Dear Fashionista: Getting Rid of Clothing – #FashionFriday

Dear Fashionista,
I always wear the same thing even though I have tons of clothes. Once and for all I’d like to purge what I’m not wearing. It’s just in my way, and I detest clutter. What criteria do you have for keeping or purging? Thanks.


Dawn is a dear on-line friend, who I’ve known for a long time. She is an uber organized woman, so I was shocked to get this request. Having her ask me about purging clothing I realized that even the most organized of us don’t want to let go of clothing/shoes. When we buy them we’re committed to them. They are, after all, the chosen ones right? 

My recommendation is to do a purge each season. Here are some guidelines I use every single time I do a purge.

1. Create 3 different areas to facilitate the weeding process: maybe, toss, donate. You have a 4th option, which is keep, but my assumption is that the keep will actually be putting an item back into the closet.

2. Go through and pull out the things you may not wear often, but should have in your closet. Examples would be a great fitting suit, little back dress or a formal dress. Although, these items may not be worn quite often, if they fit, it’s important to realize the need to keep these instrumental pieces. Put them in the keep pile.

3. If you remember nothing else of what is written here please try to remember this: If you have not worn it in the last 6 months, or more, it needs to go. ( I do understand that 6 months ago the season may have been different, but this is based on non-seasonal items.)

4. If you pull out a piece of clothing and you say to yourself, “I don’t remember having this,” then it’s probably meant to go.

5. If it doesn’t fit get rid of it.

6. If it’s uncomfortable to wear i.e. too short, too tight, it needs to go.

7. If it still has tags and you bought it more than 3 months ago, ask yourself these 2 questions: a) Did I forget I had this, and am so happy I found it? or b) I don’t know if I have anything to wear this with, and it’s just not right? If it’s the latter get rid of it. Sometimes we buy stuff on a whim, and it just doesn’t work out. Using precious space in your closet because you bought it isn’t a good enough reason to keep it.

8. Now go back to the maybe pile. Going through the maybe pile last allows you to see what you’ve kept, and whether or not the items in the maybe pile will even work with the items you have.

When it comes to shoes this is the only way to go:

1. Pull ALL of your shoes out of your closet. Firstly, you’ll find that pair of shoes you’ve been looking for, and you’ll realize that some could really go. Seeing all of your shoes in a pile, has you wanting needing to weed out.

2. Separate the shoes by categories: heels, wedges, formal, flat, athletic etc. Go through each pile individually. This helps you focus on the current needs of your shoe collection versus keeping because you simply like that pair.

3. Get rid of shoes that are worn to the bone. If you want to keep those shoes because they are “the shoe,” go to a shoe repair place, and get them a spa treatment.

4. If they are uncomfortable, and you don’t wear them, they go in the donate pile. You have plenty of time to collect more cute uncomfortable shoes.

5. Put all of the pairs you are keeping back in the closet in an orderly fashion, and you’ll feel like you have a whole new shoe closet.


Additional Tips:

Once your done put like things together and color coordinate. It makes it much easier to find what you need right away.

When you come home with something new, or many new things, take the same amount out of your closet. Switch one for one. It will guarantee that you always have room for more.

Have a clothing swap with your closest friends. My co-workers and I do this, and it’s FANTASTIC!!!!! We all come with our bags of clothes to someone’s house. We each bring a dish, and the host supplies the alcohol (you see where I’m going with this right?). We lay out our clothing very nicely all around. If someone has a clothing rack they can borrow it’s great for hanging things. We each pick a number out of a hat and we go in order picking clothing. One piece at a time, and you go try it on. If it doesn’t work you get to keep going until you find your one piece. IF there are a lot of people you can have 2 go at a time. It’s so much fun, and you get new stuff. Whatever isn’t taken gets donated.

Ladies (and gentlemen) it is hard to let go of a piece of clothing, but what value does it have to you sitting there? What’s the point of being emotionally connected to clothing? Like I said in #2 above, you pull aside the stuff that has to stay. Maybe there is that one thing you want to keep, but not everything is that 1 thing.

Do you have a pressing question about budget friendly fashion, beauty, home decor items, or organization you need help on? Please go here or contact me?

Check out my Fashionista sister Kori of Blonde Episodes for more fashion fun. Fashion Fridays by Blonde Episodes

Looking for more Fashion Friday fun? Check out this great link-up by some great ladies.

About Fashionista

Candice Kahn has written 808 post in this blog.

Candice is a mom of 3 in Los Angeles, CA, and the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Fashionably Organized. Her obsession with researching products to get the right price, has made her the go-to shopping guru for her friends. Here she writes about fashion, beauty and shares her love for home decor and DIY. In 2012 she began CB Media Solutions her company that offers brands and clients professional virtual assistance and social media consulting.




  1. This is a SUPER helpful post! I can be such a hoarder w clothes and will often only wear things once and still keep them in my closet to collect dust. Thanks for the motivation to clean up my closet! Stopping by from Fashion Friday and a new follower! Hope you’ll stop by!


    • Erin, I’m so glad you found the post helpful. I used to be a hoarder of clothes, but then it occurred to me it would be a lot easier to find the clothes I have if my closet wasn’t jam packed. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. GREAT tips. i sooooo need to clean out my closet. AGAIN.

  3. Great tips but I am more of a tactile learner. Can you come to my house and walk me through this using my closet as an example? See you in 10?

  4. LOVE this post! So many helpful tips. I have more issues with actually keeping clothes-I’m TOO quick to purge! My only other tip is to keep a bag in the laundry room to purge while you are sorting clothes.

  5. good stuff!!!!! i definitely try to purge every 6 months or so – but you’re right – holding on to pieces “just cuz” is silly.

  6. Great post, Candice, with fantastic tips.

    And. Wow. I get the surprise. Yay Dawn for asking!

  7. If I paid attention to #5, I’d have to get rid of everything I own. Except my workout clothes. Which I wear to the gym often, but which still don’t help me with #5. Go figure.

  8. Yep, I’m a “closet” clothing hoarder. Everything else is so easy for me to purge, but it’s hard for me to part with an outdated purse or a pair of too tight, too small jeans that I was once madly in love with. :) Thanks so much Candice for straightening me out, and my remaining clothes thank you. They are no longer smooshed and can breathe in the newly spacious closet.

  9. LOVE it! Especially the last part. Who wants to come to my house for a swap?

  10. Mama Mary says:

    You would die if you saw my closet. That is all.

  11. I hate to admit this but I am so guilty of keeping way too many clothes, shoes and accessories. I always say, “but what if I decide I want to wear this and then I don’t have it,” but guess what, 99% I never end up wearing and then toss it or donate it months later.
    Great advice and I’m sure my hubby will be much happier with the closet when I follow these tips!

  12. Really helpful post. I’ve been living on my own for four years now and I’ve accumulated SO MUCH useless crap and it’s such a pain to move every year. I need to definitely streamline my process of getting rid of things I’m not using.


  13. really helpful tips about deciding which clothes to keep!

  14. I’m glad I found this post; it’s about that time again. My closet and dressers are stuffed beyond capacity. I struggled with obesity as a child and am now I curvy petite woman. Since I was seventeen, I’ve been rebuilding my wardrobe. Now I’m in my twenties and have kept the same weight range for the last few years. That being said, I still have some “Just In Case” clothes to get rid of. Those are the incase I revert back to bad habits I have something to fall back on. I know by following your tips, I can make room for some new clothes for the person I am today.


  1. […] Candice Kahn @FashOrganized of Fashionably Organized: Dear Fashionista: Getting Rid of Clothing […]

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