Getting rid of things is scary. I have total and complete FOMO when it comes to clothing. “But what if I go to a party where we all need to wear this specific shade of chartreuse? I NEED this shirt!”. Here’s the thing, you don’t need that shirt. And you don’t need that dress you wore to so-and-so’s wedding when you were 22. And you really don’t need the mini skirt you bought to go out dancing with your friends 3 years ago when you were single to show off how great your ass looks on the dance floor.
What we wear says something about who we are. Don’t get me wrong, during The Purge I held onto one mini skirt, but I let go of the other 8 I had (and opted to keep the least sexy of them all). Before we dive into the method behind the madness, let me show you what I was working with.
The Starting Point
This is my closet:
It’s massive, and totally packed. Along with the closet I also have a 5 drawer dresser brimming full of sweaters, camisoles, tank tops, you name it.
Sometimes these drawers are so full I struggle to close them. It even got to a point where I stopped trying to keep things neat inside the drawers. You know you have a problem when you don’t even fold tank tops.
You CAN NOT do this without removing EVERY PIECE of clothing from your closet.
Step 1: Take out every piece that you own
I mean it. Everything. I decided to go through my hanging items first one by one, not skipping over a single thing.
Step 2: Make piles
I ended up with seven piles. Each piece of clothing removed during step one would make it into one of these seven piles. Remember: no shirt left behind. You MUST categorize everything.
My piles were:
- Spring Capsule (April-June)
- Potential Summer Capsule (July-September)
- Potential Fall Capsule (October – December)
- Potential Winter Capsule (January – March)
- Try to sell (clothes that are in good shape and recognizable brands)
- Donate (clothes with some wear or minor stains or just way out of trend)
- Costumes (a very tiny pile for clothes that will come in handy for your next 80’s party)
Step 3: Try it On
This is the worst step. It’s time consuming, exhausting, and potentially upsetting. But, I know that if I hadn’t tried on about 80% of these clothes last night my Purge would not have been nearly as successful. It’s ok if something doesn’t fit or you find a stain or is just bunches in a weird place. This just means that this piece of clothing is not for you and does not belong in one of your capsules. Sell it or donate it, but don’t let yourself keep it.
Step 4: Answer these 3 questions
For each piece of clothing that you decide to keep and place in one of the four capsule piles, ask yourself these three questions. It might sound silly, but I found that if I skipped this step I ended up keeping something that an hour later I’d realize really shouldn’t have stayed. By doing this step you’ll save yourself time I promise.
1) Does this piece of clothing still fit my style?
This question is important in making sure that you are wearing clothes that let people know who you are. By wearing clothes that fit our style back in college we might not be portraying the current version of ourselves which is confusing to the people around you and can also be confusing to yourself. Dress in a way that mirrors how you want to act and feel each day.
2) Does this piece of clothing flatter my body?
Certain styles fit certain body shapes in flattering ways. Why hold onto a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit right? If a skirt is too clingy for your body chances are wearing it to work will make you feel uncomfortable. There’s no need to put ourselves through that torture! Just get rid of it and find something that fits you better and gives you confidence instead of taking it away.
3) If I were in a store right now, would I buy this piece of clothing today?
This is my absolute favorite question. It is the easiest way to feel confident that you are making the right choice by keeping of discarding something. I believe that this question can extend outside of the closet as well. Next time you’re not sure if you need something, just think about it using this perspective, and voila! The answer is clear.
Here’s a picture of my closet now. I zoomed in on just the pieces that I’ve determined might make it into my spring capsule. Everything for the summer-fall-winter capsules were stored in a different location. (The clothes on the bottom are my boyfriends so those don’t count!)
It’s still more than I will allow myself in my final Spring Capsule, but that’s a job for tomorrow. In the next post I’ll explain how I narrowed down what items will stay in my Spring Capsule and how I made the decision.
After the Purge I am getting rid of over 50 articles of clothing and 10 accessories! (Shoes still to come)
Check back soon to find out how much cash I made on the items in my Sell pile and see what pieces make it into my Spring Capsule.
P.S. A special Thank You goes out to my boyfriend who sat and watched me try on clothes for nearly 3 hours and politely helped me notice when things didn’t fit as they should. We should all be so lucky to have someone around to help us in the way that he has helped me.