Closet Purge Confessions: College Senior Edition

what I got rid of

I’m at that weird, bittersweet, transitional time in my life known as second semester of senior year of college. In my case, it’s a little bit of a unique situation: not only am I getting ready to join the Real Adult World with the rest of my friends and peers, but I was also unbelievably fortunate to get a post-grad job offer overseas, so I’ll be moving to Spain in a few months. My goals for my spring closet purge were to curate a more professional, adult-like wardrobe while also lightening the clothing load to make packing for the impending transatlantic move much easier.

My problem is that I hate getting rid of clothes. I’ve updated my wardrobe over the years, but instead of phasing out old items as I get new stuff, I’ve ended up keeping a lot. Over the past few months I’ve started to realize just how long I’ve had some of these items, so earlier this month I spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon doing a serious deep-clean of my closet.

I got rid of:

  • Anything that I could recall wearing in high school. There was more of this than I would like to admit, but fortunately I hadn’t worn any of it recently. It was just taking up space, and I’d been delaying the inevitable by keeping it.
  • Any single-use item of clothing that had already served its purpose, like the pants I bought specifically for my former job as a server and have never worn outside of that restaurant. I don’t work there anymore, so there was no point in keeping them around.
  • Things that I thought “might come in handy someday” that I’ve never ended up needing. I was a cheerleader for most of my life, so Soffe shorts have accumulated in every color of the rainbow (and then some) over the years. I work out several days a week so my justification for keeping them was, “I might need something to wear to the gym in case my normal workout pants are all dirty.” This has never happened (thank god), so those were thrown out.
  • Things that just didn’t feel like “me,” for lack of a better term. I had a plaid miniskirt that looked cute on the hanger but wearing it just gave me weird Catholic-elementary-school flashbacks. Goodbye.
  • Things I just don’t wear. This seems obvious but these were the hardest things to get rid of. I had a bunch of things that I genuinely liked but never wore for whatever reason: there was never an appropriate occasion, or I didn’t have anything else that would pair with it – things like that. Getting rid of it was the best decision.

Before

before-2

Afterafter-2

What’s left is a decently sized wardrobe full of pieces that compliment my style, from casualwear to professional business clothes. I now have enough space on the rack that I can keep clothes I haven’t worn yet separate (down at the far left end), with a large enough gap between them and the rest of my stuff. When I do another cleanout somewhere down the road, this will make it easier to tell what I’ve worn and what I should probably get rid of because it still has the tags on it. The rest of my clothes are organized seasonally: first tank tops, then short-sleeve shirts, and so on, and I attempted to organize each of those smaller subsets by color. It’s still a little bit of a work in progress, but it’s a complete 180 from where I started.

As for the old stuff, I plan on donating half and selling the rest. As I head into these last few weeks of blissful college oblivion before the Real World hits hard and fast, I already feel a lot less stressed out and more relaxed knowing that my closet clutter is gone.

Lindsey Zimmerman is a public relations student. Follow her Twitter & WordPress

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