Ditching These Items in My Closet Made Me 10 Times Happier


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

There is a difference between saying you hate everything in your closet and owning items that actually make you feel sad. When it comes to your wardrobe, stocking it with items that make you happy should be a number one rule. If you agree, then why are you holding on to pieces that trigger feelings of insecurity, disappointment, or the kind of nostalgia that hurts, such as pants you used to fit into or gifts from someone special who is no longer in your life?

In my opinion, life is hard enough, so when it comes to my closet, I want it to be a place where I can temporarily escape to; one that makes me feel like the best version of my current self, and nothing else. Here, I break down the items I (not so easily) tossed from my closet in order to make my life a happier one overall. From personal experience, I can tell you that letting go of the five types of items ahead was not a walk in the park, but after ripping off the Band-Aid, I live a life that is generally more peaceful and rarely interrupted by the minor roadblocks I had tucked away in the depths of my closet.

Go on to read about the items I ditched from my closet that lead to a happier life!

Items That Don't Fit

I think it's safe to assume that most women (and men) keep that one article of clothing hidden away in their closets that used to fit them, but no longer does. The intention behind keeping said item is to hopefully motivate yourself to trim down enough to fit into whatever it is. From personal experience, this tactic only stirs up negative feelings about your body, and no one wants that.

Instead, I recommend ditching those items. For me, it's my "too-skinny" jeans. I'm now investing in jeans that not only fit, but make me feel more confident and excited about my body.

Shop jeans that fit like a glove:

Trinkets From Past Relationships

When it comes to nostalgia, I am someone who appreciates my memories more than the physical items that trigger those memories. If I want to think back on an old flame, for example, I prefer to chat with a friend about it on my own terms as opposed to coming across a necklace or gift given to me by an ex-boyfriend and have it unexpectedly ruin my day. While I know not everyone will agree with me on this one, I have found that taking the time to clear my life of this kind of clutter has allowed me to move on more easily from difficult situations, and that is a good thing in my book.

If you make the move to ditch your gifts from ex-significant others, I say you deserve to treat yourself to a little something nice that will always make you smile when you see it.

Shop gifts you deserve to give yourself:

Pieces With Unrealistic Expectations

I don't know about you, but I tend to buy articles of clothing that require a lot of work to wear—fashion tape, sticky bras, slips, etc.—or that I can only wear to one type of location on the third of May every three years. Get the picture? These items always overwhelm me when I come across them, as I remember all the activities I imagined myself doing in them, but never actually did (like going to a garden tea party, black tie gala, or an impromptu trip to Barbados). 

Post tossing these not so versatile items from my closet, I promised myself to mainly buy pieces that will not only never let me down, but that are a breeze to wear, and it's worked out pretty great for me so far. 

Shop go-to closet basics:

Borrowed Items I Never Returned

You know that top you borrowed three years ago from your friend you barely ever talk to anymore—it's time to give it back! I will humbly admit to having a few items like that packed away in my closet, and I am ashamed of myself whenever I come across them. I stand there and think, wow I am a horrible person and friend who never deserves another article of clothing again. Let me tell you that this is not a fun occurrence to have on a Friday night as you get ready for a night out.

In addition to finally returning the items you should have given back years ago, I recommend sending along a little gift (or apology note) along with it to show how embarrassed you really are—because you should be.

Shop thoughtful items:

Nostalgic T-Shirts

As I said before, I am not the kind of person who appreciates nostalgic items as much as the average joe, and I know that's not how everyone ticks. But from the personal experience of hoarding old concert, college, and bridesmaid T-shirts "because of the memories," I can tell you that for me, all it did was pack my drawers to the brim, make me late for events as I would stop to reminisce, and simply remind me of the good old days that had come and gone. I will admit that I kept one or two of my favorite tees to sleep in, and maybe because of the memories as well (I'm a walking contradiction), but tossing a majority of my collection had me feeling less like a pack rat and more like an emotionally healthy adult, and I liked that.

Swap your old nostalgic T-shirts for some fun new graphic tees that are not only extremely on trend right now, but they also won't ever have you thinking sad thoughts.

Shop fun graphic tees:

What items are you storing in your closet that you could probably toss? Let me know in the comments below!

Opening Image: Collage Vintage

Editorial Director

Lauren Eggertsen is currently the editorial director of Who What Wear and has worked at the company for over eight years, where she started as an associate editor and has since worked her way up. Lauren has over 10 years of experience in the fashion editorial space, starting her career with internships at Marc Jacobs, Marie Claire, and The Zoe Report, where she was later hired as their editorial assistant. Lauren has worked in the Los Angeles and New York Who What Wear offices but currently calls L.A. home. It is here where she leads and manages Who What Wear's fashion team and oversees all day-to-day editorial content and large tentpole moments. This includes all of the runway, trend, and shopping-driven content that ultimately helps to build a strong brand reputation within the industry. Lauren's role also includes helping to set the fashion direction for all original photo shoots and often styles many of the celebrity cover shoots, including big names like Kaia Gerber, Normani, and Kristen Stewart.

She has also attended multiple fashion weeks, including New York, London, Milan, and Paris, where her personal style has been featured on sites such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Elle. She prides herself on discovering and supporting small brands and on her knack for a good vintage shopping find. When she isn't working, she enjoys researching and dining at reputable restaurants around both her neighborhood and the globe.