HOW TO PURGE YOUR CLOSET QUICKLY
If you’d like to declutter your clothes but struggle with deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, here are some ideas on how to purge your closet quickly. Create space in your closet and make getting dressed each day quicker, easier and more enjoyable.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PURGE YOUR CLOSET?
The Oxford Dictionary describes purging as getting “rid (someone or something) of an unwanted quality, condition, or feeling.”
I can’t think of many other places where purging one’s items with this definition is more appropriate. After all, I bet if you look in your closet now and think about what pieces of clothing you really wear versus what’s just taking up closet space, many of the items that you don’t wear is based on how they look or feel!
WHY PURGE YOUR CLOSET QUICKLY?
If you have lots of time and find it relaxing, of course you can purge your closet slowly and methodically. However, if you’re a busy person, you might not have much time to declutter!
Decluttering our clothes can also be challenging emotionally. Sometimes we hold onto things because they remind us of better times, a particular event or memory, an activity we used to enjoy but no longer have time for, in case we lose weight or because we feel guilty for spending so much money on that item.
Purging our closet can be just as difficult emotionally, if not more so, as it can be with the physical act of pulling it all out, trying everything on and putting it back. And, because it’s not easy, we can stall, give up, put it off. The trick might be to purge your closet quickly so you don’t run out of energy and motivation and it doesn’t seem a too daunting task to complete.
WHY PURGE YOUR CLOSET
It’s one thing to purge your closet quickly, but another to understand why to purge your closet in the first place. In fact, decluttering my clothes was my own very first decluttering project. I was fed up of rushed mornings, where I scrambled to get ready first thing in the morning getting my kids ready for school and myself ready for work. I arrived at work feeling and probably looking like a mess. Not how I wanted my mornings or day to go!
One day I’d had enough and purged my closet. It was my space, didn’t impact anyone else and I therefore didn’t have to explain what I was doing or try to encourage my family to get on board. It was something I could do for me and it turned my mornings around.
I could get dressed easily and quickly because everything in my closet were pieces that I loved, felt good in and fitted properly. I didn’t have to sift through lots of clothes that I didn’t like to wear and I could choose my outfit and enjoy the act of getting dressed – with no stress!
This meant I had more free time in the mornings, was in a better frame of mind to start my day and I felt more confident and happy in what I looked like. It wasn’t just a case of looking good, I wanted to FEEL GOOD too!
This is why purging your closet has benefits way beyond just a clearer wardrobe space!
GETTING RID OF ITEMS
Before we dive into how to purge your closet quickly, I wanted to mention about getting rid of items. When I say to ‘get rid of items’ in this article, I’m not necessarily talking about throwing them away. If they’re in good enough condition to be donated to charity, given to a friend who really wants them, recycled or (for high value or unique pieces) sold, then these are great ways to get rid of items too. I use the term ‘get rid of’ just for ease of writing.
If you struggle with knowing what to do with your decluttered items, you might like this article for more tips on what to do with unwanted stuff after you’ve decluttered.
TIPS TO HELP YOU PURGE YOUR CLOSET QUICKLY
Here are 15 tips to help you purge your closet quickly so you can create space in your wardrobe, enjoy your clothes and get dressed easily in your favourite pieces each day!
1. Try everything on
Whenever you go to declutter your clothes, the best way is to get everything out and try everything on. Putting each item on will remind you of what it looks and feels like to wear. Sometimes we keep things because we like the look of them, but when put the item on, we remember why we never actually choose to wear them.
2. Turn hangers backwards after use
Once you’ve taken a garment of clothes out of your closet, worn and washed it, put it back in the closet with the hanger turned around the other way. Over time you’ll be able to see which clothes you wear and which you don’t by which way your hangers are facing. This makes purging your closet quickly much easier! Just purge the clothes that you never end up wearing.
3. Purge clothes that are damaged or stained
If pieces of clothing are damaged beyond repair, stained and you can’t remove that stain, mis-shapen or bobbled, get rid of them. How you look and present yourself has an impact on yourself and those around you. You and your body deserve more than to be dressed in clothes that are damaged or stained.
4. Purge clothes that don’t fit right now
Don’t let clothes take up precious space in your closet if they don’t fit. You don’t want to be greeted by a pair of tight jeans that are way too small for you every time you open your closet doors. Not only does it take up space but it’s an unhelpful demotivator that you want to be something that you’re not. If you’d like to lose weight and want to hold on to clothes in a smaller size until you can fit them, then do. But, store them somewhere else. Not front and centre of the wardrobe where you’ll see them every day!
This is also a gentle but firm reminder that your body is beautiful, special and important right now. It deserves to be looked after and dressed in clothes that honour and present it in the best way – today, not tomorrow, or sometime in the future. Just because your body might not be as you want it to be, doesn’t mean that it’s not important to look and feel good (in body and mind) right now.
5. Purge clothes that feel uncomfortable
The clothes I never wore were often ones that felt uncomfortable. Maybe the fit wasn’t right, the neckline too low, the fabric too clingy or scratchy. We make many of our decisions based on our emotions so how you feel about a piece of clothing will often determine whether you choose to wear it or not. Try your clothes on, leave them on for a day to get a real feel for why you don’t like them, and be honest. If something isn’t comfortable, are you really likely to wear it?
