How to Purge Your Closet & Love Your Wardrobe

If you don’t love your wardrobe, and you wish you did, you can change that.

Over the past few years, I’ve worked hard to curate a wardrobe that meets my needs for almost any occasion without having an overabundance of odds and ends that I never wear.

It’s still a work in progress, and I expect it always will be to some extent, but I’m so happy now when I walk into my closet.

How long has it been since you gave your closet a ruthless purge?

I don’t mean just removing a few things you haven’t worn in a few seasons; I mean taking it all out and starting over with only things that you truly love. If you haven’t done this in a few years (or ever), that’s the first step to curating a wardrobe that works for you. Here’s how to do it.

I always thought I was good at moving things out at the end of every season and keeping my closet up to date until I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. That’s when I realized I was doing it all wrong.

I used to go through my drawers and closet at the end of each season and remove anything that was damaged, out of style, or didn’t fit well, but I didn’t realize how many things were getting overlooked or saved “just in case.” I still had a lot more clothes than I was actually wearing.

That’s how you end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. Well, that, and by buying things that don’t fit right or don’t go with anything else in your wardrobe.

Marie Kondo’s method was revolutionary to me. She has you take everything out of your closet and drawers — every. last. thing. And then go through them one by one, trying them on if you haven’t worn them this season, and asking yourself if each piece sparks joy. If not, it goes buh-bye.

It sounds hokey, but there’s a big difference between, “Eh, it’s okay. I might want it some day” and “I love this; I want to put it on and wear it right now.” That made all the difference for me.

Once you ruthlessly purge your closet and get rid of all the stuff you don’t wear and don’t love, you can start to rebuild your wardrobe into one you will love to wear.

If you feel like you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear, start by purging your closet with the process below. Only the items that fit and make you happy will go back into your closet, and then you can rebuild from there. You may end up with 5 pieces or 55; the number doesn’t matter, as long as every piece is one you would love to put on and wear right now. Here’s the process.

How to Ruthlessly Purge Your Closet

I recommend doing this when you have a good bit of time to spend. You don’t want to be rushed. And I don’t recommend doing this after a big meal when you’re feeling bloated. Choose a time when you feel good, you look good, and you have a few hours to dedicate to the project.

Speaking of which, I like to do this when I am fixed up and feeling good about how I look. I think it’s easier to get a good gauge of how something looks on when I have some makeup on and my hair done.

Okay, let’s get started.

Step 1: Empty out your closet

Take everything out, down to the bare walls. Do NOT skip this step. Taking everything out at once is first step to style clarity. Make sure to gather your clothing from all areas of the house — laundry, storage, etc. Don’t skip anything.

2022 UPDATE: Since writing this post in 2015, I’ve read some good arguments for NOT doing a closet clean-out this way. It worked great for me, as I tend to be an “all or nothing” kind of person, plus I’ve never been one to keep a ton of clothes so my closet wasn’t overwhelming at the time.

But doing this all at once may not be best for people who tend to get overwhelmed easily or have tons of clothes from many years of excessive shopping. In this case, I would suggest doing this process by wardrobe category.

Either way you do it, it is important to get all of the items together so you can see how much you have.

Step 2: Do a quick sort.

You can really do this as you are taking everything out of your closet. Start with the low-hanging fruit and put everything you KNOW you want to get rid of into the donate/trash pile. Don’t worry about what you will do with it just yet; just get it out of the way.

If you have any current items that you love and wear often – these can only be things you currently wear over and over, they make you feel good, and YOU KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt you are not getting rid of – you can put those back in your closet.

Step 3: Try everything else on.

Try on anything you haven’t worn recently — yes, even that special occasion dress you’ve been saving for 5 years “just in case.”

Before I did this, I had no idea how much stuff I was keeping “just in case”, and I was shocked at how many of my “just in case” pieces didn’t even fit anymore. What a waste of closet space!

When trying things on, if you’re unsure about whether or not to keep something, take pictures and then look at the pictures…. and be sure to take one of the rear view!

For some reason, it’s easier to make a good judgment call about an outfit or wardrobe item when you see a picture of yourself wearing it… rather than just looking at yourself in the mirror.

Step 4: Sort the maybe items according to the following.

  • LOVE IT: If it is appropriate for the current season, it fits well and makes you feel good, hang it back in your closet.
  • MAYBE: Is the fit a bit off? The color? Are you keeping it just because it has sentimental value, or because you paid a lot for it and feel guilty getting rid of it? Put it in a box and store it. If you find yourself wishing you had it, you can always go retrieve it. But if you don’t find yourself wanting it before the end of the season, it’s time to donate it and let someone else enjoy it. If you’re not used to purging, this can be hard to do, but I promise you, it is SO freeing!
  • HATE IT: Self explanatory. Donate or sell to fund new purchases.
  • SEASONAL: If it’s not in season, but you LOVE IT (and I mean LOVE IT), put it in a box and store it so you can add it to your wardrobe when the proper season rolls around. (I realize this doesn’t work for everyone, but if you live in an area with distinct seasons, I highly recommend this… especially if you tend to get overwhelmed by options when getting dressed.)

Haha… how old is that picture!?! That’s from the very first time I ever did this process, back in 2015. Yes, I’ve been updating and republishing this post for 7 years!

A few notes about this step: Marie Kondo says it is important to touch each piece and consider if it brings you joy. I promise, this works. Trust your gut.

I keep a Maybe Bin in a spare closet for things I’m unsure about or having a hard time parting with. I allow myself to go into the bin and retrieve something if I change my mind during the season. This helps with any feelings of remorse over getting rid of perfectly good clothing. At the end of the season, anything I didn’t retrieve goes to the donate pile.

Some people have a really hard time getting rid of things they’ve bought that they feel are still in good shape, even if they don’t fit properly or make them happy. If that is you, I say this with love: Be like Elsa, and LET IT GO. You will feel SO much better, trust me!

It may seem wasteful to give away perfectly good clothing, and some people have a hard time with the purging process, but I look at it this way. It’s not a waste if it blesses someone who needs it.

If my clothes sit in my closet and rot until they’re outdated and full of moth holes, that’s a waste. However, if I can bring joy to someone today by giving them a bag of like-new clothing that they will wear and enjoy, I’m all for it.

Step 5: Assess & Shop

This is where you assess what is left in your closet, and then shop for any items you need to complete your wardrobe. Make a list and shop intentionally.

This step is ongoing, to some extent, but it is possible to get to the point where you have a complete and very workable wardrobe.

After the initial purge, you may want to live with your clothes for a little while before shopping for new pieces. If you’re struggling to define your personal style, this process will help.

Peruse Pinterest and your favorite blogs (ahem) and fashion magazines, and keep track of what styles resonate with you. Pin them to a personal style Pinterest board, or keep a notebook with pages from magazines. Whichever method you prefer is fine, as long as it works for you.

Your goal during this phase is to determine your personal style and what you need to rebuild your wardrobe. Keep a notebook or a document on your phone with a list of clothing items you need or want so you can shop strategically.

If you’ve never done a ruthless closet purge like this, I challenge you to try it. And please, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear.

What To Do With Your Donations

I always get asked what to do with clothes you want to donate. There are tons of local organizations that do good work providing clothing to needy women and families in the community where you live. Just find one that resonates with you and haul your stuff over there. As an added bonus, get a receipt, and it’s a tax write-off.

