Ditch or Keep: The Art of Closet Upkeep

As Kenny Rogers would say, you gotta know what to throw away and what to keep. I tend to be a ditch it, give it away, when-the-heck-am-I-ever-going-to-need-this type of gal, but I know many of you out there are guilty of hoarding garments that are no longer treasures.

The art of closet upkeep ain’t easy, but it’s just one of those these you should do as an adult. I have some recommendations to get you in the right state of mind, and you’re going to love me once you get going. 

  • Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit you and that you won’t fit into anytime soon. Sure, it’s nice to have goals, but if you’ve been holding onto something since high school and haven’t fit into it since, chances are you’ve blossomed into a woman and have a new shape. Embrace those changes and move on with your life. 6438482177_9764aa6df9_z
  • Plan a clean out at the beginning of every season or 4x per year. And I don’t mean every new season of your favorite TV show. I know some of you live in climates where there are only two seasons––don’t cheat yourself. Create a recurring Google Calendar event so you can’t forget.
  • It’s true: clothing and accessories come back into fashion. However, some trends really should never be repeated … like shoulder pads. Get rid of fad clothing that makes you look outdated. You want a balanced wardrobe with basics, neutrals for layering and statement pieces. If most of your clothes consist of kitchsy pieces, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Go for classic, timeless garments and use unique statement pieces sparingly.
  • For your favorite shoes, determine if they need some TLC or really need to be thrown away. Leather can be buffed, soles can be replaced and cotton can be easily washed. Sometimes you have to get resourceful.
  • Don’t forget to check those hard to reach drawers, filled with your unmentionables, belts and scarves. I’ve changed bra sizes about 3 times in the past 10 years. I assume I’m not alone. Check for not only size, but and wear and tear. Those old stretched out bras aren’t doing the ladies any good. IMG_2594
  • If you’re on the fence about some items, think about whether they qualify for a fun DIY project. Boring jeans can be distressed or cut into jorts (jean shorts, that is). Patches and embroidery can be added to a familiar jacket or tote. Have some fun with it––you can even have a girls craft night where you make this into an excuse to see your friends.
  • Speaking of friends, you can always hold a clothing and accessories swap! It’s a win-win in my book.
  • Take this time to organize. If you’re anything like me, I start off with a color coordinated, super organized closet and end up with piles; things get misplaced and and thrown about once I get busy. Since you are already digging through everything, you might as well organize everything you’re keeping! Bonus points for getting shelves, bins and organizers from IKEA, The Container Store or Target––there’s something for every budget.

Don’t judge, but this is an actual picture of my closet after a clothing avalanche, followed by what I wish it looked like 24/7.

  • For those items in your ditch pile, determine what you will do with them. If they are in good condition, you may want to sell them online on sites like Poshmark, ThredUp and Tradsey, or donate them to local resell stores, like The Salvation Army and Goodwill.

With less clutter, you’ll be able to pick out our outfits with ease. Perhaps you can even treat yourself with a few new items that fit your current body and lifestyle! (Ahem, head over to see Vintage Theory’s new arrivals)