Confessions of a Closet Hoarder

I’ve got news for you folks. I have clothes from at least 5 years ago in my closet. And no matter how many bags of clothes I donate, I always seem to find more.

closet hoarderI know I want to simplify my closet and really my life, but I think its easier to start with a closet. So I went to Pinterest for inspiration. What a mistake. First I found the “capsule wardrobes” which only make me want to buy more clothes to complete the capsules.

capsule wardrobeClick for link to Pin.

I don’t own a leather jacket or a white jacket, so should run out and buy them? I have a couple fleece jackets, they’re super comfy in the fall, and I love having a few color options, but is 3 (grey with a purple zipper, cream, and navy) too many?

wardrobe tipsThen I found a few diagram trees, but I can always find a way to justify keeping what I have. Pin 1, Pin 2, Pin 3.

The other thing to mention….these wardrobes do not include workout clothes! And that’s where the real problem lies. With teaching 3 classes a week, plus my own workouts and dance coaching I’m living in spandex.

And the last thing: Minnesota Weather. I need clothes to get me from 90 degrees to -30 degrees. The amount of scarves, hats, and gloves I own is probably completely ridiculous. Yet they all seem completely necessary.

So help a girl out. How do you do it? Do you own three scarves, 2 sweaters, a dress, one pair of jeans, 4 tops and call it good? Or do you keep everything just in case you’ll wear it again and therefor don’t have to go shopping?

(and don’t tell me to turn my hangers backwards, I’ve tried that, it doesn’t work for me.)


  1. I just read something today that said, “If you were shopping right now, would you buy this?” and if the answer is no, you get rid of it! I have my clothes that I tend to wear most often – they are the ones that are always dirty and I find myself pulling them out of the hamper to wear because I know I like them. I’m tempted to not do laundry for a few weeks and what’s left in my closet, I’ll get rid of because I clearly don’t want to wear what’s still hanging.

    As for workout clothes, I’m all for having multiple drawers! Sometimes you just can’t wear them more than once before washing so I think it’s a-okay to be a workout clothes hoarder!

    1. Switching my laundry style has helped immensely! I used to put my dirty stuff with my families, but my mom does laundry all the time, so I was constantly working through the same clean clothes in the laundry room. Now I’ve got the hamper in my room, and am waiting until I am at the bottom of the clothing barrel before I do laundry. It’s helping me realize what I don’t like wearing, and at least some of those clothes are going out. Now I need to do the same with my summer/spring stuff!

  2. I have similar issues/questions, and if you find a great, simple answer, let me know! I generally just try to strike when the mood hits me. If I think I should get rid of something I do it right away – never once have I regretted the decision to purge clothing!

    1. Good for you! I don’t know that I’ve ever regretted a purge, but if I go as extreme as I’m considering, I may regret it. Another commenter suggested “would you buy this right now” when considering your wardrobe, and that is helping me make quite a few decisions. I’m also looking for one piece of clothing that can justify getting rid of 2. I’ve got my eye on a C. Wonder handbag (they’re going out of business so some great deals to be had) and if I got that tote, I could get rid of 2-3 other totes that are starting to show their wear/tear.

  3. I don’t even know where to start. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe…but I also love the idea of a ‘tiny house’ even though I know I would go insane living in one. I think as women, we like having choices, and as you mentioned, with the weather here, we NEED to have widely varied options in our clothing, so we tend to hang on. And then we want more. I am a clothes horse-and I simply LOVE clothes; the feel, the colors, the fabrics, the shapes, the creating of outfits, so I justify my obsession and volume of clothes by buying about 80% of my wardrobe second-hand. My workout gear is really all I buy new. And I do donate-after a LOT of agonizing-so I figure when I donate, I am giving my clothes a third life. I say if you have room and can keep it reasonably organized, keep things and enjoy them, even if you don’t wear them a lot.

    1. Yes! Thank you for recognizing the need for variety. I especially had clothes that I was saving for campfires/hunting/fourwheeling, but have started donating them as they’re in good shape, but I’m spending more time working out than I am in those camping etc. clothes.

