The Mind Game: Clearing Out a Closet

Clearing out your wardrobe can be an intimidating process. We demonstrate how it can become a freeing experience instead!


'I still wear that', I tell myself. 'I have definitely worn that recently', I say as I pull that forgotten jumper out from the back of the wardrobe. There are cobwebs on it, but I wore it last week for sure.

This is the mind game we all go through when we determine to clear out our closets. I recently went though mine when moving out of my university flat and the compulsion to hold onto things is incredibly strong. The truth to hold on to things from our past is so tempting. We cling to that which is familiar in an attempt to keep ourselves grounded. However, our belonging can be like an old stale relationship: if it is not making us truly happy, then why hold on.

I set myself a target of relocating as many items as I could and it brought me an unexpected level of satisfaction. Shoes that had seen their best days were relegated to the bin; unwanted clothes were sent to the charity shop; and clothes that I still liked but could not justify keeping were given to friends. My flatmate is now wearing my old trench coat and a pretty blue scarf that I had only worn once while my other flatmate’s girlfriend has a fluffy green jumper and several dresses.

What we all need to realise is that we move on, and our clothes do not necessarily move with us. When we are children we love the plastic beads or tourist hats that our aunts give us when they return from holiday. When we reach teenage years we would not be seen dead in them. Therefore, when we progress into our twenties, we must leave the teenage clothes behind and mature into ourselves. That is not to say that we must conform to the ideals that society proscribes for a certain age group. Indeed we must find our own styles.

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I favour block colours and well-cut sumptuous fabrics while relying on my jewellery to add a bit of sparkle. However, some of my friends favour sequins and flowing fabrics.

The important message is that we grow into ourselves rather than clinging to the past when it comes to clothes. Ask yourself these three questions when attempting ot cut down or renew your wardrobe:

1)   When did I last wear this? If the answer is over  three months ago and it is correct for the season and is not evening wear then it should be relocated.

2)   Does this item fit my current aesthetic? If it does not fit who you currently are then you should get rid of it. You do not know who you will be in the future.

3)   Do I actually like this piece of clothing? Perhaps an aunt gave it to you and you felt obliged to keep it. However, it may not really reflect you.

In short, if it does not fit your life currently, there is no guarantee that it will in the future. After cutting down my wardrobe I feel a sense of freedom and getting dressed in the morning is so much easier.