I talked about my experience with the KonMari method in my last post. This week I have 10 questions to purge your closet for when the KonMari method doesn’t work.
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The KonMari method did work for me, but I think it was because I put myself in that mindset. I ruthlessly purged my closet, disregarding whether a piece was a gift or a hand-me-down. I only thought about if that piece made me happy or not.
I know it is not the method for everyone, especially after working with clients on their closets. Sometimes it’s better to ask yourself questions to really know if something should stay or head to the donate pile. In the end, you need to be ruthless too when you purge your closet.
10 Questions to Purge Your Closet
1 | Do I love it?
This question is along the lines of “Does it spark joy?” But, honestly, why do you want to keep something you don’t even like? Maybe you don’t like it because it’s just plain uncomfortable to wear or the fabric drives you crazy. Let go of the items you don’t love and make room for the pieces that are your favorites.
2 | Does it fit?
This is a hard one. I know as women we go through different seasons, especially with pregnancy and post-partum. It is okay to have a small wardrobe set aside for those seasons. I have a bin labeled “maternity” in my closet specifically for those pieces. But be honest with yourself. That skirt you bought at 20-years-old may never fit you again. It’s okay. You have done beautiful things since then.
3 | Do I like how it looks on me?
You will probably need to try some pieces on to know if you if it’s a keeper or not. You may not have worn it in so long that you forgot how sheer it is or that it loses its shape after a little bit of wear.
4 | Do I feel confident when I wear it?
Any clothing that makes you feel like yourself obviously needs to stay. Let go of the clothes that make you feel sloppy, unkempt, juvenile, or any other negative feelings. Wearing clothes that boost your confidence promotes positive self-image, and I want a world of women with positive self-image.
5 | Is it comfortable?
I let go of the clothes I feel like I’m adjusting or sweating in all day long. To me, it’s not worth it! I’ve got too many other things to do during the day than worry about if my bra is showing or having to pull up my pants.
6 | Is it necessary?
This is more of a quantity question. If you have 10 striped tees, you probably don’t need to keep them all. One or two will suffice.
This gets harder when it comes to cocktail dresses or bridesmaid dresses. You probably only bought those dresses for that one event so you will never end up wearing them again. Sometimes we think, “I’ll hang on to it, just in case.” Instead think, “What would it cost me to replace, rent, or borrow this item versus what does it cost me (physically and emotionally) to store it.”
I usually choose to pay it forward by donating.
7 | Can I wear it in 3 or more outfits?
We’ve all had those pieces that we aren’t sure how to wear or we only know how to wear it one way. Let go of those pieces and commit to purchasing clothing you know will work with your color scheme and comfort level.
8 | Have I worn it recently?
If you didn’t wear it during the last season, you probably won’t anymore. Sometimes we have pieces we wear all the time, then suddenly we don’t wear them at all. For me, I used to wear scarves and blazers all the time. These days I love how they look on other people but they are no longer staples in my closet.
It is better to give away once loved pieces to someone who will love them like you once did.
9 | Is it damaged or worn out? Does it need to be replaced?
I know I’ve held on to some pieces for dear life after they’d been worn out or damaged. In reality, I knew I would never fix a damaged piece. Be honest with yourself and admit whether or not you will actually fix it. There are plenty of replacement pieces on the market.
10 | Am I keeping it out of guilt?
We have all received gifts or hand-me-downs we were not crazy about. It’s totally okay to let these go. Personally, holding on to a piece and not wearing it only increases my guilt every time I see it. I would rather give it away with the hope that someone else might find a good way to use it.
I’ve also had those pieces that I bought for quite a few bucks but didn’t work out. It could have been that the sizing was wrong (and it was a final sale item) or that it ended up losing its shape after a few wears. I am letting those items go during a clothing swap later this month. I know some of my friends will be happy to receive those like new, amazing items.
In other words, sometimes it’s better to give than to receive.
What other questions do you ask yourself to purge your closet?