I live by the sea, where it’s sunny and muggy. One week away without any ventilation, and I return to closets full of clothes gasping for air. For me, whether I like it or not, my spring-cleaning seems to happen far more regularly than any season. Each time I’m left debating the precious space I have with what I have inside of it. Should I keep it? Should I pass it along to someone? Or should I not make a decision and just move on? My golden rule is that for every new item that enters my closet, one must exit. It allows me to justify the new article of clothing, and it also makes me feel good that I’m getting to pass something along that is still in good shape. We all have clothes and accessories that just about manage to hold on to their spots in our wardrobes, but it’s time for them to go.
- Elastic exit
With time, use and climate, elastic bands go bad. You will be able to have a new favourite only if you let go of these. Be it pajama bottoms, boxers, underwear or even the T-shirt’s neck or a polo shirt’s ribbed cuffs – if the elastic has stretched out beyond a point of no return, it’s time to say adios.
- Gifted goner
We all get gifts from people who mean well. They think they know our tastes and who knows, sometimes they even get it right. But if we hold on to something simply because someone gave it to us, is it serving a purpose? My motto with gifted clothing is that if you can’t express that it doesn’t suit you (for whatever reason), pass it along within a season.
- Just not my size
Yet ok, so it was an impulse buy, or it just didn’t fit at the time, but we set a goal. I will work out and this will fit me perfectly. If you’ve gone 1,2,3 seasons and it’s still a goal, it’s time to retire the ambition.
- Sentimental spot
“I loved that shirt. It’s my college sweatshirt. Ooh, I remember wearing that suit to that event.” If you attacha memory to it, and that’s the only reason why it still hangs in your closet, it’s time to let go. Keep a picture from the event as a memory instead.
- Costly curse
Sometimes our closets become filled with regrets. And at times, they can be costly ones. Maybe you bought those jeans because everyone else loved that brand too. Maybe you got a raise and treated yourself to a designer jacket. If your costly duds are collecting dust, there’s no reason to have a daily reminder of what you money wasted on. It may sound like tough love, but something still in style might actually still have value. If you can’t see yourself giving it to someone, Ebay it.
- Comeback kid
Everything that was in style will come back right? Wrong. If you are that fashion conscious and had bought the item while it was in style, that means you’re only keeping it till it comes back in style again. For me, an item should be there because it has a chance to be worn at any time.
- Wear and tear everywhere
Holes, rips, loose threads, missing buttons, stains, burns – if you are waiting for a fix and haven’t yet done the repair work – do it now. If you have no desire to, don’t know how to or simply find it too taxing, chances are you are never going to get around to it.
- Mirror mirror
So you wear it, look at yourself in the mirror, then take it off and put it back in your closet. If you do this more than five times, and that garment never leaves the house, it’s likely that it never will. Just accept it and let it find a home and a closet where it will get some real love.
- Novelty wore off
So you were known as the guy who always wore blue? Or you only wore one brand of khakis? Here’s a newsflash – you can evolve in your style. Don’t think because your closets are full of one identity, you can’t switch it up. And the best way to shake it up is to loosen the novelty that exists for your style.
- Somebody else syndrome
We buy something, we love it. We wear it and then we see someone wearing the exact same thing – and full stop. If you stop wearing something because someone else wore the same thing and when you see it in your closet and you only remember that other person, it’s likely you’re never going to wear it again.