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13 Surprising Reasons Why You Have Too Many Clothes

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON May 19, 2024

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If you’re struggling with too many clothes, then you need to understand the reasons why – because when you know this, you can stop the excess before it builds up. Which of these 13 reasons are you guilty of?

13 Surprising Reasons Why You've Got Too Many Clothes

Have you ever found yourself spending hours trying to dig through piles of clothes for that one outfit / item you want to wear? 

If this sounds familiar, you probably have (and probably know you have!) too many clothes. 

Don’t worry though, it’s a common issue that many of us face – and there are ways to stop them!

The thing is, if you can start to understand the reasons behind your excess clothes, then you can start to make changes to lessen the load.

So first things first – let’s look at the 13 main reasons you might have found yourself with all those clothes, and work out which are hampering your goal of a clutter free wardrobe.

2 Emotional Reasons For Too Many Clothes

Remember, emotional attachment is a natural part of owning clothes, but it’s essential to strike a balance between holding on to treasured items and having a manageable, functional wardrobe without hoarding clothes in the process.

#1 – Sentimental Attachment

It’s quite common to develop emotional attachments to certain items of clothes. 

You might have a special memory associated with a particular outfit or it could have been a gift from someone important to you. 

And those sentimental reasons can make it really difficult to let go of these items, even if they no longer serve a practical purpose in your wardrobe. 

Remember that it’s normal to feel attached to some clothes, but it’s also important to evaluate whether you genuinely need them or if it’s time to declutter and let someone else enjoy using it.

TIP: Take a photo of the item and then let the physical item go. Or find a picture of you in that outfit and put it somewhere you can see often.

#2 – Guilt For Wasting Money

A common obstacle to decluttering clothes is feeling guilty for parting with items you’ve spent money on. 

You may worry that letting go of these clothes is a waste of the resources you used to buy them. 

The thing is – you’ve already spent the money on the items, it’s gone.

Hanging on to what you spent the money on won’t make it any more valuable than letting it go, if you never wear it….

In fact, it may even cost you more if you keep it – in storage, fixing, etc…

To tackle this issue, you could consider either selling items for some cash back, or donating your unwanted items to charity, so they can continue to be useful for someone else.

3 Fashion Related Reasons For Too Many Clothes

#3 – Lack Of Confidence

One of the reasons you may have too many clothes is that you’re not sure how to put outfits together. 

This leads to an increased need for options in your wardrobe, as you believe having more variety will help you create the perfect ensemble. 

To address this issue, try experimenting with different combinations when you’re out shopping for new clothes, and then focusing on having a base of items that can be easily mixed and matched. 

This way, you can reduce the number of items in your wardrobe while still creating versatile outfits.

#4 – Don’t Know Your Style

Another possible reason for having too many clothes is that you haven’t yet identified your personal style. 

Without a clear sense of your style preferences, you may end up accumulating items that don’t really suit your tastes or complement each other. 

To find your unique style, take note of the outfits you feel most comfortable and confident in. 

Analyse the colours, patterns, and cuts that suit you best, and make an effort to curate a wardrobe / drawer of fewer clothes that resonate with your personal style.

Related: Why Knowing Your Style Is Crucial To Have A Minimal Wardrobe

#5 – Fast Fashion Influence

Fast fashion has a significant impact on our clothing choices. 

The constant refresh of trends and mass of cheap clothes available entices us to keep buying new things to stay current. 

Trouble is – as fast as they appear in the shops, the fashion can change – and then we’re off buying the new things because they’re cheap and cheerful. And so it continues…

The only people winning here are the shops!

To counteract the influence of fast fashion, consider investing in timeless, high-quality items that will last for years. 

Also, make a conscious effort to limit impulse purchases and shop for clothes that truly reflect your style and needs.

And on the subject of limiting purchases…

2 Key Reasons Why Bargain Hunting Leaves You With Too Many Clothes

#6 – You Love Sales!

We all love a discount, and it’s likely one of the reasons you have too many clothes. 

When you see sales in your favourite stores, it’s hard to resist the temptation of buying new pieces, even if you don’t really need them. You might justify your purchases with thoughts like “it’s too good of a deal to pass up” or “I’ll wear it at some point.”

Next time you’re shopping during a sale, ask yourself if you really need the item or if you’re just attracted by the low price. 

