Posted: Jan 14, 2013 4:00 AM
Still hanging on to your skinny jeans and clothes you haven’t worn since before your kids were born? It’s time to declutter your closet!

Ask yourself: When was the last time you actually wore it?

If it's been longer than a year, it's time to purge. If that item of clothing or pair of shoes have been through a year of changing trends and seasons without leaving your closet, odds are you just don't need it.

Try This^ When you hang an item of clothing back up after wearing and washing it, place it with the hanger facing the opposite way. Occasionally, take inventory of your closet and see how many hangers are backwards (worn recently) or still hung normally (toss contenders).

Be honest: Will you ever be that skinny for those jeans?

While it is rewarding to throw on a pair of jeans you haven't worn since high school after you've lost a ton of weight — unless you're currently on a very serious plan to get yourself there — those jeans will haunt you every time you skip them over for the jeans that actually do fit.

Here's a Better Idea^ Donate the old jeans and if you happen to lose a ton of weight, reward yourself with a new pair of jeans that were made in this decade.

Get real: Is it flattering? Does it fit right? Is it comfortable?

We've all hung on to bone-crunching heels, pants we can't bend down in or dresses that cut off our circulation after two layers of Spanx and someone zipping us into them with blood, sweat and tears. Life is too short to hang on to clothes that don't make you feel good about yourself. If it doesn't flatter you, fit you right or can't be worn without Band-Aids, skip the small talk and put it in your to-go pile.

Time to toss? Sell!

One of the hardest things about purging a closet is when you realize how much you spent on the things you're no longer using. Reality check: If you're not actually using it, its value is zero as a dust collector. Instead, sell it at a consignment shop, to a resell retailer like Buffalo Exchange or even on eBay. Cash-in on the designer denim, high-end shoes and handbags that you splurged on but no longer use.

Fancy yourself a do-gooder? Donate!

If you don't need the extra spending cash, donate everything you're no longer using. You can double-dip in the feel-good department and purge your closet while giving back to a great cause. Consider donating your business clothes to places like Dress for Success, or to dozens of great causes via thrift shops that serve veterans, the homeless population or children's hospitals. When you donate the clothes you no longer use, even your outdated sweatshirts and hideous holiday sweaters can contribute to the greater good!

Read more

Be your own personal stylist
5 Steps to decluttering your home
Wear one piece many ways