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The 5 Things In Your Wardrobe You REALLY Need To Chuck Out

When I was a kid, I had a four door cupboard in my bedroom. It was enormous and I had it filled with a veritable avalanche of crap, so naturally I became a dirty little hoarder. I never threw anything out. I kept every note that my best mate passed me in class, tickets to every movie I’d ever seen and every school book I ever owned. Every time I’ve moved house since then, my wardrobe space has halved which means I’ve slowly ditched most of my unnecessary crap until my cupboard only holds useful things. I now share a tiny two door cupboard with Mr Smaggle and it’s quite a tight squeeze but I manage because I don’t hold on to dead weight items. If I haven’t worn something for more than a year, I give it away to charity because if I haven’t felt inclined to wear it in the course of a year, it’s obviously not comfortable, flattering or joy-inducing.  If your cupboard is full to bursting, here are the 5 things in your wardrobe you really need to chuck out.

1. Those gorgeous high heels that murder your feet

I get it. You bought them to celebrate that big job promotion, they cost an absolute fortune and you simply had to have them. The problem is that they eat your feet and no matter how many times you’ve worn them around the house wearing socks and lined the inside with gel liners, they still feel like blocks of cement tied to your feet. Keeping these shoes in your life isn’t going to get you the money back that you spent on them, nor is it going to make them more comfortable. Get rid of them – give them away, sell them, whatever – but get them out of your house. Once they’re out, you’ll stop thinking about them immediately. If you keep them, you’ll see them everyday and feel sad about how mean they are to your feet. It’s like a toxic friendship… just let it go.

2. Your skinny jeans

Don’t do it to yourself . You might get back into them but then again you probably won’t. Also you may simply have changed shaped in which case you’ll need not only a different size but also a different style. If something doesn’t fit you, you need to ditch it. If you want to keep track of weight fluctuations use a tape measure. Holding to on to skinny jeans and skinny dresses is a body confidence killer. There should only be clothes in your wardrobe that you can wear today, not clothes that you can wear someday.

Female black and white clothes and shoes

3. All but one set of gym/bed/gardening clothes

At one stage of my life I had two shelves full of ‘old’ clothes that I intended to wear for dirty tasks like cleaning the house, going to the gym or to wear for lazing around the house or sleeping. That pile of clothes just stayed there untouched for years until I realised how much space it was taking up and I donated them all to charity. To quote Paris Hilton ‘I only want to look cute.‘ – It’s shallow but true. I always want to look cute and that includes when I’m at the gym, in bed or cleaning the house. I’m not about to start scrubbing the toilet in a ball gown but I’m going to want to wear a t-shirt that doesn’t have bleach marks on it and a semi- flattering pair of yoga pants. That means all those old scrungy t-shirts and shorts have to go. Do it, do it, do it!!!

4. That vintage shop score of a life time that you’ve never worn

When I was 18, I bought a thick, heavy vintage Japanese kimono bathrobe and pictured myself wearing it like a regal queen, reclined on a chaise lounge, smoking a cigarette from a long holder and drinking whisky on the rocks. The reality of the situation is that it just wasn’t comfortable, it was really heavy and warm so I could only wear it in the dead of winter and it was a weird shade of mouldy blue that just wasn’t flattering. I never wore it, yet I owned it for ten years. Sometimes we make purchasing mistakes but the sooner we move on, the better so ditch that fabulous yet horribly itchy faux fur jacket you’ve had for ten years. It’s just taking up space for no good reason.

5. Those undies that give you a wedgie

I have been known to remove uncomfortable underwear in a public toilet, chuck it straight in the bathroom bin and walk around commando. I have no time uncomfortable underwear. The best course of action is to throw uncomfortable underwear away immediately. Otherwise you’ll be washing it and accidentally wearing it and the whole vicious cycle starts again. It doesn’t matter if you spent $30 on a tiny scrap of Elle Macpherson butt floss… if it’s uncomfortable, get rid of it.

If you’re struggling you need to ask yourself these questions –

Is it genuinely useful?

Does it bring you proper joy?

If the answer to both is no, you need to ditch it. No exceptions.

