I am all about a closet edit.
Six months ago I didn’t even know what a closet edit was. I just had a closet. It was kind of sad. It was full of things that I was going to wear soon or about to wear when I lost weight or things that might fit me one day or things that I wanted to keep because they fit me once upon a time.
A lot of things.
A lot of clothes.
And I didn’t even wear most of them.
I lost weight.
The clothes in my closet started to fit and then most of them got too big. WAY too big. I was in a size 20 pants before. Yikes. That is a lot of pant for a short person like me. And now? I’m in a size 4. At first, I didn’t want to buy any new clothes because new clothes are expensive and just between us? I was worried I might gain the weight back and need all those old clothes.
But one day I looked at my over-stuffed, over-stocked closet….
….and decided it needed to lose weight, too.
Here are seven things I got rid of (and 5 things I think every closet should have).
Seven things to get rid of in your closet
1. Anything that doesn’t fit
I was holding on to clothes in the closet that I knew were going to fit again one day. I clutched them like a contestant on Survivor who just got new sheets. My closet was FULL of things I was going to wear one day.
I am cheap.
I am thrifty.
And I knew that I knew that I knew one day they would fit me again.
And they did.
But here’s the truth. When they did fit me? THEY WEREN’T EVEN THAT CUTE.
I’ll make one exception to this. If you paid a LOT of money for something and it fit once upon a time and you looked super cute in it and have photographic evidence of your cuteness to prove it?
Keep it as motivation to fit into it again.
2. Anything that’s damaged
You are telling yourself you’re going to fix it one day.
You probably, in all likelihood are not.
All those damaged clothes are doing is taking up space that could be used for cuter, non-damaged clothes.
3. Anything that you haven’t worn in over a year
Here’s the thing about clothes that haven’t moved.
They get stale.
They get hanger creases.
They go out of style.
There is some reason why you haven’t reached for that outfit item in your wardrobe.
Maybe when you try it on you don’t look cute? Maybe it’s too short and you forget about it until you try it on. Whatever the reason, you don’t feel your best in it.
And you my friend are too cute to keep clothes around that don’t make you feel your best.
4. Anything that has a tag that hasn’t been worn in a year
This is kind of a version of number three.
But it’s harder. WAAAAY harder. You bought it. You paid good money for that thing still wearing its tag.
You can’t let go of it now.
You haven’t even worn it.
In super sad news, you have to let it go.
There’s some reason why you haven’t worn it. There’s something about it that doesn’t make you feel cute. There’s some reason why it’s still wearing its tag after a year.
Take a deep breath and donate it.
It’s time for someone else to remove that tag.
5. Something you wore that has a special memory
This is a hard one.
I get it.
I have a dress in my closet that I wore to my father’s funeral. I couldn’t wear it ever again after that (even though I loved that dress). So it just sat there with all of its memories collecting dust.
For 10 years.
And every time I looked at it, it made me a little sad.
When I did my closet edit, I took it out and shook it off and let it go.
IT WAS SO HARD.
But here’s the thing, I have so many amazing memories of my father and I want to remember all of the life that he lived and the joy that he shared and the gifts that he gave to so many. And those things aren’t found in that dress.
(edited to add: If you can’t let it go, just pack it up out of your closet into a box in the attic and see how you feel after six months. We need to be gentle with ourselves sometimes.)
6. Something that someone gave you
This is kind of a special category. I’ve had people give me clothes before and I was so happy and thankful that they took a moment to think of me and I would thank them effusively for the gift.
But most of the time?
The clothes didn’t really fit.
And I kept them because I felt guilty and I was worried if I donated them, the person might see them at the local thrift store and get their feelings hurt.
Sometimes you just have to let those clothes (and the guilt) go and release them from your closet.
(total aside: I did drive them to a thrift store out of town just to be safe.)
7. Anything that’s not in style anymore
Sometimes we keep things in our closet that aren’t in style anymore, hoping that the style will come back around.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
And sometimes it does.
TWENTY YEARS LATER.
You could have rented out that space in your closet that entire time and bought yourself 10 new pair of stirrup pants the second time around.
And stirrup pants from 1991 never ever ever look like they came from 2021.
Let the stirrup pants.
And the prairie skirts.
And the concho belts go.
They have a life to lead.
And it’s not in your closet any more.
After you edited all that stuff out are you wondering what’s left?
Here are five things I think every closet should have
1. A pair of black pants
I love these pants from Walmart.
They are skinny and they make you feel skinny when you wear them. They are stretchy. They have the cutest little notch at the bottom and they zip up the side.
They are actually cropped, but I’m five feet.
2. A pair of jeans
I don’t actually have that many jeans in my closet right now.
I just have a few pairs that I LOVE and wear over and over and over again.
You can pay a lot of money for jeans, but I found a pair on Amazon that I’ve bought in almost every color.
It’s from a label called Goodthreads. I cut off the bottoms and stuck them in the dryer to fray them.
3. A good khaki sweater
I love a good khaki sweater.
You can wear it with those black pants.
You can wear it with jeans like this.
You can wear it with white pants, too, and it looks TOTALLY different each time.
This is one of my favorites that I got at Ann Taylor factory.
I also just bought this one on clearance that is SO FLATTERING.
4. White tee
I love, love, love a white tee.
It goes with all the things and under cardigans and with jeans and khaki pants.
I found the CUTEST version of it at Target with puffed sleeves and I’ve been wearing it everywhere.
You can see it here.
5. A good statement earring
You know I never met a statement earring I didn’t like.
In the history of EVER.
I just found these on Amazon and ordered them in two colors.
They are all in my closet right now.
Editing your closet is one of the best ways you can treat yourself. You probably have treasures waiting in there right now for you that haven’t seen the light of day in years because they are hidden under things that need to exit the door.
You got this friend.
Just put on a little red lipstick, pull out an outfit from your brand new edited closet.
And have a day….
….as amazing as you are.
PS All the pictures on this post were taken by the incredible Kenna Lynn.