Keeping clothes that are too small

Clothes Shopping - no, this isn’t meMy closet has a life of its own. There are clothes in my current size for different seasons, and clothes in two sizes smaller than where I am now, also for different seasons. I’ve gotten rid of all of my bigger clothes; this is as big as I intend do get.

I’m getting ready to move soon and have started weeding through everything in the house, putting items in “keep”, “toss” or “donate” piles as appropriate for condition and what they actually are. So far I’ve taken out multiple bags of clothes to donate to charity, mostly things I don’t like and am not/will not wear regardless of whether they fit.

I still have clothes out the wazoo, which I hadn’t expected. I truly thought I’d done a better job when I put them away in the first place of weeding stuff, but there is still a lot of it.

I’m confused and a bit overwhelmed. Some of those sweaters and tops and dresses are things I really like and think I would wear when my body cooperates to put me in that size again. But is it realistic to keep everything? It’s hard to know which clothes go with which size and I might really want to just go shopping for new things. At the rate I’m going, it could take a while.

Keeping the current size clothes is necessary or I’d walk around naked (or stay home that way). Not a happy thought. What do I keep of the smaller sizes? Only keep one size smaller than now and get rid of the rest? Get rid of all of it and buy things again as I get smaller?

I don’t want to pack up and move things that aren’t practical. What do you think? I could use your advice.

5 thoughts on “Keeping clothes that are too small

  1. I would be go through everything and if it is a classic design, I would keep (skirts, pants, white blouses, dresses that are “timeless”). Or maybe take it all to a consignment store and earn a little money on them.

    I had six footlockers full of clothing and different sizes (the smallest was 14). Right before we moved from OK to Houston, I gave away everything wool. Which helped a bunch. I also gave away all my too big clothes, but I have kept all the smaller things that would still be considered stylish, which wasn’t much. I now am down to two foot lockers, and one holds smaller clothes, and the other winter stuff that currently fits.

  2. Kate


    What a great topic! Those of us who have been experiencing weight fluctuations, I’m sure, have been faced with similar issues, moving or not!

    I’m a bit older than you and my personal situation a bit different I’m sure. Downsizing is my goal and I began this journey about seven years ago. It began out of necessity and has continued with intention. Refining the art of sorting and downsizing has also been a slow process (rather than one event) and not as painful as initially thought. Actually I’m enjoying owning less (not just clothing but other household goods as well).

    In the midst of moving (and storing) several times, I did find myself moving boxes of clothing which, with hindsight, I wish I had not. For me, once things are boxed and out of sight, they are ‘gone’ anyway! Moving unwanted goods can be expensive too. Although I occasionally miss a piece of clothing, or other household item I recycled in some manner (and this is REALLY TRUE) RARELY have I been significantly or negatively impacted by that feeling. In the case of donating to charities or recycling to friends, I suspect knowing that the goods were getting good use by someone else was consolation to me. In the last five years I suspect I have reduced the number of books in my home by 75%. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME. In my heart of hearts, I never thought this possible. When I checked my priorities, I found is necessary and over several years I have accomplished this. Two weeks ago the latest batch of three sizable boxes went to a friend who is absolutely delighted! And I am LIGHTER as a result and happier too.

    For me, some truths and possibilities:
    *The more I sort, distill and refine my clothing and household items, the easier it is to do so. Also, I seem to be happier!
    *Especially if I am ‘stuck’ and can’t seem to get on with the job of decision making, I bring in a girlfriend. This, I believe especially applies to clothing. Years ago it was suggested to me that once a person actually touches or picks up and holds a piece of clothing, it’s YOURS and is much more difficult to send it away! A possibility may be to have that girlfriend hold up the clothing, you comfortably ensconced in a chair across the room from your closet. You can then say yes, no or maybe ……… and keep moving forward.

    I have not much addressed the decision making that surrounds the question of which sizes to keep. My own feeling recently is to make effort to be comfortable with my current size and not to be carried away with the amount of clothing I own. This is not to say we should be unconscious about our size, just reasonable.

    I’ll be anxious to see comments from others!

    Good Luck to you!

  3. I think you should keep a couple of sizes smaller at least — but my suggestion would be to only keep the pieces you really like a lot and box the sizes up separately. Then you don’t have it all in your way and you can get out what you need when you’re ready for it.

    I don’t know about you, but I tended to buy a lot of stuff that was just “eh” and that stuff isn’t worth keeping in any size.

  4. Lori

    As you know, I have a lot of clothes and I’ve been systematically getting rid of them. I have about three boxes of too big clothes. Why am I keeping them? A lot of mixed reasons but my main reason is that I really loved some of the tops and the pants were hard to get (I’m tall so I have trouble finding the right length). As I keep this off (and I will!), I’ll probably dispose of them. They are out of sight and out of mind.

    I have a box of too small clothes from my past but it’s only one box.

    I guess I’d keep the classics (as per Grumpy’s suggestion) that you really like in small sizes as I know some of the stores you shop and they are very nice clothes. Box them up in sizes like Jen suggested so you can get to them easily.

    I have the same problem with books and CDs; I’m going through my CDs, copying them on my library and backing that up and getting rid of them. It’s a bit harder with books but I’ve downsized a fair number of them.

  5. I think Miss Organization Jen is on target — keep what you love, box them according to size & dispose of the others.

    But keep what you love! They’re an insurance policy my love.

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