A little while ago I opened my closet and a familiar overwhelmed feeling wash over me. I wouldn’t say I have a ton of clothes (what’s a lot of clothes, anyway?!), but over the span of about eight years I had amassed enough clothes that to look at my shelves and clothing rack was like looking at a veritable timeline of my style evolution. Band tees and graphic tees beside semi-sheer blouses. Long floral print hippy skirts beside...shorter, more business-appropriate floral print skirts (ok, I think I’ll always like floral prints). Basically, my closet looked like a mashup of a teenager and an adult.

The problem is, after spending so many years looking at these loitering articles of clothes, I had grown accustomed to their presence. I knew I had to let some of them go. It was time. I was ready to complete my evolution into adulthood.

Not sure what to do, I fell into the easy behavioural pattern of my Grad school days gone by: research. I found this extremely helpful article by Danny Dover on How To Sanely Purge Your Wardrobe. Direction!

He breaks down sorting and purging your closet into four basic steps:

  1. Identify your clothing requirements,
  2. sort your clothing into four piles (keep, donate, trash, box),
  3. consolidate your clothing by brand/style,
  4. schedule reoccurring mini purges.

That’s the gist of it. What I found particularly helpful was his approach to clothing that was bought but never worn. Rather than feeling obligated to keep it simply because you never wore it, take a moment to appreciate the feeling that the article of clothing gave you when you bought it, acknowledge that that was its purpose and that purpose has now been served, and toss it into the Donate pile.

I was finally able to let go of clothing I was, realistically, never going to wear again, no matter how much I had loved it when I was seventeen. I ended up with a big garbage bag full of clothes to drop off at the nearby Value Village. I felt lighter and excited at the prospect of my new, easier to navigate closet. Honestly, decluttering your wardrobe feels really refreshing.

(I still kept my band tees. I mean, come on.)

This infographic based on Danny Dover’s article walks you through the emotional but liberating process of purging your wardrobe in a couple of efficient steps.