked this post, be sure you’re signed up for my email newsletter. In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and an occasional peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox.