Q & A: any suggestions for cleaning out my closet?

Q: “every time i clean my closet, i get immense fatigue, almost depression-like symptoms. it always lasts as long as i have my clothes outside the closet. i’m embarrassed to say that last time i did it, i lived with a huge pile of clothes in the middle of my one-room apartment for 3 weeks. i tried different approaches, like doing one shelf at a time or putting everything out and dividing it into piles, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. any input or thoughts?”

A: closets are tricky because they house how we present ourselves in the world. and if shopping is a coping mechanism, we’re shopping when “energetically distracted,” which means what we accumulate might not align with our truest selves.

if you clear your closet once a year, are you getting rid of everything you don’t LOVE, wear, or use? oftentimes, and especially with clothing, we postpone making decisions about our stuff. we let it linger longer in the drawers, on the shelves, or on the hangers. however, what really hangs there is the emotional frequency of not knowing what to do with it. and ambivalence and WHAT IFS are unresolved feelings – a matrix that, over time, translates into overwhelm and fatigue. treat your closet to brutal honesty, and it will spare you the unwelcome side-effects. my RX?

clear everything out so your closet is bare.

put a few towels on the floor so you have ample space to place every single piece of clothing.

once it’s empty, wipe down every corner / shelf / baseboard. vacuum or sweep.

and then, before anything goes back, ask yourself:

what’s my personal style? do i have a favorite palette to wear +/or a personal power color? how do i spend my time?

look for the clothing that speaks to who YOU are becoming. pay attention to what lights you up; crowns you gloriously when wearing it; and feels so good, you could live in it for days. put those items back first.

as for the rest…

if the clothes don’t fit…

if those clothes don’t make you feel better than you look…

if they don’t represent who you’re becoming…

consider letting them go! open space in your closet signals that new things (attitudes and ways of being) are welcome in your life. xo

photo | Blair Eadie / Atlantic-Pacific

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