chic closet

What to Toss from Your Closet for the New Year

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Whether you’re someone that sets resolutions or not, there’s just something about a fresh start and starting off a new year on the right foot. Many people are evaluating their eating and workout habits, but there’s a place not many think to start: the closet.

People don’t think of what to toss from their closet, but studies have shown that extra clutter is a huge factor in the stress in our lives. Furthermore, if you were to eliminate clutter you would eliminate 40% of time spent cleaning. Not only that, but most people only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time.

I’m all about re-wearing items, but that statistic makes me think there’s a lot of extra pieces just sitting around in our closets.

Oh, and did you know that 25% of Americans that have two-car garages don’t even have the room to park their cars in them? That has nothing to do with fashion. I’m just on the subject of clutter and I found that not totally surprising, but pretty crazy.

Doesn’t that make you want to purge? I hope it does because now is the time to pour your favorite drink, blast some tunes, take everything out of your closet, turn off the sentimental and indecisive part of you, and clean!!

This isn’t a post about the trends to toss, because we all know by now that’s what “out of style” today is going to be back tomorrow.

Instead, here are 11 things to get rid of in your closet to start this year off fresh and clutter free!

1. Anything that’s too small
I think we’re all guilty of keeping something that’s too small in our closets and telling ourselves that we’ll fit into “one day”. Now I’m all about motivation, but how long have you been telling yourself that? 1 year? 2 years? If you haven’t fit into by now, chances are you won’t. It’s time to dress for the size you are now, not what you hope to be. You’ll even look better, I promise.

2. The abundance of t-shirts
Maybe this is just me because I’m not really sporty at all, but how many t-shirts does one really need? How often are you really wearing these? When it comes to deciding on space, are you really going to fill it up with t-shirts? In my personal opinion, if you need over two hands to count how many you have, you already have too much…

3. Things you’re keeping just because you spent good money on it 
That whim of the moment purchase just because you found this major designer on clearance and thought there was no way you could pass it up? Those boots you needed to buy insanely last minute but you never really liked them anyway? Or how about the item you bought just because it was a name brand but you really had no idea when you’d ever wear it? It’s time to cut your $$ losses.

4. Bridesmaid dresses
This one is hard because you probably spent a lot of money on it, but how long ago did your friend get married and how many times have you worn it since then? If the first answer is years and the second answer is 0, sorry, but it’s time to let it go.

5. Items with holes/stains/rips/pills
It should go without saying, but how many of us hold on to clothes that we’re unable to wear (unless you’re going for “homeless”), but yet we still let take up valuable hanger space? If it is fixable and you haven’t fixed it yet, either go do it RIGHT NOW or just accept that you never will and toss it.

6. Clothes that were gifts but aren’t totally your style
Kudos that you’re sentimental and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if it’s not something you even wear then there’s really no reason to hold on to it. Unless they go through your closet every day looking for missing pieces, how would they even know that you got rid of it? Chances are if they love you enough to get you something, then I’m sure they love you enough to want you to live sanely and clutter free.

7. Costume Jewelry
It’s true, we’re all scared to get rid of something only to have it be super trendy the next season, but I really can’t think of a time where tacky costume jewelry that turns your skin green will come back in style. And if it does, maybe you should just skip that trend.

8. “Painting” clothes
Paint splotch here and there. Oversize tee. Stretched out leggings. How do all of these things end up in this ever growing “paint clothes” pile? Yes, it’s a good idea to have an outfit to wear for all your projects, but unless your name is Chip Gaines, chances are your day job is not in demo and one outfit is all you really need.

9. Things you haven’t worn in who knows how long
An obvious one, but if you can’t remember the last time you wore it, then you’re not going to have a “next time” you wear it either.

10. Clothes that you don’t feel confident in
Even if you have a stack of comfy clothes for just lounging around the house, why keep them if you wouldn’t be caught dead in them outside? There are comfy outfits you can wear around the house that you’ll still actually feel good about yourself in (hello leggings and sweaters!). This also goes for items in general that either fit slightly weird or just seem off to you.

11. Things you’re just not feeling anymore
Okay, so you went through #1-10 (yay you!) Are there things left that you look at and yeah, they may be in pristine condition and you wear it a lot, but you just don’t really like anymore? Give yourself permission to get rid of anything left that doesn’t excite you. Ask yourself: If I were out shopping, would I buy this right now?

Whew. Cleaning out and deciding what to toss from your closet is a lot of work, but oh so rewarding. Now don’t freak out if you’re down to the bare bones. You still have clothes to wear. And I bet that you’re actually going to make better outfits now. After all the junk is cleared out, it is a must to make sure all your basics are covered to maximize your wardrobe potential. The fun part of this is that now you get to make a list and shop! A completely responsible shopping spree of course.

Use this blog post as a guide to what basics everyone needs in their wardrobe.

Enjoy your well-thought-out closet and Happy New Year!

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what to clean out of your closet


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.