KonMari Method of folding
Picture of Virginia Wells

Virginia Wells

What do I do with clothes that are too big or small for me?

A lot of my clients ask me, “How do I store the clothes that are currently too small for me?” Or, “What do I do with the clothes too big for me?”

I’m sure you’d guess that first off I’d say – get rid of them. Yes, that’s where I start, however, sometimes it can be reasonable to hold onto a few things.

Considering this angle can also be a good way to start a wardrobe declutter too. Why not pull out anything you know is too big or too small? Then you can decide what to do with the rest.

Do you have clothes that are too small?

If you have clothes that are currently too small for you, consider these points:

  • Are you being reasonable with the amount of weight you need to lose to fit back into it? If it’s a pipe dream or it has been many years since you’ve been that size, it might be time to part with the extra small sizes. You might be dealing with ‘the promise’ it gives you.
  • Will your body be the same shape as before? We often can lose weight in different areas each time so that outfit might not fit us the same way.
  • Is it really just a nice memory and that’s why we want to keep it? In this case, it belongs in your memory box.
  • How many of a smaller size do you really want to keep? Set a limit now around how much space you want these clothes to take up.
  • Is it all in good condition?

With these questions answered, you’ll have a better idea of how much to keep. With what you’ve decided to keep, break it into size order. That’s all size 10s together, all size 12s together… Once they’re in size order, things are much less overwhelming. I recommend separating each size into the type of clothes. For example all pants together, all shirts together. This allows you to then cull items if you have too many of one type.

Storage Strategy

To store them, I would recommend that they’re put into boxes or tubs out of your ‘prime real estate’. That means, your wardrobe and drawers in the bedroom should only house what you are wearing. So what next? Let’s say you’re a size 14. You’ve got a bunch of size 10s and 12s you’d like to keep. If you’ve only got one box worth of stuff, pop all your size 10s in at the bottom and then the size 12s as you’ll be a size 12 first.

If you have more than one box, separate the sizes out. Size 10 in one box, and Size 12 in another. If you have more than one box per size, keep like with like. All shirts and jumpers in one box, and pants and skirts in another. Make sure you label the box appropriately for an easy find. For example Size 12 Bottoms, Size 12 Tops & Jumpers.

Do you have clothes that are too big?

In this instance, I highly encourage people to part with things that are too big. Keeping them makes it too easy to put weight back on, as you have something comfortable to wear, waiting around. However, I’ve had several clients whose weight fluctuates frequently, and re-purchasing clothes every few months is not an option. If this is you, then the principles are the same as sorting and storing the smaller clothes above.

Group sizes together. Then group like with like. All shirts together, all dresses together. Cull out what you don’t want anymore, or have an excess of. Then store them in boxes by the size and type of item. Label appropriately. The only difference is, the next size up (to what you’re currently wearing), would sit on the top. With the largest size at the bottom of the box (if two sizes are being stored together).

But where do I store it all?

If there is room in your wardrobe, put them in an area of the wardrobe that isn’t used a lot. Generally up high, or down low is best. If there is no room in your wardrobe, then consider a spare room or the garage. Make sure it’s in a place that isn’t going to get damp.

Tip: This is an easy way to get clothes from the “currently worn” section to the “Too small or Too Big” section. You might notice something is too small only after you’ve put it on. In some cases you might wear it for the day and vow to give it away or store it once it’s washed. From here, it can be hard to remember which were too small or too big. So, the quick solution is, put a safety pin in the collar. Once it comes out of the wash, the safety pin will remind you that this shirt is too small. Sorted! Pop it in the “Too Small” box you set up.

Find this useful? Please share it with a friend.

Share this post

Scroll to Top