“Just in Case” Clothes – Do You Keep ‘Em?

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a hardcore decluttering binge (like here). It’s liberating to live with less stuff, but it’s also forced me to take a closer look at this season of life and stop focusing on a past season!

On Instagram, I’m frequently asked, “What about the clothes I have just in case I need them in the future?”

It’s a great question and one that I’ve struggled with for a while.

Throughout high school and college, I was involved in a lot of different activities and clubs that required something specific: khaki pants, a long-sleeved black shirt, black shoes… the list goes on! Even over the past few years I’ve bought a special dress for swing dancing or a themed annual event. It was a hassle when I didn’t have the exact thing I thought I needed, so I started holding on to a bunch of clothing just in case I needed it again in the future.

This has resulted in an accumulation of clothes I’m keeping “just in case” I need them in the future. One of my favorite Instagram accounts, @thelaminmalist, says that we keep these items of clothing out of fear, not necessity. It might be fear that we won’t “fit in” with the crowd, fear of being unprepared, or simply the fear of letting go.

just in case clothes

A Shift in Mindset

I’ve been stuck in the mindset that I need to hold onto my just in case clothes, but in reality, I can’t remember the last time I was actually asked to wear something specific. I’m in an entirely different stage of life now. None of my current activities require me to wear specific clothing.

For special events, I’ve had a fear that I won’t fit in if I’m not totally decked out in the theme. But in reality, I can take a simple black dress that I love and dress it up for just about any occasion. Also, I’m a 25-year-old woman (I have to remind myself of this often). What’s more important to me is wearing clothes that make me feel confident, not worrying about whether or not I’ll fit in. If I feel confident, fitting in will only come naturally.

just in case clothes

So, what do we do?

If you haven’t, take a few minutes to think about your current season of life. In the past year, what type of clothing have you worn? Are they items you LOVE? You can read more about my closet philosophy here to help you sort through your clothes. Now, go through your closet, item-by-item, and pull out all of your just in case clothes. Allll those things you’re holding onto for some specific instance in your life.

If it’s a costume or an annual dress, pack it up and store it elsewhere. Since it’s not a day-to-day clothing item, It shouldn’t live with your day-to-day clothes.

For all those other just in case clothes, donate them (or try Poshmark)! It’s JUST stuff. JUST pieces of fabric that clothe your body. Your world will not explode if you get rid of it. If something comes up, borrow from a friend or find it cheap at Target or a consignment shop.

So whatever you’re holding onto – bridesmaid dresses, a black long sleeve shirt, black tennis shoes, pajamas – whatever it is you’re not wearing these days, get rid of it! It might be scary at first, but you just gotta do it. Once I dropped off my first load at Goodwill, I felt a HUGE load off my shoulders. Now, I’m addicted! If getting rid of your stuff seems too scary, box ’em up and store them away for 6 months. I bet you won’t even touch it! 🙂

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