The other option is Clothes Mentor or Style Encore. Both are consignment shops that will pay you on the spot for the clothes they keep, whether they sell them or not. It takes about an hour, so bring a book or prepare to run some errands while they look through your stuff. Whatever they don’t want, you can then donate, but at least you may get some money back to put towards rebuilding your wardrobe after the purge.

Of course, there’s always Ebay or Poshmark, but that is a huge project, and not one many women want to undertake. Either way, get everything you plan to sell or donate out of your closet, and out of your bedroom immediately.

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193 Responses

  1. You’ve really described the process well, Jo-Lynne.
    Do you know about how long it ended up taking you to do this purge?
    I really do love everything in my closet…most of the time I think it’s great, but I’d love to go through my mom’s closet. Of course I’m sure it won’t happen because she is a collector and hates to get rid of things.

  2. YES! This post is speaking to me!!!! I did a major purge ON NEW YEAR’S day! I am also wearing ALL the things in my closet before I will let myself shop again… taking the next couple of months to really wear what I have and determine what works for me and what doesn’t. I want to have LESS stuff but want what I have to work with many other pieces. I am turning the hanger the “wrong way” in my closet once I wear and item and decide I want to keep it. I have already gotten rid of 3 sweaters because they were itchy and did not spark joy when I went to wear them..
    When I purged my closet initially, it felt so good but I am already realizing by making myself wear everything that even the items I kept are not all things that I love. I hope to make smarter shopping choices after all this is said and done.
    🙂 Thanks for the inspiring post.

    1. Thanks for the wrong way facing hangers for things you are not sure if you wear again tip, it will be a good thing to see if I really wear or not.

  3. Jo-Lynne I LOVE this post!!! Thank you so much for the inspiration to do a closet purge…I want to start right now! The way to explained it step by step is so helpful!!! Thanks again!

  4. I wasn’t that ruthless but I did do another closet purge. Tried on Manu things and managed to get rid of four grocery bags full of clothes. I even Westborough my maternity clothes I keep stored under the bed (just in case I ever need them????). Taking pictures of my daily outfits with a friend so we can show each that yes we do have clothes to wear and to see what we do need to complete our wardrobes. Good post!

  5. I followed your “capsule wardrobe” advice last year and it really worked for me. Thank you for posting this reminder – I think it’s time to go through my closet again!

  6. This is awesome. My closet has turned into a “catch all” and I was thinking I really need to clean this mess up but – where do I begin?? This breaks everything down and is SO helpful! Thank you Jo-Lynne!!

  7. I just did this purge this week. Felt so good. Next Laundry Room ???? I had hard time with Handbags but maybe next season I can be stronger. Lol

  8. Excellent, thorough information — thanks so much! I AM GOING TO DO THIS (but when? THAT’s the big question). I also loved the tip about doing it when you have your makeup and hair done; seems trivial, but when you’re standing in the mirror trying things on, it really helps to determine if you LOVE an outfit. Thanks again for your time!

  9. I go through my clothes as the season begins. If It doesn’t fit, out of style or I simply don’t like it anymore, then it goes. Next, I make a list of the necessary articles I need to buy. I must admit that I buy more than those pieces. Too much temptation out there and on these blogs. ???? I turn my hangars with the hook backwards and any piece not worn at the end of the season doesn’t have a second chance. Gone! I love purging.
    Great post, Jolynne! This should get everyone running to their closets to purge.

  10. Good morning, Jolynne! I have been following you for well over a year, but in December I stopped getting your daily email. So, the other day, I resubscribed. That lasted for a few days, but I didn’t get yesterday’s or today’s. I can follow you by going to your website on the Internet, but it’s so much easier to check my mail each morning and see an email from you, What is wrong? Is it on my end? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hey Debbie. I have had SO many people having this problem. I am going to change email providers. But for the time being, I unsubscribed you and re-added you. I hope it works. Let me know if you do NOT get it tomorrow. (Also, check your spam folder – as they sometimes get caught in there.)

  11. Why, why I ask is this so difficult of a task? I go from wanting to throw everything away to keeping each and everything, too big or small , gurrr. I’m going to force myself too do it ! Thank you !

  12. Thank you, Jo-Lynne!
    Great post! Well organized and to the point! I’m inspired to give it a go! Thanks again!

  13. I purge twice a season. I live in an area with very distinct seasons so I store non-seasonal clothing in tubs. At the beginning of each season, I purge anything that I don’t like anymore. I put clothing I’m not sure about aside in a pile. I like the label “maybe” that you used for this pile. At the end of the season, I give away anything in the “maybe” pile that I didn’t wear and anything in my closet that I didn’t wear that season. You’re right, I do feel much freedom from this process.
    I’ve also changed careers so my clothing needs have changed. I really love your daily “uniforms” because that casual, but chic style is what I now try to emulate.
    My questions for you are: What body type do you have? Is it possible to be two body types?

    1. I use tubs too! I have the “curvy” body type in the Adore Your Wardrobe lingo. I have taken to calling it hourglass on the blog b/c I think people understand that refers to shape, not weight, as curvy sometimes does. I think you can be between body types, but Kelly assigned one to everyone. We always hashtag our FB posts with our body types, and there was no one in the groups I was in who were using more than one.

  14. Looking at old travel posts and have a question about AZ Hyatt Regency trip. Did you fly into Phoenix or Scottsdale, and where were you planning to stay in Sedona? Hoping to do this in March with our daughter.

    1. Generally funerals come up without notice so I think it’s very wise to be prepared. Plus it’s difficult to go shopping when we’re emotional and sad. I live in an area where we have definite seasons so I have a “funeral outfit” for Fall/Winter and one for Spring/Summer. My outfits are usually classic pieces that will serve me well for many years. I don’t necessarily wear black but darker colors are a safe choice unless the family has specifically requested attendees wear bright happy colors. I generally wear a dress if the funeral is the warmer months and dress pants in the colder months mostly because I get very cold in a dress in the winter. I recently went to a funeral and saw everything from blue jeans to a conservative black dress. Personally I feel it’s inappropriate to wear anything that shows too much skin or is blingy and sparkly to a funeral.

  15. Great post! I use the same method myself except for one small difference. I wait 1 or 2 weeks before I donate. There have been a few times when I’ve thought “I wish I had _____to go with outfit” only to realize that the “wish I had” item was in the donate pile. Love you blog!

  16. Great post, thank you! I a, considering the class you recommended but was wondering if you had previous posts about it. I’d love to hear more.

  17. I’m getting good at purging my closet but I love the idea of “allowing” myself a “maybe” bin. That takes some of the stress out of tossing things into the donation bin. This is a morbid question, Jo-Lynne, but do you keep a “funeral” dress or outfit? Having to shop for a funeral sounds awful but so does keeping a funeral dress in my closet.

    1. When you get to the age I am now, there is nothing strange about having a funeral outfit in your closet. But really, where I live, anything black works, and some people don’t even wear black anymore. (Things tend to be very casual in my part of Texas.) But I always feel better wearing something sedate.

      1. Exactly. I’m at that point in my life, too.The last time I had to go to a funeral, I literally had nothing I felt was appropriate and had to borrow something. Thanks for your input, Bonnie!

