How And When You Should Purge Your Closet

Closet Purge Rules

With the Marie Kondo craze still going strong, I thought it was time to talk about the Busbee Style Method of closet editing!

This is also the perfect time of year to talk about some spring cleaning. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and get those closets WHIPPED into shape! Who is with me??

These are just guidelines to help you purge your closet. Ultimately what you purge is totally up to YOU.

closet editing, how to edit your closet the Busbee Style way, and Marie Kondo way

STEP #1 | Get a Garment Rack

You need something to put all those clothes on so you can see them and make an informed decision. Please look into a folding rolling rack that you can set up everytime you need to edit your closet. You can store it under your bed. I like the ones from the Container Store here.

STEP #2 | Get Your Materials Ordered

Before you dive in, you need to be READY for this process. First, block off the time. I would give yourself TWO solid working days to complete this project. If you have tiny kiddos, you may want to split it up over 3 days.

I highly recommend ordering hangers that are matching. This will save room in your closet and create a boutique-like aesthetic that is a game-changer!
I recommend ordering the clear, plastic hangers with a swivel head. Estimate about 100 hangers for every 3 feet of hanging space. Remember to buy both dress/shirt hangers and trouser/skirt hangers. (Some of you may prefer the velvety hangers that are non-slip for sweaters and tops)

Also, grab a LOT of boxes and garbage bags. Put shoes, bags, and jewelry in the boxes and clothes in the garbage bags. Keep one bag at least for actual garbage. If something is damaged or stained, plan on recycling, not donating.

I’m not talking about the organization in this post. If you want to know how to make your closet look like your very own boutique, be sure to check out this post!

closet editing, how to edit your closet the Busbee Style way, and Marie Kondo way

STEP #3 | Let the Purge Begin: How You Know, It’s Time to Let Go

Question #1 | Is it Damaged?

These are the easiest pieces to get rid. The obvious ones. We will start with baby steps and work our way up to the harder purge items.

  • Anything that’s ripped (unless it is intentional distressing)
  • Has moth holes
  • Has permanent pit stains or other stains that don’t come out in the wash
  • Faded items
  • Discolored or bleached items

Question #2 | Does it Fit & Flatter Your Body?

Does it still fit AND flatter your body? Does it fit well everywhere?? If it is gaping at the waist and you do not want to invest in tailoring, it’s time to let it go.  If it’s popping open at the bust, time to let it go. It should fit well EVERYWHERE.

Question #3 | Is it the Right Size?

It seems as though #2 and #3 are the same things, but they are not. Sometimes something used to fit us perfectly and our body changed from pregnancy, menopause, weight gain, etc. That garment is likely no longer the right size… and it’s time to get rid of it. I usually say no more than one size up or one size down to allow for the lack of uniformity in sizing. Fitting you right in all the right places is more of a tailoring look.

Don’t hold on to the proverbial ‘skinny jeans’ that will only serve as a daily, unwelcome reminder of where you are not. If it’s too big and you don’t want to invest in tailoring, get rid of it.

Question #4 | When was the last time you wore the piece? Be honest!

When was the last time you put it on? Or have you worn it in the past two years? If you haven’t worn it in 2 years, you probably won’t wear it. (Exceptions can include special occasion pieces, suede, leather, and cashmere)

Question #5 | Do you feel cute and stylish wearing it?

It’s so simple and yet often overlooked as we all have tapes that play in our heads. I bought this in Paris! These pants were SO expensive and I never wore them. This sweater is the most beautiful color. There are reasons why we hang onto things and as I mentioned above, it’s totally fine to keep higher quality garments like cashmere, leather or suede as well as sentimental items. BUT… and this is a BIG BUT… if you do not feel cute and stylish wearing the garment, it’s time to go.

If you love the Marie Kondo method, you can ask yourself,  “Does this spark joy?” If it does not, time to move on.

Maybe try asking yourself both questions.

a clean and organized closet following a full closet clean out purge

How Often Should I Edit My Closet?

You might be asking how often you should clean out your closet. Since I review a lot of clothing for my business, I try to clean mine out every season. I suggest editing your closet at least once a year but twice is better so that you can switch out your closet seasonally. You can take inventory of what you have, what you need, and then fill in the holes.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Well if I clean everything out, what am I going to wear!?” Don’t worry about that. As long as you have your wardrobe basics, you can build endless outfits. You can also refresh your wardrobe without spending a fortune. I did a post on how to update your wardrobe on a tight budget here.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, I send you TWO FREE Wardrobe Basics Checklists. These can help you ensure you have your basics covered.

closet editing, how to edit your closet the Busbee Style way, and Marie Kondo way

What The Heck Do I Do With All This Stuff?

Take your “donate” garbage bags and boxes over to the thrift store or goodwill drop box. You can put some higher end items aside and plan to sell on Poshmark or online consignment stores. And, lastly, throw out all the damaged items. You should also have a dry cleaning and tailoring piles. Take those to your local cleaners. Find out if they can repair the rips and remove the stains.

Remember when putting everything back, to put this seasons’ clothes front and center. You may even want to store off-season items so it doesn’t take up that valuable closet real estate. If your closet is too cramped, you won’t find anything.

More Resources

I’ve done multiple videos on closet editing and organizing. You can go over to my YouTube channel and type ‘closet editing’ into the search bar and find a bunch of videos. If you haven’t already, you should watch is my Style Reboot Series videos. There’s one about closet editing, but all of them are very helpful.

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