Table of Contents
7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet Introduction
7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet is a list of questions to help you purge your closet. Why is a good closet purge essential? Because it gives you the space to start over and dream of how you want to use the newly decluttered space you’ve just created!
How often should you purge your closet? I like to do decluttering projects fairly regularly, and include them in my monthly tasks, but at the very least, every six months.
One of my favorite mottos is, “a clean space is a productive space.” Which is something I firmly believe in. Physical clutter causes emotional clutter, and means that our brains don’t shut down and relax the way they should, and that leads to anxiety. When you are in your own home, anxiety is the last thing you should be feeling, and often decluttering is a great first step to creating a calm home to relax in.
Why is Purging and Decluttering Difficult?
Clothes have this emotional component to it. Some are associated with certain experiences that we want to remember and therefore have a hard time letting go of. Others may bring up feelings of guilt, like if we received the item as a gift and don’t want to get rid of it.
Decluttering clothes is difficult because most of us have a hard time seeing ourselves objectively. That is what inspired me to create the 7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet list to help you!
7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet
Are you ready to purge your closet and make room for better things? Let’s go! Let me help you with these 7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet.
Does it fit?
If your clothes no longer fit, it may be time to get rid of them and it is okay to let them go. My rule is, if they haven’t fit in a year, it is time to go. Because if I haven’t taken the steps to make them fit, I’m not magically going to anytime soon. There is no need for useless things to take up valuable space.
Now the exception is if you are in the middle of a successful weight loss plan, then this step may be more of a gray area. But if you aren’t actively working on this, then get rid of them and make space for clothes that do fit you, make you feel good, and look amazing.
Also, if you have lost weight, be sure to get rid of the bigger clothes. This will help keep you on track because if you let yourself backslide, you’ll have to buy bigger clothes again. I’m all for motivation for success, and this is a good one!
Have I worn it in the last 12 months?
One of the things I like to do at the beginning of the year is to turn all of my hangers around backwards. When I remove something from the closet to wear it, I’ll put the hanger facing the correct way again when I’ve washed and put it back.
When the year is up, I return to the closet, remove all the backward facing hangers, and get rid of everything that is on those hangers. It is a really simple way to tell what you have worn and what you haven’t, making decluttering much easier. I approach it with the “no questions asked” mentality. If a hanger is facing backwards after a year, it goes, and that is final.
You also don’t have to wait a full year to do this. At the three and six month points, it’ll be pretty obvious what you’re wearing and what you’re not. If you want to start getting rid of the obvious stuff sooner, there is absolutely no reason not to.
Will I ever wear this again?
Do you have any intentions of ever wearing something again? It is a simple yes or no question, and I recommend you approach it exactly that way. Don’t say, “no, but…” and then insert an excuse in there. If the answer is no, it is no. Make it go away. I find I need to make myself make the black and white choice of yes or no at times, and you may need to as well.
The next question is, have you ever worn it at all? If the answer is no, it is time to go.
Why will you never wear it? Is it uncomfortable? Do you just dislike it? Was it a gift you feel stuck with?
If it is a gift you feel stuck with, I’m here to give you permission to get rid of it. It takes up space and you don’t plan on wearing it. Why keep it? It was given as a gift, and there are no stipulations that you have to keep it for the rest of your life. It was the thought from the giver that counts, and always remember that.
Is it currently in style and/or representative of my personal style?
Our personal style changes as the years go on, and often we outgrow clothes. Your style at 25 years old isn’t the same as it is at 40 years old. You can insert any year or age into this equation, as style really does change.
Does what is in your closet represent your current style and preferences? For example, if you normally wear yoga pants and a t- shirt, how many silk blouses do you need? The answer is very few or even none. I have found this question to be especially important since Covid and all the lockdowns, because I now work from home and don’t go out nearly as much as I used to. This means that my style has changed simply based on that as well. Yours may have done the same.
