New year’s clothing purge can declutter and help you freshen up your wardrobe

Tiffany Sweatt, a part-time associate at Dress Up, helps a customer.

Story by Andrea Corona | Photos by David Barnes

As the end of the year rolls around, now is a better time than any to get rid of all the unnecessary clothes in your closet that have been taking up too much space.
Let’s face it, ladies, we always make our new year resolutions something huge and unnecessary but this year, we can keep it simple and easy. Let’s start the new year with a new wardrobe.
By new wardrobe, it doesn’t mean go on a shopping spree. But perhaps if a piece of clothing has been in your closet for years but has yet to see the sunlight, it’s time to toss it out.
“A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn it in the past six months, you’re not going to wear it,” said Tatiana Ayala, Belk sales team manager.
Going by this rule would make this process so much quicker and easier. But the more frequently you do this, the easier it will become.
First be attentive to the top five must-get-rid-of items. Now we all know that clothes can have a sentimental meaning behind each piece, but are we ever going to wear our prom dress again? And what about those high school T-shirts we still have that are outworn? Those are a must-go as well.

What about that black necklace that started off being a silver necklace? As Dress Up team manager Savannah Williams said, “jewelry goes out of trend quicker than clothes, not many people realize this.”
If the color of the jewelry is no longer the color it started out as, it’s time toss it out.
If a piece of clothing hasn’t fit you in the past five years and everytime you try it on, all it does is bring your spirit down: toss it out. And ladies, there are shoes that finalize our outfits but if it feels like we’re walking on concrete, it’s also time to toss them out.
Looking trendy and in style is what makes us happy and a little more confident about ourselves, but how much money are we really wanting to spend just to look trendy?
“If it’s trendy, don’t waste so much money on a piece of clothing,” Ayala said. “Trends only last so long.”

She said it’s better to invest in neutral-colored clothes that cost more but will last longer. Some good investments would be neutral-colored tank tops, a black vest, some blouses and a good pair of sneakers.
If we’re ever thinking of keeping trendy clothes past their trend in hope that it’ll make a comeback, you better be ready to hold onto those pieces for years.
“Trends sometimes come back,” Plato’s Closet manager Jessica McClury said. “However, they usually take around 10 years to make a comeback so I definitely don’t recommend it.”
For the clothes we do keep, maintaining them properly is important. And that means not tossing them into the wash too often.
“A good way to keep our clothes in good shape is by not washing it every time you wear it,” said Lorry Schrage, owner of Saul’s on the downtown square in Gainesville.
Washing your clothes too frequently can wear them out, he said, adding that clothes last longer if you hang them right after they’re dried.
If you’re not really wanting to give something away but you know you’re not going to wear it because there’s a hole in it you can patch or sew up, take it to a seamstress. McClury said that Plato’s Closet tries to take in as many clothes as possible, but there are certain items they’ll turn down.
“If we see that a piece of clothing has been worn out, we usually won’t accept them. We also won’t accept clothes that aren’t trendy anymore,” McClury said.
If that’s the case, another destination for used clothing is Goodwill.

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