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Why I Purged My Closet and How It Made Life Happier

“I’ll wear it someday.”

Someday – a day that turns into weeks, then into months, then even to years.  Do I wear it?  No.  Do I think about it?  Maybe.  Do I even remember it exists? Normally not until I clean out my closet.  Again.

I used to do it all the time.  About every 6 months, I’d go through my closet, clear out old stuff, then over the course of the next 6 months, I’d refill it with more stuff.  Sometimes it was to reward myself for clearing out so much stuff, and sometimes it was just to have something new.  A lot of the times, it was because there was a sale.  I’m a sucker for sales.

Some people may consider this a good cycle, but I’ve gotten so tired of it.  I have a full-time job, a loving husband, and a growing child that take up the bulk of my time.  Standing in front of a closet of half mediocre and half loved stuff wasn’t helping me make whatever time I had into valuable time.

In my first post of the year, I mentioned that I wanted to simplify and to live my day-to-day with more purpose.  One of my first struggles was to tackle my closet.  If you can relate to any of the above stuff, here’s why the change has made my days happier and why you should consider it too…

  1. I don’t know about you, but for me, a cluttered environment lends to a cluttered mind.  Considering that the closet is one of the first things I see every day, it definitely set the tone for the day.  How am I supposed to focus on the day when I can’t even focus on a wardrobe?
  2. It helps save time.  You know what I’m talking about.  Some days, I’d go through 10 outfits figuring out what to wear, and even then I wasn’t sure if I really loved my outfit.  With fewer pieces left that I knew I felt good in, I can more happily mix-and-match quickly and go on with my day.
  3. By cutting back, I’m helping the environment.  Yes, the environment.  Did you know that fast fashion is the second largest polluter in the world (source)?  It’s only second to OIL.  We’re programmed to think that we’re not “in” if we don’t wear the next big thing which only perpetuates a bigger problem.  This helps me not buy into it by helping me feel more in control.

Most of all, because of all of the above things, it helps me live more in the present.  Although I’ve purged about 4 large bags of clothes and accessories over the past 3 months (all donated to the Salvation Army btw!), I’m not quite where I want to be yet.  By June, I’d love to have a set number of hangers in my closet and only living off of them.  If I buy something new, it means something has to go.  It’s a switch in my mindset, but I fully believe it’s a healthy switch.  I’m happier for it!

Don’t get me wrong.  I love fashion.  I love looking and feeling put together.  I don’t love it ever weighing me down, and more clothes had a tendency to do that rather than making me feel more satisfied.  Also, spending less on frivolous purchases means I can spend more money  on sustainably-made clothing that tends to cost more (for good reason) and on items that will last much longer.  I’ll admit that I did buy some new basic pieces over the past few months as well, but they’re not extremely trendy and suit a mix-and-match lifestyle – meaning they have longevity.  Also, to help do my part in helping the planet, at least half of the items I bought were thrifted.

A tip I’ve learned if you want to take the same step: I decided to do this twice already this year because when it’s already top of mind that you want to simplify, you’re thinking each day which items are just cluttering the space because you’re not inclined to reach for it.  So after a month or two, it’s easy to pull the trigger on purging again.  Basically, do it every few months so that it’s an active process vs halfway through the year like I did before because I realized that after waiting 6 months, I was basically purging out of necessity with my closet overflowing!

Why I Purged My Closet and How It Made Life Happier

I’ll likely update in a few months, but have you purged your closet?  Are you trying to scale back on things?  I would love to hear your stories and thoughts!

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12 Comments

  • Reply Solianny

    This is such an awesome post Vy. Thank you for doing this. I’ve been living a super minimalist lifestyle for the past 3 years and haven’t shared it, but I think it’s wonderful when people do this because it encourages other people to live a more simplistic life. Imagine being obsessed with material things? Such a headache.

    February 23, 2017 at 7:34 pm
    • Reply Vy

      I agree, love. The constant need for material things gets so exhausting and unnecessary! I’m excited for your eco-friendly blog which I’m sure will touch on this too. I’m definitely passionate about the topic and eager to learn!

      February 23, 2017 at 11:32 pm
  • Reply Krista

    I go through the same thing: “I’ll wear it someday.”

    When I lived in Hawaii purging my closet used to be a little easier (I probably did it twice a month). I recently moved to the MOUNTAINS and now I have to deal with seasons changing! Gosh, you have me looking at all my summer clothes and trying to figure out what may not make the cut this year 🙂

    thanks for the post, Vy! I didn’t think about purging a closet and minimizing purchases contributing to the environment!

    February 23, 2017 at 7:44 pm
    • Reply Vy

      I agree! It’s hard with the seasons – especially really fickle ones like out here in LA! I’m glad you learned something new – buying into fast fashion is incredibly bad for the environment and also lends to a lot of underpaid workers overseas 🙁

      February 23, 2017 at 11:30 pm
  • Reply Brandi

    We just recently moved and it was definitely purge-central! I don’t miss a single thing I got rid of and don’t even remember half of what was donated! 🙂

    February 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    • Reply Vy

      Moving is great motivation to reduce your stuff! It’s funny how much we have sitting around that we don’t miss but have a hard time letting go.

      February 25, 2017 at 11:31 pm
  • Reply Shoshana Sue

    I purge my closet every six months, it helps me stay sane but I have a few pieces that I can’t seem to let go of. Haha

    February 26, 2017 at 9:35 am
    • Reply Vy

      Yeah it’s rough sometimes which is good to do it often because you’ll soon realize how little you need it. I’m definitely trying to stop the cycle of purging and instead just live simply day to day which is an adjustment!

      February 27, 2017 at 5:45 pm
  • Reply Letitia - apparentlyamom

    oh yes! My thing is, “I’ll fit into it some day”. Some things I have justified recently just because i’m 9 months pregnant and I really will fit into it again soon but all-in-all I’ve just had it and I’ve been doing well with getting rid of stuff that doesn’t fit. If it doesn’t fit, I don’t wear it, obviously. I totally agree though, maybe I’m just nesting, but I am completely into less stuff and a more organized clean home recently. The closet is a great place to start. I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting in a day cleaning stuff we didn’t even need to have around or trying to remember where I put something, etc.

    March 2, 2017 at 8:56 am
    • Reply Vy

      Yes, you’ll feel great once you clear it out! Set yourself the ideal number of hangers for you and only let yourself fill up that number so you’ll never have to “purge” again. Plus, once you have your babe, getting a new outfit or two is really refreshing 🙂

      March 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm
  • Reply Kimberly

    This is such a great idea! I have been wanting to purge my closet for some time now. I have so many unworn clothing items that it is just a shame.

    March 5, 2017 at 10:12 am
    • Reply Vy

      Yes! The key is to keep it minimal so we never have to take time to purge again. Such a tedious task.

      March 7, 2017 at 9:31 pm

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