I don't recall purging my closet ever. Literally. Ever. So this post gives me anxiety because I know that this will be the biggest and hardest challenge I've faced. Yes, I've gone to college. Graduated. Yes, I work. I'm working and I'm a "functional" adult. But hoarding is in my genetics because I've never witnessed my parents getting rid of anything (except trash, of course). I'm tired of digging through items in my closet to find only a few items I wear. I am slowly becoming my parents and holding onto things that are "trash" and finding excuses to keep them.
I am accepting this challenge to live a simplified and organized life. The fewer things you have, the less you need to clean, right? I also believe that your haven reflects your state-of-mind and emotion. If I was to look at my place now, it's not a pretty sight. I can change that so I must.
The first thing I did was to research on how to purge and declutter on Pinterest (Good ole Pinterest). I was discouraged and ashamed but now knowing it's a common issue; I'm not embarrassed, just motivated. After my intense "Pinterest-Research-Blackhole-Sesh", these are the following questions that resonated from Melissa at Simple Lionheart Life's blog post (You must ask while trying each item. NO exception):
Does it fit?
It might be small, big or just doesn't fit right for YOU. Why are you still holding onto it? I held onto clothes that are too small thinking I might lose weight but that didn't happen. I'm still working on it and WHEN I do lose weight, I'm going to reward myself by purchasing new clothes anyway. Motto: Out with the old and in with the new.
Is it damaged, stained or needs repair?
We save items intending to fix them but we don't (we rarely do). I'm guilty of it and I have a pile dedicated to the "I need to fix one day" but it's more like the haven't-even-touched-the-whole-year-plus-more pile. Be honest with yourself and just throw it away. Don't bother to donate these since they're less than standard.
Do I feel good in it? Is it comfortable?
No matter how good the particular item is, if you feel terrible in it, you'll never wear it. So why let it take your needed space? Wear something that makes you look and feel fabulous. I am going to practice what I preach. Begone, you vile clothes!
Do I look good in it? Do the color and style flatter me?
It's better to ask a friend, who's objective opinion you trust, versus your own opinion which can be overly critical. Their advice can help you optimize your wardrobe and keep the best pieces. Additionally, you will have someone to keep you company during this whole ordeal. I'm planning to bring my besties, drink wine, and make it a whole "bestie date" after going through the three previous questions by myself (time management skills to the rescue 😉).
When was the last time I wore it?
If you haven't worn it within the past year, then there's an increased chance you won't ever. If it's still in good condition, don't feel guilty throwing it out but consider selling and/ or donating (just because you're not using it doesn't mean no one will). Once it's out of your closet, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind". I'm planning to donate mine as quickly as possible to a local foundation. Yay!
Would I be happy to wear it for the rest of the day?
Initially, you might pass all the above questions with flying colors then realize the end of the day that either you felt uncomfortable, don't feel as amazing as you should, or not as flattering as you initially thought. Been there, done that. Just sell or donate due to higher quality.
After the purge, you might panic about your shrunken closet. You'll immediately think, "What have I done, I have nothing to wear." No, you and I just shattered the illusion and revealed what our REAL closet looks like. Good news: Shopping! Time to reward yourself for all the hard work and shop for what you need now. Create a list of what you need but don't shop for them instantly. Take time to invest into items you love.
Couple of infographics to help with the purge, if you prefer visuals instead:
What are some of your lifehacks you'd like to share?