Few things feel more refreshing than a good spring cleaning, but that doesn’t mean that a closet purge has to wait for a specific season. The real organizational pros revamp their pantries, shelves, and closets year-round. Clean out your closet and feel the dead weight of unnecessary items float away. There is no better feeling than letting go of the things that no longer serve us and making space for newness, literally and figuratively. It’s time to retire faded swimsuits and make room for that new hat you’ve been eyeing.
Spending a Saturday cleaning out the closet always sounds like a great idea, but it’s easy to get stumped once you’re in there. But don’t stress, because we’re here to help—and once the action gets going, you’ll be on a roll. Thow on your favorite jams, have a mug of tea (or hey, a mimosa) on the nearest flat surface, and tackle the tower of terror in your closet.
The shoes that don’t fit post-pregnancy? It’s time to let go of the fantasy that your feet will one day shrink back down. It’s tragic, we know! The mile-high pile of ratty bras you can’t bring yourself to toss? Time to bid them adieu. You can do it and it’ll feel oh so good. You’ll be amazed at how much brain space opens up once you clean out your closet.
Get a jump start with the 10 things in your closet you need to get rid of now and make room for fresh new pieces to liven up your wardrobe and spirits!
Anything you haven’t worn in the past year
Take a hard look at any items you haven’t worn in the past twelve months. If it isn’t a specialty item (ski clothes, formalwear, etc.) there’s a strong chance you’ll never wear it again. Consider tossing or donating anything you haven’t worn in the past year—your closet will thank you for it.
Shoes that hurt
Oh, super cute ill-fitting shoes, why can’t we quit you? When will we ever learn that you always ruin a perfectly fun night? Dating habits aside, get rid of those blistering t-strap heels and start living a happier life.
We’ve all been there. Keeping a never-worn dress season after season, simply because it’s too expensive to get rid of—it hurts. If you haven’t forced yourself to wear it by now, you’re just not going to. Forgive yourself. Learn. And donate that outfit to someone who’ll be super stoked to have a never-worn designer garment or make some money on the side by listing it on eBay, Depop, Poshmark, or Vestaire Collective.
Books, electronics, magazines, etc.
Okay, so I’m not saying to get rid of these things. I’m just suggesting that you get them out of your closet. Your closet will feel more organized and serene when it’s totally dedicated to your wardrobe, and you’ll probably enjoy your books and magazines more when they’re in a more accessible place in your home.
Seasonal items you (almost) never wear
These are the ski goggles, tap shoes, wetsuits, costumes, and other absurdities taking up space in your closet. You might not want to get rid of them, but they definitely don’t require everyday accessibility. Consider moving these items to an attic, basement, storage unit, or another out-of-the-way spot to make more space in your closet for everyday things.
Bras with bent hooks or underwire
This actually goes for all of your broken-down underwear. Get rid of anything that technically qualifies as embarrassing and upgrade yourself with some new pieces. You deserve to feel good.
You know that pretty designer dress you borrowed for your last destination wedding? Your bestie probably wants it back, and preferably before the year ends. Be courteous and prompt about laundering and returning borrowed clothes. That’s how you’ll get to borrow again!
One of the simplest things you can do to dress up your closet and feel like a certified adult is to upgrade to wooden hangers They’re actually not that expensive and can make your closet feel so luxurious. Pro tip: I find that my wooden hangers also serve as a volume checkpoint—when I run out of hangers, it’s time to clean out and purge a few things.
Things that don’t fit
I know how it goes. I’m currently staring at a dress that I bought on super sale last year that is three sizes too big with the intent of having it altered. Spoiler alert: I never did. News flash: it’s not gonna happen. Give that dress the life it deserves and donate it to someone who will wear and love it, or sell it!
This post was originally published on September 8, 2020, and has since been updated.