De-cluttering: 3 Tips to Streamline Your Closet

It may sting a little, but you'll be happy you did it.
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I have spent the past 12 years helping clients let go of unnecessary items in their homes, offices and lives -- one area at a time. This post focuses on cutting back on clothing and shoes and streamlining your closet.

1. Comfort. I want you to take a look through the clothes in your closet and drawers with only your comfort in mind. Comfort is not just physical, it's also social and emotional. Some clothes make you feel comfortable at home, some make you comfortable at work. Take one item off a hanger, or out of a drawer, hold it in your hands and ask, "Do I feel good when I wear this? Does it make me feel beautiful or handsome or sexy or business-like ? Would I buy this today?" You can try it on if you'd like. Ask, "Do I want to continue wearing this?" If you have any hesitation, that means it's not for you.

Your comfort can not be sacrificed. Your comfort keeps you connected with your well-being. Sometimes we sacrifice our comfort for style, or to protect our self-image. We wear something that is "in," even though it feels physically or emotionally uncomfortable. Or we hang on to clothes that used to fit us when we weighed less, hoping to one day get back there, but these clothes end up becoming constant reminders that we are not happy with our bodies. The quicker they go, the sooner you'll feel free again.

Separate out the items that you want to keep from the ones you are letting go of. Put the clothes clutter in a bag for charity, and when you are done, load them up in your car and drop them off at a donation bin or charity store.

2. Shoes. Again, focus on comfort over what's in style. A pair of shoes may look beautiful, they may have cost a lot of money, you may tell yourself you need to wear them for a particular event, your friends may compliment you on them, but if they hurt you physically or emotionally, then you need to let them go. We suffer when we do something that knowingly hurts us. There's no allowable level of compromise in pain. You're starting a new tradition of taking care of yourself first. It's the key ingredient for a happy life.

3. Shopping. Clothes shopping is often used as a way to make ourselves feel better when we're feeling down. It's exciting to get the attention from the sales person, to be in a brightly lit space with exciting music and to be offered so many choices. But then we end up purchasing clothes that we either don't wear, or that make us feel uncomfortable. If you are thinking of shopping for clothes, ask yourself, "How am I feeling now?" "Do I actually need to get some clothing for myself today?" If you are feeling low, or don't feel a particular clothing need, ask yourself, "What do I need to do to take care of myself right now?" Sometimes all we need is a nap or to eat something or get a hug.

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