Do you feel like you have too many clothes? If yes, why so, and how to fix it?
Most people have too many clothes. In fact, research shows that the average person has around 300 $ worth of clothes they never wear. That means that most of us are wasting a lot of money on clothes we’ll never wear.
The reason we buy so many clothes is that we don’t know how to shop wisely. We buy things impulsively, without considering whether we’ll actually wear them.
We also don’t think about what will go with what, so we end up with a closet full of clothes that don’t match anything.
Well, if so, you are in the right place. This guide will show why you have too many clothes and how to get rid of them.
How do you know if you have too many clothes?
There are a few signs that you have too many clothes:
- You can’t fit everything in your closet: This is a physical sign that you have too many clothes. In fact, if you can’t even close your closet door, it’s definitely a problem.
- You have clothes with the tags still on them: If you have clothes with the tags still on them, it means you’ve never worn them. Why keep them if you’re never going to wear them?
- You have clothes that don’t fit you: Having clothes that don’t fit you is a waste of space. If they don’t fit, you MUST get rid of them.
- You feel overwhelmed when you think about dressing: In general, if getting dressed feels like a chore, it’s because you have too many clothes. You should be able to look at your closet and easily put together an outfit.
- It’s difficult to match your clothes: If you can’t find anything to match your clothes, it’s because you have too many clothes. If this is the case, it’s hard to keep track of everything and match everything up.
- You don’t like what you wear: Not being satisfied with your wardrobe is another sign that you have too many clothes. You should be able to look in your closet and find something that you desire to wear.
Reasons why you have too many clothes
It is useful to know the reasons why you might have too many clothes. After all, if you know the reasons, it is easier to change your behavior.
That is why in this section we will look at the main reasons people have too many clothes.
Buying clothes on sale
When clothes are on sale, it is hard to resist buying them. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal? However, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need to buy it.
Think about it: if you will wear it only a couple of times, is it really a good deal?
Of course not.
The only time you should buy clothes on sale is if you were planning to buy them anyway. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money.
Not knowing your style
A lot of people have a ton of clothes because they don’t know their style. They buy clothes impulsively, without considering whether it is their style or not.
As a result, they end up with a mix of styles that don’t really go together.
We open our closets and are greeted by an overwhelming sea of clothing, all claiming to be perfect for us but not actually being worn anywhere near enough!
The truth about these garments?
They were bought on impulse shopping sprees where we followed styling trends rather than assessed if the items matched what was needed or wanted.
Or, we simply saw something we liked and bought it without thinking if we’d use it often enough to make the purchase worth our while.
Some of us keep clothes because they hold sentimental value.
For example, you might have a shirt that you wore on your first date with your spouse. Or, you might have a dress that you wore to your high school prom.
While it is understandable to want to keep these items, you need to be realistic.
Be ruthless and ask yourself if you will really ever wear them again (if not, you need what you need to do!).
Read more about getting rid of sentimental items here.
You don’t know how to declutter
The average person wears just 20% of the clothes in their closet, according to this study. The rest are just taking up space.
But decluttering your closet can be daunting. It’s hard to let go of clothes that you spent good money on or that have sentimental value. And it’s even harder to keep your closet tidy if you don’t have a system for organizing it.
If you need help decluttering your closet, here are some resources to get you started: The Complete Guide on How To Get Rid of Clothes
Further reading: 20 Effective Ways to Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need
You have a “just in case” mindset
We have all been there: we are out shopping, we see something we like, and we think to ourselves “I might need this one day.”
So we buy it.
Just in case.
However, more often than not, that “just in case” item never gets used. It just sits in our closet, taking up space.
If you find yourself buying things “just in case,” it might be time to reassess your shopping habits. Instead of buying things impulsively, take a step back and think about whether you really need the item or not (need, not want!). The answer is probably no.
You have an “I’ll wear it eventually” mindset
On the other hand of the “just in case” mindset is the “I’ll wear it eventually” mindset.
This is when you keep clothes that you don’t wear now because you think you might wear them in the future.
- Are you holding onto clothes that you hope to fit into one day?