To avoid adding unnecessary items to your wardrobe, try setting a monthly shopping budget or making a list of items that you genuinely require.

#7 – Charity Shop And Second Hand Purchases

Another factor that contributes to a packed wardrobe is the thriving second hand clothing market. 

It’s all too easy to hoard clothing from these places because there’s a lot less (if any) guilt about the costs involved.

To keep your wardrobe from overflowing, establish a limit on the number of items you purchase per trip to shops like these. 

Also, make it a point to donate or sell any items in good condition before adding new ones to your collection. 

This practice of ‘one in, one out’ will help balance your wardrobe and ensure you avoid owning too many clothes.

3 Reasons That Lack of Organisation Causes You To Have Too Many Clothes

#8 – You Wanted To Return It But Left it Too Late

We’ve all been there – you bought an item with the intention of returning it if it didn’t fit or suit you. 

However, time slipped away, and you missed the return window, and now there’s lots of unworn clothing taking up valuable space in your wardrobe. 

To avoid this situation, try to be more proactive with returns by setting an alarm in your phone to pack the item up and return it asap. 

TIP: Ideally, don’t let anything sit in your home once you’ve decided you don’t want it. Get it packaged and put it by your front door ready to post back the next time you head to the shops.

#9 – You Have A Really Unorganised Wardrobe

A messy wardrobe makes it difficult to see what you actually have, leading you to think you need more clothes. 

Items get lost in the chaos, and you end up buying similar items again, convinced that you don’t own anything like it. 

How many of one specific type of item do you really need…?!

Organising your clothes can help you to see what you have at a glance, instead of having to rummage around each and every time you get dressed.

Funny - Jeans I own

#10 – You Have Very Infrequent Clear Outs

Failing to declutter clothes regularly is a definite reason why you’ve found yourself with too many. 

An overcrowded wardrobe can make it difficult to put together outfits and may lead to unnecessary shopping. 

Schedule regular clear outs to make sure you get rid of old clothes that no longer serve you. 

This is a great idea to do each change of season, when you’re likely to need different clothes due to weather changes.

If you’re moving things around anyway – why not double check that you’ll wear each piece the next time the season comes round, or if they’ve now served their purpose with you and can be let go.

pile of clothes with legs sticking out on a yellow background

3 Life Related Ways That Can Lead To Too Many Clothes

#11 – Perceived Future Use

Another reason you may have too many clothes is the belief that you’ll find a use for them in the future. 

You might keep certain outfits on the off-chance that they’ll be perfect for a future event or situation.

For example – a dress that you wore once for a special occasion, that you may need again (even though you never really attend that kind of event, and if you did, you’d want to get something new anyway…).

To help combat this, try focusing on the present and only keep each clothing item you know you’ll use soon.

#12 – You Need(ed) Specific Clothes For Hobby Or Job

If you’ve started a new job with required outfits or developed an interest in a hobby that demands certain attire, you could find yourself accumulating more clothes. 

It’s essential to organise these clothes by making sure you only have as much as you need and no more, and then creating space for them in your wardrobe. This will ensure you don’t overwhelm your closet with excess items.

Lastly, equally important is to let them go when you no longer need them.

#13 – Weight Fluctuations

Another reason you might have too many clothes is due to weight changes over the years. 

You may have clothes in different sizes to accommodate for any weight loss or gain, and it can be hard to let go of these items, because you may well believe that there’s the possibility you might need them again in the future.

To find a solution, store your clothes by size and only keep out the ones that currently fit you. 

Store the other clothes in a separate location so that they don’t clutter your wardrobe, and reevaluate whether you’ve needed them after a few months or not.

TIP: The only time I’d suggest keeping different sized clothes is if you’re pregnant, because you’re very likely to go back to your ‘usual’ size after the baby has been born.

13 Surprising Reasons Why You've Got Too Many Clothes

And there you have it! There are lots of eye opening reasons why you might have too many clothes. 

To tackle this issue, it’s essential to prioritise and value what you own, and consider your wardrobe more consciously. 

Understand your style, and start to look at creating more of a capsule wardrobe where you have key items that you love and use regularly.

With any clothes that you do have, make sure they’re organised properly and have enough storage space to help you see them and get to them easily.

By doing these things, you can create a more streamlined and manageable wardrobe, making your daily dressing experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

Read Next: 7 Key Reasons To give You Motivation To Declutter Clothes

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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...

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