        1. I don’t think a black dress is ever outdated, but it isn’t expected at a funeral like it once was. But it also depends on the crowd. Unfortunately I’ve been to 5 in the last couple of years, and they have all varied. One was very traditional and my black dress was appropriate. Another one I went to was super casual and I really did see everything and I was kind of shocked, to be honest. The others were more of a mix.

          I wore different dresses to all of them, but always something conservative in dark colors or pattern and I felt appropriate. I’d rather err on the side of tradition, in this case. It’s about all we have left, lol!

    2. I do keep a dress on hand for funerals – navy or black, something conservative. Unfortunately I’ve had 4 funerals to attend in the past few years, and they rarely give you much notice, so I think having something on hand is good sense. As Bonnie said, most people don’t even wear black anymore, but I like to be traditional in those situations.

      1. I’m more comfortable in something dark and traditional, too, in these situations. I actually have a dress now that I grabbed on my way on vacation last summer fearing a dear friend’s mother would pass away. She rallied, but I kept the dress, realizing I needed it for those kinds of situations. Of course this time of year, I’d freeze to death it it. Maybe I could just add a sweater and tights and boots for colder months?

  18. Great post. I am always inspired by your closet organization posts — and I fully plan to do this once my kitchen remodel is finished. One question though… would you do a post on how to keep your jewelry organized?

  19. This is great info!!!! Sometimes it’s the same old stuff you hear about organizing. Not this post! You nailed it. So many great tips like holding your clothes and seeing if they give you joy. I also LOVE donating but it is hard when something is so new except when you talk about blessing someone else. Ahhh now my heart is so right. Thanks Jolene. ????

  20. Great info today! I just did a closet purge over Christmas vacation; and it makes such a difference! I was the person with a closet full of nothing to wear; changing clothes 2-3 times in the morning. I keep all seasons in my closet because OKlahoma weather is day by day. However, I keep Spring/Summer separate from Fall/Winter. I went through all clothing…down to socks/underclothing and shoes/purses. I ended up with 3 trash bags of stuff to donate. I listed newer items and designer bags on Poshmark (a site for buying & selling fashion).
    I grouped my clothing by color so I can easily see that I already have multiple things in the same color. This is one of the most worthwhile tasks I’ve taken on in a while ….it cuts down on the time it takes to get ready for work. Better start to my day!

  21. Well, I decided to take the plunge – I signed up for the Adore Your Wardrobe class! I’m tired of feeling a bit frumpy and unsure of what really looks good on me and what doesn’t. I need to do the closet purge and take control in 2017! I just said to myself “you’re worth the investment”!

  22. I have needed to do a closet purge for years, but no description has ever motivated me like this one. I cannot wait to do it! I have to schedule in some uninterrupted time. Thank you so much! The best post ever!

  23. Purged my closet New Year’s Eve day. I have one bin of “maybe’s” that I will look at in 30 days and make a decision. I donated many garbage bags filled with clothing and shoes . I was ruthless and I feel SO amazing! I will be much more selective in my purchases from now on. I suggest anyone thinking about this, check out Joanna’s previous posts, too. Your style does indeed “emerge” from what remains when all you leave hanging there are items you love.

  24. This “bringing you joy” method of purging is phenomenal. Did it a couple years ago and ended getting rid of 2/3 of my wardrobe but now I wear everything I have. It eliminated the guilt of getting rid of items that were gifted to me that I never would have chosen for myself. Someone else will love having them. It also conversely works well when shopping too. “Am I buying this because it’s a good deal or because I love it so much I want to wear it out of the store?” Have saved myself many purchases that ultimately would have ended up hidden in the back of the closet not getting worn.

  25. You forgot the prestep. Find someone else to watch the kid(s) and someone to keep you on task. I’ll never make it all the way through without company.

  26. Love this post! I did this right after your post about Marie Kondo’s method. Last year in February my closet and dressers looked great! Slimmed down and easy to get dressed. Sadly, my shopping habit picked up a bit through the year and I feel slightly overwhelmed. I am going to work on my closet more this weekend – already started consignment & donation bags a week or so ago. Strongly considering taking the course you mentioned…going to look at her site today.

  27. Gosh, I really need to do this. I did a lot over the summer, but nothing as drastic as this. I can see how this technique would really help, it’s just getting motivitated and determined enough for me to actually do it! My biggest problem though? I have pieces I really do love…but I don’t wear them much because I’m “saving” them whatever reason. Not sure what my rationalization is there..you’d think if I love it, I would wear it, right?! Weird.

    1. I have done this. I think I love it so much, I don’t want it to wear out, so save it for special. Not a good idea, as eventually goes out of style and its not worn out etc. I tell myself now…..wear it and enjoy it NOW. I thought I was only one doing this. Ha Ha

  28. This is a great summary. I’ve ready many over the years and you’ve got great tips. I hired a wardrobe consultant about 10 years ago and it was very interesting. She made me follow this exact method of taking everything out and trying everything on. She took photos of outfits that looked good and tried to mix and match more items than I was doing. I liked it but she made me throw out a few things that years later I wished I had (my style is VERY classic).
    I’ve cleaned over the years but it was exactly as you said – not complete. I would love to do another complete clean out. My dilemma is similar to the “funeral dress” question. I used to work in a “professional casual” environment – dress pants and nice tops. I was laid off about 8 years ago and now work in a school – much more casual. I have kept many of the pants and jackets – partly because I love them and partly because they are pretty classic – don’t go out of style and they fit. I always wonder what to do with those pieces – also the dresses I used to wear – wrap dresses etc that don’t really go out of style but honestly I don’t feel like wearing that often. If I have a reason to, I do but it’s not a daily thing.
    Also, any advice for keeping clothes for “work around the house clothes?”

    1. All of the methods I’ve read have exempted “work around the house clothes” from this process. I keep my workout clothes, and schlumpy around-the-house clothes in my dresser, apart from my street clothes wardrobe. i still wear street clothes almost every day, but I definitely have those times that I go for an old sweatshirt and yoga pants. 🙂 As far as those dresses you’re talking about, my guess is you’ve had them for a very long time, and they’ve served their purpose. Just because they’re still good doesn’t mean you love them and enjoy wearing them. If you can afford to let them go and replace when/if needed, I would let them go. If nothing else, put them in a “maybe” bin and put them in a spot that is out of the way but accessible. If you REALLY want to wear one, you have it, but it doesn’t clutter your closet. I hope that helps!

    2. Thanks! I have such a hard time finding dresses I like for the money that I actually do like them well enough to wear them! I’ll get rid of my “not so favorites” and keep my eyes open for new one. Live your blog!!

    3. I used to work in an office for years and then went 90% work from home. I kept all sort of “classic” and “basic” pieces only to find that over time, I didn’t wear them and they got dated. If you want to keep them just in case, then do. However, if you want to get rid of them, then I’d say it isn’t a problem since your likely to not wear them and when you reach for them, they may be dated or not who you are now. I had a good laugh the other day when I pulled out the “classic blazers that will never go out of style” just to find the shoulders were just a bit too big. 😉

  29. I found your post from Grace + Beauty by Cyndi Spivey Love the post but what about while you are losing weight and have items you love but are too small?

