Tags: Back to Basics, cleaning out closet, how to organize your closet, Style Syllabus, what clothes to throw away, what to keep

It can be a daunting task but, before your closet approaches hoarder status, stop cramming it all in and start editing it down. Just remember, it’s not tossing it’s fashionably curating your closet…and, really, when was the last time you wore that?

Ready to get started? It’s not as hard as it looks!

It doesn’t fit. Let it go

Stop trying to squeeze in to those jeans! When was the last time they fit? If it’s been sitting in your closet for more than a year, it’s time to toss or donate it. Besides, should you shed the 20 pounds or get back to your pre-baby/pre-college/pre-whatever bod, you’ll be excited to buy some new duds!


Pull out the “I’d wear ifs” and get to it!

Are you avoiding that skirt because the zipper broke? Or it’s feeling a little too short lately? Maybe a once-favorite blazer is now a never-wear…and it’s just because it’s looking a little worn. While some things simply aren’t salvageable, plenty of other items are. Pants can be hemmed, skirts can be taken in or let out, and sleeves and linings can be repaired. Pack up anything you still love and get thee to a good tailor or seamstress. They’ll help you figure out what’s savable and what needs to go, and get your clothes back to (almost) brand new again, usually at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new.

Ditch for the ouch-worthy

Maybe those sky-high heels looked amazing in the window, and maybe you managed to teeter around the store for a minute or two, but you aren’t going to wear painful shoes—or itchy sweaters or pants that pinch—that much, if at all. If it hurts, get rid of it. Fashion is supposed to make you feel great, but you’ll feel anything but if you’re constantly adjusting, rubbing, scratching…

High Heels

The “the last time I wore it” test

This one’s a classic: ask yourself when was the last time I wore this? If it’s been more than a year and there’s no sentimental value to it—don’t toss your wedding dress, of course—it’s time to pack it away for good. Doesn’t matter why you haven’t worn it, just that you haven’t. Pack it up and say goodbye.

Organize the looks, not the pieces

Sometimes we don’t wear pieces because we just can’t figure out how or when to wear them. While you’re editing down your closet, try pulling full looks and hanging them together so you’ll be able to more easily navigate the challenging tops, bottoms and accessories. This will ensure that you’re making good use out of everything in your closet, and not just a few core staples.

Face it: you need to edit down your closet. Grab a friend, snag some trash bags and make an appointment with your local consignment or thrift shop and get to it! Your closet—and your wardrobe—will thank you. And, besides, then there will be space for your next shopping splurge!

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