Purge can be a frightening word; just the thought and trailer of the movies give me extreme anxiety. Depending on memories, education, and circumstances, people will have a different immediate thought when you mention this word. Luckily, when mentioned in conjunction with closet organizing, everyone gets the picture. They may not like it, but people view purging (especially our closets) as a New Year, New You type of vibe. Out with the old and in with the new! Only purging once a year, though? That’s going to take your purge to a huge level. Instead, try purging twice a year, or when every season changes.
Myself? I go for the fall/winter and spring/summer purge. My reasoning behind this has more to do with getting new items than getting rid of the old. If you’ve never been to a clothing swap before, I strongly suggest you start one. There, you can get rid of all of the stuff you haven’t worn in years (be honest with yourself; are you really going to fit that dress from high school?), things that scream what-were-you-thinking, and all the rest in between. You can also pick up some great finds that your friends (maybe even total strangers) deem not worthy of their closet. If you play your cards right, you can end up with never-been-worn items, high-end items, and accessories to boot.
You can either do this purge in a day (if you’re that sort of person), or you can continuously add to an ever-growing pile, doing a huge sweep at the season change. Keep a bag for items that you’re willing to part with and go through it before it’s time to haul it all away. If you’re already hemming about an item in your closet, but it’s not time for your purge, why keep it? Throw it into the bag and go through the items before you’re ready to donate; if you missed it while it was in hiding, put it back into your closet for another cycle and see if you wear it. If you don’t – again – it’s time to toss.
Anything that’s ripped or broken? Just throw away. Unless it has some sort of sentimental value to it and you can’t part with it yet – or ever, then it’s made for the bin.