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Do you have clothing with tags still attached? Evaluate why that is. Perhaps you like the feeling of new clothes and know that once you remove the tags, it will no longer be new. But isn’t the point to wear the new clothes we buy, not keep them in the same condition as they were in the store?

When new clothes enter our homes, we should welcome them to the club. Before placing them in my closet with the rest of my clothes, I cut the tags, typically wash them (as other people may have tried them on), and then put them away.

Clothes represent different things to different people. What do new clothes represent to you?

Safety and security?

Wealth and success?

Self-expression and style?

Necessity and simplicity?

Identify your relationship with your clothes. This will add clarity to future shopping decisions.

Is there another reason you have clothes with tags in your closet? Is it possible to love something in the store, only to come home and realize it’s not really your style and to have buyer’s remorse?

Yes, it’s entirely possible. Give yourself permission right now to let go of these items.

It’s easier said than done, because guilt can be one of the biggest obstacles in your journey of decluttering. You don’t like that shirt, but it was 50% off and such an amazing deal that it would be wasteful to discard.

Think of it this way. You bought it in the past—maybe it was a wasteful decision to buy then. You must decide what to do with it now. Do you continue to allow it to take up valuable closet space, or be grateful that it taught you something about your tastes or even shopping tendencies?

In their book, The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin write, “If you bought yourself an item you never use, remember that we all make mistakes. Don’t double down on the mistake by keeping it.”

Learn from your shopping decisions gone wrong (we’ve all been there) and decide to choose more wisely next time.

We shouldn’t do anything in our lives out of guilt. This includes holding on to clothes (or anything else) simply because we think we should.

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