When You Have Too Many Clothes, Here's What to Do
Olivia Groves •
It's common that many of us have too many clothes but feel like we have nothing to wear.
Having too many clothes actually does cause our brains to feel overwhelmed by choices. If you find yourself standing in your closet and staring at the hangars for too long, then this post is for you.
It's time to take a look at your closet and figure out what you can do to make your wardrobe better, more accessible, and easier for daily wearing.
We'll tackle why this is such a common dilemma, how to determine if you have too many clothes, and what to do when you have too many clothes.
Why You May Have Too Many Clothes
There are lots of reasons why our clothes tend to pile up. If your closet is overflowing with items you haven't worn in a while or maybe have never worn, then it's time to clean out.
But how did we get here in the first place? Why do you have too many clothes?
A lot of the reasons may apply to you...
- You forgot to return or missed a return window
- You bought multiple colors and styles of the same item but only wear one or two
- You kept clothes from a different phase of life you're no longer in
- You have clothes in different sizes than you wear right now
- You kept that need mending or altering instead of donating or replacing
- You store clothes in different seasonal bins or separate closets and forget what you have
- You bought clothes that were too trendy or one-time-use
- You are holding onto clothes with sentimental value
For many of us, we wear a small subset of our wardrobe on repeat. A study done in 2018, showed that most people do not wear 50% of their wardrobe.
So you're in good company. But the question is, what do you do when you have too many clothes? What's the right approach to narrowing down, decluttering, and ultimately keeping fewer clothes? Let's get into it!
What To Do If You Have Too Many Clothes
There are a few ways to go about reducing the number of clothes in your wardrobe. The first step is determining what clothes you actually wear and are worth keeping. And which clothes need to go and where.
3 Quick Tips for Organizing Your Clothes
Tip #1 - Categorize your clothes THEN tackle each category
- Formal, everyday, athleisure, swimwear, etc.
- OR tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, etc.
- Once categorized, ask "Do I enjoy wearing this?" for each item
Tip # 2 - Create distinct piles of clothes as you’re cleaning out
- Donate to charity (local is best!)
- Consign for credit at a local thrift store
- Throw away - too old, tattered or worn for giving away
- Keep but mend or alter
- Keep as-is
Tip # 3 - Buy organization tools to help you rearrange once you’re done purging
- Invest in some new hangars, labels, bins, containers
- Utilize hanging bags for special occasion clothes
- Try closet dividers for different types of clothing
How Do I Know if I Have Too Many Clothes?
If you're still not sure you fit into this category of having too many clothes, we've put together a questionnaire that might help. Whether or not you have an over abundance of clothes or not, we can all benefit from reducing the clutter in our lives.
In fact, psychologists have looked into psychological effects of materialism, and many think there is a link between lots of physical possessions and loneliness.
So, it’s good to put your clothing habits under the microscope to see if having too many clothes is making you unhappy or contributing to the chaos in your life.
If you answer "yes" to some of these questions, you may have too many clothes:
- Does your closet stay organized?
- Do you have a hard time picking out what to wear because you have too many choices?
- Does it feel like you never have anything to wear? Or not the right things to wear to certain events or contexts?
- Do you have clothes you haven't worn in over a year?
- Do you have clothes with tags still on them?
- Do you have clothes in storage, a separate room, or bins?
- Does your wardrobe fit the needs of your current phase of life?
- Do you have clothes that were expensive but you don't wear often?
- Do you have clothes that were inexpensive and trendy but you don't wear often?
- Do you run out of hangars often?
- Do you buy more clothes because you can't do the laundry quick enough?
- Do you re-wear the same clothes more than once a week?
Check out the other Silk+Sonder blog posts on getting organized!
Appreciate the suggestions here ( definitely too many clothes ). Half my closet is full of my Husband’s clothes and I haven’t been able to let them go yet – it’s been 3 years since he passed. Makes it all overwhelming.
Silk + Sonder replied:
So glad we could help!
Brandis G JUL 24, 2022