The Complete Guide on How To Get Rid of Clothes

Learn how to get rid of clothes without getting overwhelmed and see the results and benefits of decluttering!

It feels like a never-ending battle to keep your closet organized and streamlined. Every season you add more clothes, and they just keep piling up.

That is why it is so important to know how to get rid of clothes the right way. Getting rid of too many or too few clothes can make your closet feel cramped or empty.

You need to find the sweet spot for how much clothing you should keep in your closet and what kind of clothes. I am going to guide you through the process on how to get rid of clothes so that your closet can be neat and tidy all year round.

Is the thought “I don’t know what to wear” (even though your closet is full of clothes) familiar to you?

If yes, then it is time for a clothes purge! This will help you to get rid of clothes that you don’t need and make more space in your closet for clothes that you actually wear.

How do you know if you have too many clothes?

There are some ways to know if you have too many clothes:

  • you feel like you have nothing to wear even though your closet is full of clothes. There are studies that show that having too many choices is actually bad for us.
  • you have clothes that are taking up too much space in your closet or drawers. If your clothes are crammed into your closet, then you have too many clothes.
  • you never wear certain items of clothing. If you have clothes that you never wear, then you don’t need them taking up space in your closet.
  • you have clothes that don’t identify with your current style.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, then it is time to get rid of some clothes.

How many clothes do you actually need?

Do you know what a capsule wardrobe is? A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothes that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits.

The key to a capsule wardrobe is quality over quantity. You want to have a few staple pieces that you can wear over and over again.

A capsule wardrobe is perfect for people who want to simplify their closet and have a more minimalist approach to fashion.

A capsule wardrobe typically contains around 30-40 pieces of clothing. This includes everything from tops and bottoms to dresses and outerwear. You can adjust the number of clothing items in your capsule wardrobe depending on your personal style and needs.

Related: Minimal Capsule Wardrobe: How to Build One?

how to get rid of clothes?

Why should you get rid of clothes?

There are many benefits of getting rid of clothes that you don’t need:

  • You will have more space in your closet for clothes that you actually wear.
  • You will be able to see your clothes better and it will be easier to get dressed in the morning.
  • Your closet will be more organized and less cluttered.
  • It will save you time and money. You won’t have to waste time looking for clothes that you never wear and you won’t be tempted to buy clothes that you don’t need.
  • You will feel lighter and freer. When you get rid of clothes that you don’t need, it can be freeing. You will feel like you don’t have to hold onto clothes that you don’t wear.

How not to get rid of too many clothes?

Now that you know how getting rid of clothes can benefit you, it is time to learn how to get rid of clothes the right way. You don’t want to get rid of too many clothes or you will end up with a closet that feels empty.

To make sure you don’t get rid of too many clothes, here are some tips:

  • Keep a list in your mind of the clothing items that you wear the most. This will help you to make sure that you don’t get rid of clothes that you actually wear.
  • Think about the clothes that you feel most comfortable in. Leave those in your closet, even if you don’t wear them that often.
  • Try to keep a mix of casual and dressy clothes. This way you will have something to wear for every occasion.
  • Keep seasonal clothes to a minimum. You don’t need a lot of seasonal clothes. A few of them are more than enough, but of course, it depends on the climate that you live in. For instance, if winter in your area lasts for more than 3 months, then it might be a good idea to have more winter clothes. (Here in Denmark, I wear a winter jacket 7-8 months per year. Yep, it’s cold. So I have more winter clothes than summer ones.)

Tips on how to get rid of clothes

The process of getting rid of clothes can be difficult, but it is possible to do it effectively.

Before starting the actual decluttering, do this:

  1. Take all of your clothes out of the closet so that you can see everything that you have.
  2. Make sure that you have a place to put the clothes that you are getting rid of. I would suggest making 2-3 piles, one for clothes to donate, to sell, and one for clothes to throw away (it depends on you).

Also, it would be best if you actually try on all of your clothes. I know it is such a long process, but it is worth it. This way you can make sure that you are getting rid of clothes that don’t fit you or that you don’t like.

There are a few tips that can help make the process easier:

Get rid of clothes that have stains, holes, or are otherwise damaged.

While it can be tempting to hang on to those clothes in case we ever need them, the truth is that we’re probably never going to wear them again. Clothes take up a lot of space, and holding on to damaged clothing is just a waste of time and energy. 

Otherwise, you can try to repair the clothing or repurpose it. For instance, if you have a shirt with a hole in it, you can turn it into a cotton bag.

Get rid of clothes that you didn’t wear in the last 3 months.

Besides that piece or two of clothing for special occasions, we generally wear the same clothes over and over again. If you haven’t worn something in 3 months (3 months is maximum, normally I would say in the last month!), chances are you’re not going to wear it again.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t apply to seasonal clothes. For example, you’re not going to wear your winter coat in the summer, so don’t get rid of it just because you didn’t wear it in the last 3 months.

Get rid of clothes that don’t fit you anymore.

This is a difficult one for a lot of people because we often hope that we’ll fit into our clothes again someday. But if you haven’t been able to fit into your clothes, it’s time to let them go.

So, don’t keep clothes that are too small for you in the hopes of fitting into them someday. This just sets you up for disappointment and could lead to unhealthy eating habits.

In case you do lose weight and need new clothes, you can always buy them (or thrift!).

Get rid of clothes that you don’t feel comfortable in.

