The Challenge of Changing Clothing Sizes: Keep or Donate?

One year ago, you were a size smaller than you are now. This shift has left you contemplating whether to keep your old clothes or donate them. You’re particularly concerned about hard-to-replace items of lasting quality. This dilemma is causing you anxiety, and you’re curious about how others handle similar situations.

We’ve all been there! Let’s figure out how to go about this effectively and drop the emotional baggage these decisions create.

Balancing Practicality and Emotion

It’s common to feel conflicted about keeping or donating clothes that no longer fit. Many people share your concern, weighing the emotional attachment and the practicality of retaining smaller-sized clothing. The decision involves a mix of personal sentiment, hope for future changes, and practicality.

Insights from Others

Many organizing clients have shared their perspectives on this issue with me. :

  1. Fashion and Fit Evolution: One perspective highlights that styles and fits evolve over time. Even if you return to your previous size, the clothes may no longer be fashionable or suitable. For instance, the cut and style of jeans have significantly changed over the years, making old clothes less relevant .
  2. Quality Classics: Those who invest in timeless, high-quality pieces find them more worth keeping. Classics are less likely to go out of style and can be a reliable part of your wardrobe if you size down again .
  3. Emotional Relief: Some suggest keeping a limited selection of smaller-sized clothing can alleviate anxiety. It’s recommended to store these items in a designated small space, like a bin, to keep them out of daily sight but accessible if needed. This approach helps manage stress and provides peace of mind without cluttering your current wardrobe .
  4. Acceptance and Grace: Another valuable insight is to give yourself grace and accept the current situation. Focusing on clothing that fits well now can improve daily comfort and confidence. If weight changes occur, addressing the wardrobe at that time may be more practical than holding onto old sizes indefinitely .
  5. Practical Considerations: Donating clothes, especially larger sizes, can be very beneficial to others. Community initiatives and thrift shops often welcome donations, and this act can be fulfilling, knowing your clothes are helping someone in need.


Given the mixed advice, a balanced approach may work best:

  • Keep Essentials: Retain a small bin of essential, high-quality items that you love and are hard to replace. Store them neatly out of daily sight.
  • Donate Generously: Consider donating the rest. Knowing your clothes are helping others can provide emotional satisfaction and reduce clutter.
  • Focus on Now: Concentrate on clothes that fit and flatter your current body. This can boost confidence and reduce daily stress.
  • Grace and Flexibility: Be kind to yourself. Bodies change, and it’s okay to adapt your wardrobe to meet your current needs.

By combining practicality with emotional well-being, you can navigate this dilemma more comfortably. Remember, the goal is to feel good in your clothes and reduce anxiety about the future. If you need help moving forward reach out and let’s get started.