  30. I am so encouraged by this post but jeans/pants are a thorn in my side! I have a terrible time with the fit of pants and jeans! If I’m honest, I’d have NO pants to wear and that is a HUGE problem! Any advice?? Thank you for this blog! Love it!

    1. Hey Nancy, that is a sad state of affairs! (Says the girl who lives in jeans… ha!) I hate to beat a dead horse, but the Adore Your Wardrobe course my friend Kelly runs starts tomorrow, and it is life changing. She teaches you how to figure out the best fit of pants for your body type, the right rise/length/style, etc. It’s an investment at $149, but it really will change how you shop and put outfits together, especially if you struggle to know what looks best or find what works for you.

      That said, tell me more about what makes pants/jeans difficult to fit, and maybe I can help. 🙂

  31. OK, you’ve convinced me, I’ll do it. I’m on holiday at the moment but when I get home, I’ll do it. Really, I will. I will feel the fear and do it. I will. I will. Argh, no really, I will!

  32. Jo-Lynne I also live where there are extreme seasons and am always layering. I have an over abundance of basics- black tank, black short sleeve t, black long sleeve, black cowlneck. And on and on for various other colors. HOW can I purge based on a thought of “do I LOVE this white tank top?”? I’d love to purge but how do we deal with the “basics” that are just that- basic. Please help!

    1. Ha. I hear ya. I have those basics too, and I admit, when I look at them, they annoy me because they aren’t fun, but they are necessary. I guess I just try to make sure I don’t have duplicates or things that I don’t actually wear.

    2. Val, I hear ya on this one! I have had that same issue with too many basics that are just that, basics yet necessities. They’re kinda like underwear in my opinion! LOL  I finally decided to keep the ones that had the best fit and we’re confortable. I didn’t need 7 white short sleeve tees. I decided to keep just one of each style of my basics. Since I had duplicates of same color, same style and each fit well, I put the extras in a bin and put in storage to replace my current ones once they begin to show wear. I also group all my basics together by style and by color in my closet so I can easily grab that black cami, etc. when I need it. 

  33. Hi, i live in the netherlands where we also have 4 seasons….. But my question is : what to do with all the jeans… I have 16 pairs, skinny, straight, boyfriend and its hard for me to get rid of the duplicates… Some how after i donate them i have the habit of buying them again or to look for another pair that Will ofcourse be the best ones i ever have bought…. Same with foundation make up… Always looking for a better one… Please give me Some advice…..

    1. That is tough, and my closet is constantly turning over b/c of my job. I do end up with duplicates sometimes, thinking I’ll wear both, and sometimes I do – some look better with flats, some with booties, etc. I don’t think you should get rid of anything you truly love and wear. But when I find myself wearing the newer pair over and over, I will go ahead and donate the older pair. Does that help at all?

    2. By the way, I have 10-15 pairs of jeans at any given time. This isn’t about having a minimalist closet (unless that is what you want) but just about keeping only what you love and actually wear.

  34. What is the best way to tell if something has gone out of style? I have alot of black pants from stores like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor and cant decide if they should be donated because to your point its hard to get rid of items that are still in good shape.

    1. Well, that’s a hard one without seeing the items. I think what matters most is if they fit properly and make you feel good. If you love to wear them, keep them, but if you’re feeling tired of them or like you might want some more current styles, put them in your “maybe” bin and see if you find yourself going for them in the next few weeks. If not, pass them on. I hope that helps!

  35. As I am getting over Disney I am anticipating a purge. Successfully down about 25 pounds so far and my closet is a mess. Want to come down and help??? Thanks for the helpful post. Hope you had a good trip!!

  36. I have a teeny-tiny–I mean teeny-tiny-eeeeentsy-weeeeentsy closet–so this “pull it all out and put it back in” won’t be very satisfying. And I think that’s part of the problem: half my wardrobe is in my HUMONGOUS attic. Soooooo. Suggestions? Also, I LOVE clothes–the whole THEATER of the thing–and have so many sub-personalities (and yes, they ALL want a full wardrobe), so how to keep the fun, and play, and creativity without keeping the overwhelm? (And oh yeah–for anybody into psychology, I’m a classic ENFP. Yep. Now you get it? And no,I’m not making excuses. I really DO want suggestions . . . help!)



    Evidence that there is more than one of me (wink): https://bebravechooselove.blogspot.com/2013/07/whats-in-name.html

  37. I actually did this just yesterday! We went through my mom and dad’s house this summer in preparation for an estate sale, and seeing all the stuff that had accumulated over the years made me want to get rid of a lot of my own stuff. I have been ruthless going through my own possessions over the past month (not just clothes) and yesterday ended up with two trash bags full of clothes from my closet to give to charity. There were things I’d been hanging on to since I was in my 20s (I’m now 46), so the pile of things to get rid of just kept growing. I’m sure there are still things hanging in my wardrobe that I don’t really love, but it was a good start and made me feel so much better. Now I just have to pace myself when it comes to shopping so that I don’t find replacements for every single item I decided to get rid of! LOL

  38. This is perfect timing. We are getting new flooring in our closet and everything is already moved out. I will not put things back until I follow your steps! Thanks!

  39. No-Lynne, Thank you for sharing this again. I recently took all of my jeans out of my closet, tried on every pair, then they either were either donated or got hung back up. I also purged my pajamas or night clothes, and undergarments. And I did that with my tops as well. Storage constraints in our home and my closet is a bigger challenge for me, that causes frustration.

    I’m glad y’all survived the storms last night. We saw the area with tornado watches & warnings on the news. Now it looks like the Houston area, and or Louisiana may have to deal with major flooding this weekend. God bless!

  40. Wow this is great post…but First, I just want to say that I felt your pain worrying about your son out in the bad weather. I don’t think anyone can prepare us for this part of parenting. I worry every weekend when my almost 21 year old daughter goes out, especially in bad weather. The rain is heading to Texas this weekend and I am trying to prepare myself because I don’t sleep until she gets home and I have her text me when she gets to where she’s going and again before she starts driving home. I keep telling her that one of these days when she has her own kids, she will understand! Lol
    Now, I just want to say thank you for this great info. It is such a stress reliever to have a closet that is organized instead of a lot of clothes you can’t or don’t wear. What I do is take my more expensive items to a consignment or resale shop first, then if I get a little cash I reinvest it in a fall piece I’ve been wanting and what they don’t take, I donate! It’s such a good feeling to purge and it make life so much easier ????

    1. I have the Find My Phone app on my son’s phone so I can at least see where he is. It saves him having to text me (and he would forget, I’m sure) and it definitely gives me some peace of mind. Of course there’s no peace of mind when he’s out driving in a pelting rain and thunder storm, lol. But overall the Find My Phone app has relieved a lot of stress.

      And good idea to do consignment. I really should do that.

  41. Oh Jolynn, this week I told you I was going to put Fall short sleeve colors in place of my summer short sleeve shirts. When I stood in my walk in closet I was overwhelmed like you talk about. I have done this plenty of times but I realized I have been buying clothes since I retired 10 years ago at 50 from banking wearing suits as now buy out of boredom. I know it’s crazy, I have beautiful clothes but way too much. I’m home and don’t need all that. I am going to do your closet purge. I will give to charity. I thought of putting at resale shop in Lafayette La. I also have clothes jackets and coats in spare room closet. Feeling overwhelmed and redicious. I’m 63 young and live in south Louisiana where it’s really hot most of year. Thank for your ideas, Really, Belinda D Green

    1. Belinda, so glad it’s helpful. And the shopping out of boredom thing… I totally get that! I used to do that. Now I’m forced to shop more than what is normal or necessary for my personal wardrobe and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to go shopping. Haha! But really, when you’re at home most of the time, there is only so much you need, so you might as well love the pieces you have and get rid of the rest.

