One of the most difficult items in the house to get rid of is our clothing. We hold great emotional attachment to our wardrobe, and this is why many people keep clothes they do not wear anymore. I am not talking about special clothing, e.g., a wedding dress, that is (hopefully) something that you would want to keep forever. I am referring to the everyday clothing that takes up space in your closet, that you push past to get to the same plaid shirt you rock every weekend. Often times when I work with a client, they are incredibly resistant to get rid of clothing but they have no idea why.
It is important to understand the reasons why you may be hesitant to purge clothing that you do not wear anymore. Your closet will never be organized if you cannot get through this first step.
Here are 8 reasons why people keep clothes they do not wear anymore:
1. THE ITEM IS BARELY WORN AND YOU FEEL GUILTY ABOUT WASTING MONEY
Letting go of an item you barely wear is not wasting money. The money is already spent and you are not getting it back. It is a waste of space and negative feelings to keep it because of guilt. This could be a good lesson for how to make different choices when shopping in the future.
2. YOUR WEIGHT HAS CHANGED AND YOU OWN CLOTHES IN MULTIPLE SIZES
Depending on the circumstance, I typically tell clients to keep items in their closet that fit them right now. Sometimes keeping various sizes in your closet adds to the clutter and makes picking out what to wear more difficult. If you are SET on keeping clothes of various sizes, I recommend boxing them up or storing them in a spare closet. Having a baby is definitely an exception, and it may be a good idea to keep various sizes nearby because of weight fluctuations.
3. YOU KEEP CLOTHES YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE IN YOUR WARDROBE
Your wardrobe should reflect only you and your lifestyle. There are many fashion rules projected at us, however that does not mean everything preached will feel and look good on you. Just because Cityline’s Fashion Friday states everyone needs a floor length skirt, does not mean that will work with you, your preference of style or your body type.
4. CLOTHES FOR A CERTAIN TYPE OF EVENT OR OCCASION
Keeping clothes for a rare occasion or event can often be a waste of space in your wardrobe. I tell my clients to try and find versatile pieces, therefore a special event piece could fit in your everyday wardrobe and style.
5. JUST IN CASE ITEMS
Sometimes we do not need as much as we think. For example, we most likely would not need 10 white t-shirts in our closet. If we really wanted to wear a white t-shirt again during the week, you could always do laundry so it is readily available for wearing!
6. ITEMS LOOK AND FEEL GOOD BUT YOU ARE TIRED OF WEARING THEM
When this happens it is definitely time to let go of the item. When you’re tired of wearing the same clothes, it is a sign you got your use out of it – a good opportunity to donate and let someone else enjoy!
7. SOMETHING WAS GIFTED TO YOU
You were given the gift to bring happiness, not feelings of guilt. If this item is no longer serving you, then it is okay to let it go. I’m sure the person who gifted it to you would not want you to hold onto it just because you feel obligated to.
8. SENTIMENTAL VALUE ITEMS
Be selective when choosing what sentimental items you wish to keep. If you no longer wish to wear the clothing, you can make a keepsake box, or a creative project with the items, e.g., a quilt, frame, etc. Sometimes taking a picture of the item and storing that in your files will suffice as a beautiful memory instead of holding onto the item to collect dust.
9. PIECES YOU WORE IN YOUR PAST LIFE OR THINK YOU’LL WEAR IN THE FUTURE
Think about your life right now – how you spend your time, your occupation, hobbies, etc. Your wardrobe should be a reflection of your current life and not your past or your future anticipated life. Be realistic about what you actually need in your closet and donate things that do not fit with your lifestyle.
These are some of the reasons why people do not get rid of their clothing. Do you find yourself struggling with any of these? I hope this list helps you make some progress in purging your wardrobe!