I’ve written several posts on closet editing. Why it’s fab and why fewer wardrobe options are a good idea. Getting into the habit of regular closet editing is a very worthwhile exercise.

Following guidelines to edit a closet seems like a simple task. The tricky part is deciding to let things go. Sometimes it is obvious: the item is unflattering, it is uncomfortable, it doesn’t fit, it is the wrong colour or the wrong size, or you simply can’t stand it.

The decision gets harder when it was an expensive item, when you know it’s wrong for you but you wear it anyway, when it might fit again once you’ve lost or gained weight, or when it’s a closet orphan that is still in great condition. The initial reaction in these situations is often “I’ll just keep it anyway”, especially if you find it hard to be ruthless and typically hang on to stuff longer than you should. This is not a good solution. The operative word here is “edit” and that means ending up with fewer closet items at the end of the process.

There is a simple way to overcome this problem: If you are in any way unsure about parting ways with an item, create a hidden holding zone. Pile up the stuff that is questionable and store it away from your closet and out of sight. Give yourself 6 months to gauge whether you miss any of the items. If you do, welcome them back into your wardrobe. But if you don’t, then pass them on permanently.

It is very important that your holding zone is hidden. You are testing what it feels like to let go of the items. There is no use in holding them somewhere close by where you will see them and they won’t get a fair chance to disappear from your life. A box in the garage, attic or basement is what most people choose.

This strategy has been an absolute saving grace when I edit closets for clients. Do you create hidden holding zones, or do you have another strategy for questionable wardrobe items? Has this strategy worked for you in the past? Do you generally find it hard to let go of closet items? If you do, I’m paying a visit.