Getting Rid of Clothes: Four Ways

So you’ve decided to be a minimalist. Or try to. Your closet and your home have been through several edits. But it’s getting harder and harder. That’s part of the fun – the better we get at questioning our stuff, the harder the questions we ask.

Take the closet, for example. The old ratty stuff is gone, as is the stuff that doesn’t fit and maybe never will. You no longer try to convince yourself that neon, flare jeans, or fringe vests are actually your style – they’ve all been relocated to a better home. But there are still things you just aren’t sure about. You wear them less frequently than your favorites, but you’re not sure that that necessarily disqualifies them from being in your closet.

Jeans PalastThere are four ways of going about this conundrum:

  1. The Radical Way: Out they go. If you’re not sure you love it (and won’t be left naked), get rid of it. Keep only the things you definitely, most certainly, absolutely love.
  2. The Passive Way: Wear your problem children for a day. Outside, as you go about your business. If someone compliments you on the piece (bonus points for non-creepy strangers), keep it. Consider how rarely you comment on someone’s look: you must look smoking if someone actually bothered to come up with a positive remark. Note: this works especially well if you live in a culture that doesn’t use compliments as a way to make conversation (sorry, America, where I’ve even been complimented on my shoes in a public restroom while I was in the stall). I once used this technique for three successive days and ended up keeping 2/3, so it does work!
  3. The Intuitive Way: Again, wear it for a day. Notice how it makes you feel. Positive feelings à it stays. “Meh”, negative, or neural à out it goes.
  4. The Rational Way: can you actually truly see yourself wearing it in the life that you are currently living? No fantasy lives! No? Out. Now. You deserve better than that.

Happy closet streamlining! What are your tips for dealing with not-quite-favorite clothes?

8 thoughts on “Getting Rid of Clothes: Four Ways

  1. I did a major clothes cull late this summer using the KonMari method as my inspiration. It follows what you called the radical method and involved putting every single item of clothing on my bed and then deciding one-by-one if I loved the piece or not. And like you allude to, it was those harder-to-pin-down items that proved to be the most difficult decisions. As in: something in great condition and/or was originally a bit on the pricey side, yet never really worn all that much for some reason. I actually started a draft blog post about my experience…maybe I should look into it again. But definitely: the process was very freeing and I enjoy looking into my closet now and seeing only pieces I love.


      1. Quick read. People have made fun of it, but I found many good points in it. Unfortunately I’m stuck on the paper purge step. Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes a draft piece needs a little extra push. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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