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How-to purge your winter wardrobe

We’re well into spring and the BBQs and beach outings of summer are just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to purge your winter wardrobe! We all end up with clothes, accessories and beauty products that we’ll never wear or use again, but that we keep for one reason or another. We show you how to cull your closet in a few simple steps, so you can get rid of your unwanted winter woollies and create plenty of space for your spring fashion faves.

woman looking through clothes in her closet

Sometimes we’re emotionally attached to our clothes: for over a decade, I’ve held onto a dress I wore on my first date with my now-husband, even though it’s now well out of fashion and doesn’t come close to fitting me.

Other times, we’re financially attached: I’ve bought plenty of items on an impulse or because they were on sale, but they’ve sat untouched in my closet, with the tags still attached, year after year. Every time I try to give it the heave-ho, I can’t help but think that I spent good money on that dress, cardigan, top, jacket, and I’m sure I’ll get wear out of it one day…

Saying goodbye

As we say goodbye to the cooler weather, it presents the perfect timing to purge our winter wardrobes. Rather than store all of your bulky winter knits and chunky boots for another year, why not take the opportunity to cull your closet?

“Every time you switch clothes for the season, you should give your closet a quick once-over,” confirms clutter king and professional organiser, Peter Walsh. You should say goodbye to well-worn clothes or trend items that you’re unlikely to wear again, so you can create space for the fun frocks and fresh accessories you’ll need to get you through the spring or summer season.

“If you didn’t wear it this winter, are you really going to store it all year only not to wear it next winter? Get rid of it,” Walsh urges. “Also, discard clothes that are torn, soiled, or just out of fashion.”

Here are some tips to guide you through the process of purging your winter wardrobe:

1Out of style = out the door

Get rid of anything in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in the last three years. Not only is it likely to be out of fashion by now, but if you haven’t worn it in three years, what makes you think you’re ever going to wear it in the future?


Three questions

When trying to decide whether or not to purge a certain item, ask yourself three questions: on what occasion will I wear this? Will I be likely to choose this item over the other dresses, skirts, tops that I own? And does it currently fit?


Don’t hold on to emotion

Try not to hold on to too many clothes for emotional reasons. Just because you get rid of the item, that doesn’t mean you let go of the memory attached. In other words, I should be able to let go of my first-date dress with my husband! It’s okay to keep a few items for emotional reasons, but not half a wardrobe.


If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it

If it doesn’t fit, say goodbye. Too many women hold onto “skinny” clothes in the hope that they’ll fit them again one day, and or that the said item will help motivate them to lose weight. The reality is, every time you see your skinny jeans, you’re more likely to feel guilty that you can’t fit them, rather than motivated to trim down — and if you do lose weight, you’ll probably want to reward yourself with some new clothes anyway!

Make some money!

Consider selling your unwanted clothes on eBay. Anything attached to a designer label usually fetches a good price, but good condition clothing from chain brands such as Portmans, Witchery, Katies and Sportsgirl can also earn you some decent pocket money. If you sell 20 items at an average of $15 a piece, that’s $300 you can spend on your new spring look!

Make space

After you’ve culled your wardrobe and you’re happy with what remains, move your winter items to a different closet or store them away until next year.

“Use a closet in the guest bedroom or another suitable space in the basement to store your off-season clothes,” Walsh advises.

“Make sure the storage location is cool and dry and that all stored clothes are clean. Mothballs will help to keep moths and other pests at bay.”

More Winter fashion and style tips

Shoe trends for winter
Slimming winter styles
Three style items you need this winter

Spring cleaning your closet

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