Why You Have Too Many Clothes and How to Fix It
Do you have too many clothes? We’ll help you figure out why you overstuff your closet and how to fix the problem with a swift declutter session.
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Too Many Clothes Is Not a Good Thing
Have you ever stood in front of your packed closet and thought you had nothing to wear? I definitely have.
You’ve got tons of clothes so why can’t you pick something out? Honestly, there are a couple of reasons why.
When your closet is packet with too many clothes it’s not easy to see everything you own. By default some clothes get pushed to the back and never see the light of day. And what’s the point of that?
Clearing out the clothes you no longer wear will help you easily see the clothes you like to wear. It simply makes getting dressed in the morning a quicker, better experience.
When you have an overwhelming amount of clothing it makes picking out an outfit difficult. You’d think having tons of clothes would be fun but in reality, studies show that too many choices actually leaves you feeling dissatisfied.
Having too many options can be paralyzing. When we’re in a hurry most mornings, we need quick decisions. Too many options leaves us standing in front of the closet guessing.
Just like most women, I tend to wear the same types of outfits day in and day out. It’s just easy to grab what I’m most comfortable in.
So why have extra clothing you don’t need? We’re going to be asking a lot of questions today to see if you do in fact have too many clothes and what to do to about it.
How Do You Know If You Have Too Many Clothes?
Tons of people are happy with a huge closet full of clothes. They love them all and make sure to wear the outfits they have.
If your closet works for you then great! Don’t change a thing.
If you aren’t happy with your current closet then you may have too many clothes for your lifestyle. But, how do you know for sure?
Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to find out if you have too many clothes:
Question 1 – Is your closet full of clothes but you feel like you have nothing to wear? If you answer yes to this question then you definitely need to do a bit of decluttering.
Question 2 – Do you only wear a small percent of the clothing you own? This is a big problem for a lot of people. Statistically speaking most women only wear about 20% of their wardrobe on a regular basis.
If you find yourself grabbing for the same outfits over and over again then it’s probably a good idea to do some closet editing.
Question 3 – Do you have clothing that doesn’t fit currently hanging in your closet? I have to raise my hand on this one. This last year I have gone up a size or two and I’m still holding on to the smaller clothes at the moment.
If this is your current situation then ask yourself another question. How long have you been hanging on to the clothes that don’t fit?
If this was some recent weight gain and you have a solid plan to get back into the clothes then go ahead and keep them for a couple more months. However, if you’ve been holding onto them for years then it’s time to let them go.
Question 4 – Are your clothes busting out of the space you have for them? If your closet is so packed that you can’t easily see everything or you try to pull out one shirt and 4 more come tumbling out then it’s a problem.
This can be a tricky concept for some people. Sometimes it’s a matter of never decluttering your closet.
Sometimes it’s downsizing. You start out with a big closet that fits all your clothes just fine. Then you downsize your space but don’t downsize items.
Whatever the reason for too many clothes, the outcome is the same. Clothing busting out of your closet space is impossible to keep organized and quickly becomes a stressful situation. If this is your current circumstance then you’re going to need to declutter some items.
Question 5 – Do you have multiples of similar items? Some people know what they like and therefore buy multiples of the items. An example of this would be owning 5 gray v-necks that vary slightly.
This isn’t always a problem for some people but it’s a great way to declutter a closet when you need to find some extra space in there. I once cut my wardrobe in half by breaking it up into two similar wardrobes.
One went back into my closet and the other went into storage to “shop” from later. This is a great way to declutter clothing when you have a hard time getting rid of stuff.
Question 6 – Do you have clothing you don’t wear? If yes, then why? We already went over clothing that doesn’t fit but what about other items you don’t wear like:
- items you need to fix
- that are the correct size but fit weird
- wrinkles easily
- no longer in style
- is in style but not your style
- gifted items that you would have never picked out for yourself
There are plenty of reasons we don’t wear clothing hanging in our closet. Knowing why will help us know if we should keep them or get rid of them. Most of the time it’s the latter.
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you most likely have too many clothes for your current lifestyle. Don’t worry it’s pretty easy to get your wardrobe decluttered and organized.