Do you keep clothes around from a previous life? An example of that is going from an executive office or corporate position and job to being a stay at home mom. How many business suits do you need now? Why are you holding onto them? This not only adds clutter and stress to your closet and life, it may prevent you from fully moving on and embracing your new and current life, and all of the joy that can bring. Or is it the opposite, and it is time to ditch ten of your fifteen pairs of sweatpants to make room for professional attire?
Do I feel good when I wear it?
Do you feel good when you wear something? I like to take this approach in two ways, comfort and confidence. Do you feel comfortable and confident when you wear it?
If you spend the majority of your time at home, comfort is obviously important. Since I work from home, this is an absolute requirement for me. Clothes need to be comfortable, because if I’m not comfortable, I’m not being productive because discomfort is distracting.
When I go out and dress up, I also want to feel confident in my clothes. Do your clothes make you feel good, sexy, confident, like the amazing woman that you are?
Or do they make you feel negative emotions? If they don’t make you feel good, it is time to get rid of them. Your clothes should always make you feel good when you wear them. It is just that simple.
If it is damaged, will I find time to fix it?
Damaged items include a button that needs to be replaced, a hemline that needs to be sewn, or loose threads that need to be cut and cauterized to keep them from going farther, or a pair of pants you need tailored because they are too long.
If it has been sitting there waiting for three months or longer, it is time to commit to fixing it this week, yes this week. If you can’t do that, it is time for them to go.
If you’re procrastinating doing this, there is likely an underlying reason. Maybe you don’t love that specific item, maybe you know you won’t wear it so it is a waste of time to get it fixed.
If I were shopping right now, would I buy it?
If you went shopping right now and saw the items in your closet in a store, would you buy them again? If the answer is no, it is time to get rid of them.
7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet Notes
Here are my favorite tips to help you purge your closet and get rid of things you no longer need.
- Be honest with yourself.
- Find time to dedicate to going through your clothes.
- Play your favorite music and light a candle. Make it a more enjoyable task.
- Go through your closet and pick out items you love wearing and set them aside.
- Find the items that you don’t feel good in and donate.
- Make sure everything in the “maybe” pile is hung up to review.
- Separate out things that need alterations.
- Fold any lounge or workout clothes and put them in the dresser.
- Take anything you feel guilty getting rid of and give yourself permission to get rid of it.
- If you are struggling to do this on your own, ask a trusted friend or family member.
- If you feel overwhelmed, take a break. But be sure to go back to it and finish the task.
Sometimes purging and decluttering your closet can become overwhelming, especially if you are emotionally attached to clothes or struggle with guilt over wanting to get rid of them. Be prepared for that, and don’t let it stop you. Give yourself permission to feel the emotions, enjoy the memories attached to things, or say goodbye to them if they are painful.
Give yourself grace and patience, especially if you haven’t made it a habit to declutter consistently yet. It is a struggle the first time, and nobody is perfect. That is perfectly okay.
Focus on looking at things objectively instead of emotionally. Logic and objectivity will really be your best friend in this instance. That is why I said earlier, go in with a black and white mindset. Yes and no, nothing else.
Once you start doing this, it will become much easier. Practice makes perfect, right? You certainly don’t need to be perfect, because trust me, I’m not remotely close to perfect either. But the point is, the more you do it, the better you become at looking at things objectively, being able to get rid of the things you don’t want, don’t use, and don’t have space for.
It definitely does get easier the more you do it, and that also makes decluttering the rest of your house easier as you move on to other rooms and other projects in your home.
You’ll likely find that once you really get comfortable decluttering and purging, you’ll enjoy a sense of calm, peace, and relaxation that you may not have felt at home before this. Decluttering and purging really does reduce stress and anxiety. Peace and calm are things we should all be enjoying when we are in our own homes. That is why I find the 7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet absolutely essential for everyone to be doing.
7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet Discussion
Has my 7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet helped you be able to declutter and get rid of items you no longer wear? Is this something that you struggle to do? Are you holding onto things you don’t need or use?
Do you have any tips that I missed here that have helped you? I want to hear about them! I want to know your own experiences and tips that have worked the best for you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thank you for reading my 7 Great Questions to Purge the Closet, I hope it has helped you!