3 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go of Things In Your Closet

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3 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go of Things In Your Closet

Have you cleaned out your closet yet? If you listen to what some people say on social media during the pandemic, they’ve cleaned out their closets, lost 20 pounds, started a new hobby and read 2 books a week. But if you’re not part of the quarantine overachieving crowd, your closet may still be in the same condition that it was a year ago. And whether you’ve worked on your closet or not, I guarantee you that there are at least a few things in your wardrobe that you don’t wear, but you can’t let go.

Yes, I know there are a bunch of things you haven’t worn since the pandemic started – but I’m really talking about things that you’ve held on to for years without a solid reason why. I’ve been in a lot of closets (around 300 at last count) and I’ve encountered many people who have a hard time letting go. For various reasons, they don’t want to part with certain items, even though they barely wear them. So, if you’re one of the many who has styles that she doesn’t wear (but can’t let go), check out the top 3 reasons why people can’t let go of things in their closet and what I recommend to do about it.


The most common reason my clients have things in their closets that they don’t wear is because they’re planning to lose weight – and they’re hoping these things will fit again. And my response to that really depends on how serious you are.

If you’re on a focused weight loss plan, then I recommend selecting a small amount of your absolute favorite styles to keep. Favorite can mean your most fun or your most versatile or the things that really feel ‘you’ – but whatever you select, keep it to just a dozen key pieces or so, not an entire wardrobe. Because when you lose weight, things change. Your clothing preferences may change from the last time you were that size. Your lifestyle may be different and some of the clothes just don’t make sense. You might reach your fitness goal and your body is not the same shape as it was before. So, even though you’re holding onto a bunch of smaller items, they might not be as useful as you think the second time around.

When a client tells me that she can’t let go of something because she’s planning to lose weight (but she’s not on an actual weight loss plan) my response is different. Because if you’re not on a specific path, then you may be in a bit of denial or unwilling to accept your current size. And the number one thing to remember when working on your wardrobe is that you need to dress the body you have right now. Because you deserve to feel great in your clothes today – not 6 months from now and not 20 pounds from now. Read this for 3 reasons to dress the body you have now.

And no matter what you decide to do, if there are clothes that don’t fit that you can’t let go, get them away from where you get dressed every morning. Ideally, remove them from your closet – relocate them to a guest room closet or under bed box. And at minimum, shift them to the less accessible areas of your closet. Because having these pieces stare you in the face every morning is a constant reminder that you’re not the size you want to be – and that’s not being kind to yourself.

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go of Things In Your Closet


I hear this one all the time, too. Whether it’s something that you bought on a whim (and didn’t think about how it fits into your wardrobe), or it was a gift that you can’t let go, or it has sentimental value – it’s taking up valuable real estate in your closet. So, how can you handle your ‘I love it, but I don’t wear it’ styles? That depends on the reason you’re not wearing it.

If it’s something that you believe can truly work for your lifestyle, create some outfits! And no, I don’t mean trying to make an outfit as you’re about to start your day. Take some time in the evening or on a weekend to pull together outfit ideas with different things from your closet and take a few photos. If you’re unsure about how the whole outfit looks together, try it on and take a selfie. And if your creativity just isn’t flowing, do a little inspiration work – peruse Pinterest or your favorite style bloggers for ideas on how they’re wearing it. Or click here to see outfit ideas for a few common styles my clients can’t figure out how to wear.

If the ‘I love it, but I don’t wear it’ style doesn’t fit – then that’s simple. Alter or toss. And if you’re completely unsure why you’re not wearing it or it just doesn’t feel good when you put it on, here’s what to do. Remove it from where you get dressed in the morning and pack it away. Then wait 2 months or so. If you haven’t gone hunting for it, you don’t even remember that you own it and it’s time to let it go.

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go of Things In Your Closet


Sometimes you don’t make the best decisions when you shop, right? You buy something that’s at the top of your budget and then it sits in your closet, unworn for months. It may not fit right or it may not feel right or whatever – but for some reason, you’re not wearing it. And you keep it because you spent a good amount of money on it and it would be silly to let it go, right? Wrong.

I equate keeping things in your closet just because they were expensive to taking a $100 bill, clipping it to a hanger, and shoving that hanger in the back of your closet, never to be seen again. Because that’s what you’re doing with something that’s unworn in your closet. So, it’s time to actually deal with it. Donate it and let someone else love it or consign it to recoup some of the cash. And then read this so that you don’t make the same shopping mistake twice.

BONUS TIP: Okay – so you’ve decided to finally let some things go and only keep styles in your closet that fit your body, align with your lifestyle and that you actually like and wear. But what do you do with your ‘toss’ pile? The main question is to donate vs. consign, and I have a pretty simple way to decide by answering one question: Will you do the work it takes to consign?

Consignment can be everything from taking styles to a secondhand store to doing it on your own via Poshmark or Ebay – or something in between. If you’re willing to put in the work to get some cash back from your items, then go for it. But if you think they’ll just sit in a pile for a while, just donate your ‘I don’t wear, but I can’t let go’ styles and give someone else a chance to love them.

Are you ready to go through your closet to figure out what works, what doesn’t and what you need? Click here to read how we can work together virtually or in-person so that your closet is full of styles that you love, that fit and that make you feel great.

P. S. I launched two new virtual services to evolve your style and update your wardrobe. Read about them here!


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