Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Only Tip You'll Ever Need to Purge Your Closet

I have a sneaking suspicion this may be one of the most popular topics out there in the blogosphere. Every blogger I read has something to say on the subject, and most of it is a variant on the same advice: separate into piles. maybe. yes. no. winter. etc. That's just a recipe for negotiating items back onto the rack.

This may work for some, but for me, there's is a much simpler approach that I've taken for years. It's the reason why many of my friends call on me to be the voice of reason as they tackle their own closets. When I go through my semi-annual closet purging, I ask myself one, and only one, question:

Would I rather do my laundry than wear this?

Putting it another way: Would I overcome laziness and wash that growing pile of dirty clothes over there in order to avoid this article of clothing being my very last option? Subtext: I'd rather wear anything other than this.

If the answer to this question is Yes, get rid of it. It's jarringly simple, and extraordinarily effective. The first time I did this 3 years ago, I purged more than half my closet. That's right: HALF.

We've all been there. Stood outside (or inside, if you're lucky!) our closets, frustrated, staring at the bevy of clothing on their hangers, grumbling that we have nothing to wear. But you do have clothes to wear. What you really mean is that what you have isn't worth wearing. You're over it; you just haven't quite accepted it yet.

Sure, there are other factors, like seasons and dress codes to account for... but the majority of our clothes can and should be worn or layered all year 'round. The ones that aren't, the ones we bypass for other outfits time and time again, those are the ones you purge. No bargaining, no trying it on one last time, only to be reminded why you always reach for the button up blouse instead of that. In many ways, this is a nearly foolproof, non-negotiable tactic.

I prefer to do this purging when I have a laundry bin full of dirty clothes. The clothes in the hamper have proved themselves at least partially worthy of being worn. So ignore them. Instead, grab that grouping of shirts you haven't touched in 6 months, ask yourself that one simple question, and put them one by one in the donate (or toss) pile without another thought.

Your closet will thank you for it.

What are your strategies for closet purging? Or is it one of your biggest hurdles every year?

{photo via jek-a-go-go}

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