- Or are you keeping clothes that are out of style, thinking they might come back in style eventually?
If you find yourself thinking “I’ll wear it eventually,” it might be time to let go of those clothes.
What to do if you have too many clothes?
Maybe you have found yourself in one or probably more of the reasons listed above, but it is not too late to change your shopping habits.
There are things you can do to prevent yourself from accumulating too many clothes. And also, there are ways to help you declutter your closet so that you finally have a closet that you love.
I have decided to segment this part into 4 categories:
- before making a purchase
- during the purchase
- after accumulating too many clothes
- maintaining a clutter-free closet
Before making a purchase
One big reason why you have a lot of clothes is that you don’t know how to stop doing that. You still go shopping. You still buy clothes. So obviously, you will end up with more clothes that you don’t need.
That is why it is important to stop this from happening. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Decide on your style
The first step to having a closet that you love and not overloaded with clothes is to decide on your style.
Figure out what clothes make you feel good and what style you are most comfortable in.
This will help you when you are out shopping because you will be less likely to buy something that is not your style. Besides that, deciding on your style will help you with decluttering (we will get there later on).
Browse Pinterest, fashion magazines, fashion blogs, and even people around you that you like their style to get inspiration.
Have good reasons to have a less cluttered closet
When you are trying to break a habit, it always helps to have a good reason why you want to do it. So take some time to write down your reasons for wanting to have a less cluttered closet.
Some of the reasons are:
- I want to be able to see all my clothes so that I can choose what to wear easily
- I want my closet to look nice and tidy
- I want to wear all the clothing that I have
- I want to save money by not buying clothes that I don’t need
- I want my clothes to match between them
Having a clear why will help you stay motivated when you are trying to break your habit of accumulating too many clothes.
Don’t go shopping if you don’t need anything
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it is worth mentioning.
If you don’t need anything, don’t go shopping.
It is so easy to go into a store when you are bored or have nothing to do and come out with a new shirt or pair of pants. But if you don’t need anything, there is no point in going into the store and buying something that will clutter your closet.
Make a list of needed clothes and stick to them
Let’s say you need a new jacket because the one you have is too small/old/not your style anymore. You need a new pair of jeans because you ripped yours.
Write it out. And don’t buy anything that is not on your list.
Making a list will help you stay focused on what you need and not get sidetracked by all the other things in the store.
During the purchase
Somehow you ended up in a store. Maybe you even are trying out a shirt and you really like it. Let me remind you, you are in a trap now. However, there are strategies that might help you get out of it:
Ask yourself some questions
Before you buy anything, always ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need it? When I say “need” I don’t mean “want”.
- Do I have something similar?
- Do I have an outfit in mind that I can wear this with?
- Is it my style?
- Can I afford it?
- Will it help me match my clothing easier or it will just add to the pile of clothes that I never wear?
- Is it a quality item or it is just cheap and will probably fall apart after a few wears?
Answering these questions will help you decide if the piece of clothing is worth your money or not.
Don’t fall for the “it’s on sale” trap
Many times we see something that we like and it is on sale. And because it is on sale, we think that we are getting a good deal and we buy it.
But here is the thing, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that you should buy it. You should still ask yourself the questions from before. If the answer is no to any of them, don’t buy them.
Don’t let emotions rule your decisions
This is a big one. Many times we buy things because they make us feel good at the moment. But you have to remember that the feeling will go away and you will be stuck with the clothes.
I know, you feel like you are in love with that shirt and you will wear it all the time. But considering that you probably have a lot of them, the chances of you actually wearing it are slim.
So, don’t let your emotions rule your decisions when you are shopping for clothes.
Buy only clothes that match your wardrobe
For me, this is a very important point. I used to have a lot of clothing, but I had nothing to wear because none of my clothes matched.
I would go into my closet and I would have a shirt that I liked, but I had no pants that matched it. So the idea is to buy clothes that you can mix and match.
This way, you can create a lot of different outfits with the same pieces of clothing and you will actually wear them.
I have mentioned it above but I will say it again. Quality over quantity.