If you do have too many clothes then you might want to consider creating a capsule wardrobe. You can start one using the clothes you have so you save money and stick to your own style.
The Reasons Behind Too Many Clothes
While I’d love to jump right into the decluttering process I feel like we can’t skip this next section. If you don’t know the why behind too many clothes then it’s really easy to fall right back into an overstuffed, cluttered closet.
There are many reasons why people have too many clothes. You might not fit into all of these reason but it’s good to know which ones you do fit into so you can avoid them in the future.
1. Cheap Clothes
Man, I love inexpensive clothing. It’s easy to find stores with everyday low prices. (Avid thrift store shopper here.) Even better when you can find something on sale.
The problem with shopping sales is you don’t usually need the items. Yes, a cute button up for $5 is a great deal but not if you already have 5 just like it in your closet.
Another problem with purchasing sale items is settling. I have settled on so many items that don’t quite fit right because they were only a couple of bucks. But then I get home and put the item in the closet where it sits.
It never quite looks or feels right when I wear it so I never do. Was that a good deal? Nope! But it’s hard to walk away from a sale.
Try to create some good shopping habits so you avoid a closet that’s full of clothing you don’t wear.
2. Fast Clothing
This is another big problem these days and it goes hand and hand with cheap clothing. The fashion industry loves to turn out new clothing every season. If you try to keep up with them you’ll have a full closet that is constantly out of style.
Don’t shop many trends. Try to stick with a classic wardrobe and keep trends to a minimum.
When you do shop trends go for smaller items like accessories. It’s amazing what trendy jewelry can do for a classic outfit.
3. Shopping Online
Shopping online might seem convenient but there is one big problem you might run into. Finding time to return items that don’t fit can be a huge headache.
If you know you won’t return items then don’t buy online. You’ll be stuck with clothing that doesn’t fit well but because you spent money on them you won’t want to give away.
These items will go into your closet and sit there. You won’t wear them. They’ll just take up real-estate for better clothing.
4. You Don’t Know Your Style Yet
This can be a tricky one. If you aren’t sure what you like to wear then you might be buying clothing you’ll never wear.
I fall into this trap when I see someone else wearing something cute. It looks great on them and I think maybe I could pull it off.
The problem isn’t really “pulling it off”. I think anyone can wear anything with confidence and look good.
The question really is, will you be comfortable wearing it. If you answer yes, then give it a try. If you know you won’t be comfortable in it, then don’t buy it.
Here’s a quick example in case you have no idea what I’m talking about:
I think it’s super cute to wear wedge sandals with jeans. So, I buy platform sandals and try them with jeans and I think two things:
- I look ridiculous. I probably don’t to other people but it’s really not my style so I feel silly.
- I’m super uncomfortable. How do people walk around all day in shoes like this? I’m not used to it so I don’t wear them much.
Those shoes end up sitting in my closet never getting worn. They look cute on others but they aren’t my style so I never wear them.
It’s okay to try new trends or styles every once in a while but if you do it on a regular basis then you’ll end up with a ton of clothing you don’t wear.
Do your best to find out what works for you, clothing wise, and stick to it. If you have no idea what your style is then you can do two things:
- One, ask your family and close friends what they think your favorite outfit is. It’s pretty fun to see what they say. Plus, they are usually pretty accurate.
- Two, take a photo of your outfit every day for at least two weeks. Then go back and look at the photos. Look for similar items that you wear often.
I’m a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes kind of girl. I also like to throw in flowy button-ups and flats. This is what I stick to now when shopping for clothes.
I know I like them, they look good on me, and can mix and match with other clothing in my closet. I wear most of the clothing in my closet on a regular basis because I know what I like.
What To Do When You Have Too Many Clothes
It’s finally time to get your closet in order by decluttering it. This will be a simple guide to get rid of some clothing quickly.
If you actually read this whole post then you should already be getting a picture of what you need to get rid of in your closet. So let’s get into the how.
First – Grab a couple of dark trash bags. These are for clothing that is too damaged to donate. These will go into the trash.
You don’t necessarily need dark bags but ones you can’t see through so you can’t see what you’ve thrown away. Then you aren’t tempted to take an item back out because on second thought you can totally upcycle that shirt into something even though you have had it for 5 years and have never done anything with it.
