When it comes to cleaning out our closets, we start off with great intentions. We imagine the streamlined, clutter-free wardrobe of our dreams, and vow that this time, we're going to do a full-speed-ahead, take-no-prisoners approach to our wardrobes. We get the trash bags and donate bins ready, take a deep breath, and then..... Oh, and then. Then we start second guessing our choices, telling ourselves, :"Well, maybe I'll wear this someday" or "I spent a lot of money on that. I should hang on to it", Sound familiar? I've seen a lot of closets, and a lot of angst over getting rid of clothes in my career, and here are just 5 reasons I often hear for hanging on to "stuff". Which ones resonate with you?
I Spent a Lot of Money on It
Perhaps you're hanging on to your first pair of premium denim jeans, circa Britney Spears in 2004, or a dress you bought last minute for an event when you had nothing to wear. (you know--where you're willing to spend ANYTHING just to have something that fits and looks appropriate). Either way, you're not wearing these things now, but getting rid of them just feels so wasteful. Here's the deal, friends--the money is gone, and leaving items unworn in your closet isn't going to increase their value. If they're still current, sell them on eBay or Poshmark, but if the resale value is also gone, simply donate them.
It Was a Gift
I ran across this quote from Marie Kondo the other day, and it answers the "It was a gift" problem perfectly:
“Presents are not 'things' but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don’t need to feel guilty for parting with a gift. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it.” - Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I highly recommend never giving clothes as gifts. I see more clothing gifts kept because of guilt than I ever see kept out of love. Thank the gift giver, wear it once (take a picture for good measure) and then donate.
It Might Come Back In
Chances are, at some point, you bought an item whose time has passed. Don't hang on to it, thinking it might come back into fashion at some point. First, you could be carrying those shoes around for 20 years waiting for their return to glory. The bigger challenge, though, is that while fashion is cyclical, trends always come back reinterpreted a little differently. Your items will still look outdated, and you'll look clueless, Here are a few dated items that might be hanging out in your closet!
I Might Want/Need to Wear This Someday
Right now, go find "someday" on your calendar. Go ahead, I'll wait. You couldn't find it? You don't say! Someday doesn't exist, and there will NEVER come a day where you'll want to wear clothes that make you feel frumpy, self-conscious, or physically uncomfortable. The very best day to clean out your closet is when your need to do laundry is at a crisis point. In your closet are all the things you're saving for a '"someday" just like this, and yet you still don't want to wear the things in there. Let them go, The wardrobe doomsday scenario in your head is never going to happen.
This Used to Be My Favorite
You know, Hi-C Ecto-cooler used to be my favorite drink (yes, I'm a child of the 80's!). Then I discovered Diet Coke. Then coffee. Then wine. My point is, my tastes evolved, just like your style probably has. Hanging on to items because you used to love them would be like me stocking my fridge with Ect0-cooler. Why would I do that, when I need the room for wine? Let yourself grow and move on. Remember with fondness the person who loved that floral Laura Ashley dress, and then let it go to make room for clothes that better reflect who you are today.
Remember, your closet should be a boutique you shop from each morning, not a museum filled with artifacts of the life/body/style you had years ago.
This month, I'm encouraging women to Cut the Clutter. You can't have a fabulous wardrobe until you're ready to let go of the wardrobe noise you're hanging on to, and I want to help you do just that! I've got a FREE 5-day Cut the Clutter challenge starting April 2. Over the course of 5 days, I'll show you how to edit your closet in just 30 minutes per day and what to get rid of to get started on the stress-free, clutter-free wardrobe you've always wanted. Sign up for the challenge now, if you haven't already!
Leave a comment and let me know which reason for hanging on to things resonated with you the most!