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5 Things That Should Not Be in Your Closet

By Carmen Coker

“totally rad” 80's costumeYou didn't know it when you woke up this morning, but today is your day of reckoning. Yep, that's right! It's time to open up your closet doors and face your wardrobe head-on.

There are many considerations when it comes to editing your clothing and accessories, and here are the top 5 "wardrobe violations" that should not be in your closet — EVER.

(1) Stains
This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many sweat stains and ketchup stains I run across in my line of work. Staining is a constant threat to any article of clothing! And it can happen anywhere, so clothes should be checked all over. The biggest problem spots tend to be the edges of long-sleeve shirts or jackets, around the inside of collars, and underarm areas.

(2) Outdated Style
What happened in the 80s, fashion-wise, should stay there and not your closet. (Unless it’s for a “totally rad” costume, of course!)

(3) Wrong Taste
This is not to say whether or not a piece of clothing is tastefully-made, but rather — does it truly reflect your taste? Perhaps it did at one time, but it doesn't anymore. Or maybe it was gifted to you, but you never wear it because you hate it. If it's not right for you, then it’s time for it to go.

(4) Poor Comfort
Is something too low-cut? Is it too tight or too loose? Are you always making adjustments when you have it on? Assess how comfy you feel wearing a garment or accent, and if it doesn’t make the cut, get rid of it.

(5) Duplicates
If you have more than two identical or similar pieces, then it’s highly likely that you don’t need the extras at all. (Uh-huh…I'm talking to you with the 10 pairs of black shoes!)

Each of these "should nots" are a cinch to spot and give you a very good reason for discarding and making some extra space in your closet. So your challenge for this week: purge 5 - 10 offending items from your closet. And don't forget to recycle or donate when possible!

Carmen Coker is a professional organizer who helps individuals find the motivation and know-how to get organized and stay organized. To learn how to save money, create more space, and manage your time through organization, claim your "FREE Tip Kit: 10+ Pages of Tips and Tools to Help You Get Organized — Finally!" at

Posted March 18, 2010, filed in Clutter Control Products, Living Simply, Less is More


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From Marcia Francois, Organising Queen, March 18 2010

LOL I have 5 red handbags but I promise you, Carmen, they're all in slightly different shades and shapes and I do love and use them all :)

Seriously though, I did a huge declutter recently (got to practise what you preach and I wrote on decluttering clothes just last week on the blog) and once winter sets in properly over here, I'll do another one (I just can't bear fitting on all those winter clothes when I'm still wearing shorts and strappy tops :))

From Carmen@Clutterbugs, March 18 2010

Marcia - We all have a vice….shoes, purses… :) I'm with you though — I have to purge BIG at least 2 times a year, and a change of season is a perfect reason!

From Best Results Organizing, March 19 2010

As a fellow professional organizer who just spent the day decluttering a client's huge walk-in closet, I agree with *almost* all of this. However, I've found that Chico's black Traveler's pants are the only trouser I ever need (except for comfy jeans). I may never buy another color or style–it's one type of duplicate which ensures I have exactly what I need–clean, wrinkle-free and stylish. Sometimes, duplicates of a signature style keep you from having a closet full of things violating #s 2, 3 and 4!

Great post!

From uberVU - social comments, March 19 2010

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From Eva Wallace, March 20 2010

Best Result Organizing - Great point! I know when I find something I really like, I try to buy it in several colors.

From MARCH MADNESS: Majoring on the Minors « MY ENDEAVOUR, March 20 2010

[…] 5 Things That Should Not Be in Your Closet ( Tags: March Madness, March, NCAA, Spring, Clothes, Hair, Gardening, Plants, Birds, Duke Comments RSS feed […]

From Carmen@Clutterbugs, March 21 2010

B.R.O. — There are exceptions to every rule, naturally. I think the big difference is: you have a good reason for the extras…you don't have stuff for stuff's sake. Your duplicates obviously save you time and energy getting dressed, so I think that's great!

From Teri, March 29 2010

I would also add - clothes that are more than 1 size bigger or smaller than what you currently wear. I have jeans from size 4 to size 18 in my closet. It's time to purge everything below a 12 as I doubt I ever see anything below a size 12 again. I'd be happy to see 12. :(

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