flat-lay of closet items
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Your Fall Closet Cleanout Call to Action


I dread bringing out my fall/winter clothes from storage. There’s just so many pieces and they’re big and bulky. Which means these puffy sweaters and oversized hoodies need to fit in the same closet that’s currently jam-packed by thin, barely-there summer clothes. It’s a good problem to have, I’ll admit to the privilege and first-world-ness of the problem. And it’s definitely not something to be proud of. I’ve overbought and kept things I shouldn’t have.

I have aspirational-fashion-itis.

What is that you might ask?

It’s KNOWING a dress is NEVER going to fit and keeping it, because, well someday! Loving the way a sweater looks on the hanger but nearly scratching myself to death while I wear it. It’s keeping things “just in case,” like just in case I ever need a hillbilly punk fringe blouse, I got it!

Basically my closet is a visual representation of not being able to let-go and not being able to choose. In my defense, I’ve given away a TON of clothing, but that statement might only further implicate me in my own case against myself. 

So what can we do if we suffer from closet overflow? Of course we can just binge some Marie Kondo and keep asking ourselves what’s sparking joy. I’m guessing though if that would work for you, you still wouldn’t be here reading this piece.

But fall is a perfect time to unload some of the items you’ll probably never wear or want to wear again. And here’s your motivation!

Having too many clothes actually inhibits us from dressing well. We’re so overwhelmed with choices, it can become hard to choose. The sheer quantity of clothes also makes it physically impossible to sift through. You end up with some pieces that never see the light of day. Imagine a sparse, easy to browse closet. Doesn’t that sound appealing? A few hours investment in cleaning it out can lead to many hours saved in the future. 

woman with arms raised, happy
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Now I’m not going to tell you about the items that are “out” this year that you need to discard in favor of trendier styles you’ll need to buy. Nope, that just seems presumptuous and catty. You’re an adult, if you like something, keep wearing the hell out of it. If you still prefer skinny jeans to mom jeans, don’t ditch them. Instead, personally assess what stuff isn’t working for your current lifestyle. Here’s five steps you can take to make your fall closet more scaled down and peaceful. 

  1. If it doesn’t fit, you know what to do…I keep a lot of pieces because I think one day I’ll fit into them properly. I’ve been the same weight for about five years now. You and I both know that dress still isn’t going to fit. Rather than seeing it mock our progress every time we swipe past it in the closet, feel the beautiful cleansing moment of chucking it into that donate bag. 
  2. If you’re on the fence about an item, give yourself a deadline of one week to wear it. We all have those items that look amazing on the rack, but we perpetually pass them by without ever considering wearing them. They just basically live in our closets. Well it’s time to decide and you don’t have to in this moment. Give yourself a full week. Hang the piece on your door and be determined to wear it. If you still don’t, it’s a give away! But even if you do, ask yourself if it’s something you could see yourself wearing again in the next two weeks. If not, it’s probably not worth keeping and could be better used by someone else.  
  3. Taking this idea a step further, create a probation pile. Keep it out in plain site and give it a few weeks to see if you wear any of the items in there. If you don’t, they might not be items you need to keep holding on to.
  4. Some things we don’t want to get rid of because they don’t seem like suitable donation pieces. Don’t worry, there’s an option better than the landfill. Stores like H&M and Levi Strauss recycle clothing you’d be too embarrassed to donate. There’s also recycling bins that you can locate here which do the same. 
  5. Be COVID-conscious. Okay, so your work has gone remote for the foreseeable future and you aren’t attending any black-tie galas this year. Don’t go overboard and donate all your workwear and formal attire. Instead, be aware that those things might not have a place in this season’s rotation. Be realistic and store items you probably won’t wear for the next three months. You can always grab them if you need. Just remember to properly label what’s inside your storage box. Place some eco-friendly moth deterrents in there too, such as: cinnamon sticks, eucalyptus leaves, bay leaves, or good old-fashioned cedar blocks.


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