7 Tips for Getting Rid of Clothes

Whether you’ve been inspired by Marie Kondo to only have clothing that sparks joy, or you’re just in the mood to start decluttering, you can start today. You can get rid of your clothes and have a clutter free closet to start 2022.

While there’s already a step number one in this article, believing you can do it is probably the real first step. Too often we get so caught up in this idea that cleaning out our closets is going to be incredibly challenging. That causes us to delay addressing the issue.

But I hope these ideas I provide can make decluttering a little bit simpler. And besides, even if you do have to work hard to get rid of old clothes, isn’t having a clearer space worth it in the end? Plus, you could possibly make some money off of them too.

  1. Schedule a time to get started
  2. Take everything out of the closet
  3. Hang what you regularly wear back in the closet
  4. Figure out your why
  5. Separate damaged clothing
  6. Try on your ‘maybe’ clothing
  7. What to do with your old clothes
Clothes on a hanger, getting rid of your clothes

1. Schedule a time to get started

It’s not uncommon for many people to want to push things off until tomorrow. We all have our own schedules, and some of ours are busier than others.

Put down a specific date and specific time you’ll get started with the removal process. Even if it’s just an hour for one day, the fact that you begin will be an accomplishment.

Plus, everything doesn’t have to be gotten rid of in one day. Little by little, you’ll eventually have everything you don’t need gone over time.

2. Take everything out of the closet

Now I know I just said little by little but stick with me here. Once you see everything out of the closet, you’ll have a completely clear space.

It’ll be a pleasant sight that can motivate you to keep it more open, spacious, and not cluttered.

But you’re probably wondering, well where am I going to put my clothes in the meantime? Here are some ideas:

  • Hang them on a door hanger: In my room, I have an over door clothes hanger. It has multiple hooks that allow me to place multiple items on them.
  • Place them on a chair: Most people have at least one chair in their room. You can gently place as many as you can on that chair temporarily.
  • Hang some on the doorknob: If an item won’t end up touching the floor, you can put it on a clothes hanger and hang it on the doorknob.
  • Use desks, drawers, and shelves: Any other space you have in your room that’s not your closet, your floor, or your bed, whether it’s folding or hanging, you could find a way to place some of your clothes there too.

Quick Tip: With the different spots you use, try to make sure items you regularly wear, and items you don’t regularly wear, are separated.

After doing this, you’ll not only have the motivation of a clear closet, but maybe motivation from just not wanting to ever do this again.

That can be enough for one day. Unless you feel really motivated, your next step can be done the next day.

Quick Tip 2: Have what you want to wear tomorrow set out, so you’re not searching around for something to wear the next day.

3. Hang what you regularly wear back in the closet

There are some items you probably know you always wear. It maybe one of your favorite shirts, pants, dresses, or other accessories.

You can hang those clothes back in the closet again. It’s important to stress again, they have to be clothes you regularly wear.

Regularly means you wear it almost every week or two weeks. No items that you don’t wear this frequently should be placed in the closet during this step.

If any of the clothes you wear regularly are ones that you’re not sure you still like, put them with the rest of the clothes you’re leaving out.

4. Figure out your why

I was reading a Washington Post article that noted 4 bad reasons people keep clothes:

  • Fond memories
  • Losing weight
  • Believing it’ll be fashionable again
  • Because it was expensive

Let’s break down why each of these reasons are faulty:

Your memories are more than your clothing. They’re the people you were spending time with, the photos you may have taken, etc.

Even if you get rid of that wedding dress, you’re always going to remember how great your wedding day was.

With losing weight, it of course should be mostly about feeling better physically.

Beyond that, as the article noted, you’re likely going to want to buy something new once you meet your personal goal.

Maybe it’s okay to keep one or two items you really want to fit in again. But in general, it’s best to just get rid of them.

Proper weight loss can take months to achieve. It would probably feel better not having your space cluttered up for that long.

It’s true that items can become fashionable again over time. But fashion tends to make retro stuff look less old than the original.

So, you may not be fitting in with the return of the fashion as much if it ever comes back in style.

Lastly, we all make expensive mistakes, so don’t feel bad about it. If you’re wanting to feel less like you wasted money, you can sell or consign the clothing to get some of it back.

If that’s not an option, you can also make yourself feel good by giving it to someone you care about or donating it to charity.

Quick Tip 3: Another thing we do is we often attach our self-worth to certain items. Take those expensive items or those items you no longer fit in.

You may feel like even though you should get rid of them, that your possessions are a part of you. We need to know that our worth is more than in our possessions.

That’s a part of what minimalism is about. That your worth is in more than what you own. It’s in the experiences you enjoy, the relationships you have, and the way you live your life.

As you debunk your reasons for keeping certain clothes, you’ll be more able to get rid of them.

5. Separate damaged clothing

More likely than not, you’re probably going to get rid of the clothes that are damaged. Anything that has stains that are too deep or rips that are irreparable, it’s time to let go.

Put all of those clothes in a box. You may feel some items are salvageable, but similar to the stuff you’re waiting to lose weight for, just only keep one or two items at most.

You can give yourself a week to salvage them, and if you don’t do it within that time, then just go ahead and get rid of it.

6. Try on your ‘maybe’ clothing

A good way to settle the debate on clothing you maybe want to keep is to wear them. Put on each item whenever you have the time.

If you look in the mirror, like what you see, and have a strong good feeling, keep it. If you feel like you’re still debating, then you’re probably better off letting it go.

We as humans can sometimes be risk averse and feel FOMO. What I mean by those terms is that we often avoid risks, and we’re afraid we’re going to miss out on something.

But just think of the cost of what being cautious and protecting yourself from missing out has done to you.

You have a cluttered closet that makes life more difficult than it has to be. You can free yourself by taking that step forward and giving up the clothes you no longer need, and thus, make your life easier.

The clothes you do feel good about when you try them on, those can be hung back in your closet.

7. What to do with your old clothes

So, where do we get rid of all of these clothes we’ve removed? Well, first of all, getting rid of them doesn’t always mean throwing them out or giving them away.

We too often neglect that our clothes can be repurposed. The goal of a simple lifestyle should not only be to minimize our possessions, but to be creative in using them up too.

Here are a few ways you could repurpose your clothes:

You can find more ideas of how your clothes can be repurposed in this article: 27 Creative Ways To Reuse Old Clothing

Some of you may just simply want to have the clothes you’ve removed from your closet gone. If that’s the case, there are also a number of ways to do that too:

  • Give to community programs, churches, or local organizations
  • Donate to retailers and thrift stores for a discount
  • Resell or consign
  • Have a virtual garage sale (contact free pick-up or delivery)
  • Give to friends or family

You can figure out if certain options are available through a quick google search. With all of these ideas, you can finally rid yourself of your clothing, and have a clean organized closet again.

Clothes on a rack, getting rid of clothes

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  1. Maria Pinto says:

    Although I don’t have a lot of clothes I do like this idea. With the Covid some of the thrift stores will let you return clothes with tags on since you can’t try anything on at the store. I can usually tell if something will fit but sometimes it doesn’t. I like the idea of putting things back in better order too.

    I know some people think that all clothing donated will be resold, but that is not true. Some of it is thrown out due to the volume they receive, like how often do you go into a Goodwill when the racks are not overly filled?

    1. Thanks for the useful information, Maria. I recently learned about what can happen to donated clothes. It’s a real shame so many of them end up in landfills. I hope companies can look into more ways to repurpose clothing if they’re unable to sell them.