At the start of the year when Spring Cleaning, Decluttering, Refocussing, Goal Setting, New Year Resolutions are all bandied about, we either react with smug delight that we are already on top of our minimalist lives, so there is no decluttering to be done! Or wade deeper into the wardrobe berating ourselves that the teeny, tiny, little black dress we didn't quite squeeze into over the Festive Period still calls to us and promises to transform us into the perfect model for designer chic by next party season!
Clearing the wardrobe is a daunting task for many of us and it's fascinating to investigate what is behind the inertia. The size issue I've already mentioned, is of course as a big one for many people. The pressure in our culture to fit someone else's stereotype of what is beautiful, is huge. We have heard the calls to ban size 0 models and affirmations that big is beautiful and whatever we assent to mentally, many women still judge themselves incredibly harshly and this has a huge affect on our attempts to clear the wardrobe. We look at the things that no longer fit us and condemn ourselves rather than being rational and moving them on to somewhere or someone else in our lives.
There is nothing wrong at all with keeping clothes that no longer fit us but they shouldn't be in the wardrobe! Otherwise the message they shout at you first thing in the morning is 'You're fat!!' And personally I don't think any woman needs that!
I remember a client who had confided her marriage was on the rocks and a huge part of that was because the couple's sex life was nonexistent. She felt daunted by the task of clearing her wardrobe partly because over the years she had put on over 7 stone and unnecessarily, felt unattractive. When she opened the wardrobe for us to start, the first thing we saw was a beautiful, satin covered hanger with the lingerie she wore on her wedding night 15 years ago hanging on it. 'I couldn't possibly throw that away!' she exclaimed. And nor should she have to, but imagine how destructive the subliminal message she received every morning was? 'You're overweight AND he doesn't fancy you anymore!' We wrapped the delicate silk lingerie in tissue paper, slipped it into a lovely box, tied a gorgeous bow round it and popped it up onto the top shelf where it was safe, available whenever she needed a happy memory and unable to shout at her!
There should be as much room in our lives for the clothes we are emotionally attached to as we want but it shouldn't be in our wardrobes. What we're dealing with is the archive of our lives and if we keep those items in our wardrobes then by the time we're 85 there will be no room for our clothes at all - it would be full of our memories! So move them into a suitcase, box or spare rail in the loft, honour them with delicious wrapping and a card saying what they mean to you and free the space in the active part of your life.
It may sound a bit clinical but I think it helps to think about the wardrobe like a tool kit. You use the item you need and then you put it back so that you know where it is next time you need it. If something in your wardrobe is taking up space then it needs to be paying you rent! This really helps us engage the rational part of the brain and temper the emotional side just a little. It also means we enjoy that deep satisfaction we can often gain from making space in our lives. Once you've created the space you are able to choose what you want to fill it with - and that takes us back to those Refocussing, Goal Setting aspirations!
Come for a Personal Style Day with your local House of Colour consultant, so that we can help you clear out your wardrobe and build one that really inspires you and truly supports your lifestyle. A Wardrobe decluttering session in your own home can also be arranged by contacting your nearest Stylist
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