Is your cupboard full of crap you don’t use? Are you keen to start ditching those useless space hoggers?

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  1. lyndal 9 years ago

    I’m With you on all of this – except the one set of gym clothes thing (mostly because I use them daily and refuse to wash more than once per week!)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh true! Honestly I have about 3 sets of gym clothes but you’re only allowed multiple sets if you actually use them! like us! 😉

  2. Maxabella 9 years ago

    I’m with you on every point except the old clothes pile. If I threw out out the old clothes I’d have nothing to wear (except a 1950s silk party dress that I can wear as long as I don’t do up the zip). x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      I mean like really old clothes… with holes and stains. Like the stuff you never ever wear!

  3. Rachel 9 years ago

    I’m exactly the same with my undies. If I put them on and they are uncomfortable, I bin them immediately … where ever I am. They don’t get a second chance

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Totally. Undies only get to give me a wedgie once.

  4. Kelly NH 9 years ago

    I love this post!
    I have a 2 season capsule wardrobe (its either really hot, or really cold where I live).
    My wardrobe is monochromatic. I love black, white & grey.
    Ive streamlined everything down to 30-35ish items for each season, not counting accessories (and big winter coats). I pack away whatever season is not needed at the time.
    If I feel like adding colour I can use my small collection of scarves, bags, and jewellery. I only shop when I know I need something in particular, and I don’t buy it unless its exactly what I need and I absolutely love it.
    It makes it so easy to get dressed each day. It also helps that my workplace is neat & casual, which pretty much fits in with what I would wear anyway (as a plus size I feel I look better if I am dressed nicely, I cant get away with trackies, it doesn’t feel pretty at all!!).
    Ive found it saves me heaps of money and time.
    Ive been following and inspired by her I have cut down even more.
    As for the annoying undies, I was so uncomfortable in the suck in underwear I was wearing on my wedding day that I threw them out in the toilet. It was nice to be able to breathe again, and enjoy my wedding :o)

    I will stop now – I could talk about this for ages (obviously)!!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh I saw that! I love it! I’m going to do the minimalist thing in Februaury and throw out one thing plus another thing ever day for the whole month. 2015 is the year of clean!

  5. Erika 9 years ago

    And repeat as often as needed – very therapeutic 🙂

    I’ve winnowed out quite a lot, but need to continue doing so. Lives change, so wardrobes should reflect that.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Absolutley! I’ve done it twice in 6 months!

  6. Jen 9 years ago

    I totally agree! Also a good tip to monitor if you’ve worn something in a year is to turn your hangers the awkward direction and after you’ve worn it, hang it back up flipped the other way!

    • KellyNH 9 years ago

      I do this too!
      Im always surprised at the difference in ‘what I thought I would wear’ to ‘what I actually wore’

  7. This is so timely for me. I’m sick of the sight of my too-full wardrobe (and my husband thinking I’ve got “plenty” of clothes). The reality is I’m probably only wearing – and enjoying – half of it. Time to get ruthless! x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Exactly! It all just takes up far too much room and makes it much harder to get dressed in the mornings.

  8. Melba Says 9 years ago

    I have a stack of stuff that I hardly ever wear because it’s passed its use by date so to speak. I’m on a mission this year to get rid of un-necessary crap so II’m going to go and throw some stuff out right now!

  9. merilyn 9 years ago

    you are good smags!
    me!!! not so good!
    ruthless yes that’s the word sonia!
    I have bouts!
    the thing is! … excuses, excuses!
    I lost weight last year when I stopped drinking alcohol etc!
    and I love some of the clothes that are a bit on the large side so I’ve got a pile to alter
    … run the sides in! if no good after that they’re out hun! … promise! lol m:)X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Have you stopped drinking alcohol all together? I usually go three months every year with out alcohol but I’ve been meaning to try a full year! How have you found it? Are you done for good? Or just having a break?