  42. Thank you, Jo-Lynne! This was a very helpful post. I try each season to purge things I haven’t worn but I’m taking this new “joy” approach this season! I am also focusing on purchasing fewer higher quality (higher priced, too) pieces that I truly love and not getting caught up on purchases just because they are on sale. Those are the pieces that always end up hanging in my closet.

    1. If I had all the money back for all the clothes I’ve bought over the years because they were kind of cute and super discounted, but then they just hung in my closet because they were somehow not just right……..I wonder how much money that would be? I’m thinking an awful lot. It always seems easier to buy several $15-$25 items than one $75 or $100 item. But it really makes no sense. I’m so glad you posted what you did!

    2. YES! This is what I’m trying to get at when I talk about “cost per wear”. It makes so much more sense to have fewer things you love than a ton of stuff that’s just okay.

  43. Such a great post, JoLynne! I’m most of the way through the Marie Kondo book and I’ve found it extremely helpful. Both of my parents have passed in the last few years and there has been an avalanche of stuff to go through. As always, thx for your great posts!

  44. Thank you for all the information I am definitely doing this. I have found my body type is so important. I am a pear shape so pencil skirts and sheath dresses are out for me. Problem is my closet is full of them they are all tight through the hips and thighs. It’s hard getting rid of brand new clothes. From now on I will buy A-line skirts and fit and flare dresses This post is a home run Thank you

  45. I went into panic mode when I read take everything out of your closet!! That must mean I need to do it. So once I am over my panic attack I’ll read again and get started. :}

  46. I’ve been seriously purging my closet for the past couple years and it’s so freeing! It is an ongoing process however and hard for me but it has made such a difference to my wardrobe and my sanity! When I’m considering a purchase I ask myself if the item is going to really compliment my wardrobe or bring me another painful, parting ways in a few months? This evaluation question has helped me a lot b/c more often than not, I’m able to leave it on the rack!

  47. Hi Jo-Lynne! This post is so timely for me as we moved over the summer and my new Master closet isn’t quite as big as my old closet. The house is bigger, but the closet is laid out in a way that is hard for me to figure out – and I have to share it with my husband! I purge regularly, but have never tried taking everything out. Maybe it will give me more room if I just focus on the items that bring joy.

    Regarding your son, so thankful he came home safe and sound. I have been in your shoes many times with my 2 boys ages 18 & 20. My friend says, “When your children are little, you have little problems. When your children are big, you have big problems.” Potty training is nothing! LOL!

  48. The Adore Me Class, is it an online in real time type of thing? Can you watch it when you have time or is it like a class that begins and ends at a certain time? Do you get actual printed material to use to study from? I watch grandkids and work in the office at my husband’s business during the day, so my time is limited to bits of time here and there. I want to try the class, but not sure how it works. Is it just a one time thing or several days in a row at certain times. Can I schedule it or record it for when I can really concentrate on it. Sorry to ask so many questions, but just not sure how it works and $149 can buy a lot of clothes. Thanks

    1. Yes, absolutely! It’s an investment, for sure. So it is not a live class. You get an email with a new lesson every few days and you can work at your own pace. There is a video that you watch as well as some materials to work through. Usually a worksheet and another printout that is helpful to save. Then the Facebook Group is open at all times so you can go in there and get advice, post pictures, etc. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      You can see a sample lesson here: https://bit.ly/AYW2017

      Scroll down and click on GET FREE EPISODE INSTANTLY. That will show you how the lessons work. 🙂

  49. Yes! Post just in time for transition into fall preparation. I followed your purge advice last winter (?) with success and have pinned this to my Pinterest for reference.
    My granddaughter and I went school shopping the other day. I went over my three musts with her about buying clothes/shoes. It is much like your suggestions. 1) have to love it 2) it looks great on you – fit , color etc 3) you need a place to wear it. This makes it easier in a teenage girl’s decision making process. Also helps with their confidence when heading out the door to school .

    Thanks Jolynne????

  50. I learned of Adore your Wardrobe through this blog and can’t recommend it enough!

    I was drowning in a closet of clothes that just didn’t feel right on my skin. I was even struggling working from home to find something that felt good to put on-how crazy is that?!? I tried Trunk Club, I tried spending more for clothes, I tried buying more current trends, I tried ignoring it all. I read blogs, I watched videos, I paid for other “courses.” Nothing is as good as the Adore your wardrobe course.

    Believe me, you will make back the $149 in course 1 easily. And I am on course 2 and, again, can’t recommend it enough. I feel so much more confident in what I wear and what I purchase. I look better than I have in years (maybe ever). My closet cleanouts now are so much more focused in part because I am not purchasing the wrong things from the start. Honestly, it is the single best thing you can do for your closet, your wallet, and your self-esteem. Thanks Jo-Lynne!

      1. The price has gone up a bit since I originally posted my comment but still worth every penny! This isn’t the usual, random FB people wallowing in vague terms like “that is cute.” This is expert feedback to get you to get you looking your absolute best for your body type and style. So glad I was readying Jo-Lynne to learn about this!

  51. I need to purge my closet so badly! I was just reading about KonMari on goop so I love that you lay out some tips in a really practical way! The folding was pretty cool and I will use her techniques for that. I have to use this post as inspiration and motivation.

    The Cocooners

    1. See, I couldn’t stick to her clothing folding technique. I tried but I’ve gone back to my old ways. 🙂 I actually hang everything I can. (I know, she hates that. But it works for me.)

  52. Excellent post. I clean my closet out with the change of seasons but have never taken everything out and done a complete purge. I am going to do it this time. Thanks Jo-Lynne

  53. I also do a closet cleaning about 2 times a year – at the beginning of a season. Also, everytime I buy a blouse, one goes to the Goodwill pile. Same goes for shoes, pants, etc. It keeps me updated and not so cluttered.

  54. Your timing is perfect. I need to do this and I want to do this and I’m looking forward to doing this, It feels like permission to get rid of those things that are not quite right or “I might need this”….so thank you! I am looking forward to my closet purging!

  55. I absolutely love this post!! I went through this process after you posted this before, and between this and part of the Adore Your Wardrobe advice, I feel SO MUCH BETTER about my closet. It truly does make a world of difference. Nothing I’ve done before has come close to making life in the mornings as easy. And I actually buy less because I am protective of what I am putting into that organized closet. It’s very freeing. And your comment about not doing this after a big meal when you’re bloated made me literally laugh out loud! So true though! ????

  56. I always say I’m going to do this and don’t get to it. But I think my daughter is going to start preschool this fall, so this is on my list of things to do while she’s away. With a 6 hr day I should be able to get through it, ha.

  57. Yes, I need to do this!

    A question. After purging how do you store your shoes? I often wonder the best way for them to be easily seen and for easy access.