It is better to have a few quality pieces of clothing that you love and wear all the time than a lot of cheap clothes that you will never wear.
Sure, the quality garments might be more expensive but they will last you longer and you will actually get your money’s worth.
After accumulating too many clothes
There are things you can do if you have too many clothes and you want to declutter your closet.
And you need to declutter it the right way. You can’t just take all your clothing and throw them away. Or declutter just a few pieces. You have to do it the right way if you want to be successful.
I have a full guide on how to get rid of clothes but here are the essential points:
The process of decluttering clothes
The whole point of decluttering is to get rid of the clothing you don’t need. But if you are not organized about it, you will probably end up keeping most of your clothes.
So, my advice is to:
- go through your whole closet and take out all of your clothes.
- sort them into 3 piles: keep, maybe, and donate/sell.
- go through your clothes one by one asking yourself the questions above and put them in relevant bins
- Take the “maybe pile” and ask if that piece of clothing brings you joy. If it doesn’t, donate/sell.
There are also questions to ask yourself that might help you get rid of some clothes:
- Do I feel good when I wear it?
- Does it match my style?
- Is it comfortable?
- When was the last time I wore it?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, get rid of the clothes. You don’t need them in your life.
The most essential thing when you are decluttering is to be ruthless. If you are not, you will probably end up keeping most of your clothes.
Don’t keep items for sentimental reasons, because you “might” wear them someday, or because they are expensive. Get rid of it if you haven’t worn it in the last 2-3 months.
What to do with the clothes that you want to get rid of?
The donation process is simple. You can either donate to a local charity, to friends, family, or to thrift stores.
Thrift stores are always a good option because they will sell the garments and the money will go to a good cause.
Just make sure that the clothes are in good condition before you donate them.
If you want to make some extra money, you can always sell your clothes. There are a few options when it comes to selling clothes.
You can have a garage sale, sell them online (on websites like eBay or Poshmark), or take them to a consignment store.
Sometimes, you will have garments that are in such bad condition that you can’t sell or donate them.
In this case, you will have to throw them away or recycle them.
Related: Life After Decluttering: Now What?
Maintain a clutter-free wardrobe
Once you have decluttered your closet, it is essential to maintain a clutter-free wardrobe.
Every time you buy new clothes, make sure to get rid of an old piece of clothing. This way, you will always have a balanced number of clothes in your closet.
And, every few months, go through your clothes and get rid of the ones you don’t wear. This way, you will always have a decluttered closet full of clothes that you love and wear.
Another thing to do in order to maintain a clutter-free wardrobe is to be mindful of the clothes you buy. Like really, just stop when you catch yourself thinking about buying things you don’t need. Feel your breath and move on.
You don’t need any more clothes. Your wardrobe is perfect as it is. It’s time to start enjoying your life without clothes taking up space in your closet.
From too many clothes to a capsule wardrobe
If you have too many clothes and you want to declutter your closet, one option is to create a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothes that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits.
With a capsule wardrobe, less is more. So don’t try to cram too many clothes into it. Just choose a few pieces that you love and that will make you feel good when you wear them.
Some important tips that can help you get started:
- Choose a colour scheme
- Get inspired by browsing Pinterest
- Stick to a few basics
- Add some statement pieces
- Organize your capsule wardrobe so you can easily find what you are looking for
Once you have created your capsule wardrobe, you might be surprised at how little clothing you actually need to be happy. And you will also save time getting dressed because you will know exactly what to wear.
Having too many clothes is not as much fun as some people think. It’s actually quite stressful and it can be hard to keep your closet organized.
If you have a lot of clothes, the best thing to do is to declutter your closet and get rid of the clothes you don’t need. Moreover, you need to get into the right mindset so you don’t repeat the same mistakes of accumulating too many clothes again.
And, if you want to simplify your life even further, you can create a capsule wardrobe. With a capsule wardrobe, you will only have the clothes that you love and that make you feel good.
I hope this article has inspired you to declutter your closet and live a simpler life with fewer clothes.
Have a clutter-free day!