Culling Your Closet

A Quarantine Activity for the Bored Transgender Person

Most of us are now stuck at home, weathering out the COVID-19 pandemic as best we can. For some it’s business as usual if we’re just natural hermits who love to stay cooped up in our jammies all day, but for others I know you’re probably going stir-crazy.

Many transgender people often wind up with a closet full of clothing designed for their biological sex and not their identified gender. Even if it’s a unisex style, before we transition, we often shop in the department that fits our sex rather than our gender. Now that you’re transitioning, or have transitioned, why not take this time to go through your closets and weed out all the pieces of clothing you know you’ll never wear anymore?

Empty Your Closet

The first step is to just take everything out of your closet. I mean literally everything. Every stitch, button, and pump. Every box. Everything!

I usually dump it all into a large pile in the middle of my bedroom. This forces me to deal with it and not ignore it like I have been for the past five years. As long as it’s out-of-sight, it remains out-of-mind. It’s much harder to ignore a giant pile of stuff in the middle of the floor.

Now that the closet is completely empty, it’s also a good time to give it a thorough clean. If there’s carpeting on the floor, vacuum it. Also give everything a good wipe down and dusting. It’ll be nice to put your closet back together if it’s clean first.

Sort, Sort, Sort!

Next, you want to sort. I usually go with three piles: donate, discard, and keep. I have a large collection of mostly unisex clothing, and as long as they were in a masculine cut, I usually opted to keep them. Anything that was in a more feminine cut I either donated, if it was in good condition, or discarded, if it was clearly falling apart and unwearable. For you trans ladies, naturally you’d be doing the opposite of me, keeping more feminine cut items and donating or discarding the more masculine pieces.

Usually once I’ve done that, I go through the donate pile a couple more times to make sure the pieces truly are in good enough condition to donate. As you evaluate each piece, just keep in the back of your mind, if you saw this in a store, is it in a condition where you’d be willing to buy it, even at a steep discount? If the answer is no, throw it out.

Once that’s done, all the donation pieces should be packed up, and then you can work on the discard pile. If there are pieces in there that you can cut up and reuse as dusting rags or for other household projects, then sort those out for later. Only then should you take what remains and dump them in the trash.


Once you have dealt with your donate and discard piles, the final step is to take all your kept items and reorganize your clean closet with them. You may find you have a lot of extra space you didn’t before, so maybe now is a good time to do some online clothes shopping?! If you prefer shopping in person, then try to squirrel away some of that stimulus check we’re getting (if you’re in the US). Then plan a shopping spree once the retail stores reopen, on your way to dropping off your donation items to the thrift store or charity of your choice!

That would be a good way to help restart the economy, if we all go out and shopped sometime in the first week when the quarantines are lifted and the stores reopen. It’s definitely something I look forward to doing. I’ve been slowly refilling my closet with clothes since I purged all my things last year, and it’s been fun to have an excuse to buy new clothes!

Transgender writer and author. I primarily write on LGBTQ issues, with a focus on the transgender community.

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