    1. I have mine on shelves. I am fortunate to have a great closet organizational system with shelves but I also took a bookcase in our bedroom and turned it into shoe storage. 🙂

  58. Such great tips! I am a pretty decent purger but definitely hold on to too many things for the wrong reasons. While I do switch clothes around each season and get rid of a few things I know if I took them all out at once and used this method I would definitely see more to purge. One other trick I’ve used is to turn my hangers around backwards as I switch the seasons. If an item never turns around I realize it has not been worn,.

    Thanks for sharing Adore Me too…..believe it our not I had never heard of this! Intrigued!

    Shelly | The Queen in Between

  59. I DESPERATELY need to do this! I usually can never get myself to get rid of anything because of the money I spent on it but I have WAY too many clothes that I never wear.

    This is inspiration I need thank you!

    Song x

  60. I did this and couldn’t believe the amount of clothes I got rid of. It definitely felt so much better to get rid of things I just had occupying space in my closet. I plan on doing it again since the season is about to change. I’ve never had an issue getting rid of things I don’t necessarily wear so this comes easy to me. But I love it and you should definitely try it if you haven’t.

  61. My sister turns the hanger the opposite way when she wears something. Everything that hasn’t been turned goes away at the end of the season.

  62. If I purged my closet or all of the things that I don’t like, I would end up being naked for most of the year. I think I should get some new stuff. Ha!

    1. Hopefully it’s an opportunity to figure out what will make you feel amazing to wear it! If it’s really a challenge, I recommend taking the Adore Your Wardrobe course I mentioned at the end of this post. It really helped me figure out what looks good on me and why it works, and how to avoid buying more of the things I don’t love and won’t want to wear. Hope that makes sense! It’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet. 🙂

  63. I would love to be the one you send your castoffs to. I love reading your daily email blogs. You make me more conscious of how I shop and what I buy when I shop. I look for hood quality pieces now when I shop.

  64. I saw that there is a new Marie Kondo show on Netflix!! It dropped today. She is amazing! Here’s to a more organized 2019!!

  65. Well Happy New Year. We managed to stay at our friends place, which is just up the road from us until a few minutes to 1. I wanted to get to bed earlier as we have company tonight and see the ball drop in time square which I haven’t seen in years. We normally don’t leave until 3 or even one year do I say 5…. Ouch!! I paid for that the next day but I wanted to help clean up…. I love the steps and ideas of purging the closet. There’s not a whole lot except some tees and athleisure wear, jeans that I would leave out year round. We are definitely in a seasonal climate, and I do a change over in the closet in early Spring( for Spring and Summer) and early fall for ( Fall and Winter) the key is to do it earlier enough so your ready when the weather changes. Sometimes I have an overlap but ween those pieces out once it changes for good. I have parted with things each season change but will admit a few times I’ve gone looking for a piece and realize I gave it away. So the maybe pile sounds like the way to go. I have pieces that I know for sure that I’m done with. I often ask myself … have I worn that in the last year? in the last two year? if not then it usually goes. I’ve also heard that when we wear something we should hang it up backwards in closet… If by the end of season we haven’t turned it around you might want to consider giving it away or at least to the maybe pile which I like. Looking forward to what’s in store for this year!!

  66. What a timely post and a good time to say how much I appreciate your blog.  Yours is the blog I turn to most often because you are never trying to overtly sell product to me, your advice seems to always be spot-on, and your practical style suits me in so many ways.  I hope the companies that you work with see your authenticity and ability to influence in a subtle and very informative way.  Tell ’em I said so!!  Happy New Year, and I gotta go get purgin’!!

  67. Happy New Year to you and your family!  I’m impressed that you managed to stay awake to welcome in 2019.  I didn’t go to bed until 1:40 this morning.  Unfortunately, Larry has come down with a bad cold, which can turn into bronchitis or pneumonia, if we aren’t vigilant and very careful.  Not a great way to begin a new year, but at least we are at home and he can stay down.  Maybe by Saturday when we will see the sun again, he will be feeling a little better.  Have a great rest of the day!

  68. Hi JoLynne, and Happy New Year! Just want to thank you for another year of stylish tips and inspiration. Emptying out my closet frightens me, who knows what I’ll find in the deep recesses of chaos? But I know this must be done so onward and upward a new adventure. I do have a question about your lovely gold monogram necklace: do you still wear yours? I am contemplating purchasing one for myself. Thanks!

  69. Great post. Everytime I read it I feel inspired. So much I don’t love in my closet but have an attachment to. Thiis helps me purge. Happy New Year.

  70. Everywhere I look, there are reminders to decultter/purge. I’m getting to it!
     I spent today putting away my Christmas. I really enjoy decorating for the season and looking forward to the excitement of Christmas. Not so much afterwards. It’s a real chore to take everything down and pack away nicely. Then, put your house back together again.
    But, I will get to my closet by the end of the week. I’ve let it slide and know there are pieces I no longer wear or fit. Oops! Gained a few. I’ll be working on that, too. 

  71. Jo-Lynne: 
    I followed a similar process a few weeks ago and ended up filling two 30-gallon trash bags with items that others could use. It’s interesting what you learn about yourself as you go through the purge process. Mind you, I do this at least twice a year. If you aren’t wearing these items, why did you by them and what could you do with the money that was spent on them? My conclusion, purchase fewer items that may cost more, but that you truly love. I love, love, love fashion, so spending money on clothing and accessories will never change, but as I get older, how I approach purchasing those items is changing (for the better). Happy New Year!

  72. I have her book and have given it as a gift.  I think because I live in PA and have a four season wardrobe, my closet fills quickly.  Unfortunately subbing out clothes by the season just seems too labor intensive.  I think this technique applies to your entire house and I’m in a constant state of purge lately because of this book and the Minimalist Decorator.

    1. I agree, I use this technique throughout the house as well. It’s become a bit of a joke with my husband and kids. They know if something doesn’t “bring me joy”, it is going right to the trash or the thrift store bin in the garage.😂

      I do like to switch out my closet for seasons (also in PA) but there is definitely some overlap. Jeans and t-shirts stay put year ’round, as well as most of my pumps and ballet flats/loafers. I swap out boots for sandals and sweaters for summer tops when the seasons change. I know a lot of people who just keep it all in their closet year ’round, though.

  73. I really need to read that book. I purge at least once a year, but it’s such a chore when I take it all out. Our seasons are hot, hotter and hot as … so it’s frustrating to try and switch out seasonally. All that said, this post always motivates me.

  74. Hi JoLynne, I just found you, and what a great post!  These are wonderful ideas.  I did this last year with my jewelry, and it’s so freeing (I have a metal allergy, so I kept only what I can wear and only what I loved). Then I bought a few more pieces and only wear that collection.  It’s perfect and fits my style now.  I need to do this again with my clothing items and teach my teen daughter to as well.
    One thing I would add to the MAYBE situation is that sometimes things don’t fit because they need tailoring!  I’m super-busty, specialty size bras.  When I go up in size on even a simple ruffle-front tank for example, sometimes it swims on me.  But, if the fabric drapes well, I can have the shoulder seam shortened to bring the neckline up where it belongs.  I know a friend who has a tiny waist with larger hips and bum; she even gets jeans tailored now because finding her true waist size was impossible.  So….if you have a great silk top or awesome rocker jeans that you really love but the fit is slightly off, maybe consider tailoring and then it’s LOVE IT material.

