Shopping often is centered around our finding things we like, and we proceed to purchase or otherwise obtain them to include in our menagerie of “stuff.” Though not always, often the “stuff” we obtain is new, or nearly new, and has an appearance that reflects its newness and barely used status. Now, certain things tend to hold onto the way they look forever, particularly when these objects are made of wood, different clays and metals. Non-Upholstered furniture, much jewelry and the like tend to hold up well over time, with little to no obvious wear to the observant eye. The purchases we make that do tend to rather quickly show their age are those we wear–our clothing–and including hats, purses and shoes.

How Our Eyes Fool Us
It is somehow a fairly commonly experienced component of the human perception that our sight can be misled over time, as we continue “seeing” much of the clothing we buy for ourselves and even our mates and/or children as still being nearly new. Especially when we have some sort of emotional attachment or poignant memories associated with specific articles of clothing or outfits, we become strangely unable to notice that they have either long gone way out of style, or when they show significant signs of wear. It’s not unusual that many of us hang onto some of our clothing much longer than we should, and it’s probably due mostly to this lack of proper vision we have when sizing up our overall wardrobe. Generally, all it takes is one particular random incident of seemingly insignificant proportion to jolt us into reality, and once that occurs, there is no going back. From that point on, when you see that shirt/skirt/dress/suit etc., all you will think is “no.”

Keeping Some Stuff for Another Time is OK
There are certain styles of clothing you own that might one day make a serious comeback, and as long as you don’t just hang onto all of your clothing forever, it’s up to you to save and sequester a few choice articles, but until you are sure they have made it fully back onto the runway or somewhere similar, keep them stored. Nothing looks worse than someone trying to get a little more life out of a “yesterday” outfit or garment, without a doubt.

Special Considerations
It’s easy to know when clothing no longer fits, from losing or gaining weight, and if you have a habit of cycling, just hang onto the more timeless pieces in every size you may become. Some clothing we purchased before we had fully grown to our adult sizes, and sometimes the clothing we rocked before we had babies will just never work again. We need to honestly evaluate these issues, even if it takes the help of a true friend. Most of this clothing, if left hanging in the closet, will only stir up frustration or disappointment. This is the best reason to toss clothing, or find them a new owner. Here are some general guidelines for assessing what to keep and what to toss, for a more refreshed feeling every time you open your closet doors:

Toss if:

  • You have yet to find the right occasion to wear the item, and you’ve had it for a year or longer.
  • The only reason you keep it is because of how much money you paid for it.
  • The item screams at you, from a particular non-trending decade.
  • The item has been slowly falling apart or shows signs of wear.
  • It has permanent damage that you’ve been unable to rectify, no matter how much you once loved it. This can be shrinkage, a nasty stain, a hole, etc.
  • If suddenly wearing it makes you look older, rather than younger.
  • The garment no longer appropriately reflects your lifestyle or occupation.
  • It evokes reminders of the past you’ve worked to forget.
  • You borrowed it: time to return it, with a suitable apology.
  • It is anything you know you will never wear again.
  • It has always been uncomfortable to wear.
  • THE BEST REASON: To make room for some new, fun fashions!