Undoubtably it contains at least a couple of stretched-out sports bras—not to mention that old sorority tank with holes in it or those leggings from freshman year of college.
Of course there’s a nostalgia that comes with some of these items taking up precious space in your closet, but for a lot of them, the expiration date has come and gone—and it’s really okay to let them go. To find out what to get rid of, we consulted some experts on cleaning, organization, and clothing.
From a professional organizer at TaskRabbit to the founder of Hex Performance laundry detergent and the style gurus at Brooks Running, the pros say that every piece in your studio-ready wardrobe has a specific lifespan—here they’ve explained exactly how to know when something needs to get tossed in the giveaway bin (even if it still sparks KonMari levels of joy).
Scroll down for the 5 things in your activewear drawer that you should get rid of ASAP.
1. Old t-shirts from high school (or college)
They might have sentimental value, but how often do you really work out in these? Catherine Coleman, a professional organizer with TaskRabbit, says this is one of the largest categories of I-can’t-quit-you clothing she sees in her work. Unless you will actually be devastated to see it go, ditch it, she says.
2. Anything that’s too loose or too tight
It can be great to build up a collection of fun leggings and tanks to bring to Barry’s Bootcamp, but comfort is key when it comes to working out, Coleman says. “If you’re not sure about how they fit, start wearing them to work out in and see how they perform. No one wants to wear leggings that keep falling down or a sports bra that’s restricting your breathing,” she explains. “And let go of those pieces that you hope you might fit into one day—it’s a waste of space!”
3. Anything with stains
You don’t need special expertise to spot (or sniff) the items that have been through some serious sweating. Before you toss them out, though, our expert says that you might want to give favorite items another spin (cycle) using detergent that’s specifically made for technical fabrics, like Hex, The Laundress, or Mrs. Meyer’s. Then, once everything’s been properly cleaned, toss anything that’s still yellowed or discolored.
4. Any sports bra that’s over a year old
You should never celebrate a sports bra’s birthday—instead you should replace it every six to 12 months, according to the design team at Brooks Running. (Yikes!) They say to pay attention to key signs, which include stretched bands and straps, faded tags, possible chafing spots, and a less-than-fresh scent.
Although you might pay attention to how often you switch up shoes, take time to reassess your sneakers and check to see if the cushioning has broken down, the soles are worn out, or if you feel any pain in your feet or knees. (Experts suggest you replace them every 300–400 miles.) If you need help, any specialty running store can give you an assessment and even look at your current sneakers to see how they’re performing.
Now that you’re in spring-cleaning mode, here are four genius organizing tricks Gwyneth Paltrow swears by. And if you’re giving your house a seasonal scrub-down, consider adding a statement wall to make your home truly hangout-worthy.