Going Into Your Closet: How to Spot What Isn’t Suiting You

The contents of our closets can be mirrors of our inner selves. Maybe your inner self is as clear as your patent leather pumps or as stuffed with useless crap as your set of shelves. Just for fun, let’s see what you’ve got.

1) Take a pen and pad, and start on one side of the rod (stacks, or wherever you want).

2) Consider each item. Write down the first thought(s) that come into your head, and how you feel when you see it. For example, you might see a sweater and think “I never really liked this color, but my sister gave it to me for my birthday last year” and the feeling might be guilt, or “I can’t wait to wear this dress again” and the feeling might be excitement.

3) Continue down the line until you get itchy to start analyzing your findings.

4) Read the statements below and see if the shoe (shirt, pants, whatever) fits.

I loved these ___ (parachute pants from the 80s, shoes with the little anchors on them), or its evil twin: “What was I thinking when I bought that___(chain mail poncho, lace raincoat)?”

Spending too much energy looking back (with nostalgia or by second-guessing) can get in the way of living fully today. If you find yourself hanging on to items that have outlived their usefulness, ask yourself:

What am I hanging on to – a relationship, an activity, a belief – that no longer works for me? What am I afraid of losing if I let it go?

How can I honor this part of my life in a way that still serves me?

Where in my life am I hanging on to regret?

I can wear this as soon as I ___ (have it shortened, lose 20 pounds).”

Intention without action is the road to… nowhere. What do you really want? What are you willing to do right now to take a step in that direction, even a tiny one? If the answer is nothing, then it might be time to get rid of that intention, since it’s honestly just taking up space in your consciousness.

If you find yourself wanting want to keep things that require action on your part, ask yourself:

What am I telling myself I want in my life but making excuses for not creating?

If I’m not willing to take action right now, what can I discard?

I could use this if I ever ___ (need to dress up as a milkmaid, move to the arctic)?”

Yes, the possibilities are endless, but so is the energy you’ll waste trying to prepare for a future that doesn’t exist. If you find yourself stockpiling “just in case,” ask yourself:

Where am I wasting energy on things that I can’t predict or control?

Where in my life am I not living in the present?

That’s a perfectly good ___(business suit, pair of tights). ”

The job feels secure, the routine familiar, the relationship comfortable. There are countless arguments to keep your “perfectly good” life exactly as it is. But are you living the life that’s right for you? If you’re keeping it out of guilt or obligation, ask yourself:

What (thing, activity, commitment, etc.) am I rationalizing in my life that isn’t serving who I am today?

Where in my life am I settling for less or making do?

Whose voices am I hearing when I’m faced with decisions for my life?

Maybe you had some laughter (or horror) of recognition here . Or maybe you fondly flipped through a rod full of pieces that delight you. If so, your reflected self is looking pretty clean and clear!

If not, it may be time to do some clearing out. Here’s my suggestion for the stuff in your closet (metaphorical or material): Keep what serves you best right now so you’ll have room for what serves you best when every right now comes!

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