As we are tackling our master bedroom and the closet this week; we need to look at where all those clothes come from. Do you think that we may have too many. This is why we put off doing laundry till Mount Washmore takes over our laundry room. In order to get the laundry put away you are going to have to declutter at least one drawer per family member. When a job seems too hard we put it off: Putting clothes away is tough because there is no place to put them. This makes it hard to establish our habit of getting dressed to shoes. Our closets are over flowing and you can’t put another shirt in the drawers. No wonder you put it off! Let’s look at what all those clothes are saying to us on a daily basis.
Our journey through life starts with our first breath and it ends with our last one. Since our birth we have packed many bags for our trip. We are born naked but then we have to put clothes on our bodies. These clothes tell our history; from the baby shoes we took our first steps, to the dress we wore to the prom, our wedding dress and then to the pregnant clothes we wore when we gave birth. I’ll wager that your closet recounts many of the chapters of your life.
Our closets are filled to over flowing. Each time we open our closet door we have a conversation with those clothes. If the truth be known we actually wear only a few items in our closet. The rest are there to beat us up and pretend to rescue us. Our clothes have a way of making us feel bad.
Just think about your wedding dress that no longer fits your body. What are your first thoughts? How could I let this happen to me? I looked so good that day. Then I want you to think about how you starved yourself to death to fit into that dress in the first place. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we just be happy with ourselves just like we were? We were trying to fit into an unrealistic picture that only stays with us for that fleeting moment.
Those nasty conversations go on each time you walk into your closet. If it isn’t about a wedding dress it is about another favorite outfit that you paid good money for that is too tight. It is time for us to quiet these beratings and get on with our flight without feeling guilty.
There is an easy way to banish these voices from your head; get them out of your closet and only keep items of clothing that you absolutely adore and feel like a million buck in when you wear them. Decluttering your closet is not going to kill you; in fact it may just save your life.
It is time we packed for our journey. Our closets are no longer going to stand in our way of traveling light and enjoying our trip. Most of us only wear about 10% of the clothes we have stashed in there anyway. Let’s lighten our load and get rid of those nasty voices once and for all; Out of sight, out of mind! We can do this.
First we need to look at the clothes we truly love because we feel good in them. This goes for your shoes too. Pull those out of your closet one at a time and think about the words you hear in your head when you have them on. Now put them back in your closet and pull out something that does not give you the same feeling. If the item of clothing makes you feel bad, evokes feelings of guilt in you or you just don’t like it; then put it in the give-away box. If you have changed careers and no longer have to get dressed into suits then donate them so others can start their new jobs and look nice. Let me warn you. Going through your closet is difficult because of all the stories that you clothes dredge up. This is why I only want you to spend 15 minutes at a time doing this. Do not spend hours this will make you feel too badly. Bless yourself by being kind to you.
Over the next few weeks of spending 15 minutes a day culling the clothes that do not bless you any longer, you will begin to see a pattern to your favorite items. I call it our personal uniform. We all have a favorite color, fabric or style that makes us smile. Look at your clothes with an eye for your style. I love denim and black with splashes of primary colors for accent. My wardrobe revolves around this theme. In the summer I love cool dresses and in the winter I love blazers. It is all about what you love and how you feel when you wear your clothes.
Now let’s build our wardrobe starting with our foundations.
Under pants- 7 pair that you love and 7 pair for that time of the month. I like light colors and dark colors. So I can look good and feel good under my clothes.
Bras- I have 5 bras. One black one, a natural color one and 3 that are fun colors.
Slips- If you wear dresses or skirts you will need two slips: One black and one light.
Socks- I wear socks every single day. In the summer I wear thin white ones with my tennis shoes. In the winter I wear black or bright colors. I have 7 pairs of white and 7 assorted primary colors.
Panty hose- I mostly wear black hose, but in the summer I wear natural color if I wear them at all. I keep 3 pair of black ones on hand at all times and 3 pair of natural ones. This way I don’t have to run to the store to purchase them in order to travel.
Tights- This is my favorite clothing in the winter. I have two black pair, a grey pair and a purple pair. I wear them around the house and under my jeans if it is cold and then all I have to do is throw on a jumper to go out of the house.
Pants/slacks/jeans- I have a pair of good black wool slacks for dressy occasions and a pair of light weight black fabric for summer. I have a black pair of jeans and 2 pair of blue jeans that I wear most of the time. I also have a pair of tan pants or khakis.
Skirts- I have one black wool winter skirt, a khaki skirt and a black light weight skirt for summer. I also have a fun floral summer skirt. Since I love denim, I have two denim skirts and full one and a straight one.
Dresses- I have a simple black dress with a jacket for those formal occasions. I have a bright red dress for my power meetings and a printed black dress for business. I have two denim dresses, one with a jacket and one with long sleeves. In the summer I love cool short sleeved linen dresses. I have them in black, khaki, green and red. These are my everyday dresses that I wear around the house. I feel great in them and my tennis shoes go nicely with them.
Jumpers- One of my favorite things to wear in the winter to layer up is my jumpers. I have a blue corduroy, a denim and a black wool jumper.
Blazers- My favorite is my black blazer. I wear it for business. I also have a grey blazer that can dress up a pair of jeans. For summer I have a red light weight blazer and a yellow one.
Blouses Â These are dressy, I have a red, white and leopard print. (silky fabric)
Shells- I have black, white, and red. (synthetic)
Sweaters- Black long sleeved cardigan with a matching shell and tan, black and cream striped one to mix and match. I love cotton sweaters in the summer and winter. I have hot pink, yellow and royal blue.
T-shirts. I have black, purple, white, yellow, and red.
Sweat shirt- I have one navy blue one
Coats- one black trench coat and a winter dress coat.
All of these clothes fit me and I feel wonderful in them. My closet is not crammed so full that I can’t see the forest for the trees. I have my skirts, blouses, pants, shells and dresses all hanging by item. My sweaters are in a drawer along with my jeans and t-shirts.
Now don’t be tempted to hang on to your skinny clothes because you are planning on losing weight. How long have they been hanging in your closet anyway? It is time to release that guilt and pain and only surround yourself with clothes that treat you nicely.
Now for those fat clothes that you use as a shield to hide your body from you and the world. Let go of those cover up clothes that are too big and baggy. Your body is not trash so quit trying to conceal your shame in clothes that look like garbage bags. You don’t have to be ashamed of your body; that is what FLYing is all about. Loving every part of you is your first step to getting rid of the body clutter. When you love yourself you will not allow the guilt and shame to make you feel bad.
Feeling bad triggers the kick off of the vicious cycle of consoling yourself with your drug of choice FOOD. Then you feel even worse for stuffing your face with food instead of FACEing your stuff. Our perfectionism keeps us hiding behind those baggy clothes and gives us a defeated attitude because we are not willing to take babysteps. That all or nothing mentality is pulling us down before we can even begin our new way of thinking. Let go of the perfectionism and find yourself FLYing, instead of tossing the baby out with the bath water over one little goof.
Are you ready to FLY with fewer clothes piling up in the laundry room and hindering you from getting dressed to shoes each morning?
Less is More: More peace when you walk into your closet!