new years resolution: purge closet

At the start of every new year, I purge as many clothes from my closet as I can.

It usually happens the weekend before I go back to work during the new year. This is one of my rituals to give me a fresh start for the year and declutter the things that I don’t need anymore.

I tend to fill up a garbage bag or two each time I do this and it always makes me feel a bit lighter afterward. There is something relaxing about seeing your closet instantly get more spacious and giving your clothes a few inches of space between each hanger.

I would suggest that everyone should do this every year at a minimum (if not twice a year). For those of you who have a hard time letting go of your clothes, try out the framework below to help you from clinging to things that won’t benefit you in the future.


Benefits of purging your closet and clothes

There are a handful of benefits to purging your closet:

  1. More Closet Space
  2. Less Decision Fatigue
  3. A Positive Environment
  4. Faster Morning Routine

If you think about it, these benefits impact your everyday life.

When you are struggling to decide which outfit to wear, your brain is using that mental power on decisions that don’t really make a huge difference in your life. That is the main reason why Mark Zuckerberg decided to keep his wardrobe as simple as possible.

In addition, the less decisions and clutter in our closets, the faster we can get through our morning routines. I would much rather have pre-selected clothes that are simple and efficient than too many options that add stress to my day.

If you haven’t purged your closet recently, take some time to do that this upcoming weekend. Ask yourself these questions below to help you with the purging process.


Did I wear this item last year?

This is the most important question you need to ask yourself.

If you look at a piece of clothing and can’t remember wearing it in the last 365 days, toss it. History repeats itself, and you are more than likely not going to put this on your body again.

You may try to convince yourself that you’ll wear this piece of clothing in the future, but ask yourself, “When will I wear this?”. If you can’t think of a specific event you will wear it this year, it needs to go. It will be a waste of space so you might as well rip the bandaid off.

nice suit


Does this piece of clothing fit well?

Today I had a hard time letting go of a nice dress shirt.

I tried to convince myself that I was going to start exercising more so I can fit into my older clothes. Eventually, I had to come to my senses and I threw it in the bag anyway because I need to stick to the framework.

If your clothes don’t pass the ‘fit test’, you need to lose them. Otherwise, you will keep looking at daily and telling yourself, “Oh yeah, I’m too fat”.


Are my clothes worn out?

I had a shirt that had to be tossed because of this rule as well.

It was a nice University of Texas longhorn t-shirt. The problem is that there was a hole from the time I ripped the tag out. I only wore this shirt a handful of times (usually as an undershirt) because I didn’t want people to see the hole.

Instead of holding onto this, I realized that I didn’t like wearing it because of the hole. You may have worn clothing that you don’t want to get rid of and that is fine to save for painting or yardwork. Otherwise, purge these items from your closet.


Do I like how these clothes look?

This is an important question to ask yourself because it will save you a ton of time in the future.

If you don’t like the piece of clothing today, you aren’t going to like it a few months from now. Hold onto those pieces of clothing that make you feel good when you wear them. Get rid of any items that you dislike.

clothes in closet


Does it feel comfortable?

There are a few t-shirts I needed to purge because of comfort alone. They were itchy and made me uncomfortable throughout the entire day of wearing them.

If you have clothes made from itchy materials, you may want to avoid them this year. In addition, toss any items that are designed poorly and cause discomfort from not forming well to your body.

I also had some socks that wouldn’t stay snug on my feet and would distract me throughout my day.


I’m done purging. Now what?

The last thing we need to do is throw clothes away. I would suggest donating them as this is the easiest way to getting rid of your clothes.

If you want to sell some of your clothes, that is fine too. Just don’t expect to get a lot in return for used clothes.

Once your clothes are given away, you can use this framework to think about the clothes you want to buy in the future. For example, you might want to buy socks that are all the same color moving forward to avoid having to find a match every day.


I hope this helps you stay organized and efficient this new year. If you enjoyed this article, give us a shout in the comments section below!

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