The very thought of carving out a precious day off to edit your wardrobe can make some of us break out in hives. The job seems overwhelming. After all where do you even begin when you have been collecting all those things from college to promotions, to change of location, to new lifestyles?
After years of collecting stuff what we are left with is a closet full of stuff which we pile onto all the other stuff thus leaving us with a mountain of stuff. In her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo, the de facto declutter queen, discusses symbolic approaches to getting rid of all that stuff in our lives. What she professes is to sensitively go through each article and decide whether that piece brings joy. If not then Marie asks that you thank those jeans (which you never wore—and you know this because the price tag is still on them) for being a part of your life and then give them away.
Her program for decluttering brings up so much emotion—the jubilation you felt when you first bought them, the overwhelming sadness that you never wore them (or you no longer fit into them) and finally the closure you must experience to say goodbye. Her philosophy has merit but really who has that kind of time or emotional bandwidth? We definitely get far too attached to our things which is the obstacle at its core. But to engage in a going-away party for every single thing we finally have the strength to part with is a bit much.
If you are ready to take the plunge to purge by all means pick up a copy of Marie’s book since she does have some wonderful suggestions regarding organizing. After you’ve read it please pass it onto a friend as years down the road when you rediscover it covered in dust next to your Paleo Diet book with the jam stains, you will have lost your original excitement and will forgo giving it away and just toss it where it will only end up in landfill.
A general rule for letting go of your clothing is if they don’t fit, are worn out or are reminiscent of a time when disco was king get rid of them!
A good decluttering will definitely bring you peace once you’ve done it. However, the process could bring you anxiety. So in an effort to get the job done with the least bit of drama here are my suggestions for getting through the process of bringing order to chaos.
~Drink; Drinking can give you the strength you need in order to complete the task at hand. If you don’t drink then eat ice cream—it has the same effect on your pleasure receptors.
~Turn Up the Music; If you approach this project the same way as you would throwing a party you will certainly have more fun. Loud music also has the benefit of drowning out the voices in your head that might say, “keep me!”
~Take a Picture; If after a few glasses of wine you still can’t bring yourself to part with your Bolivian llama pullover with the face of a Yak woven into the front of the sweater then put it on and take a selfie. Now take a look at your selfie. Still want to keep it? I thought not!