If you want to simplify your closet, dress with less and save your time and energy for something other than answering the question, “what am I going to wear today?” or if you often find yourself thinking, “I have nothing to wear.” this list of things to eliminate from your closet will help. If you are a long time reader of the Be More with Less blog or newsletter, you know that I do not care what’s in your wardrobe and believe you should should wear whatever you want.
This list includes things I’ve removed from my own closet and by eliminating these items, I realized that I didn’t need more closet space and that I wasn’t just keeping clothes in my closet, but a lot of negative emotions too. As I was simplifying my closet, I wasn’t making room for new outfits and handbags. I was making space for more peace and ease.
Is your closet ready for a closet cleanout?
From work clothes to items that fit fashion trends gone by, you may have pairs of shoes, old t-shirts or even new items on hangers that you never wear still waiting in your closet. Instead of closet organizers, storage solutions and bins or even new clothes to simplify your closet, I recommend bags and cardboard boxes to get that pair of jeans or bridesmaids dress packed up for donations. Use this guide for a practical closet clean out.
Ok, here comes the fun part. Instead of organizing your closet, get rid of most of the items. I recommend using capsule wardrobe challenge Project 333 to help you pare down without the stress of letting everything go. For this challenge, you’ll remove everything except for 33 items including clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes. You’ll find some simple tips to help you get started here and here.
How to simplify your wardrobe slowly
If you aren’t ready to dress with only 33 items or feel overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering your closet, why not slow down and go at your own pace? Instead of removing all but 33 items, start by removing only 33 items. Consider it the reverse Project 333.
33 items to remove from your closet
- That formal outfit (bridesmaid dress) you bought for one occasion promising to wear it over and over again.
- Those super cute shoes that you can’t walk in.
- Clothes with sentimental value that don’t fit. Take a picture.
- Sentimental items that make you sad.
- The warm coat you don’t wear. Someone needs it more than you.
- Your ex-anyone’s anything.
- Clothes you are saving for your children.
- Aspirational items. AKA things you would never wear in your real life.
- Items that need to go to the dry cleaner that never get to the dry cleaner.
- Items that need to go to the tailor that never get to the tailor.
- Clothes that don’t belong to you. Give them back.
- Christmas sweaters that you don’t even wear to the Christmas sweater party anymore.
- Things that other people bought for you but you wouldn’t enjoy wearing.
- Pieces you can see through unintentionally.
- Clothing or shoes that leave a mark or blister.
- Anything you have to squeeze in to or items that make you want to change your body. Change your clothes instead.
- Expensive things. Just because you spent a lot on it doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever.
- Clothes you bought on vacation that you won’t wear where you live.
- Anything with a stain that won’t come out.
- Things with rips or holes that aren’t supposed to be there.
- Extra purses and handbags.
- Clothing that irritates your skin.
- Things that don’t fit your body.
- Things that don’t fit your lifestyle.
- Sequins and sparkles if you prefer simple and subtle.
- Simple and subtle if you prefer sequins and sparkles.
- That shirt you bought in every color even though you always wear the black one.
- Stuff with price tags still attached.
- Clothes that make you feel bad for any reason.
- Items you bought because they were “your color” and you hate that color.
- Anything you haven’t worn in more than 3 years.
- Something you feel guilty about letting go of. When you let go, the guilt will go with it.
- Anything already in the donation bag. It’s time to let go.
4 questions to ask when simplifying your closet.
If you struggle to let go, approach your closet more gently. Play some nice music, drink water and as you consider each item, ask these questions.
- Do I wear this (like ever)? Yes – keep. No – donate.
- Would I buy this item today? Yes – keep. No – donate.
- Does this item fit my body AND my lifestyle today? Yes – keep. No – donate.
- Am I holding on because I feel bad, sad or guilty? Yes – donate. No – keep.
Don’t be afraid of empty space in your closet. It might feel weird at first, but when you can get dressed in the morning without stress and struggle, you’ll start to enjoy the benefits of owning less.