My Chic Obsession: 10 items to toss from your closet in the new year

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

Whether you’re someone who sets resolutions or not, there’s just something about a fresh start and getting the new year off on the right foot.

Many are re-examining their eating and workout habits, but there’s one place not many think to evaluate: The closet. After all, a decluttered closet is a decluttered mind.

Here are 10 things to toss from your closet to start this year off fresh and clutter-free:

1. Anything that doesn’t fit correctly

We’re all guilty of keeping something that’s too small (or too big) in our closets and telling ourselves that we’ll fit into it “one day.” I’m all about motivation, but how long have you been telling yourself that? One year? Two years? If you haven’t fit into it by now, chances are you won’t. It’s time to dress for the size you are now, not what you hope to be. You’ll even look better, I promise.

2. The abundance of T-shirts

Fun run here. Fundraiser there. Throw in family reunions and gag gifts, and the next thing you know, you’re left with a ton of T-shirts that you don’t wear, and to be frank, aren’t all that cute.

If you love your T-shirts, don’t toss them all completely. Just pare down, and ask yourself how often you’re really wearing them. Do you really want to fill up all your closet space with T-shirts? Note: T-shirts are not the same as graphic Ts, which add to your outfit. High school play T-shirts, take away.

3. Things you’re keeping just because you spent good money on themDo you have a spur-of-the-moment purchase because you found this major designer on clearance and thought there was no way you could pass it up?

Maybe it was boots you needed to buy insanely last-minute, but you never really liked. Or, how about the item you bought just because it was a name brand, but you had no idea when you’d ever wear it? It’s not fun to waste money, but every time you see this item, you’re just reminded of your bad purchase and that you need to wear it.

Cut your losses, and free your mind.

4. Bridesmaid dresses

This one is hard because you probably spent a lot of money on this dress, but how long ago did your friend get married, and how many times have you worn it since then?

If the first answer is “years” and the second answer is “0,” sorry, but it’s time to let it go.

The exception are dresses that can be repurposed or altered into a fun party dress. But be honest with yourself and if you’ll get that done or not.

5. Items with holes, stains, rips or pills

Getting rid of clothing in poor condition should go without saying. But how many of us let clothes we shouldn’t wear take up valuable hanger space?

If it is fixable, and you haven’t fixed it yet, do it, or just accept that you never will, and discard appropriately.

6. Clothes that were gifts but aren’t totally your style

Kudos that you’re sentimental and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But if it’s not something you wear, then there’s really no reason to hold on to it.

Unless they go through your closet every day looking for missing pieces, how would someone even know that you got rid of it? Chances are if they love you enough to get you something, they’ll love you enough to want you to live clutter-free.

7. Tarnished and tacky jewelry

Items that look cheap

and/or turn your skin green are a hard pass. Say “adios” to those pieces, and make room for timeless pieces.

8. ‘Paint’ clothes

It’s easy for the “rejects” to end up in the ever-growing “paint clothes” pile. Yes, it’s a good idea to have an outfit to wear for all your projects, but unless your name is Chip Gaines, chances are your day job is not in demo, and one to two outfits is all you really need.

9. Things you haven’t worn in who knows how long?

An obvious one, but if you can’t remember the last time you wore it, then you’re probably not going to have a “next time” you wear it either.

10. Clothes you don’t feel confident in

This also goes for all items that just seem off to you. Get rid of clothes that don’t make you feel good about yourself.

Carolyn Arentson is a fashion blogger from Dubuque. Find more fashionable tips at

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