How Do You Downsize: 10 Reasons We Keep Clothing We Don’t Wear



Hmm..  time to switch over the closet to new season.  We all know we should not store anything we didn’t wear last year, but why is it so hard to let go of some pieces?  My friend and colleague Janet Schiesl offers 10 reasons you keep clothes you don’t wear, and encourages us to keep our wardrobes current:

10 Reasons You Keep Clothes You Don’t Wear

1. The item is new or barely worn. You feel guilty that you spent money on it, but the money is spent. You can’t get it back. Put the guilt aside, let it go and make space.

2. You tried a trend.  Trendy clothing doesn’t work for everyone.  If the latest trend doesn’t look good on you, pass it by.

3. You are looking for a match.  You bought something you liked, but never found the right thing to wear with it.  When you’re shopping, only purchase pieces that work with the rest of your wardrobe.

4. It was a gift.  (Or worse… a hand-me-down!) Clothing is a personal choice.  Let your loved ones know that you’d rather shop for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it.

5. Your weight fluctuates.   Having multiple sizes of clothing in your closet adds clutter and creates negative feelings.  Will your items look fresh if/when they fit again? Either store or donate clothing that doesn’t fit.

6. You need specific-use clothing.  When was the last time you actually needed a suit, resort wear, or a selection of cocktail dresses?  Be creative with the wardrobe you love (and already have) for these occasions.

7. You used to love it. Maybe it’s a little faded or doesn’t fit that well anymore. It’s like letting go of a lost love. Try finding a replacement that is similar, but new.

8. You need some back-up. Only keep what you would need to use between laundry days. No one who regularly does laundry needs 100 pairs of socks.

9. It holds sentimental value. You can get rid of an item without losing the memories. Take a picture of the piece if you need to keep a visual.

10. It is who you want to be. Sometimes we all make a purchase that depicts the person we want to be.  It’s great to make positive changes in your life, but remember dressing the part does change your current situation. Dress for your current life.


Janet owns Basic Organization, which offers professional organizing services to the Washington DC Region. See more of Janet’s tips on her website!

2 responses to “How Do You Downsize: 10 Reasons We Keep Clothing We Don’t Wear

  1. So many reasons to get rid of items we don’t wear . . . and these are ten good ones! I just went through my closet in my little apartment, during the process of changing from summer to fall/winter wear, and used the opportunity to get rid of anything that I hadn’t worn recently. It’s great to get rid of “extra” stuff.

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