Just because something is your size, doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. If you don’t feel good in a piece of clothing, get rid of it! There’s no point in keeping clothes that we don’t feel good in. We should only keep clothes that make us feel confident and comfortable.

Even if that piece of clothing looks good on you, if it’s not comfortable, get rid of it. Do you really want to be uncomfortable all day just because your clothes look good? I didn’t think so.

121 Minimalist Quotes That Will Inspire You to Live with Less

Get rid of clothes that don’t match your current style.

Our styles change over time, and that’s okay! Just because you liked a certain style in the past, doesn’t mean you have to keep those clothes now. Even for memory’s sake. If you’re not currently wearing those clothes, get rid of them.

If you keep clothes for sentimental reasons, you’ll have a closet full of clothing that you don’t wear. And we don’t want that. Take a picture and let go.

Get rid of clothes that you bought but never wore.

We’ve all been there. You see a piece of clothing and you think, “I love it. I need it!” And then you buy it and it sits in your closet with the tags still on it.

It’s time to let those clothes go. If you haven’t worn it within a month or two of buying it, chances are you’re never going to wear it. Get rid of it and save yourself some space (and nerves!).

Get rid of the type of clothes that you have too many of.

Do you have too many t-shirts? Do you have 20 dresses? We don’t need so many t-shirts in our closets, especially if we only wear a few of them.

I would go with:

  • one, maximum 2 pairs of jeans
  • a few t-shirts
  • a few shirts/blouses
  • one or two dresses
  • one pajama
  • one set of sportswear
  • a jacket
  • and one or two pairs of shoes.

This is just a general guide, but it gives you an idea of how many clothes you actually need.

Get rid of clothes that don’t match with other clothes.

Do you have a shirt that you love but can’t seem to find anything to wear it with? Get rid of it! We only want to keep clothes that we can mix and match with other pieces in our closets.

A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to create at least 3 different outfits with each piece of clothing. If you can’t, it’s probably not worth keeping.

I find that colorful clothes (a piece of clothing that has more than 3 colors) are often the hardest to match with other clothes. If you find yourself having a hard time matching them, let them go.

Get rid of clothes that are low quality.

Don’t get me wrong, it is ok to have a favorite T-shirt that costs 5 bucks. But let’s face it, most of the time we regret buying that piece of clothing because it’s not well made and it falls apart after a few washes.

It’s better to have a smaller number of high-quality clothes than a large number of low-quality clothes. Not only will your clothes last longer, but they will also look better.

Also, bad fabric clothes such as polyester are not only bad for the environment but also for your skin. So it’s a win-win to get rid of them!

Get rid of clothes that you are keeping because “you might need them someday.”

This is a common one. We tend to keep clothes “just in case” we might need them someday. But the truth is, we probably won’t need those clothes.

“Someday” is usually never.

Whether it’s a dress for a special occasion or a pink bunny pajama, if you’re not going to use it now, get rid of it.

Get rid of clothes that are in your closet just because someone gifted them to you.

It is such a bummer when you receive a gift that you don’t like.

But you don’t have to keep those clothes just because someone gave them to you.

If that person is going to ask you about those clothes, just be honest and say that you didn’t like them and you gave them away. They will (probably) understand.

Further reading: Unwanted Gifts: How to Handle & Prevent Receiving Them

Get rid of clothes that you hold onto just because they were expensive.

We’ve all been there. We spend a lot of money on a piece of clothing and we think, “I need to keep this forever because it was so expensive.”

But clothes are meant to be worn. And if you’re not wearing them, it’s a waste of space (and money, but it’s too late, oops).

So if you have clothes that you’re not wearing because they were too expensive, get rid of them. You can sell them if you want to, but getting rid of them is probably the best option.

Related: The ultimate list of things to get rid of

Ways to get rid of clothes

There are a few ways you can get rid of your clothes:

  1. Sell them online. Facebook Marketplace and Poshmark are great places to sell clothes.
  2. Give them away to friends or family.
  3. Sell them to a consignment store. A consignment store is a place where you can take your clothes and they will sell them for you.
  4. Throw them away. This should be your last resort because it’s not good for the environment. But if the clothes are in really bad shape, sometimes it’s the only option.
  5. Donate them to a charity or thrift store.
  6. Repurpose them. As I mentioned before, you can turn old clothes into something new. For example, you can turn an old T-shirt into a pillowcase or a cotton bag.
  7. Give them to a clothes recycling company. Usually, these companies will take your clothes and recycle them into other clothes or other materials.
  8. Sell them at a garage sale.

Keep your closet clutter-free

Once you’ve gotten rid of all the clothes you don’t need, you need to remember to keep your closet decluttered and organized.

In order to do that, do not buy new clothes unless you truly need them.

And when you do buy new clothes, make sure to get rid of a piece of clothing that you don’t need. That way, your closet will always have a good balance of clothes.

You can also declutter your closet regularly. I like to do it every season. That way, I can get rid of clothes that I don’t wear anymore and make room for new clothes.

Final thoughts

Getting rid of clothes can be a difficult and emotional task.

But it makes life so much easier.

A decluttered closet means less time spent looking for clothes and more time doing the things you love.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to get rid of clothes. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy decluttering!


Further reading: Your COMPLETE clutter-clearing guide
Bonus article: What You Can Do When You Have Too Many Clothes

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