  75. I got stressed when you said take everything out of your closet. 😫 I’ll think on that. Ha. Your closet looks great. I’m staying in tonight too. Has too much going during Christmas. Feels good to chill in pjs. Happy New Year. Looking forward to 2020.

  76. Everything you said is right in time but for me I’m struggling with over abundance of everything (emotions & clothes stuff excess) it is really hard to start the process I’ve tried and just can’t get in there and tackle it …having to take care of my moms clothes too … both of us extreme shoppers 😔

  77. I am a 60 year old petite black woman who hasn’t worked for 2 years. I am currently in grad school. I attend church primarily on line but do attend church with my husband occasionally. He and I got married last year and we are trying to consolidate into one house. I have a lot of clothes, shoes, handbags and jewelry. I have scarves but haven’t worn one in years. My lifestyle is totally different. I’m no longer a working woman. When I finish school, I will be pursue becoming a licensed counselor I spend the bulk of my days at home and I go out to dinner with my husband and we go out to concerts. But in the meantime, I need to make some space for my husband. I also have a condition that won’t allow me to wear heels any higher than 2 1/2 inches. I wish I had the money for someone to come in and help but I don’t. I read what you said about cleaning out the closet but my “maybe” pile is probably too big. I want to cut my wardrobe in half. HELP!!!

    1. Hey Jeanine! I would put that maybe pile in storage where you can access it if you want to retrieve anything out of it during the next year. Anything you don’t go looking for within the next year, donate. 🙂

  78. Liked your closet purge I get rid of things I do 3 stacks love it, give it to friends or donate it. Taking out everything is a new one I may try that next time.

  79. Great post, thank you for refreshing it. We remodeled our walk-in closet last spring during the COVID shut down and I took the opportunity to go through my clothes and shoes. It felt so good to clean out and organize. The only problem is, our South Texas winter weather is very crazy. One day it’s in the 30’s and the next day we’re back in the 70’s so I have to keep a wide variety of seasons in my closet and constantly check the weather before I deciding what to wear  Ugh!

  80. I have been regularly purging for a few years now (after reading the Marie Kondo Book) and I’m certainly not perfect and still hang on to more than I should but it does feel good. While I don’t have a place to put off season clothes (and I live in a distinct 4 season location), nor do I care to be that thorough, I do re-arrange my closet each season by moving the off season clothes to the bottom shelves and the far ends of my closet – this really helps.
    I also regularly purge in between big purges – when my tshirt shelf gets messy, I pull them all out to straighten and go through them again. Shoes seem to be the biggest one that is hard to get rid of – i always think even if I wear them only twice a year its cheaper than going to buy a new pair (and the favourites that truly are worn out but You LOVE them…lol)

  81. Oh wow!!!!  I was just looking at that Serpa fleece jacket in the cream color yesterday and didn’t know if it would fit short and wide and we don’t have any GAPS around here anymore to return……I hate in mail returns and so I didn’t put it in the cart and buy it. 🙂  I’m shorter than you, so was thinking the XS.  It really is a great price for sure.  I wish they go back to regular fitting tops etc.  I don’t like the short and wide fade.  I use to love to shop at LOFT and now I can never order with confidence, as their tops are so flowy and wide now.  

  82. This is an impossible task given the life changing current environment. In 2018-2019 I was in a volunteer position where I attended numerous conventions, cocktail parties, and other events. I saw many of the same people at these events, so I began purchasing dresses and business suits appropriate for these events, that I knew I’d wear for years to come. Enter 2020 and I haven’t worn a single dress or suit in a year. 

  83. PS  As for the closet purging, I rarely pull everything out to clean but when I do, I get rid of so much.  Plus, things get sooooo dusty.  I change out my close for the seasons Fall/Winter then change for Spring/Summer and one of the best tips for me that I’ve done years ago is color code my clothes. This has helped me keep from buying too many white tops etc. etc.  You see what you have in each color.  Great post. 

  84. I try to clean out my closet regularly, but this year the rules have changed. I live in the California Bay Area, and we have basically been on lockdown since last March. As of now, my job has transitioned to working from home from mid-March last year through July 6, of this year. I haven’t really worn my work clothes since then – aside from some of my sweaters. The “I haven’t worn it in a year” just doesn’t apply! Even though my work is “business casual” I still don’t tend to wear some of the clothes at home – not when I can wear stretch pants. I don’t have many video calls so there is no need to get dressed up! 

    My rule for buying new items is to first only buy things that I love and need. My second is to only buy something that goes with at least 3 outfits I already own. If I find pants, or a top and I will need to buy things to wear with the item – then I pass. I’ve found too often that I will love an item, but I never wear it because it just doesn’t go with the rest of my wardrobe. I cannot tell you how many things I have ended up tossing with tags still on because it didn’t match with the rest of my wardrobe – be it color, style, or even lifestyle. 

  85. Always such a great and inspiring post!  I try to keep purging through the year, but I did do the whole purge thing a couple of years ago and it truly helped!  I have a big enough closet to keep everything in there, but I do tend to move the seasonal stuff to the back and move the current season forward where it’s more easily accessible.  I need to figure out what to do with shoes!  I have PF and when I find shoes that are comfortable, I hate to get rid of them, if they are still in style.  Even if I only wear them a few times a year.  I need better storage for them.  That is my next task!

  86. So strange. I first commented this morning and there were lots of comments posted but sounded like right after Christmas. Now came back to reread something and it’s only one post commented. Maybe first time it linked to your old post to this subject. Anyway great post. Purging really does help but I dread the taking everything out of closet time of purging. Takes me forever. I need days not hours. Lol. Best thing I ever did was color code my clothes. 

  87. Hi Jo-Lynne, I enjoyed this post so much. Do you hang up all your sweaters and sweater dresses? I don’t like getting those pumps on the shoulders caused from hangers and I worry that sweater dresses will stretch in length from hanging? Just wondering how you handle your sweaters and sweater dresses.

    1. Sweaters are a problem for me too. Unfortunately my house is 35 yrs old built when no one wore clothes lol.  My closet is 6 feet wide and the depth of a hanger plus about 6 inches and it has two bypass doors so I can only see in half at a time. We took out the single eye level shelf and divided it into two halves since only one is accessible at a time. My cardigans are on hangers and they got bumps so even tho it takes massively more space I started folding them over the hangers like the dry cleaners do. The fold the sleeves inward, place a piece of tissue and then fold the sides in. That way no stretching. I have probably 30 crammed into a tiny space. It’s frustrating since the only place for a chair in the room is in the corner blocking the closet. I’m planning to not take everything out since that means dealing with the doors, but rather half at a time. I think I’ll take the spring weight ones out completely. Good luck with yours!  

      1. Hi Liane, sorry…I tho’t at first that your lovely email came from Jo-Lynne but now I see it was from you, my bad lol. I appreciate your reply, and I like your idea of folding sweaters over the hanger, although your right, I could see it taking up a lot more space. But I’ll give it a try! I do have some folded in my dresser but it’s not as easy to see what I’ve got that way. I hear your frustration with a smaller closet. Mine is quite wide, but not a walk-in closet, and I’m trying to maximize the space. Thanks for your tips I appreciate it!

