Take Me to Your Closet

Simple is the new black.

I dress with 33 items or less every 3 months and many of those items work all year-long. You might think my commitment to dressing with less is interesting, crazy, obsessive or boring, but take the judgement out for a moment and consider the facts.

Dressing with less …

  • makes my mornings easier
  • gave me the confidence to let go of other clutter
  • helped me to develop a personal style
  • rescues me from decision fatigue
  • saves me time, money, and energy

Even knowing all of that, it might be hard for you to imagine clearing out your own closet, so I’d like to offer some assistance.

Take me to your closet (the right time is right now)

I’m ready when you are, so grab your computer, phone or whatever device you happen to be reading this article on, and take me to your closet. We won’t be going all the way to 33 right away, but we can make some real progress in about 15-30 minutes.

1. Turn on music that makes you smile.
According to this article, research shows that listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. If the thought of giving me a look at what’s in your closet, or letting go of things makes your heart race, your favorite music can help.

2. Take a deep breath and open your closet door.
We don’t have time for guilt, fear, or any kind of judgement here, so stick with the facts and remember that the chaos in your closet is overflowing into the rest of your life.

3. Remove the obvious.
Decluttering comes in waves and stages and the first step is to get rid of what obviously doesn’t belong. Remove anything that:

  • has price tags still attached
  • does not fit and won’t fit in the next 3 weeks
  • reminds you of a painful memory (bad breakup, food poisoning, getting fired …)
  • you meant to repair or bring to a tailor
  • you haven’t worn in the past 12 months

4. Eliminate the fear of letting go.
Instead of dealing with all of the fears surrounding letting go, postpone the decision by putting a little distance between you and your stuff. If you are worried that you might need or miss an item, or you are upset about the investment you made in something that doesn’t fit anymore, instead of holding on in the name of fear, box everything up.

Write, “donate after 3 months” on the box and don’t list the contents. Put the box out of sight. If you don’t miss it, or don’t remember what’s inside, you can let go with confidence.

5. Bring me back to your closet in 7 days.
After you remove the obvious, and box up everything that doesn’t belong in your closet, see if you notice a difference over the next 7 days.

If you feel lighter, or find yourself looking forward to removing more of the things that are weighing you down, bring me back in and either try this practice again, or take the next step and go for 33 items. You can read the rules here, or for more instruction and inspiration, take the course.