How To Deal With Guilt During A Winter Closet Cleanout

NEW guilt

why does a closet clean out bring up so many emotions?

we should take a break

Break ups are hard. Sometimes it’s the righteous sacrifice of, “I Will Always Love You,” ala Whitney Houston. Sometimes it’s getting away from an unhealthy situation like “Toxic” by Brittney Spears. Sometimes it’s bitterness from being left behind like Alanis Morrissette and “You Oughta Know.” And maybe the hardest of all is being left behind like Sinead O’Connor and “Nothing Compares to You.” And maybe I went through a lot of breakups in the 90s.

A closet purge can bring up surprising emotions as we let go. It’s like saying goodbye to dear friends (the worn out favorites), breaking up with toxic exes (they never fit right), and unburdening guilt (gifts and expensive shopping mistakes) all in one afternoon. And sometimes it’s a moment of acceptance of where and who we are now, as ugly or uplifting as it may be.

Letting go of a favorite item that is no longer fit to wear, that was gifted to us, that was a shopping mistake, or accepting that we aren’t that size or that person anymore is enough to make anyone avoid a closet purge. They can be emotional, stressful, and too much truth to handle.

the emotional side of a closet clean out

I’ve gone through all of the emotions attached to purging items. Those expensive items you feel guilty getting rid of? I’ve done it. The gifts you feel guilty purging? I’ve done that too. That expensive thing you splurged on and still has the tags attached? I have some. Acknowledging that I would have to take extreme measures to ever button those pants again? Been there. Recently. Cleaning these items out of your closet is not easy, but it is worth it.

I’ve done a few major closet purges in the last 3 years, and they were HARD. I did it in rounds about every 6 months as I gained more courage and acceptance to be honest with myself. I’ve reached a place where I don’t have to do huge purges anymore (except for jeans/pants, as you’ll see in the final installment). Now I’m refining, but it can still be hard, because the refinement process is where you tackle the hardest items to part with.

Today I’m taking you through my winter wardrobe and showing you what I’m getting rid of, why, and what I replaced it with. I also share some of the guilt and hard emotions attached to letting go and why I’m able to do it.

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my big ticket fail

A few years ago I fixated on buying the PERFECT trench coat. Nevermind I’d never owned a trench coat before, I suddenly decided I needed one, and it needed to be THE ONE. I researched and read and shopped and tried on. This went on for months. I wanted it for my birthday, but my true goal was to have it for our trip to AmsterdamBrugges, and France. I finally invested in one from Coach. It checked all the must-have boxes, and I thought I’d succeeded. Until. Until I realized that khaki (checkbox #1) looks AWFUL on me. Until I realized I hate double-breasted jackets (checkbox #2). Until I couldn’t stand to put it on, even when it would be perfect for my outfit. I was sick over it. I had invested in the perfect wardrobe must-have, and all the must-have reasons turned out to be what made them so wrong for me. I spent all that money, and now I wouldn’t wear it. I ended up selling it and getting most of my money back, but it took a while to admit the fail to myself, and even longer to take the steps to fix it.

why bother cleaning out your closet

Why bother with the flood of emotions and stress that can come with a closet purge? Because by releasing things that I don’t love, that don’t love me, that are in sad shape, or make me feel bad, I’m left only with the items I LOVE, the items I wear, the items that make me look and feel my very best. My goal with each purge is to be left with a wardrobe I love, and that loves me back by flattering my body and my skin tone. I’m left with a wardrobe that tells a true story about who I am, how I expect to be treated, and what you can expect from me. I’m left with clothes that make me feel confident, secure, and put together.

My closet is curated and cohesive, making getting dressed incredibly easy and fast. I can get ready in 20 minutes or less because my wardrobe isn’t full of a mishmash of random things that don’t go together. It all flows together to tell a story about me.

winter closet cleanout part 3 - scarves

winter closet cleanout part 4 - boots

winter closet cleanout part 5 - all the feelings

What items have you broken up with? What emotions have you experienced during a closet purge? What are you still holding onto, and why?

the quick and easy makeup tutorial i wore in these videos

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