Purging your closet may not be the easiest, but that graphic tee you wore in 7th grade can’t take up space in your closet any longer. When it comes to ridding our wardrobe of what no longer deserves space, it comes to three key strategies. Addressing the last time it was worn, considering whether it brings you joy, and getting rid of those excuses you’ve been holding onto just to keep clothes in your closet, are all key in a clothing purge.

You’d be surprised how much time has passed when you start rummaging through your closet and asking yourself the last time you’ve worn that article of clothing. Many of us hold onto pieces for much longer than we anticipate, leaving us with piles of clothes that we haven’t styled since grade school. While our intentions are good, it’s time to give up the old and make room for the new. There’s nothing wrong with letting go of old pieces so that your wardrobe can benefit from a face lift. If you haven’t worn the item in the past six months, it’s time to toss. If you’re holding onto it in hopes for a special occasion, it’s time to let go. Getting serious about a closet purge means no excuses, not even for those shoes you loved in 9th grade and are just waiting for that next outfit to come along that you’ll need to wear them with. Haven’t worn it within the last three months? Turn it inside out. Those pieces are on a time clock, and once the six-month mark hits, if they haven’t been turned back, they get the boot too. Keeping things around just in case isn’t healthy and will only stunt you in your endeavor to change your closet.

Ask yourself. Do your clothes bring you joy? And I don’t mean that good Jesus joy that forgives you, comforts you, or leads you through tough times. I mean the type of joy that a good brunch brings you on the weekend, or puppy snuggles in bed when you have nowhere to be. Maybe you’ve never thought about your clothes bringing you joy, but when it doesn’t pull any type of positive memory or emotion, is it worth keeping around? Does it make you remember that amazing night you had with the love of your life? Maybe it reminds you of those long conversations you had with your best friend over coffee. Clothing can have meaning, and its ok to identify that. That doesn’t mean throwing everything out if you don’t have any memories, but it does help guide the purging process when something may not deserve space in your closet any longer. Maybe something reminds you of the night a guy broke your heart, or you found out you lost your job. When we get down to it, your joy comes from that deep connection and trust in the Lord, but if something sitting in your closet doesn’t make you happy, it’s time to let go.

If excuses are made in hope to keep your wardrobe on the hanger, it may not be worth it. What is the significance of these items in your closet? Identifying why you have something taking up space can be key to ridding your wardrobe of excuses. Holding onto your prom dress from a decade ago because it was the best night of your life, isn’t a reason to leave it collecting dust for the next century. Rather, consider donating the prom dress to someone else. They’ll not only get a chance to make memories and experience the joy that you did, but you’ll also make room in your closet. That t-shirt that you wore at your first concert? There are other 8th grade fans out there that may wear it more than you ever did. Can’t let go of that tie-dye shirt because you’re assuming one day soon you’ll want to be a Hippy for Halloween? If you do, making a new one won’t cause you to break the bank and will be a fun experience if making your own. Trust me, excuses create bad habits and leave us to fill our wardrobe with items that no longer need to take up space. When shifting through your closet, purge when you feel yourself making excuses.

These three key strategies when tackling a closet cleanout will not only set you up for success but leave room for you embrace a new wardrobe and maybe rekindle a love for something you forgot you had. Consider the last time you wore that outfit, whether it brings you joy, and whether you’re making excuses when shifting through your closet. That wardrobe facelift will leave you feeling confident of what hangs in your closet and optimistic of the potential wardrobe ahead.