As much as I admire minimalists, let’s just say I have as much in common with them as I do with an NFL quarterback. Not only do I legitimately enjoy the act of accumulating
crap stuff, but I prefer to hang on to that stuff, rarely purging my apartment of anything because, hello, you never know when you might need a thrifted yellow vinyl skirt.
I’m also the first to admit that this never particularly bugged me—even when I occasionally feel like I’m drowning in things, I’m fully immune to the click-bait organizing tips that permeate the web.
It wasn’t until Melanie Charlton Fascitelli—the founder and creative director of New York City-based couture closet design company Clos-ette—casually busted out a closet-culling tip that’s quite literally changed my outlook on purging.
Instead of the hackneyed “have I worn it in a year” nonsense, Fascitelli’s method for deciding what stays and what goes is as follows: She suggests asking yourself “If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this item?” If the answer is no, out it goes.
So, why is this trick more effective than others? For starters, there are plenty of things I own that I don’t wear daily but I’d still absolutely purchase today (that gorgeous beaded jacket with serious shoulder pads I found in a $10 bin at my favorite thrift store, my original Kate Spade mini backpack I saved up for in the ’90s, a pink silk Lanvin blouse I got on eBay.)
Plus, my sense of what I really want can change on a dime—yes, I had to have that $17 crop top from Forever 21 four months ago, but theres’s a pretty solid chance that I don’t foresee myself reaching for it ever again, so why hang on to it?
There you have it. The one simple question that’s helped me trim my overstuffed closet by 25% this year—and I strongly encourage you to give it a try—it can’t hurt.