August 14th, 2014 / posted by paularath

Cleaning Closet best

What’s in your closet?

In addition to dresses, skirts, pants and blouses, there’s a lot of psychology. There’s the little yellow sweater you bought when you were in a blue mood and needed cheering up; the size 4 skinny jeans you were so sure you would fit into when you lost a few pounds (the ones with the tag still on ’em); the haute hippie skirt you bought on an outing with your BFF to seek something to wear to a rock concert (but then chickened out and wore jeans).

Then there are the pieces you’ve worn dozens of times and fall back on day after day because they make you feel good about yourself. Yeah, the jeans that make people say “Have you lost weight?;” the lucky red suit that you’re convinced helped you get that promotion; the Island-print dress that makes you feel as carefree as a vacation day.

As we head into fall, wouldn’t this be a good time to pull things out of your closet and pay attention to what works and what doesn’t – and how each item makes you feel? It just might help you gain a better understanding of yourself and help avoid future shopping pitfalls. Of course, this is much harder than we think it’s going to be. Purging often brings out guilt and anger and loss of self-esteem. You might even need the help of a trusted friend to help you get through it.

A psychologist friend of mine once told me how she purges her closet. She takes out a big plastic bag and throws the clothes she needs to purge into the bag. Then she stacks the hangers and stares at them, because, for her, there is so much pride in an empty hanger. She then takes the bag and puts it in the linen closet and doesn’t look at it again. Later, when she can’t even remember what’s in that bag, she donates the unopened bag to charity.

I once came up with a spreadsheet to try to help me purge my closet. Across the top were the following categories: Garment Description, How Old, # of Times Worn, Circumstances of Purchase, Cost and Comments about how I felt when wearing it.

As long as I was totally honest with myself, this exercise in analysis helped me enormously. Perhaps it will help you too.

– Paula Rath


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