A little while ago, my lovely friend Wandie came over to help me weed whack my closet. I wanted my friend Allison there too but she was in Australia, so we poured out a little liquor for her. I requested Wandie’s help because she is a very stylish lady as featured in Lucky Magazine, Closet Visit and soon on StyleLikeU. She is like, way cool. She is also no-nonsense but hilarious – the perfect person to guide me through the emotional tsunami that occurs when I part with clothing. As many of us are, I am extremely emotionally attached to clothes. Even the ones that have sat in my closet for 3 years with the tags on. Especially the ones that have sat in my closet for 3 years with the tags on. Clothes represent times in my life where I rewarded (or one could argue, punished) myself, times I bonded with my mom (we tend to show love through shopping) and ideas of who I want to be (and clearly am not). I sort of anthropomorphize things too, and I feel bad for my clothes when I reject them. I believe that a Toy Story equivalent is in the pipelines about a motley crew of wardrobe favorites as I type this…
Far be it from me to tell you how to pare down your wardrobe. That I cannot do. I can only say find someone who you love and trust, who will be brutally honest with you. With that, here is how to emotionally deal with someone ransacking your closet (and your soul).
1. Start on your own.
Put aside the items that you already question. You can start with those and find a common ground without taking anything too personally. Um, and hide any clothes that if someone says, “That’s the ugliest thing I have ever seen”, you won’t be able to take it. I learned that the hard way.
2. Do not watch Toy Story around the time of your closet clean-out.
Maybe don’t watch it ever, depending how sensitive you are. I still wonder if some of my shirts are okay. Don’t even get me started about my Breyer model horses. Those are off limits! They are safe and happy at my parents house!!!
3. Have a glass of wine on hand. Or a teddy bear. Or your Spirit Animal.
It helps to take some of the sting away while someone shouts, “Um, were you 260 pounds and really ugly when you bought this?” or “GET THAT AWAY FROM US! IT’S HIDEOUS!” It also emboldens your closet assassin to um, say things like that.
4. It’s all right to cry.
That’s all. A proper friend will make you laugh, too, through the tears.
5. Think of all the new clothes that will fit!
This was my brother’s exact concern about the show Hoarders: After things are cleared out, he worries that the hoarders think, “I can fit sooooo much crap in here now!” But really, in your closet, some room will be welcome for new favorites. And you weren’t wearing that maternity top (yes, maternity) that you thought would be a cute mini dress. You just weren’t.
6. Imagine who you really want be and remember who you are.
I have never truly wanted to be a free bohemian lady. It just isn’t my jam, as much as I love the look on others. So I had to face facts and ditch the flowy patterned tops that had never seen the light of day. What kind of boho life was that for them? The minimalist items now monopolize my closet and I am no longer confused about who I am. Now, if you are someone who can constantly change it up (I hate you, love you and admire you), ignore this. Just do you.
7. Some things just need to be tailored.
You can breathe a sigh of relief here.
8. Think of all of the people who will really enjoy your clothes and wear them properly.
There are people that will love the hell out of the things you ignore… They (and the clothes) deserve it!
9. Think of how bummed you get when you look at all the things you don’t wear.
I swear, having things cleared out lifted this chronic guilt I had from neglecting half my closet!
10. It’s easier to work with a smaller wardrobe.
I’ve heard this time and time again from tremendously stylish people. A smaller wardrobe lends to greater creativity and ironically, more outfits.
11. Imagine a closet where you LOVE everything.
Why have things that make you mad or sad every time you look at them? Maybe I am crazy, but a lot of things were just really pissing me off.
12. Maybe you will rediscover something great or realize that something doesn’t look disastrous.
I fell back in love with a few items that I had sort of forgotten about. Or, check out the adventure that Hellogiggles writer Elizabeth Brown had!
If you are closet challenged like me, find someone to help you out. Ask a trusted friend, or I’m sure Hellogiggles own style maven Grasie Mercedes can give great advice! Have fun and good luck!
Image via mrsociallyactive.blogspot.com