There is something about this year that has had me anxious to do some closet spring cleaning... in the fall. Maybe it's because we've been in our new house for about a year and a half now and I'm beginning to notice pieces that I have continued to move from house to house that have sat untouched since finding their way into my closet. Maybe its because, after saving so hard for our house, Dustin and I are both taking the time to splurge on ourselves a little to update our wardrobes (which has caused me to look more closely at what I have now). Whatever the reason, I have spent much of the last month taking inventory, selling some items, and donating the rest. In my experience, I've found 5 things - or rather, categories of things - that we should all purge from our closets this fall.
1) Warm weather pieces you didn't wear this spring/summer.
Whether you're the type of person who moves non-seasonal clothing to a bin or maybe just to the back of your closet, take the time to review the pieces you're setting aside for next year. Did you wear that item this year? Why not? If you don't have a good reason for not wearing it (maybe it's a fancy dress you want to keep for a potential formal occasion that just didn't arise this year), then go ahead and store it another year. But if it's a piece that you simply passed over each time you got dressed this year - maybe because you no longer are sure about the style or fit or maybe because you have newer pieces you chose instead - then it's time to purge! There is no sense in storing a tank, pair of shorts, or summer print dress if you're not really that into it anymore (and don't tell yourself that maybe next year you'll want to wear it... because next year you'll have more new pieces to choose instead).
2) Winter pieces you didn't wear last year.
Again, unless there was a good reason for not wearing it for the entirety of the cool weather season last year, it's time to let that sweater go. Fall/winter is a huge time for shopping, and the odds are good that you will bring home new pieces this year. Make room for that new color-block cardi by giving away the cardi you didn't wear last year but continued to keep because you "might wear it one day." If you can sell a few of the items, you can justify replacing them with new pieces!
3) Clothes that do not fit.
This is really a suggestion for any time you look in your closet, but I figured while you're there getting rid of seasonal clothes you don't wear anymore, you could go ahead and purge those items that don't fit anymore. Our bodies change from year to year and the same clothes you were wearing 3 years ago may not look the same anymore. Don't keep things around as a "backup" in case you either end up as big or small or fit or not fit as you used to be. The only exception I will make to this general rule is planning for pregnancy or a postpartum body. For example, I have a stretchy pair of black Gap jeans that are now too big for me, but I have them on a shelf for the day a baby bump might fill them. Otherwise, those clothes that no longer fit are out the door!
4) Shoes that are worn in and worn out.
This one is me preaching to myself. I am honestly not much of a shoe collector. In previous years, I've really only purchased shoes when I needed whatever style I was buying. Then I've continued to wear my shoes past their fashion expiration date. Part of this is an incessant need not to be wasteful - if the shoe still fits and serves its purpose, why get rid of it? This is especially true because shoes that are worn out aren't really giveaway-able (who wants a hand-me-down worn out shoe?) and it pains me to physically throw out an item that isn't broken. But for many of the shoes in my closet... y'all... it's time. It's especially time because there are so many options out there now for replacing what's in my closet without spending a lot of money. People notice your shoes. Don't wear a pair that has seen its better days.
5) Accessories that belonged to a prior year's trend.
We all know that style can be cyclical, and what's trendy today may be dated in two years but then may come back in style in 5 years. But that doesn't mean that you should keep every "trendy" accessory you've bought over the last 10 years. Even if that style comes back, you'll probably want to buy a new piece anyway. Sure, hold on to some things for a few seasons, but once that style begins to die out, all you're doing is taking up space with a hat you have no plan of wearing today or any day for the foreseeable future.
I hope this list was helpful as you do your own fall closet clean out!