Just stop. You won’t do it. Get rid of it!
Side Note: You can try making cleaning rags out of some of the items and others can still be donated to H&M if you’ve got one close to you. They’ll take clothes in any condition to recycle and usually give you a coupon too.
If you are good at actually dropping things like this off then go for it. If you’ll just drive that bag around in the trunk of your car for months then just throw them away.
Don’t feel guilty about it. You’ll do better next time.
Second – Grab some boxes or bags. These are for clothing you’ll be donating.
Third – Put on some good music.
I love to watch a show or listen to a podcast when doing some tasks around the house but this is not one of them. You want your full attention on your closet. Some fun music is great because you don’t have to pay much attention to it.
Items to Get Rid Of
It’s time to start getting rid of clothing. Make quick decisions about what is good for donating and what goes in the trash.
Here’s what’s going:
1. Start with Clothing That No Longer Fits Your Lifestyle.
Did you used to work in an office and now you stay home? Get rid of all those work clothes you no longer wear. Done having kids? Give those maternity clothes to someone who needs them.
2. Clothing That Needs Mending
If you’ve been holding onto something because its got a hole in it or a missing button then it’s time to get rid of it. Chances are it will never get fixed if you haven’t already done it.
If you’re having a hard time with this one then you can fix the item but it needs to be done right after your decluttering session. Don’t consider yourself done until the items are fixed.
If you can’t commit to that then they go in the trash bag.
3. Items You Haven’t Worn in the Past Six Months to a Year
Chances are there’s a reason you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a while. And that reason is what will keep you from ever wearing the item.
There might be something that is really cute but itchy. You tell yourself you’ll wear it over a t-shirt therefore solving the problem. So you keep it.
Guess what? You’re still not going to wear it. You’ll find a reason not to because your solution isn’t very comfortable either.
I fall for this trap all the time when decluttering too many clothes. I think maybe if I fold the shirt this way it won’t wrinkle so much. I have never solved a problem and therefore keep an item I still won’t wear.
No excuses here. If you haven’t worn it then donate it. You literally haven’t worn it in months. I promise you won’t miss the item.
4. Out of Date Clothing
Listen, out of date clothing takes too long to come back around before it’s cool again. You don’t have the space to keep everything that long and you can’t even guarantee it will look good once it’s back in style. Just get rid of it.
You got use out of it for a while and that’s great. Now it’s time to let it go.
5. Clothing That Doesn’t Fit
This can be clothing that’s too big or too small. If you have a hard time with this one then keep one size above or below your current weight. That’s it.
And don’t keep these clothes in your closet. Store them somewhere else. You only need clothes you’re currently wearing in your closet.
6. Gifted Clothing You Don’t Like
I feel pretty confident in saying that gifts are the number one cause of clutter in my house. Clothing is one of the hardest things to gift and get right.
It can be difficult to get rid of gifted items because you’re worried about hurting someones feelings but what about your feelings? If you don’t have room for the item and you don’t wear it then it needs to go.
If you find you have to deal with this issue often then you need to find a way to openly discuss it with friends/family that keep gifting it to you. Unfortunately, that’s a whole different topic that we can’t get into for this post.
If you need help with a situation like this then let us know in the comments. If we get enough people asking then we’ll write a post about it.
7. Duplicate Items
Try getting rid of similar items if you still don’t have room in your closet to fit everything. If you have a couple of black t-shirts, you probably grab for the same one or two every time.
Look for duplicates all over your wardrobe. Chances are you have similar items where you can stand to donate one or two.
Overwhelmed By Too Many Clothes
Having too much clothing is definitely a first world problem but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address it. Most of the time a cluttered closet leads to stress and no one needs to add extra stress to their life.
While decluttering a closet can be a big undertaking, it’s always worth it. A clean and organized closet leads to easier mornings and who doesn’t want that?
Hopefully, you learned not just the how of decluttering a jam-packed closet but also the why so you don’t have to deal with too many clothes for a long time.
What is your biggest problem when it comes to decluttering your clothing? What do you find hardest to let go of? Let us know in the comments.