Ugh. “Purge”. It’s one of those words like “moist” or… “moist”. It’s not the way it sounds, it’s just – you know, what it is. Purging stuff. I feel like I’m writing about my closet throwing up remnants of old college t-shirts and Target Mossimo tags.
I’ve always thought the idea of “cleaning out my closet” sounded like a terrible idea. Like this monumental chore. Because it basically feels like opening up the door to my own personal landfill of Victoria’s Secret shopping bags (that I, for some reason, struggle to throw away) and shoes. So many shoes. WHY do I have so many shoes? I have two feet. I do not need twenty pairs of shoes.
But, you know, some day, “I might wear them” – or so I tell myself.
I have clothes in there too. Some clothes. Not all of my clothes. A lot of them used to end up in piles on the floor. Because they wouldn’t fit in my closet. And the floor seemed like as good a place as any to keep them – you know, because I could see them. No sense opening up the pesky old closet and reminding myself what a mess it is in there.
And then I moved in with my boyfriend. Who is not like the boys you met in college with McDonalds bags stashed under their beds and dirty clothes spilling out of the hamper (thank God) – he’s, like, an adult. He’s sanitary. And while I know he loves me, I figured it wouldn’t take long before he would get frustrated with me using my side of the closet as a landfill for VS bags and the bedroom floor to layout my clothes. All of my clothes. You know, so I can see them. Because you can’t do THAT when they’re in the closet. Too many other clothes in the way. Some shirt you love might be squeezed between two shirts you hate – and then you’ll miss it. And then you’ll be sad.
Plus we have two closets, and he was nice enough to give me the larger one. So, like, I should PROBABLY take advantage of this kind gesture and actually, like, USE the closet space… ya know?
But I knew what this meant: the big, scary task of getting rid of stuff. Most stuff, actually. (Okay, like a third.) Which is hard for someone like me, because every time I sort through clothes that I tell myself I need to donate, I think to myself, “But I might wear this! I just forgot I had it!” (It’s been in my closet for over a year with the tags still on it, but sure, I might wear it. I just need to remember that it exists.) So – without further ado (is it “ado” or “adieu”, I thought it was the second one, but Google said it’s spelled like AD-O) here are the steps that I’ve created to FINALLY get rid of stuff in your closet that you LITERALLY DON’T NEED AT ALL but, for some reason, think that you do.
- First of all, if you’re anything like me – don’t start with The KonMari Method. I knoooow it’s all the rage – but we’re not there yet. Before you can determine what brings you joy, you need to get rid of the crap surrounding it.I first heard about Marie Kondo and her magic of tidying up on the Gilmore Girls reboot. Emily Gilmore got rid of a dining room chair because it didn’t bring her joy. And I was like, “What a wonderfully healthy way to live! I should do that too!” It does seem very cleansing. Like a soul cleanse for your house. Getting rid of all of the crap. Dragging eeeeeeverything out of the closet and tossing out anything that doesn’t bring you joy.If I dragged eeeeeverything out of my closet, I would probably cry. It would take days to go through. I would get tired. The piles would clutter up my living room and my boyfriend may threaten to leave me because he would get sick of tripping over my tiny mountains of shoes, and I would say something like, “But I’m trying to determine if they bring me joy! I just don’t know yet – I might need them!” DON’T DRAG EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR CLOSET. It’s okay to start in sections. You don’t have Marie Kondo your way through this and tackle everything all at once. That sounds terrifying and like something you’ll lose interest in halfway through. By breaking it down one section at a time, the process seems less overwhelming and you’ll feel accomplished every time you finish part of it!
- 2. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.I had dresses in my closet that were a Size 10. CUTE dresses. With the tags still on them! Why am I not wearing them?! Because I bought them three years ago, before I started eating salad and going to the gym more than once in awhile, and now I’m a Size 6. I will never wear these dresses. But they moved into THREE apartments with me. THREE. Each time I thought about donating them – but then I was like, “These were expensive, and I never wore them! I can’t just GET RID OF THEM.” Like I’m going to gain thirty pounds back just to be able to wear them again? Yea sounds like fun, but no thanks. Instead they just took up space and reminded me of how guilty I felt that I’d spent $200 on dresses that I’ll never, ever wear. Therefore, if it doesn’t fit – just freaking get rid of it. Be straight up. None of this “If I lose ten pounds, I can wear it” stuff. You know what – If you lose ten pounds, you can reward yourself by going shopping to buy new clothes! And they’ll be WAY CUTER than whatever is in your closet now. Promise. You’ve got good taste, girl. Own it.
- 3. You know those clothes that you skip over when you’re getting dressed in the morning because, “Ugh. I don’t even like that shirt.” – IF YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE IT, WHAT IS IT DOING IN YOUR CLOSET?
We all have those clothes. This was 1/3 of my closet. Clothes that I would find myself skipping over when getting ready and thinking to myself, “That shirt always looks weird on me” or “I don’t like that” or “Why did I even buy that?” – but for some reason, when it came time to fill up the old donation bag, I suddenly let these clothes have a second chance. “Maybe I’ll wear it”, I think. Or, “there’s nothing WRONG with it… I might wear this.” Nope. No. Never wore it. Why? Because I want clothes that make me feel attractive. Clothes that I feel good in. Anything that doesn’t make you feel like a freaking powerhouse is not something that you’re ever going to wear. And you shouldn’t have to. If you don’t even like it, just get rid of it! It’s taking up valuable space for your real clothes.
- 4. You don’t need seven pairs of black flats.Which I had, by the way. Seven. Basic black flats. And you know what the funny part is? I wore the same pair from Target until I wore them out, and then I just ran right out to Target and bought a new pair. Of the exact same flats. Because they were comfortable and all of the other ones in my closet hurt my feet. “But what if I need another pair of black flats?,” I thought. “What if it’s an emergency?” Like what if Target quits selling basic black flats? Highly unlikely. If there are shoes in your closet that you never wear because they hurt your feet – just get rid of them. Why are they in there? They’re taking up space for new shoes.
- 5. Be ruthless.Be a freaking drill sergeant. Like the new Marie Kondo-esque version of you is going through the old you’s closet. Ask yourself, “Do I need this?” – and if the answer is yes, be prepared to explain why. NOT because they’re gloves and you have hands. Are they gloves that you actually wear? Do you have more than two pair of gloves already? Are they really cute gloves? Can you keep them, but get rid of a different pair? Be tough on yourself. Be prepared to part with a lot of things. Go in with the mindset that YOU WILL BE GETTING RID OF THINGS and not coming up with excuses to keep things. You don’t need ALL the things. They’re just things. (And you won’t even miss them when they’re gone. Trust me.)
- 6. Consider the trends.
Guys. I got rid of TWO furry vests when I was going through my closet. TWO. And I never even wore them. I just bought them because they were in style at the time and I thought that I needed to be “in style”. (This is why the internet needs boring fashion blogs. For people who don’t know how to dress themselves and just buy things like army pants and flip flops because they saw Cady Herron wearing army pants and flip flops.) Look at the trendy items in your closet, and ask yourself if the “new” you – the little trendy you that you are – would wear this again. If the answer is no, be prepared to let it go.
So, that’s it! Remember to take baby steps. We’re not performing the life changing magic of tidying up over here – we’re literally just trying to start by getting the stash of Victoria Secret bags and shirts with holes in them out of our closets. It doesn’t have to be this big, scary thing. And think about how much better you’ll feel when it’s done!
Do you have tips for getting rid of things in your closet? Let’s hear it in the comments below!