How to Edit Your Wardrobe and Declutter Your Closet

Keep What You Wear – Sell or Donate the Rest

Among the many things we buy in America, clothing seems to accumulate faster than anything else. So it’s wise to edit your wardrobe on a regular basis and make space.

Letting go isn’t always easy. When it’s time to clean out the closet, ask yourself these 8 questions:

 1. When did I wear this last?

When you can’t recall wearing an item, it’s likely not going into your rotation. Purge it if you can’t remember wearing it or you wore it more than 1-2 years ago.

2. What does this garment allow me to do?

Clothes can help us navigate many situations, professional and social. Over time, some garments prove themselves more useful than others. A tuxedo, for example, is usually worth keeping around just in case. Those cheetah print loafers you bought on a whim? Maybe not. Purge the garment if it doesn’t work in your daily life, nor in special occasions.

3. Is this my style?

At a certain age, you know yourself and how to express that with your clothing. Things like gifts and mistaken purchases however, pile up and clutter your space, adding unwanted complexity to the process of getting dressed each day.

Granted, some of your older garments may have a nostalgia associated with a previous time in your life.  As the popular author Marie Kondo says: “thank the item for the role it has already played in your life,” and then let it go.

4. Does it still fit?

Body sizes fluctuate. Don’t hang on to stuff you cannot wear. And don’t buy garments that are too small hoping they will motivate you to lose weight. If it doesn’t fit, purge it.

5.  Can I return it?

If you don’t wear it and the tags are still attached, check your return policy. In the race to provide excellent service, retailers are extending return policies longer than ever before. Zappo’s and REI are two retailers currently advertising a 365-day return policy.

6. Do I have duplicates?

When they know something fits, a lot of guys will buy duplicates. It’s easy to go overboard and find yourself with duplicates. Purge them if you end up with more than you need.

7. Is this garment beyond repair?

Character is one thing. We all love faded jeans and the subtle color changes that occur in quality leather. These are part of the garment’s patina. And obviously, coffee stains are not patina. Purge the garment if its flaws are unflattering.

8. Do I have time for this?

Many busy professionals simply don’t have the time to organize and edit their large wardrobes. A professional organizer can help you make decisions about what to purge and how to handle the inevitable donation / resale pile that results.