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Cleaning out your closet for the New Year

Let's be honest.  Most of us (yours truly included) are packrats and will hang out to random pieces of useless stuff for ages.  Especially clothes.  Even if we promise ourselves a thorough spring closet cleaning, the furthest we often accomplish is shoving more stuff in storage/the attic/ under the bed.  But this year why not try to do a complete closet purge?  Simplify your wardrobe to essential and versatile pieces; it'll feel so good to liberate yourself from all that extra "stuff" that's been cluttering up.

How do you decide what to get rid of?

  • Obviously, keep the pieces that you wear all the time -that go-to LBD, or your default pair of denim.
  • If you haven't worn something in the past year, chances are you probably won't in this next year either.  It might look amazing on the hanger, have stunning details, be made out of the softest cashmere, have tons of sentimental memories attached... whatever.  If you don't wear it anymore, there's no point in keeping it.  (Depending on the person, and the price of the item, this time frame may vary... a year is typically a good rule of thumb as it gives you a full seasonal rotation to utilize all pieces in your closet)
  • Fit is the most important factor in what we decide to wear (and keep for future wears).  Anything from trendy statement pieces or basic work clothing needs to fit well for you to want to wear it.  After all, the bottom line in fashion is wearing what is comfortable and what makes you feel great.  So don't kid yourself -if the piece of clothing doesn't fit well, chance are you probably won't be reaching for it that often. 

So what to do with the clothes that didn't make the cut?

  • Sell them. If you've got the time and patience (to take photos, measurements, respond to emails, etc)  eBay will probably give you back the most money for your goods.  There are also secondhand buy/sell thrift stores such as Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading that will buy back your clothing in exchange for either cash or store credit.  They can be rather selective about what they chose to purchase though, and the prices you'd fetch back wouldn't be as high.  And if you've got enough to get rid of, there's always the good ol' garage sale method too.
  • Give them away. Friends, family, whoever.  Just because it doesn't fit you or you hate the color green now doesn't mean others won't!  Remember, one man's trash can be another man's treasure.
  • Donate them.  Charities such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Rescue Mission, etc. collect donated clothing in good condition.  The profits they make from selling them at thrift stores go to charity organizations, often local groups in the area, so you know you'll be benefiting your community.  Many of these organizations will even come by your house to pick up the clothing, saving you that extra trouble -give them a call to find out!
  • Trash them.  Pieces that are stained, torn, or worn beyond repair unfortunately won't be of use to anybody.  However if you decide something is worth saving, take it to your tailor and see what they can do.

It may be a complete pain in the butt, but once you've trimmed your closet down to just those essential pieces, you'll save yourself so much time digging through your closet while getting dressed.  Best of all, you've just cleared some wardrobe space to fill with other (investment) pieces!