3 things that can sabotage your wardrobe clear-out

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The transitional period between two seasons is the perfect time to do a wardrobe clear out and evaluation. 

Last year we did a video about wardrobe clearout and the basic principles of that process have not changed, however a lot of us still manage to botch it and continue to live with overcrowded, costly yet completely unhelpful wardrobes. Today we decided to look at some pitfalls of wardrobe clear out and deal with them head-on

The pitfalls of wardrobe clearout


The transitional period between two seasons is the perfect time to do a wardrobe clear out and evaluation. This is the time of year when you will be boxing away your little cotton summer dresses and unboxing your winter cozies. We strongly advise not to go through this process blindly and hastily by just throwing things into boxes or offloading stored away clothes back into your shelves without thinking. I recently read a brilliant idea- you should look at your wardrobe as a business and your clothes as if they are your employees therefore at the end of each season you should evaluate every piece individually based on their performance. Clothes are deemed to be performing well if you wore them on multiple occasions and created multiple outfits with them and most importantly you felt good wearing them. On the other hand if certain pieces did not get worn that season at all (for whatever reason!) or made you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable when you did wear them then they are considered as underperforming. And what happens to employees who underperform? Efficient and profitable businesses do not waste scarce resources on dead weight and your wardrobe space is a very scarce resource so MAKE THE CUT!

Last year we did a video about wardrobe clearout and the basic principles of that process have not changed, however a lot of us still manage to botch it and continue to live with overcrowded, costly yet completely unhelpful wardrobes. Today we decided to look at some pitfalls of wardrobe clear out and deal with them head on

1.       Lies we tell ourselves

When it comes to getting rid of things that no longer serve us (or maybe never served us at all) we seem to come up with a lot of reasons not to do it. I believe that main reason for that is guilt and determination to justify our past decisions


We are very reluctant to throw away pieces that still have tags on them. I had this beautiful Karen Millen party dress in my wardrobe for about 5 years. Never wore it, it still had tags on it and I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it telling myself that a day will come when I will feel up to wearing it. I actually do not remember when I finally made the decision to part ways with that dress, but I do know for a fact that the tags were still intact. You know as well as me that when you buy something you absolutely love, you cant wait to wear it. You will move heaven and earth to find a reason to wear it within a few weeks. Therefore it goes without saying that if you have not worn something in months (or years) and it still has tags on it you will never wear it. Even if you are determined to prove me wrong and prove to ‘everyone’ (read ‘yourself’) that it was not a rash and impulse buy you might wear it once and then never wear again. My advice would be to try and sell everything that still has tags on them. Go on ebay, Facebook Markets or even carboot sale and get some of your money back. It will only be a small fraction but it will make you feel better as it will no longer be a total waste of money. On top of that the person who will buy it might actually enjoy wearing it so it is a win win situation



I swear as a chronic dieter I want to be supportive of your goals. But as someone who has come out the other end of this vicious circle I want to assure you that once you do reach your weight goal you will definitely want to treat yourself to a new pair of jeans or a dress. Do not hold on to things that constantly make you feel like a failure. Whatever weight you are right now you can and you should look and feel amazing in clothes that fit you and make you feel great just the way you are. Imagine going to a spa, paying good money for some nice treatments only to be greeted with judging eyes and comments about your weight. Would you be satisfied with that sort of service? Would you ever go back? Would you stop-by every morning before work? Your clothes are there to make you feel good, that’s the deal- you pay good money for that service, so if something does not make you feel good now, just the way you are stand up for yourself instead of subjecting yourself to daily torture.



First thing you need to do is remove the financial cost of all items in your wardrobe out of equation even if the price tag is staring you right in your face. The money you paid for your clothes is no longer relevant as it was paid in the past, what’s done is done- it’s what economists call a sunk cost. The price you paid in the past has no bearing on the value you are getting from it now or can reasonably expect to get from it in the future and that should be the only deciding factor. You have to be brutally honest and ask yourself, would you buy that piece right now at full price? If the answer is no then just move on. As mentioned above, if the garment you have is by respectable brand, good quality and in good condition (why wouldn’t it be if you only wore it once, or never) why not try and sell it. You will recoup some of the money spent and you can invest it in something that will be of actual value to you


2.       Looking for rational reasons


Sometimes we might feel obligated to keep items because for the life of us, we cannot think of rational reason to get rid of it. Garment might be the right size, right fit, good quality etc etc but we never feel like wearing it. Let’s look at your clothes as employees once again. Sometimes we meet perfectly nice people with all the right skills for the job but we just don’t click. Ok, so this is not a perfect metaphor because you can’t fire people just because you don’t click with them, but the good news is that you can’t hurt a pencil skirt’s feelings and it cannot sue you for unlawful termination either. In this world you are the boss and you are perfectly within your rights to surround yourself only with YES-people. You do not need ‘a good’ reason to get rid of something, the fact that it does not make you happy is good enough. Trust your intuition! If you just don’t feel drawn to it when you open your wardrobe, it’s time to move on.


3.       Self-sabotage                                                                                                                                                   

We tend to self-sabotage when we feel overwhelmed. If wardrobe clear out seems like a mammoth task we might be constantly procrastinating, putting it off and looking for all sorts of reasons not to do it. If this is you my advice is to start small. Just go to your wardrobe and take out everything that is not in-season. Or take out everything that is wrong size. If you are only concentrating one issue (i.e size or season) it is a very easy yes/no decision as there is only one variable. You aren’t trying to evaluate each items overall performance. Once you have that done, put away or donate the items that were weeded out, take a break and congratulate yourself for taking the first step. Chances are that your wardrobe content will shrink significantly straight away allowing you to see better what you are left with. Decluttering is a wonderful, liberating process. Once you clear away a large portion of unnecessary things you will get rid of a lot of emotional baggage that those items carried too. This should inspire you to take another small step and do more. Next time you could concentrate on your jeans only (statistics show that most people store a large number of jeans while only wearing one or two pairs). Small imperfect steps are better than no steps at all.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to drag it out over a number of days just set a date for the clearout and write it in your planner or a calendar. Prepare nice snacks, drinks, good music or ask a friend to keep you company. A word of caution, do not pick a friend who talked you into buying half the stuff you don’t wear or you will be left with all the things that don’t serve you. Remember, it's your investment, your business, you are the boss and only your opinion matters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


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