10 Items I Cut From My Closet In Preparation For My Move (And 5 I Kept Without Hesitation)

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Guys, I think it is time to commence a series of Moving Posts. That is, posts centered around my impending move an entire 20 minutes away from where I live now.

And I’ll start with a really important one: I’m cleaning my closet again.

And it is not a regular seasonal closet purge, or a necessary “I-haven’t-cleaned-my-closet-in-six-years” closet purge, because I often mention that I do go through and eliminate unnecessary shit on the reg. But moving in a few weeks means that I need to figure out what the actual hell I should take with me, what I should leave behind to make my poor folks store in their basement (sorry guys, but you’ve got square footage I’ll never be able to afford), and what should leave my life forever.

I feel like I’m being a little bit more cutthroat than usual this time, and the reasons are threefold:

1. The home I’m moving into is tiny, and my closet will be less than half the size of the one I have now.

2. I’ve developed a bit more of a personal style this year, and I have realized that there is no longer room in my life (or tiny closet) for stuff I genuinely don’t enjoy.

3. This is like my seven-billionth time cleaning my closet in 2016, so clearly the previous six billion, nine hundred ninety-nine million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine closet clear-outs were not as effective as I’d thought at the time.

Here are a few gems that didn’t make the cut this time around during my I’m-Moving-In-Three-Weeks-Holy-Shit Closet Cleanse™

1. Nearly every single pair of high-heeled shoes I’ve ever owned.

In the past year, I’ve worn high heels one time: this past Friday at the TFD holiday party. My criteria for shoes is that they basically have to be a) strapped to my feet so I can’t fall out of them, or b) super flat and comfortable. So I’ve kept the one pair of heeled boots that I can easily walk in, and gotten rid of all the rest (replacing them when necessary with flat versions so I still have “nice shoes” to wear on fancy occasions).

2. Residual pieces of prom/homecoming/sad high school dance clothing.

Why the actual fuck did I still have these?

3. All ill-fitting socks.

Buckle up for the truest thing you’ll ever see in writing: there is literally nothing less comfortable than wearing socks that are too big. You can quote me. Throw those suckers away. They are not worth it.

4. Things that went way past the “oversized” trend and actually just make me look like I have no idea how to buy properly fitting clothes.

It was cute at some point to wear a grandpa-sweater from Salvation Army that was originally intended for an obese six-foot-tall man, but as a five-foot-tall woman I look like a True Asshole in these things, and needed to part with them.

5. A pair of hand-me-down sweatpants from Abercrombie & Fitch that were really cool when my cousin gave them to me in 2007.

(But they’re really not cool now.)

6. A burgundy leather dress that I bought probably when I was going through a 50-shades phase.

(But never wore because I am not, in fact, a dominatrix.)

7. Three really nice blouses that were a gift and still have tags on them.

Which hurts to toss out, but none of them fit me quite right so I never decided to wear them, but couldn’t get rid of because they were a gift. I figure since it has been a year now since they were given to me and I still haven’t even decided to cut the tags off and attempt wearing them, they’re simply not for me. (TBH, I probably will give them to a friend or cousin who will actually get use out of them. Squad – message me if you’re in CT and you want my clothes.)

8. A pair of Jeffrey Campbell flats that I’m severely attached to because of the ~hip brand~.

Even though they were actually v poorly made, and the material is peeling off – hence my decision to get rid of them.

9. At least three pairs of horribly ill-fitting jeans.

That I only own because ~you gotta have jEaNs!~ even though I very much did not need to be storing extra pairs of jeans that looked like hell on me, even if denim is an “essential”.

10. Basically every crop top I ever owned.

Because I’m just low-key disappointed in the 2000s so far for making me think crop tops were acceptable adult clothing. With the exception of like, two, that are only slightly cropped, so they actually look pretty much regular on my short-waist, petite frame. Crop tops just generally make me feel sad, especially because they’re usually paired with high-waisted jeans, which tend to make me look postpartum. In short, they’re just not for me.

11. An ugly sweater that I a) never wore, and b) received as a gift from someone I actually don’t really like very much as a person.

Not to be too aggressive. But you can’t like everyone, and you can’t like every gift. And that is totally okay.

Those are all of the specific things I got rid of (and actually have next to me right now in a big bag to bring to a donation center/friends’ houses this week). But amongst the crap in my closet, there were also a few items that I find so useful and essential that I passed over them during my ~editing~ process without a second thought, because I knew there was no chance I’d get rid of them. Here are the five things I knew I shouldn’t part with, and why.

1. A big, spacious black leather bag from Banana Republic that I received as a gift from my mother last year.

I cut my bag collection from ???? down to four: this nice black one, a small shiny ~going out~ one, and two medium-sized ones (one in gray, one in brown). Gone is the cheap-material Forever 21 tote that the lining ripped off of after a week of wear. This well-made black leather bag is chic, classic, and made of quality materials that won’t get jacked up if I use it for a few days in a row. (Which is a Proven Fact, since I’ve worn it most days since I was given it last year.) My mom said my aunts convinced her to buy it as a gift for me when they were all shopping together one day because they thought I would like it, and the whole squad was right because I absolutely love it.

