How to clean out your wardrobe (Closet purge!)

On October 13th, I published a post called #drunksmart. Short version: in a more or less inebriated state, I declared that all future outfits would be held to a higher standard of style. In case my personal style up to that point in time is unclear, it can easily be described by the name of this blog and detailed in the about section of same. While the clothes I’ve been wearing since the announcement do reflect a slightly more put-together look, there’s still something missing. And it’s STYLE.

My current wardrobe consists of some necessary staples, and some great independent pieces. Since taking on this style challenge, I’ve discovered that the individual pieces don’t really work together, and none of them are accurately speaking to my personality. So it’s time for an overhaul, and that will begin with taking a serious look at what I currently own. If it doesn’t work for where I want to be, and how I want to feel, it needs to go. As much as I love shopping, there’s no point bringing in more items unless there’s an accurate evaluation of what I have.


This is not be my first closet purge. I’ve become quite the pro, and you can do it quickly and easily, too. Just follow three rules of three.

Closet Purging – Three Rules of Three

Evaluate each item for the following:

1. Condition: noticeably faded, stretched past original shape (or loses shape within 15 minutes of donning), pilling (sweaters and thin knits), and a loss of opacity all mean it goes.

2. Fit: things that are more than a 10 lb weight difference from your current state need to go. (Admittedly, I fail on this a lot. I’m delusional about revisiting the size I was when I left college)

3. Last time worn: if it has been more than 12 months since it left the closet, it needs to leave it permanently.

After evaluating an item, place it into one of the following piles:

(This is the best way to push through waffling on particular items is to go through your entire wardrobe QUICKLY: For the first round, just make three piles. Stay, go and maybe. Because there is a “maybe” pile, you don’t end up slowing down the process midway through and losing focus. Once you’ve removed the “go” items and replaced the “stay” items, you THEN revisit the “maybe” pile. It’s often much more apparent whether those items are truly keepers.)

1. Stay

2. Go

3. Maybe

Have a friend help - it can be so valuable to get an objective opinion

Have a friend help – it can be so valuable to get an objective opinion

Finally, once you’re ready to say goodbye to some of your fabric friends, split the “go” stack into three new piles:

1. Possible resale (Poshmark, Ebay, Plato’s Closet)

2. Donate (Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, local shelter)

3. Garbage

I’ll post back to let you know what things got the boot, and whether I have any clothes left in my closet at all.

Photo credits: hangers – Darwin Bell via photopin cc, cat in basket (prior to addition of text) – jasperwiet via photopin cc

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