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The Purge

I have a biannual date with my closet that usually takes place a few weeks before the summer/fall and winter/spring transitions. These times of year typically coincide with New York Fashion week which serves as a reminder and an inspiration.

“The Purge” is my closet recycling and revamping extravaganza that keeps my wardrobe fresh and gives me a chance to reevaluate the pieces that may have been there too long.

I start by going through each warm weather section of my closet and ask myself a series of questions:

  • When is the last time I wore this?

  • Do I still like this?

  • Where can I wear this?

  • How long have I had this? Is it in good condition?

  • Does it have a good CPW? Cost per wear? Was it pricey?

  • If I were shopping right now, would I buy it again?

  • Are there sentimental values to this?

  • Are there tears, stains, etc? Easy to fix?

As I ask myself these questions, I put the clothes into three categories.

  1. Keep it on the hanger. I’m definitely keeping this.

  2. Donation pile. We’ve had a good run but it’s time for you to find another home.

  3. Redemption pile. I can’t bear to part with this, but also I haven’t worn it since 2013.

The first two categories are pretty self-explanatory. The third is trickier, and this is where my extra step comes in. The reason why I do this before the weather officially turns is to give some clothes one more shot. It pains me to part with some things from my closet. Even if I can’t remember the last time I wore it, sometimes I just can’t justify pulling it off the hanger just yet.

So I give myself a three-to-four week window where the redemption pile has one more chance. I’ve had this black Bebe jumpsuit in the back of my closet since at least 2011. I had to have it, but hadn’t put it on since the purchase. It came to the redemption pile and now that I have better style and more confidence than I did five years ago, I strutted my stuff in that black jumpsuit and never looked back.

Now it’s back on the hanger and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my wardrobe. My Forever 21 sheer blouse that I’ve had since high school, wore throughout college and hasn’t been worn since 2012? I tried, I really tried. It’s mid-September and 94 degrees out, and still couldn’t justify it. Off to Goodwill it goes.

The best part about my biannual purge is that I justify it with this probably stupid mantra: for every five pieces I donate, I can get one new thing. That’s really all the motivation I need (though my bank account won’t agree).

What are your tips for keeping your wardrobe fresh?

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