I never meant for it to be like this. I can undoubtedly tell you it comes from my lack of self-esteem when it comes to the way my body looks in clothes. My negative self-image has turned into a giant mess and additional anxiety in what should be my oasis. It has completely taken over my closet, bathroom, and has even begun spilling out into my bedroom.
I walk into my closet, which is a hot mess express. I look for something to wear through my tons of clothes. I have more clothes than my closet can physically hold, but I only wear the same 10 or so outfits. I try an outfit on, I look at myself in the mirror, I pick myself apart from top to bottom, and I take the outfit off.
The outfit lands in my “reject pile”. This is a term my husband and I are both familiar with. I laugh about it, and make jokes about my ever growing pile, but its anything but funny.
This “reject pile” is a mountain on the side of my tub, its a ticking time bomb avalanche on the half wall between my tub and bathroom vanity. Its an ever growing collection shoved at the top of my closet, waiting to collapse on an unsuspecting victim.
The clothes are the biggest problem. But they are not the only problem. I also have a problem with bags. Backpacks, purses, gym bags, etc. I will carry a bag for a while, ever collecting little trinkets and papers and pens that might one day be useful. I decide to change my bag with my outfit or season, and all of those unnecessary trinkets get left behind in the move. The semi-full bag then gets stuffed in the closet to never be emptied again. Its a vicious cycle, really.
I hate shoes. I really, really hate shoes. I hate wearing them, that is. But I love buying them. I will buy a new pair of shoes, typically on a sale or inexpensively. I will wear them for quite a while, and then they will end up in the closet floor, in a giant unorganized pile. Sometimes, depending on the occasion, I will rummage through and rescue a pair to be worn once again. Sometimes, they just stay there, collecting dust, being tossed from side to side, and end up forgotten.
Remember when I said I binged Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? One of her little tips is to tidy things in little boxes. I used that as an excuse to buy cute little storage boxes. These boxes ended up in a little cube storage shelf, and the top shelf of the closet. What’s in them? I have no earthly idea. I know some of them are busting at the seams. Some of them haven’t been touched in two years or better. But they’re organized, so that was a solution, right? *Insert eyeroll*
Throughout this mindset shift, one thing I have accepted is that if I don’t use it, or can’t even tell you what’s in it… I probably don’t need it. This weekend is Thanksgiving. I have made a new commitment to myself to be Thankful for what I have. I have committed to myself, and now to all of you, to use what I have before buying anything else new. This constant cycle of always bringing in new, without using or purging old is what got me into this mess. It ends now.
Going through my closet, purging the bags, clothes, shoes, and boxes is freeing. I can choose the clothes I feel confident and comfortable in. I can give myself permission to stop holding onto clothes that don’t actually fit. I can reclaim my beautiful retreat and begin enjoying the process of creating a space that I love.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- These clothes don’t fit – am I actively doing something right now to make them fit again (fitness, weight-loss or weight gain)? If no, toss them. If yes, Will they still by my style when they fit again? If no, toss them.
- The items in these bags haven’t been touched since the last time I used the bag. Are the items important? Toss it.
- The items in these boxes have been here for months on end without being touched. Chances are, that means they’re unimportant. Toss it.
I already told you all in my last room purge that I contacted my local domestic violence resource center to ensure they take donations. Clothing is one of those things that people often don’t even think about donating. But the truth is, many domestic violence victims leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. By giving these clothes that do not suit my style, fit, or get worn, another woman possibly has the opportunity to dress for a new job interview, find her own style again, and regain a sense of self. This brings me a level of comfort and satisfaction in discarding some of my less used items.
As promised, here is the checklist for your closets. Closets tend to be quite individual, so this check list will be a bit high-level and vague. I encourage you to assess your own closet and determine your priorities. Why are you doing this? What are your closet goals? What do you want to keep? How do you want your closet to look? How do you want to feel about your closet? What will it take to achieve that?
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