6. Purge clothes that don’t suit your current style
Crop tops, skinny jeans, high heels… We all go through phases and some last longer than others. That’s not to say that one style is better than another or that you can’t wear a particular style at a certain age, but when we go through different seasons of life, our style changes too. If your style has changed, think about what it looks like now. Purge the items that don’t suit your current style.
7. Purge clothes that don’t suit your current lifestyle
More than just what your style and current tastes might be, your current lifestyle is a good way to filter out unwanted clothes from your closet. What activities do you do regularly? How do you spend your day? If you’re at work 70% of the time but don’t have many work outfits but plenty of loungewear, do you need to make some changes? Perhaps you have several fitted suits from work, but you’re now a stay-at-home mum, or you’ve switched careers and no longer need so many suits? What if your party animal days are over and you don’t need so many dresses but you need a couple of smart tops and jean combinations just in case you head out one evening? Think about how you spend your days and ensure your closet matches your day-to-day activities. Purge the clothes that don’t fit your current lifestyle.
8. Purge seasonal clothes
Do you need thick, heavy coats taking up space in your closet in the warmer months, or shorts when it’s freezing outside? Limited storage space might mean you have to keep everything in one place but just double-check that’s the case. Could you store unwanted seasonal items under your bed, tucked at the back of your closet, not right in front of you? Do you have a spare room with a wardrobe where you could keep these pieces whilst not in use? Purge your closet of seasonal items to give yourself more space to see what you have for this season now. At the start of every season, try on your items for the coming season to check what fits and suits you.
9. Identify your personal uniform
Everyday I wear jeans, a top/T-shirt and a sweater or sweatshirt depending on the temperature. It’s my go-to ‘uniform’. I have various combinations but I feel comfortable in this style and it’s versatile for work, home and anything else that I do during the day. Knowing my own personal uniform makes it quick and easy to get dressed each day and to go shopping. I’m not swayed by seasonal trends or sale signs. Plenty of famous and successful people go for a personal uniform too because it removes some of the decision-making from our mornings. We make thousands of decisions every day, some big and some small, and it’s draining for our brains. Think about what your personal uniform looks like, ask a loved one what they think you always wear and what suits you, and purge your closet of too many items that don’t fit in with your personal uniform.
10. Purge your closet of patterns, styles and colours you don’t like
This is similar to some of the points we’ve already discussed, but a quick way of purging your closet is to pull out items that are too frilly, too see-through, too colourful, not colourful or patterned enough, too flared, too tight. Take notice of what items you purge from your closet using this filter method as it will help you avoid making unwise purchases next time you hit the shops.
11. Purge your closet by not shopping
One way to purge your closet is by decluttering items that are already there. Another is to stop adding to the stuff. Give yourself a break from shopping. Try a no-spend month or longer where you don’t buy anything new. Shop your existing closet instead. Try out different combinations, use accessories to create a new look, borrow something instead of buying.
12. Purge your closet by trying a capsule wardrobe
Many people limit their wardrobe to a set number of pieces. Courtney Carver’s Project 333 is a great example of this if you’d like to try it. A capsule wardrobe is a small selection of items that co-ordinate well together in terms of design, colour and versatility. Choose them carefully though because you’ll be wearing them often so they need to be comfortable, well-fitting and flexible for your every day life. Often you wear the same capsule pieces for a season and add or subtract for the next season when it comes around. This way you can purge your closet of anything that doesn’t go into your capsule wardrobe for this season. Get rid of it, or store it away until you’re ready to use it.
13. Purge clothes that you haven’t worn in a year or two
Apart from extra-seasonal items, or special clothes like maternity clothes, a good way to declutter clothes quickly is to purge pieces that you haven’t worn in a year or two. It might be because they don’t fit or flatter you, your style has changed or you’ve found them uncomfortable to wear. The honest truth is that if you’re not wearing your clothes, then you probably don’t need to keep them.
14. Purge clothes that you have excess duplicates
If you have 20 pairs of jeans but really only wear 3 on rotation, do you need to keep the excess duplicates? Sometimes it’s hard to find clothes that fit so we might buy extras, or in different colour options, but keeping too many duplicates just takes up space. Be ruthless when decluttering clothes and purge your closet if you’ve got too many duplicates.
15. Purge gifted items
You don’t have to keep pieces of clothing that you’ve been given as a gift if you don’t wear them. Although we might feel guilty for getting rid of a gift that someone has been kind enough to give us, there is no obligation on you to keep it. There are ways you can feel less guilty about decluttering and perhaps someone else could benefit from these pieces more than you.
ENJOY YOUR CLOSET AND MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to purge your closet quickly. No matter whether you love fashion or just see clothes as a functional necessity of life, being able to get dressed quickly and enjoy the process of making yourself look and feel good is a great way to start your day!
For more tips on how to declutter clothes, try these articles and resources:
- How to simplify your wardrobe
- How to declutter clothes in 10 easy steps
- How a personal daily uniform can simplify your life (and how you can create one for yourself)
- Which clothes to declutter? Simple questions to help you decide
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
If you’d like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment below. Do you find it difficult to declutter your clothes? Do you hold on to clothes just in case you need them some day? Have you got a personal style and daily uniform? If so, has it made get dressed each day quicker and easier?