This is part of my Swift Decluttering For Clothes.
One reader asked:
Is it OK to declutter nice clothes that still fit me?
The short answer is: Yes, absolutely!
It doesn’t matter how nice your clothes are. It doesn’t matter if they still fit. If you have too many, then you have too many.
Here’s how I think about it: Imagine you’re sharing an enormous ice cream sundae with a friend. It’s nicknamed “Blood-sugar Buster” and includes 20 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge sauce, and chocolate chip cookie crumbles. It’s lined with colorful macarons and topped with maraschino cherries. (Hungry yet?)
Now, let’s say that a quarter way through the sundae, you set your spoon down, sit back, and let out a long breath. You’re overfull and need to stop eating. Do you tell your friend, “I’m full—you eat the rest”? Or do you vow to gobble ice cream until you explode because you paid good money for it?
Most of us will go with option one and invite our friend to enjoy the rest of the sundae. And there are three reasons for this:
- Eating more won’t change how much you paid. Maybe you shouldn’t have ordered the full “Blood-sugar Buster,” but eating more won’t change this.
- Gorging ice cream won’t make you feel better—you’ll feel worse!
- It’s incredibly satisfying to share with friends.
When there’s too much ice cream, stop eating and start sharing.
And we can apply these principles to decluttering:
- Keeping stuff won’t redeem bad purchases. Maybe you overspent on clothing in the past, but holding onto things won’t change this.
- Hoarding clothes won’t make you feel better—you’ll feel worse!
- It’s gratifying to share unwanted clothes with others.
Now, getting rid of nice clothes is going to feel uncomfortable. Especially the first time. You might feel like you’re wasting money by getting rid of them. Just know that this is normal. Everyone has these feelings. But don’t let it stop you.
Remind yourself of the ice cream analogy: When there’s too much, stop eating and start sharing. Donate your extra clothes to people who need them. You’ll improve their lives. Best yet, your life will improve by having less clutter.
More Decluttering Questions:
I need a plan
- Which clothes I should get rid of? Where do I start? (Here's a plan.)
- I have way too many jeans and T-shirts. How many do I actually need? (2 week’s worth.)
- None of my clothing sparks joy—so what do I get rid of? (Focus on what to keep.)
- How do I create a capsule wardrobe? (Here are 5 perspectives.)
- What's in Stewie's Wardobe? (Here's a list.)
Dealing with guilt
- How do you deal with the guilt of getting rid of perfectly good clothes? (Here are 2 suggestions.)
- Is it OK to declutter nice clothes that still fit me? (Yes, absolutely!)
Which clothes to keep
- Should you keep clothes that don’t fit? (It depends.)
- Is it OK to keep maternity wear? (Of course!)
- Should you keep clothes that still have tags on them? (Maybe.)
- Is it worth selling clothes online? (No way.)
- Should you sell clothes at consignment stores? (Maybe.)
- Are garage sales worth it? (Probably not.)
- How do I know which clothes are worth selling? (The $15/hr rule.)