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Make no mistake about it: Closet-purging is a mind game. And while we've had success with Marie Kondo's signature advice (asking if each item "sparks joy"), we just came across a new tip that's arguably more effective...and cutthroat.
In the fabulous new decluttering book Outer Order, Inner Calm, author Gretchen Ruben suggests that we consider the X factor when editing our closets. “If you can’t decide whether to keep an item of clothing, ask yourself, ‘If I ran into my ex on the street, would I be happy if I were wearing this?’" she suggests. "Often, the answer will give you a good clue.”
In other words, if you bumped into the jerk who broke your heart at Whole Foods, would you honestly be happy that they're seeing you in the tattered Oxford you've had since 1995? (No, people—the answer is no.)
New mantra: Ex-vet, purge and move along.