10 Things In Your Closet You Need To Throw Out Right Now

Let me be blunt: cleaning out your closet sucks. Some people find purging excess material goods to be cathartic, but I consistently fail to find the joy in that. I recently took a good, hard look at my closet, and found literal bags full of clothes that I didn’t need anymore – just thinking about it made me feel stressed out. I eventually took a day, cleaned, and got rid of so many things. When I was done, y’all – there was so much space! It made me realize that there are some things in your closet that everyone needs to throw away… like, yesterday.

Throwing out a ton of stuff didn’t only free up some much-needed closet space for me, but it also helped to give me a little bit of a style update. It’s hard to freshen up your wardrobe when you’re busy clinging onto old pieces that either don’t fit anymore, look out-dated, or are distracting you from items you might love. Before this, I was really hesitant to get rid of my clothes for the same reason many of you probably are: you spent money on them, and you feel bad throwing them out. But honestly, keeping clothes that are better off in the trash (or being donated) is not doing yourself any favors.

Getting rid of old clothes isn’t always easy, especially if you attach them to memories you made while wearing them. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary step towards getting rid of old stuff to welcome the new. Since we don’t all spend every other weekend cleaning our closets (or maybe you do!), let’s start now and get a jump on spring cleaning. Here are 10 things in your closet you need to throw away right now… I promise, this will be life-changing.

Your Clothes From 20 Pounds Ago

One of my teachers in high school told us during a health class that it's normal for a person to have around seven pounds of flex-room on their body. If you think I'm exaggerating, look at the way your "food baby" is your body expanding to accommodate a meal, then weigh yourself before breakfast and then right before you go to bed and see what I mean. However, if you are on a weight loss journey or lifestyle change and you've either dropped or gained twenty pounds, making your old clothes still work for you is more trouble than it's worth. It's okay to get rid of your old stuff so you can make room for you new body.

Source: iStock

Anything With A Weird Stain On It

If something spills and you can treat it right away at home or with a stain-stick, go for it. But after you dry it and the stain is still there? It's pretty much set. Even if the color goes out of it, if you can tell where the pizza landed on your dress because there's still a splotchy outline of where the grease and sauce hit you, it's going to stay there, and you probably shouldn't be wearing it anymore. Don't justify it by saying you'll always cover it up with a sweater, I know those tricks, and they're bogus. Just get rid of it.

Source: iStock

That Costume You Won't Wear Again

You may remember how I feel about costumes and how they are probably best made from staples you already have. People put a lot of effort into making costumes and they can be super expensive. So, unless you're going to rock Steampunk Ariel for every theme party and Halloween for the next five years, either sell it on eBay, swap with a friend, or get rid of it. If you're super into making costumes, chances are you enjoy the process, and you're probably going to make more... and you're going to need somewhere to put it in your closet.

Stretched Out Bras and Underwear

The elastic has ceased to function and there's swatches of fabric on them that are worn down and threadbare. Essentially, if your undergarments are no longer able to function as undergarments, why bother even wearing them? My embarrassing test that I use to get rid of my bras and undies: if I would feel self conscious if someone were to *ahem* take my clothes off and see the aforementioned bra/underwear that's seen better days, I scrap it. Keep your weird period stained undies for that time of the month, for sure, but get rid of your old stuff.

Source: iStock

The Super Expensive Thing That's No Longer Trendy

Pro-tip: sell these items at a consignment shop for money. It's easy to justify keeping this piece because you declared it an "investment" and dumped a lot of cash into one item. You can get some money back by selling it at a consignment shop. If you don't wear it, you don't wear it. It sitting in your closet reminding you of the money you wasted is just going to make you mad. The fact that it's out of style now isn't your fault, so don't beat yourself up about it, but it can serve a greater purpose than taking up valuable space in your closet.

The Heels That Kill Your Feet

One more time, with feeling: it's entirely possible to find comfortable heels. If you aren't used to wearing or buying heels, it's very easy to make the mistake of getting something hellaciously uncomfortable that makes your whole body hurt. Give them a good test drive. If they don't pass 30 minutes on your feet, it's time to say goodbye. Other than looking pretty in your closet, they aren't really serving any purpose being there.

Source: iStock

Anything With A Hole In It

Holding onto clothing that has unintentional holes in it? Get rid of them, especially if they're worn in other ways as well. It's entirely possible to cut the sleeves off of a shirt and make it a tank, if that's where the hole is, but that shirt with the hole that you're pretty sure only you notice? Cool that you feel that way, but why are you justifying wearing a shirt with a freaking hole in it? Gone are the days where we darned socks. They now come in bulk packs where you can get something like fifty-billion socks for $5? I'm making that up, but Costco is magic for socks.

Source: iStock

Anything You Haven't Worn In A Year

Real talk: I have a dress in my closet that's expressly for attending a funeral, even though I pray that doesn't happen. I also have a very fancy cocktail dress on hand for weddings and big events. Those sorts of items? Feel free to keep them. But, the cardigans, sweaters, old jeans, hoodies, shirts, and skirts are taking up a lot more extra bulk than they're worth. If you haven't worn them in a literal 365 days, it's probably for a good reason. Do yourself a solid and donate them or have a clothes swap with your friends.

Source: iStock

Those Free T-Shirts You Never Wear

These sentimental juggernauts. Typically accrued through a job, school, or camp, they all look relatively similar and they come in every shade imaginable. It's fine if you're sentimental about it. Pick one or two shirts to keep and wear and turn the rest into a tee shirt blanket. I got rid of my shirts when I left a job and donated them back to the place I was working. It helps if you imagine them being awesome vintage finds when you drop them off to be donated. Unless you need these shirts for work or school on the reg, you don't need them in your closet.

Source: iStock

Your Old Junk Clothes

Aka "for when you have to paint something." I'm on Pinterest, too, and I see the DIY hacks for everything and the tutorials all say to wear something you don't mind getting messy. You don't need a whole drawer-full of stuff you don't mind getting messy. Instead, you are going to use some sweatpants you don't care about and an oversized tee you sometimes sleep in. You don't need to justify keeping borderline salvageable items in your closet in the name of potentially getting messy.

Which of these items do you have in your closet? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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  • ahnah

    Don’t throw away clothes that have holes if they are not bad, just fix them it’s really simple to sew this sort of things.