  10. goodthingssmall 9 years ago

    I have too many of those undies and I just seem to keep buying them. Can’t find a decent pair these days – a pair that aren’t granny undies, aren’t uncomfortable and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Any suggestions? Anyone? Also agree with the shoes, I’m a shocker for buying shoes I never end up wearing because when I am actually about to leave the house I realise I don’t want to end up A-over-T.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      I love full briefs in cotton. I just get them from Big W. I like black and nude. 🙂

    • Hailz 9 years ago

      goodthingssmall – My fave undies are ones from target. The Spa FX briefs with aloe vera. $6 each, they come in hipster, bikini, full. I always buy a few pairs when they are on special to stash away in case they ever discontinue them! I buy a size bigger than I am to make sure they give full coverage and are comfortable. LOVE them. The only undies I wear!

  11. clcorbi 9 years ago

    Lovely tips! I’m about to graduate college and move to New York for a job, and I’m having the startling realization that I may NEVER have as big of a closet again as I have now (I live in the midwest US where rent is unbelievably cheap). So the closet purging has to start now before I find myself in a tiny Brooklyn apartment swamped by all my old t-shirts 😉

  12. Averil 9 years ago

    I say yes to all of these points! They say we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. And the best bit is- when you chuck out old stuff you have given yourself permission to buy some nice new stuff!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      I’m thinking about selling some of my stuff… it’s still pretty good so I may as well try to make some dosh from it!

  13. missellie13 9 years ago

    Uncomfortable/stretched undies: I don’t throw them out and go commando but when I take them off I cut the sides through with scissors so I can wash them then remember to throw them away. I don’t know why I feel the need to wash them though…

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      That’s adorable that you wash undies that you’re going to throw away. I like that very much.

    • Erika 9 years ago

      I so need to do that with Best Beloved’s grundies. I’ve a tendency to wash, note that they need to be turned into rags for the garage when pegging them out, and totally forgetting when I bring them in – so they go back in his drawers to be worn once again.

  14. Vicki Style On V 9 years ago

    I need to cull my closet and other spaces in my home from all the clutter that is taking up valuable space. Time to get ruthless and make my home less congested. x

  15. Bec 9 years ago

    Oh my goodness I have a huge pile of clothes for when I need to ‘paint the house’. I don’t own my house and I’m not a house painter. Need to chuck them asap.
    A friend of mine has a shop that does consignment sales. At the end of last year I made $250 and I don’t even remember the clothes I sold! I took another pile of clothes a few weeks ago I’m already up to $180. It feels so good.

  16. Kathryn 9 years ago

    I have hair dyeing clothes because I really need them!

    I think you can get too ‘capsule’ with your wardrobe though. I just threw out or stored a heap of stuff to move to Tassie for the summer but I totally forgot how cold Tassie summers are. I need a coat!

  17. NancyD 9 years ago

    I *LOVE* this blog and need to do this. I have a bed with under-bed storage into which old shoes, school stuff, bridesmaid outfits from other people’s weddings get relegated. Basically, it is where all my stuff goes to die. But I struggle to throw it, due to some (misplaced?) guilt or emotional pull, ie if it was a gift or cost quite a lot. It’s a difficult habit to break, but this stuff is owning me rather than the reverse. I’m 36 and need to take control! Is the trick to tackle one pile at a time? I feel good whenever I drop stuff to a charity shop, and in fact never think about that stuff again.

  18. Mystery Case 9 years ago

    I’ve been going through a ‘should it stay or should it go now’ challenge with the more questionable items in my wardrobe, starting with my wedding dress. It isn’t going well. Each time I share something I think should be thrown, everyone suggests a relocation (to another part of the house) program.

  19. Emily 9 years ago

    Love it. I had a massive wardrobe cull earlier this year, inspired by Nikki’s book. Have done two more since (I had a maybe pile and a what if? pile and they’ve both since left the building). Next I’ll be tackling the packed-away-ready-for-a-return-to-work boxes. I imagine they’ll all go – my style has changed since then, and my hips didn’t get the memo that I would be giving birth be Caesarean. x


  1. […] more fantastic tips on this topic, check out this post on Smaggle and this one on Styling […]

  2. […] Focusing on the two essential purging questions – Is it useful? Does it bring you joy? – Lady Smaggle suggests five items that are likely lurking in your closet and should really be chucked right out. […]

  3. […] The 5 Things In Your Wardrobe You REALLY Need To Chuck Out  […]

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