Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Stacy Averette

“I need to clean out my closet and get rid of some clothes!” If you’ve said this lately and feel like you need a clothes-closet intervention, this post might be the inspiration you need!

I can’t tell you how many times this year (and last year and the year before that) I said, “I have too many clothes!” But here’s the problem: I don’t want to get rid of my clothes (at least not most of them). I love clothes. I love having lots of different pieces to mix and match. Minimalist wardrobes are NOT my thing!

You should know that about 99% of what I wear comes from the thrift store. In other words, overspending on clothes is not an issue for me and I don’t feel bad for having lots of clothes. For years I had a professional wardrobe that was kind of boring and then I had a stay-at-home-mom-on-a-super-tight-budget wardrobe. Times have changed and these days I’m having more fun with clothes. So what makes me feel like I need to clean out my closet and get rid of some clothes? I’m glad you asked!

There are two issues:

#1 Some of my clothes don’t fit.

  • Some are too small because I bought them without trying them on. *Ooops* Some I’ve outgrown. *Sigh*
  • Some fit but they’re not comfortable.
  • Some aren’t me. I don’t like how they’re made, how they feel, or how they look on me.

#2 Seasonal and out-of-season clothing all mixed together.

What in the world? Am I the only person who avoids dealing with these issues? I set aside some time last weekend to work on my closet. I grabbed a few things, put them in a bag to take to the thrift store, then thought, “I kind of like that top. Maybe I’ll wear it this summer!” I went back and forth like this for about 30 minutes and gave up!

“You’re not going to drag everything out of the closet and lay it on the bed are you?” Eric asked. Bless his heart. If you’ve ever tried that method of closet cleaning bless your heart, too! I’ve done that a few times in my life and I ALWAYS regret it. About halfway through I give up in frustration and overwhelm and go watch TV and stress-eat. There has to be a better way to deal with my clothes problem!

Clean out your closet

A Better Way

Dallas Willard urged Christ-followers to ruthlessly eliminate hurry. He said that hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. I agree with him and I’ve been intentional about eliminating hurry from my life. (There was a time I would try to see how much I could accomplish in a day and how fast I could do it. I was often exhausted and stressed out.)

These days I’m choosing a slower, simpler way of life. It’s not that I can’t do things the way I used to do them but I don’t want to and I don’t have to. Just because an “expert” or professional organizer says I should drag everything out of my closet and get it sorted and organized in a day doesn’t mean that’s the way I should do it. Spending a whole day cleaning out my closet isn’t my idea of a lovely way to spend a day.

So I have a creative—much lovelier solution. I’m calling it Wear What’s Lovely. Starting today, I’m going to systematically deal with every piece of clothing in my closet, one day and one outfit at a time. I don’t know how long it will take and I’m not giving myself a deadline. I’ll just deal with it day by day and piece by piece.

My ultimate goal with this project is to Wear What’s Lovely. By definition, when something is lovely it is enjoyable, delightful, and inspires love. So when it comes to what we wear, “lovely” is fairly subjective. You and I can decide what’s lovely for us. We don’t have to be a slave to fashion or fads. We can choose to wear what brings us joy, delight and inspires love!   For me, that means only having clothes that I love and love wearing.

Here’s my plan. Each evening I will choose an outfit and try it on. (This makes mornings much less stressful!)

  1. If a piece is too small but I really like it and I want to keep it I’m going to put it in a “Save” storage box. I’ll deal with these at a later date. Baby steps, my friend!
  2. At the end of the day, after wearing the outfit I chose, if any piece was uncomfortable or I don’t like it anymore, it goes into a “Let it go” box to be taken to the thrift store each week.
  3. All out-of-season clothing will go in the spare closet. (Extra closet space: One of the perks of having an empty nest!)

Here are the rules for Wear What’s Lovely

 1. No “new” clothes until I’ve dealt with each piece in my closet—wear it, store it, or let it go.

2.  I can’t re-wear a piece unless I’m wearing it with something I haven’t worn already.

FYI: Shoes don’t count.

I think this project will be super fun! I already feel a little sad just thinking about not browsing the thrift store for clothes but I think that will be the motivation I need to be successful and stick to my plan to Wear What’s Lovely.

Friend, I wrote this post and almost deleted it. “Nobody cares about your ‘clothes problem’ with all the real problems in the world today,” I told myself. But then I realized that I CARE and that’s enough. Simplifying and organizing my life reduces stress and creates space for me to LIVE LOVELY—to be a more kind, loving person who gives glory to God! For that reason, I’m glad I shared it and I hope it inspires you in some way.

Do you want to play along? I plan to share a daily pic on Instagram and I’ll be using #wearwhatslovely to keep track of my progress and hold myself accountable. I’m @thriftingypsies on Instagram if you want to follow along.

P.S. Eric doesn’t know about my plan to WEAR WHAT’S LOVELY yet but he will be terribly relieved to know that all the clothes in my closet won’t be on the bed when it’s time to go to sleep tonight. Also, his side of the closet is next!

So tell me about your closet!

    • Is it clean and organized?
    • What’s your system if you have one?
    • Have you ever tried the drag-it-all-out-on-the-bed method?
    • Does that work for you?
    • Any suggestions or advice for me and my closet project?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Clean out your closet




4 thoughts on “Wear What’s Lovely: A Simple Way to Clean Out Your Closet”

  1. Oh, Stacy. Stop stepping on my toes! JK. The paragraph about hurrying is so true of me – still asking the Holy Spirit to help me with this! And, yes, I could totally use a closet clean-out. And, yes, the whole “put all the clothes on the bed” method freaks me out. Not doing it. But your idea of an outfit a day is great! Maybe I CAN accomplish this without all the stress. I am “pretty good” at separating out my seasonal clothes. And I hang most of my clothes by type and color. (Short sleeve white, short sleeve black, sleeveless white, sleeveless color….) But also have a hard time getting rid of things.

    1. Carol! I’m having a hard time getting rid of things, too! “Hurry” is a hard habit to break. I’m not there yet but I’m glad we have the Holy Spirit to help us!

  2. I like this idea!! The thought of pulling it all out at one time made me want to retreat in the fetal position! I’m gonna try this.😁😘

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