• Cleaning Out The Closet: Why What We Wear Matters

    Do you ever look at your closet and feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like it’s popping at the seams and yet still somehow feel you have nothing to wear?

    Can you look in your closet and honestly say you LOVE everything in it, and LOVE the way everything makes you feel when you put in on?

    If you’re anything like me, you probably wear the same clothing items all the time and have them on rotation.  You wear the same couple of shirts, same two pants, and have a pair of fancy shoes and tennis shoes that you alternate depending on the situation. I know I do! I like to wear what I love and what makes me feel good about myself. I also like to have a few “practical” items that I wear when I run my errands and do my house work. The rest of what I own just hangs in my closet and collects dust.

    Why does it hang there?? Why do we hold onto things we don’t like? Why have we programmed ourselves to justify keeping  items we don’t like and then rationalizing it by saying, “I should keep this just in case” or “One day I MAY need this.”

    We need to ask ourselves, “Why do I have a closet filled with things I don’t wear and don’t feel good in when I put them on?”

    This is an actual question I just recently asked myself.

    The answer to this question led to a massive closet over haul. HUGE bags for donation were filled that day.

    So, if any of the above has resonated with you it may be time to consider a massive closet over haul yourself. I can tell you it felt so good to get rid of everything that didn’t make me feel beautiful and confident.

    Now don’t get me wrong, at first it was hard to part with my “stuff.” Even the stuff I didn’t like! It was difficult to put perfectly nice, sometimes very expensive pants, shirts, and shoes into the bag. I questioned it but then I did a little “real talk’ with myself! I had to remind myself that I don’t like the way I feel when I put these clothes on. It was too tight, too loose, not long enough, not comfortable enough, or just made me feel overall dumpy.

    I had to ask myself this question, “Why on earth am I holding onto something that I don’t love and that doesn’t make me feel good about myself when I wear it?” 

    Seriously, why do we do this to ourselves?

    The way we dress does have an affect on our overall self confidence. According to a recent study that Brain Fodder did they found that science says that the clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitudes, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way we interact with others. I didn’t need a “study” to tell me that …. I feel it when I get dressed every morning. However, having science back it up does give us that extra little voice of confidence we may need.

    Can you think of anything hanging in your closet that may need to find a new home? If so, grab a bag (like I did) and go get those clothes! Throw them in the bag. You can do it!

    Feeling a little hesitant? Maybe you feel like you are moving a little too fast. That’s okay!  Put those clothes in a bag and find a safe spot in your house or garage. You don’t have to get rid of them today. Move at your own pace. By initiating the first step, even if you’re not “actually” finding them a new home right away, it allows you to see how much better you feel without them in your closet! Congratulations! You have begun to start to wrap your mind around the possibility of a closet down size. Sometimes the physical act of doing this will get you there faster.

    Side-note: We all need things to wear in process of downsizing so, make sure if you do hold onto something you don’t quite love (for example a pair a jeans)  you have a plan in place to save up and buy a new pair that you do love!

    Out with the old and in with the new…. the NEW you!

    Once you have done the “initial” clean out you are ready to maintain.

    Maintaining is so much easier than managing.

    I highly recommend  a quick clean out at the end of each season. If you do this at the end of every season it keeps you more accountable when it comes to collecting closet clutter. By doing it this way, all of the clothes you wore and did not wear are fresh in your mind so you no longer have to rack your brain and wonder if you wore those shorts last summer.

    Make sure when doing this that you don’t get rid of those few things you wear once or twice a year. For example, I have a little black dress I rarely wear but I keep it because it’s used only for special occasions and I love the way it makes me feel! We all have a few items like this. Make sure to make space for them.

    Cleaning out your closet every season doesn’t have to be a big overhaul, in fact, if you’re doing it regularly it probably never will be. But it will ensure that you are living a more stress-free, decluttered closet lifestyle. 

    I would like to challenge every reader to a “Closet Challenge”.  All you need to do to get started is set aside 15 minutes, grab a trash bag, and head into your closet. Once you’re in your closet, it’s simple, just ask yourself, “Do I love this and the way it makes me feel when I wear it?”  If the answer is no then into the bag it goes.

    If you decide to take the  SOS Closet Challenge let us know! We love pictures and feedback! Take pictures of your donation bags, post them, and use the hashtag #sosclosetchallenge. If your not sure where to donate shoot us an email. We work with many different organizations.

    Remember ….. start slow and go at your own pace. It will look different for everyone. Although it may be a little scary and overwhelming at first,  I can promise you that the feeling you will experience when this process is over… you just can’t put a price tag on!

    Here’s to a life of maintaining rather than managing.

    ~Shannon

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