Purging a wardrobe can be a hard-fought task, especially when you secretly want to keep everything and only discard a few odds and ends, but there are some savvy tips that can be followed when you really decide to do your next clothing purge the right way. Maybe it’s time to fill your closet with only the clothing you really love, and there are a number of ways to do just that.

Empty Your Closet

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Begin by emptying everything out of the closet right down to the last belt and pair of shoes, and don’t forget dresser drawers and the pile of clothes in the laundry room, the hallway coat closet, and the storage trunk in the attic.

Time to Sort

Once you’ve removed clothing and other items from the closet and elsewhere, it’s time to sort through the various items and put them into different piles, first by clothing type (pants, blouses, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, etc.) particularly if you have a lot of clothes, and then by varying degrees of admiration, such as:

– Good

The item fits in with the current style trends. You already enjoy wearing it, and you probably will continue to in years to come.

– Possibly

The fit of the item might be off, as well as the color. It might be an item you can’t part with because it has special or sentimental value or was extremely expensive, and guilt pangs have kept you from doing anything with it. Put it in a storage area for a while and if you decide you still want it, go ahead and use it. If not, donate it to a charity or an organization like the Big Brother, Big Sister program, or take it to a consignment shop.

– Dislike

There is not a lot to disagree with a clothing item that you really can’t believe you ever purchased, plus if it is the wrong size or doesn’t fit at all, it’s best to just donate, sell, or place the items in a consignment shop.

– Seasonal

If you really love your seasonal clothing pieces, and have thoroughly gone through them all and purged anything unusable, put the items you want in a storage area until you need them as the seasons change.

Review Your Remaining Clothing

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With what is left after your clothing purge, you may want to live with what remains in your closet for a while longer before adding any new pieces. In the meantime, look for clothing items that further define your fashion style through online fashion blogs, magazines, style boards or a file with magazine or catalog pictures. Keep a list of items that you need or want.

To Shop or Not

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It’s up to you whether to shop for the clothing items that you have determined you need to complete your personal style search, but if you don’t have a budget to contend with, it might be a good time to go ahead and add the pieces you need to round out your wardrobe. Make a list and do make sure you have the right proportion of clothing items for casual, work and dress wear.

A clothing purge can actually be a source of relief, particularly if you have been holding on to clothes for years on end, and haven’t really worn them or done anything with them as far as replacement or even getting rid of the ones that no longer fit. It might just be time for out with the old, in with the new. Purging could be your ticket to a whole new sense of style and fashion freedom.