      2. Liane, my house is about the same age and I don’t have a walk in closet, that’s sort of how I handle hanging my nicer sweaters also removing any lightweight spring/summery sweaters. I try and use a hanger with some sort of padding. I still end up with some everyday older ones folded in my dresser. Works much better for me too.

        1. I think you all responded to the original 2015 blog post. Since then we’ve move and I have a new ginormous closet. I did however do a purge just before we moved. Another blogger I follow introduced me to Oufit Formulas. It looked interesting so I bought one module – the basic casual wardrobe. I already had everything on that list and a few duplicates. Everything else went into boxes for donations or storage for a different season. That eliminated a ton of cardigans. After getting rid of a huge number of them for various reasons – mostly pilling, snags, nothing matching, too small etc. I was left with a core of useful neutral cardis I could fold like the video. My pullovers underwent a similar purge – mostly tossed for pilling but a few had stains or were too big. They are in a blanket chest at the end of the bed. I tried shelves for them but they wanted to fall off and I’m short, so that caused a problem also.

    2. My sweaters are all stored in clear, stackable sweater bins from the Container Store – changed my life!

  88. This is a wonderful post.
    I have wanted to clean out/purge for a while. You just gave me the push I need. Thanks!
    Looking forward to the building blocks to follow.

  89. My closet needs a serious purge of some items. I still have dresses I wore in 2011 and 2012! I don’t even like them any more but I hold on because I have no newer dresses. Yep, 2012 is the last time I bought a dress. Oh my!

  90. I struggle with holding on to too many things I rarely wear. They fit and look nice, but they are pieces I would only wear on certain occasions. Like a tropical print dress that’s perfect for a beach resort but doesn’t match my normal wardrobe. I also noticed that I gravitate towards dressier pieces but rarely wear them because I feel overdressed in them. I’ve definitely been looking for more casual pieces to fill in the gaps!

    1. I think it’s appropriate to keep a few of those things, because when you need them, you need them. I have a couple of classic black dresses that I rarely wear, but I’m always glad to have them when I have a funeral or dressy occasion. Just be sure to try them on at least once a year and make sure they still fit and are in good condition. Then keep them in the back of your closet where they don’t create “visual clutter” when you are trying to put your outfits together. 🙂

  91. I have done a purge, and it was enlightening! I took everything I didn’t want to a local nonprofit that works with the needy and underserved. I like that my clothes go to women for free. I always have a donate pile going, as well. When I fill up a bag, out it goes.

  92. Great post, I’m overdue for a closet purge! I like the idea of keeping a “maybe” bin in your closet! I keep a “5lb bag”, anything that’s too small but would realistically fit if I lost 5-10lbs. If I’d have to lose more than that to wear it, put it goes! I’d enjoy a closet storage/organization post! We just ripped out our old closet rod/shelf combo and are planning to put in dividers and new shelving and I’m clueless how to organize it! Also I agree with the others on needing tips for the best way to store sweaters and other tricky items. Thanks for posting this, I think New Year is a great time to do this!

  93. Such a great post! So helpful! I try to do this often, but have recently lost quite a bit of weight and plan to lose more. Since I am in between sizes I am keeping some things that I know I won’t continue to wear. It’s also hard to know what to buy now (because I have to have something to wear) and what to wait to buy until I’m at my goal weight. I’ve been holding onto some things that I know I won’t wear any more just to have something to wear. I’m going to get rid of them this week! Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

  94. Jo-Lynne,

    Thanks for updating this post. I have also used the Marie Kondo method to clean out everything from clothing to house decorations, etc. Something else I do is to limit the space for items. I don’t need more clothes than my closet and dresser can hold. I have “donate” boxes ready for things I don’t want or need and when I fill a couple of boxes up, I run them over to the thrift shop. This year when decorating for Christmas I made a point to collect items and gift wrap supplies that I didn’t need and donate them.

  95. Such great advice! Thank you. As someone who only purges piece by piece, this necessary project will likely take me weeks. I probably have decades of clothes filling multiple closets. Yikes!

  96. Great reminder! Quick question – have you had your colors done? I keep thinking about it and this post makes me want to in order to rebuild my wardrobe with colors that actually complement my skin and hair color. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  97. So I haven’t actually emptied the closet but I’ve gone through sections – tops, sweaters, pants, jeans, each as sections and eliminated/purged. What’s ironic though is I’ve had a poshmark closet for just over 5 years and I find myself thrifting a lot and then get home and realize i don’t love it so …. it goes into my closet to resell. I have found myself several times this year specifically going to THAT closet and pulling things I didn’t love once and finding new ways to wear items and taking them out of circulation for sell…..so kinda going backwards – they were things that were on trend currently but I just couldn’t figure out how to wear them to fit my style but just digging in to the fashion blogs I’ve stretched myself a bit to find ways that work.

  98. Thank you for the update. I have a big closet, so all of my clothes are in my closet. I purge by category. This keeps it from becoming overwhelming, and I can then devote a couple hours vs. a day or two that I never have. It may take me several sessions, but it is more manageable. Thank you also for the “permission” to let it go. I need to teach my girls this. I have one who has trouble letting things go.

  99. Merry Christmas JoLynn – thanks for this post. Funny story: I did a HUGE closet clean out/purge when i moved in April of this from Texas to Arkansas to be near family. I literally got rid of 25-30 huge bags, some tubs loaded, etc. I felt so much lighter….until I started realizing I’d donated my favorite black tee by mistake & oops, then another thing here and there. But the good news is I was able to replace everything and am so much happier with a smaller wardrobe. I am a seasonal person, so I definitely have the seasons and the weather covered still – but very happy I can fit my clothes more easily into my closets.

  100. I like Marie Kondo s methods and think they’re very helpful, with one caveat. I won’t discard something that doesn’t “bring joy” but fills a real need, until I’ve found a replacement. Otherwise, I’d be left with a gap in my wardrobe. Right now, I want a new heavy, snow-worthy jacket but untiI find one I love and can afford, I’m holding onto the “so-so” one I have lol.

    1. Makes sense to me! There are definitely some things like that, that you just need and they aren’t terribly exciting. Like all methods, we have to all tweak them to work for us.

  101. Hey JoLynne! Great Post! I did this about 6 Mos ago after I had my open heart surgery and lost 40 lbs. That was a real eye opener. Anyway, I got rid of a lot of stuff. I’m so glad because I was one of those people that has a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. I have spent the rest of the year to replenish with the basics. But I did it!! I’m so happy with ny closet now. Thank you so much! A little encouragement goes a long way!! Hope you and your family have a Wonderful and Blessed Christmas and New Year 2023!❤️

  102. Best thing I ever did was put my clothes back color coded. Also helps now that I am empty nested I can use the other bedroom closet for out of season things. That’s when I tend to purge is when I change seasons in my closet. I did remove everything years ago and start over, but haven’t done it again. Probably time.

  103. I have to separate my clothes by season and store out of season clothes in bins. When I switch over to the new season I hang everything backwards. After wearing the item I hang it properly. At the end of the season anything that is still hanging backwards gets tossed.

  104. Enjoyed this. I have purged but only drawer by drawer or pulling items out. I realize I really need to do a complete cleaning, start over with my organization and put away seasons.I have way too many bulky winter sweaters to love my closet all year long with our 4 seasons in NC. Looking forward to doing this! Thank you!

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