Seasonal Closet Clean-out:
Manageable Tips to Purge

The leaves are changing, temperatures are cooling off and your wardrobe is shifting from shorts and tees to jeans and pullovers. It’s a great opportunity to give your closet a quick clean-out by purging unused items from the summer. Clear out space now to make room for fall and winter seasonal items. Next summer will thank you!

Strategies to sort through your summer wardrobe

Keep clothing you wore this summer. The items that you feel great in and often receive compliments on.

It’s time to say thank you and good bye if….

6 items to let go:

  1. You didn’t wear it all season. If you didn’t wear it this summer, what’s the likelihood you’ll wear it next summer? With the exception of special occasion items, seriously consider if any unworn clothing is worth the precious space it is taking up in your closet.
  2. It doesn’t flatter your body shape. Do you know what your body shape is? And what clothing compliments your body’s natural shape? This was a game changer for me. I stopped buying things that, while cute and adorable on a friend or sister-in-law, just didn’t look good on me. I had wasted money and valuable closet space on unflattering pieces. I have Krystle with Lev Apparel to thank for this advice! You can determine your lovely body shape and styling tips at
  3. The tags are still on it and you bought it over 6 months ago. I know this is tough. You spent money on it. You have may even spent A LOT of money on it. But are you going to wear it? How do you feel about it every time you see it in your closet with the tags on? Probably a little guilty. And who wants to feel guilty when trying to decide what to wear? No one. Let it go. Clear it out of your mind and your closet. Consider selling it online or at a consignment store, pass it on to a friend or donate to a non-profit.
  4. It has a hole, tear, rip, run or stretched elastic. Go ahead and toss or recycle these items.
  5. It’s uncomfortable. Life’s too short be uncomfortable! Say goodbye to shoes hurt your feet!
  6. It doesn’t fit. This includes clothing that you are holding on to wear when you are that size again. Please, let it go. When you reach your goal weight instead reward yourself by purchasing clothing in your new size that is in style. I will wager that when you meet your goal weight it’s unlikely you’ll want to wear your old clothes anyway. Keeping too small items in our closets is unhealthy and brings negative feelings when we look at them. If you must, just keep 1 motivation item and remove the rest.

Donation Box – Purge all year long

Another tip – purge all season long! Find a space in a closet, garage, laundry room or basement for a box or bag. Pick a spot that is easy to access. Label the box, “Donations”. Throughout the season as you come across clothing you no longer need or want, toss it in the box! When the box gets full, donate it. And remember to start a new Donations box. I do this all year long so my closet clean-out is not a huge project each season. Clothing that doesn’t fit right, has gone out of style or you have grown tired of – in the box it goes. I do this for my kids too, who grow out of clothes nearly every year.

Clothing Swap, Online Sales & Non-Profits

If you have high value items that you’d prefer not to simply donate, consider a clothing swap. Get a group of friends together and invite everyone to bring a specified # of clothing pieces they no longer want to keep. Everyone can take turns shopping other friend’s items. No money is exchanged, rather each friend goes home with a set of new clothes. Read this Martha Stewart article on how to host a clothing swap.

Selling online (Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay) or to clothing consignment stores are also good alternatives to donating.

If you’d like to make sure clothing goes to someone in need, consider seeking out cause specific non-profit organizations. Please only donate items in good condition that have been laundered and folded. Some ideas in the Madison, WI area include:

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