Cut Your Wardrobe in Half by Asking Yourself These 3 Organizer-Approved Questions

published Jun 25, 2020
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Credit: Liz Calka

It’s easy to just throw clothes in your closet and shut the doors—out of sight, out of mind. But when it’s time to find that tank top in a hurry, the floors end up covered in piles that are just as quickly tossed back in once the scavenger hunt is over. Luckily, organization expert and host of HGTV’s new show “Hot Mess House” Cassandra Aarssen has a 3-step decluttering process that will help you avoid this spiraling cycle again—by getting rid of half your things.

On “Hot Mess House,” Aarssen virtually assists her clients with organizing their out-of-control messes at home. In the first episode, Travis and Stephanie in Brooklyn, New York, needed help cleaning out their cluttered storage spaces (sound familiar?). And while Aarssen’s suggestion to get rid of 50 percent of their clothes was a big ask, she explained a 3-step process that makes it doable.

If you too find yourself emotionally attached and have a hard time getting rid of any of your clothes, ask yourself these questions for a clutter-free closet. Take all the clothes out of your closet, throw them on the bed, and get to it.

Question #1: Would I Buy This Again?

We’ve all purchased an item after trying it on at the store only to find that we don’t like it that much when we bring it home—but if the tags are already ripped off, well, might as well keep it, right? According to Aarssen’s decision process, not exactly. If you know you wouldn’t buy it if you saw it back at the store, which means you probably won’t be wearing it in the near future, it’s time to say goodbye.

Also, sometimes your style changes. It’s okay to make note of that and let go of former fashion choices that you don’t see as part of your future.

Question #2: Does It Look Amazing On Me?

Perhaps one of the easiest ways of knowing whether to keep it or donate/toss it is trying it on again. Follow Marie Kondo’s method and ask yourself: does this piece of clothing spark joy for me? Do I actually feel good in it and would wear it out of the house? Be honest with yourself and trust your gut.

Question #3: Have I Worn It In the Last Year?

This can be a difficult one, just because it’s easy to convince yourself that you could still wear it in the future. However, if you find yourself avoiding that blouse or pair of shorts every time you get dressed for the day, and a year or two goes by without airing it out, time is up.

But this question isn’t black or white. If it’s a gown that you wore to a wedding, for example, it’s not something you would wear every month. It might be worth keeping for a special occasion. However, if it’s a dress that you’ve passed up wearing time and time again, maybe it’s time to reconsider if you will ever wear it (odds are, you won’t).

Hot Mess House airs Wednesdays at 8/7 p.m. central on HGTV.