  4. I am basically a clothing hoarder. It really took me being pregnant and having to go through everything and sort it out to stash away to figure out what I really was going to wear again, and what I was just keeping because, well, who knows. And even with that, I still have a few things to go through still that obviously I haven’t worn in months. My suggestions: Do a little at a time, it can be totally overwhelming to decide on a whole closet at once. Use ThredUp to sell some things. (If you haven’t heard of ThredUp before, definitely check it out. I was more willing to part with things (especially brand name) because I was hopefully going to get some money in exchange for them.)

    1. I have heard of thread up! And I would maybe use it….but the majority of my stuff I’ve worn for so long that by the time I actually purge it, its beyond repair. If I have some higher end items I’ve gone to platos closet, and gotten $20 or so (but hate hauling things there as they aren’t local). The rest gets donated locally where I know people will use it.

  5. Whenever I buy new clothes I look at my old ones and try and get rid of some. I get rid of whatever I haven’t worn in a year or season. Or I think to myself, would I wear that right now? If the answer is no or I have some excuse for it I get rid of it.

    1. That’s a good rule, and definitely one I can live by. My other catch is the sentimental pieces, which I wouldn’t buy, but if someone gave it to me, I’m more likely to hold onto it.

  6. I don’t think the capsule wardrobe is realistic! If you need both professional clothes and workout clothes you end up with a decent amount. What you can do is reduce the amount. I also have A LOT of clothes. About 2 closets worth (eek). But I have done a really good job of getting rid of things I don’t wear, that suit coat from 6 years ago. Now gone. I held onto stuff for so long and I am really in a purge mood now. I’ve also started getting rid of thing that are worn. I really don’t need to keep that faded black pair of pants. Unless it’s a specialty item, if it hasn’t been worn in a year it’s gone. That’s just something you have to stick too.

  7. Capsule wardrobes sound like a great idea but they’re not realistic for everyone, especially when you need multiple career wordrobes (professional, workout). I think following one of the flow charts might be a better answer for you. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  8. I like the idea of the capsule wardrobe as simplifying sounds so nice but I know it’s not realistic for me. I need options and like you said, we have so many seasons and such a wide range of temperatures. I have really cut back on what I have in my closet, though. I won’t keep things that don’t fit me, or if I don’t feel good when I wear it or can’t figure out what it will go with. I have purged a lot between my 2 moves but I need to do more so that is something I plan to tackle in Jan or Feb. Good luck! It’s so tough to whittle down your wardrobe.

    1. The fear of moving/packing is half the reason why I want to get my closet under control in the first place! I have a good feeling I’ll be going somewhere in 2015, I just don’t know when or where.

  9. I am constantly cleaning out my closet, but still there is too much! Sometimes I tell myself I will stop picking up random things at Target and Old Navy just because they’re good deals or whatever. I end up rarely wearing that stuff and it just adds more clutter. I don’t have any good answers for you. . . I’m just commiserating!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to commiserate! I have made silly oldnavy/target purchases in the past (can think of two dresses taking up residence in my closet that were great deals, but don’t fit great). This winter I have filled online shopping carts a few times, but thankfully haven’t made any purchases. Hopefully I’ll find a system that can work!

  10. I do try to donate something old, every time I buy something new. Or see what the local consignment shops will get my for my gently used clothes? However, you make a great point as to our climate. We need options for all seasons! And I own wayyyyyyy more than three scarfs! Which is totally acceptable 🙂

    1. Thank goodness more than 3 scarves is okay! I’m not crazy enough to count mine right now, but I have a few that are similar and should probably be donated… The name brand clothes I buy I tend to wear to death, and the payback on old navy/target stuff is so low, I don’t bother.

  11. oh gosh, i’m such a clothing minimalist. if i haven’t worn something in a year, i gave it away. aside from that, a couple pairs of pants, a couple shorts.. you get the idea 🙂 having lots of options actually seems to stress me out – i’d rather know i have a couple cute things to pick from then a bunch of stuff that i don’t really like so well. have you read the happiness project? she talks a lot about this!

  12. bahaha I was going to tell you about the hanger thing! I did that and it worked pretty well! What I basically do is if drawers are getting hard to close and/or I’m running out of hangers..I try to go through to clean stuff out.

    Also what is a capsule closet?? Only owning those items pictured?

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