Clean Out Your Closet, Ya Slob: 3 Rules That Will Help

It took two days of soul-searching and panic, staring into the depths of my closet and taking stock of what was in there, debating what could go away.
Publish date:
January 19, 2015
clothes, the frisky, organization, cleaning tips, Closet Slob, Cleaning Out Your Closet

I have reached a point in my life where it seems that everything I wear looks kind of the same. Call it an accidental uniform. There are many stripes, lots of florals, and tons of floppy, oversize tops that conceal my figure and make me look with child in the wrong light, but allow me to eat food the way I want to — with gusto. Perhaps that is my uniform: jeans, a shirt faintly stained with the ghost of nachos past, and a sweater that is both pill-y and possibly ill-fitting. I am okay with this. The desire to change my look constantly, in reaction to trends like crop tops, or wide-legged pants, or an excess of velvet, has waned. Recently, I purged my closet of all the excess, and it was the best thing I’ve done this year.

It took two days of soul-searching and panic, staring into the depths of my closet and taking stock of what was in there, debating what could go away. The answer was four huge garbage bags full of crap, and the reward? A dresser with drawers that will close, and a closet that is no longer bursting. I now have clothes that I actually like and want to wear, and getting dressed in the morning is no longer the nightmare it once was. Here are some valuable things I learned along the way.

1. Get rid of things that are stained.

I am a messy person. I don’t pay attention to when or how or why things are falling in the journey from the plate to my mouth, and am often left with a trail of destruction across whatever it is that I’m wearing. Needless to say, wearing white makes me very nervous. When I finally dug into my giant T-shirt drawer and separated everything that was stained or holey, I was left with 10 items. This is perhaps a lesson for me to invest in an adult bib, or to learn how to eat food without dropping it on myself, but the most valuable lesson I learned was that I need not hold onto stuff that is unwearable. If your mom would look at what you’re wearing and wrinkle her nose, throw it out.

2. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.

It will make you super, super sad to take out the jeans you wore when you were lithe and willowy, fresh out of college, and try to wedge your mid-thirties body back into them. I don’t care if you’ve been hanging onto that shift dress you bought when you were kind of drunk because it reminds you of when you were young and carefree — if it doesn’t fit, chuck it. If you are hanging onto pants that you are working your way toward fitting into, get rid of 'em. It will make you feel ten thousand times better to have a closet full of clothes that you will actually wear, not clothes that you pick up and try to squeeze into and then leave on the floor. Trust me.

3. If you don’t love it, leave it.

Everyone buys a lot of stuff because they think they want it at the moment. I was convinced for a while that I was the kind of person who would wear circle skirts, and stocked up on them one winter when I was unemployed and looking to find meaning in material things. I have not worn these skirts. They make me look like a peasant. They went into the donations bag, and I felt instantly lighter. If you don’t love the things that you’re working with, day in and day out, get rid of them.

Reprinted with permission from The Frisky. Want more? Check out these related stories:

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