How To Handle Your Closet Cleanout Remorse

How To Handle Your Closet Cleanout Remorse

Do you suffer from closet cleanout remorse where you wish you hadn't gotten rid of something? Read on for my stylist tips on how to handle it and enjoy your simplified style.

As a personal fashion stylist who advocates for the regular closet cleanout, it’s pretty easy for me to get rid of stuff I no longer wear. The extra space in my wardrobe looks and feels great. Plus I make room for better things to come.

Sometimes, however, I experience closet cleanout remorse. I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of a certain item because it would be the perfect complement for whatever outfit I’m trying to put together.

Do you suffer from closet cleanout remorse where you wish you hadn't gotten rid of something? Read on for my stylist tips on how to handle it and enjoy your simplified style.

It happened recently.

I got nostalgic for a pair of Darryl K leather pants that I had in the 90s. They were tight, skinny and low-rise — perfect for my 20 something bod. I’m not sure how they’d do on this mother of 2, and quite honestly – I’m not even into low-rise anymore. But these pants were hot, and now that it’s so damn cold outside I wished I had them to put on.

Then my closet cleanout remorse happened again.

This time it was over my brown leather motorcycle boots that I wore in high school during my rebellious magenta-haired moment. Imagine how distressed and worn-in they’d be now…Sigh…perfect in the slushy mess of the city streets.

If you know what I’m talking about, and have regretted clearing out a particular item, read on!

Do you suffer from closet cleanout remorse where you wish you hadn't gotten rid of something? Read on for my stylist tips on how to handle it and enjoy your simplified style.

What To Do When Your Struck By Closet Cleanout Remorse

Find Something Else In Your Closet With A Similar Vibe.

Referring back to those leather Darryl K pants, I could replace them with another pair of black skinnies in my closet…which I have. While they aren’t the exact same, they give the same rock and roll feeling thereby completing the look in a similar fashion. The key here is to move on, and find something else.

Start Over In Your Outfit Creation.

I understand the feeling of wanting to wear a certain item, but if it’s not in your closet… make a new outfit! If I didn’t have black skinnies to replace the leathers I got rid of years ago, but I was intent on wearing an oversized sweater with said leathers, it may be time for me to try the sweater with a skirt. Or maybe throw it over a jumpsuit. The goal is not to get hung up on what we don’t have, but rather focus on what we do have.

Remember Your Why

Yes, it’s tough when you want something back from the past. If you dig a little deeper, you may discover that it’s more than the outfit completion you’re longing. Those were good times I had in my Darryl K leathers! Wouldn’t it be nice to have the pants back along with all those good times? Probably not. Those memories are perfect as they are…memories. It’s much healthier to remember why I got rid of them (because they were no longer me!) and honor that.

There’s a reason for your closet cleanout, and it goes beyond making more space in your life and simplifying your wardrobe. It’s about accepting the person you are today, and feeling inspired to dress in an appropriately modern way.

And if you’re like really, really upset about getting rid of something…go buy yourself a replacement. I’d choose these!

What items have given you closet cleanout remorse? 

If you’ve got more clothes to clear and you could use some help, grab the free closet cleanout guide! It’ll take you step by step through my stylist process for streamlining your wardrobe so you only have clothes that make you look and feel your best.

Elysha Lenkin
Elysha Lenkin helps women express themselves through fashion so they look current, feel confident and stay true to themselves. For over 20 years, she's worked on commercial shoots styling women in all shapes, ages and sizes including Carrie Underwood, Tina Fey and Serena Williams. Now her focus is to make fashion fun and approachable for real women so they show up feeling like superstars in their lives.

2 Comments

  1. It’s always hard for me to do, but so needed. I have wished that I wouldn’t have gotten rid of things that have come back in style, but oh, well.

  2. I know what you mean…I think that happens to a lot of us.

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