Having too many clothes is a very common problem. You know it's time to get rid of some of them when your closet is full but you have nothing to wear. Unfortunately, feeling bad after getting rid of clothes happens too often. So many people have a hard time with this.
If you don't feel like wearing certain pieces in your wardrobe, find a positive and responsible way to throw them away. Consider selling or donating them. Swapping with friends or recycling them is always a great option.
Making room in your closet and keeping your favorite essentials has many advantages. But it's hard to finally find the courage to sit down and decide what clothes to keep. If you are a hoarder like me, you may want to keep everything. And throwing stuff away makes you feel guilty.
Ask yourself if you would buy your clothes again if you saw them in the store today.
I don't like to get rid of anything, especially clothes. I have the habit of keeping everything. It isn't straightforward for me to throw stuff away. To separate, what I need from what is superfluous, I tell myself that I am making space for better items.
I may not feel good at the moment. But in the long run, it results in less stress, more money, and simplicity. Here are my best tips to get rid of clothes and not feel bad.
1. Not throwing in the trash
I feel sad each time I think about the negative impact of the fashion industry on the planet. Textile waste is piling up at a frightening rate globally.
In the United States, Americans alone generate about 16.9 million tons of clothing waste and other textiles each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That number has double over the last 20 years.
The average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing every year. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that only 1% of all textile waste is recycled into new clothes.
It isn't a great gesture to throw clothes away in the trash. There are more responsible and conscious ways to get rid of unwanted clothing.
Read up my guide on 10 ways to keep your clothing out of landfills to avoid feeling sad about the environment.
2. Making extra cash
Instead of having less in the long run, turn your clothes into more money in your wallet. It's also a great excuse to buy new and better clothes.
If you have doubles that serve the same purpose, clothes that don't fit you anymore but are still in good shape, selling some pieces is a great option.
Follow my guide on how to get rid of unwanted clothes for money to learn for a list of great places to sell your clothes.
3. Getting emotionally attached
Clothes are just stuff. I love fashion and take good care of my clothes. But I try to not get emotionally attached to them.
It's a great idea to pause and ask yourself why exactly are you keeping items you don't wear. It's liberating to get rid of stuff you don't need anymore.
Gifts are especially difficult to throw away. If you don't wear them and don't make you happy, it's time to make room for something better.
There is no point to keep them because you worry about what other people may think. The gifters had the best intentions. Don't feel bad about it. Let them know and move on.
4. Finding great reasons
Remember why you are trying to declutter your closet. Do you need more space, time, or money? Do you want to simplify your life? Does someone else need your items more than you?
Letting go of fashion isn't that painful when you have amazing reasons to do so. You can feel happy and proud of yourself when you decide to donate your clothes.
You give your clothing a second life and support charitable causes. Your clothing contributions can help non-profit organizations, family service agencies, churches, immigrant support groups, homeless and women's shelters.
Read up my article on I have too many clothes but I like them all for some great places to drop off clothes when you have too many of them.
5. No more guilt or regret
You will feel bad when getting rid of clothes if you have regrets. It's better to do what you can to get over the fear of wanting an item back. You never know how your life will turn out. Just make a decision and go with it.
There are just things that you must accept and move on from. For every item you own, ask yourself if you would buy it again if you didn't already own it. If the answer is no, then get rid of it.
Ultimately, you want the best wardrobe possible. Don't keep items that make you uncomfortable or stressed out. They have no place in your closet.
6. Getting over mistakes
It's in human nature and completely normal to make mistakes. We all bought something we didn't necessarily need or we paid too much for it. Give yourself a break, don't judge yourself harshly, don't feel guilty about it.
It's fine to buy something accidentally at some point. Remember that it happens to all of us. Just be honest with yourself. It's time to donate and replace it with something else.
Learn more about the pieces you don't need with my list of 20 types of clothes to get rid of right now.
It isn't practical to keep clothes we don’t need. It's more reasonable to trade them for more space, time, and money. You already are courageous and can let go of stuff. You just have to let it out.
There is a big difference between want and need. Recognizing excessive consumption and compulsive shopping habits is a life-changer. More times than not, you don't need more clothes. You need less.
Have you ever tried a more minimalist approach to fashion? Read up my ultimate guide to the minimalist fashion trend to find out if it might be the right choice for you.
I hope this is helpful to you to avoid feeling bad when getting rid of clothes. I know it isn't easy and wish you all the health and success. Change can be scary as it brings uncertainty. That is for sure.
I wish you nothing but the best. Remember the important things in life. And always believe in yourself.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.