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Letting Go of What you Don't Need

Updated: May 25, 2022

Sorting through your clothes to decide what stays and what goes can be a daunting task. There are items we've been holding onto because we think we'll get back into them, or hold some sentimental value. You really have to be committed to making space for something new - not more clothes necessarily, but rather a new perspective on what we really need and what's just excessive consumerism.

Take Stock of What you Have

Pull everything out of your closet and pile it on your bed. Absolutely everything. This could be a jarring experience, but what it will do is put you face to face with all of your stuff. It will also put every item on equal footing. You'll be able to judge each individual piece as you work through the process. Do the same for all of your clothes stored in drawers if you also have a dresser.

5 Simple Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Have you worn it in the last year?

  2. Does it fit? If not, will you commit to having it altered?

  3. Does it hold sentimental value?

  4. Would you buy it if you were out shopping today?

  5. Does it make you feel great to wear it?


If you answered NO to these questions, put it on the donation pile. Or if the item is in good condition and a high end piece, consider consignment options. Why not make back some of the money you originally invested in the piece if you no longer want it?

Organized closet

Sentimental Items and Keepsakes

For items of sentimental value, consider putting them into storage for safe keeping. Or if it's something you want to keep closer, consider displaying the item in a way that honours it. A baby onesie for example, could look sweet in a shadow box. Your father's favourite sweater, knit by your grandmother, could be stored in a cedar box where you can take it out and look at it from time to time. I had a lot of gorgeous hand knit pieces from grandmother's, nana's and aunties long past. Things handmade for me or my daughter when she was born. I purchased vacuum seal bags which shrink in volume when you suck the air out with a vacuum (it's really easy). They took up so much less space, I was able to safely store those items in a closet and not my storage locker.

Adding New Items

In what feels a lifetime ago, I owned a small fashion design and retail business. We had a couple of boutiques but also sold wholesale to other shops. I loved it, but alas it was 2008/09 and nothing felt sustainable at that time.

What owning that business allowed me to really see first hand, was how quality garments and accessories last. How they are made, the construction and quality of fabrics matter. When it comes time to buy a new item, consider more of an investment piece. Fast fashion is a plague on the workers that create it and the environment.

Look for items of quality. Spend a little more and buy one great blazer or skirt rather than one in every colour. Or if you're on a budget, consider gently used quality items. I guarantee you, it will fit better and last so much longer and that means keeping more out of the landfill.

Fashion industry environmental impact infographic
Fashion Industry and How to be an Ethical Shopper


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