A decluttering expert says to think about your ex when getting rid of old clothes

If you’re going to think about an ex, Felice Cohen says, at least use those feelings to help you get organised.

A professional organiser and former tenant of a 90-square-foot apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Cohen is now the author of “90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (…or more).”

The book is a compendium of the nuggets of wisdom Cohen gained from her six years in the micro-apartment.

Those tips include: Discard something old every time you buy something new, flip a coin to help determine an object’s fate, and store your belongings vertically as much as you can.

And when it comes time to decide whether to keep or toss an old piece of clothing, there’s a question everyone should ask: “How would I feel if I bumped into an ex while wearing this?”

“We joke (as women) of bumping into an ex and wanting to look good, not to look like a schlub or a mess,” Cohen told Business Insider via email. “It’s a tongue-in-cheek answer, but one that works for many when deciding on what to toss.”

Other useful questions might get you to a similar outcome, such as “When was the last time I wore it?” and “Am I keeping it out of habit?” But none approaches the problem as creatively or concretely as conjuring an ex-lover’s judgment.

“Of course, it depends on who broke up with who,” Cohen clarifies.

But assuming you still care what the ex thinks (be honest), the question is a useful one. Cohen says she recently used the strategy to help her cousin dispose of some old clothes, which “went ‘buh bye’ so fast.”

The same could work for you. Painful as it may be to bring an old flame’s image to mind, let your desire to be seen looking your best fuel your ability to move on.

Sayonara, ugly sweaters.

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