2. My collection of $7 Primark jeans.

It is clear to me why people prefer to invest on pricier, higher-quality denim. Jeans are something we wear on the daily, and it is good to have a nice pair that fits like a second friggin’ skin and looks perfect every time. However, after a good long search through many boutiques, department stores, etc. I found myself unable to score the perfect pair that fit my bod (which is quite petite, but not super-skinny, with thin legs, a short waist, and a good amount of hips/booty). While shopping around Primark one day, I decided to try on one of their cheap-as-hell $7 pairs of jeans just for shits – and it fit like a dream. I can’t explain it, but after I bought them, they quickly became my favorite pair, so I grabbed them in a few different washes. I’m not a huge jeans person, so having these is great, because they are perfect every time I wear them, but they didn’t cost me a ton, so the cost-per-wear is excellent.

3. My higher-quality yoga clothes.

I used to bitch and moan a lot about how Lululemon is bullshit because cheap workout clothes are just as good. But after taking inventory of my yoga clothes, I realized the comfiest, sleekest pairs I own were the pricier ones, while I pretty much never reach for the ones I picked up at Kohl’s on a whim. When it comes to specialty clothing items that you use for an activity like this, and therefore has an actual function besides just looking cute, it is better to have a smaller collection that is of good quality.

4. My cashmere sweaters.

I’ve grabbed a lot of $6 H&M sweaters over the years (which is often quite necessary as someone who lives in bitter-cold Connecticut), but this year I got rid of a bunch of them in favor of the small collection of cashmere ones that keep me warm without being too thick and uncomfortable. My preference is for clothes that fit close to my body and keep me cozy, so these cashmere ones are perfect for what I like. I did keep a few of my more stylish, oversized ones – but most of them went to Goodwill.

5. My wacky coats.

I have a lot of coats. As I mentioned, I do live somewhere really freaking cold, and I love fashion, so it is nice to have options so my winter wardrobe doesn’t get taken over by the utilitarian ski-coat. I thought about donating a few of my funkier coats, but decided to keep them. They bring me joy and keep me warm, and I can’t really ask for more than that from a clothing item. My personal favorite is a way-too-over-the-top leopard fur one with a big, fluffy hood. There is also a periwinkle number with a dramatic fur collar, and a magenta-pink pea coat (because who tf needs a black one when you can have one that is electric fuchsia?) The world is just going to have to accept that Mary Parisi comes with an awesome coat, and that is final.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com!

Image via Pixabay

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  • Bri

    Yo. Sometime last year I decided I was pairing down my clothes majorly, and despite getting rid of SO MANY I definitely don’t miss, and honestly only buying like one new clothing item once every 3-4 months, I’m still finding shit to donate. So I definitely get why you’ve done so many closet purges. It’s tough and I keep discovering something else to throw out that I must have missed in my last run-through.

  • Caitlin

    Your coat collection sounds amazing, and I’m glad you decided not to part with any of them! I’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of my remaining heels as well. I *never* wear them, they’re just not my style anymore, and I think they have the potential to make another size 8.5 very, very happy. You’ve inspired me!

  • Amelia

    I always feel so guilty getting rid of gifts too! It’s hard but I try to remind myself that the gifter probably doesn’t even remember what they gave you anyway. Also, I love Everlane cashmere! Soooooo good, never going away!

  • Ellie Rockhill

    Sooooo clothing and finances. Let’s talk about it. Because…. I went through, like you, seventy million closet purges in the last few years. Awesome! Minimalist! Go me! But there’s a problem. I lost 40 lbs this week, and because I have so few clothes (read: ONE pair of jeans, ONE pair of work pants, etc) um, nothing fits anymore. And so now I’m in this predicament because I also got divorced this year and have changed jobs and cities twice… read: I’M SO BROKE IT’S LAUGHABLE GUYS. I need to go shopping and I’ve adapted to only shopping basically at Torrid because I’m a plus size girl and their shit fits me perfectly. But the bad news is, again, I’m broke…. Soooo like, do I go buy a few emergency weight-loss/broke outfits from Walmart and deal with the crappy quality and feeling like crap in my clothes until I have enough savings? Do I put some nicer stuff on a credit card (I feel like definitely not this)?? I’m seriously at a loss. I have 3 pairs of black leggings I’ve been putting under my summer skirts/dresses to make them winter outfits but I’ve had these leggings for so many years there’s holes in the thighs of all of them. Hahahahahha. My life is a mess. I don’t know what to do. *laughing/crying/laughing*

    • Ellie Rockhill

      HAHAHAHAHAH @ “40 lbs this week” oh heaven help me, I meant YEAR. I lost 40 lbs this YEAR. Sorry for the heart attack, pals.

      • Ludo

        I’ve been there a few years ago! At the time I solved the sizing pickle by organising a clothes swap with some close girlfriends and cousins and by asking for gift cards from my fave clothing stores for my birthday/Christmas! xx Also, lol @ the “40lb in a week” typo :’D

    • crazygemini12

      Find a thrift store in an expensive zip code. Find some quality pieces (should be easier in a high-rent area) and have them tailored at a dry cleaners. This is how I got a professional wardrobe to tide me over until my first paycheck at a job I acquired while I was homeless (true story).

  • Winterlight

    My big recommendation when moving is to consider the climate. If you’re moving to Miami from Colorado, you probably won’t need your heavy winter gear. Also, there are shades that look really good in the bright sun of Miami that just won’t feel right in Aspen.