Fall Clutter Busting: The Bedroom Clothes Closet

Today we are going to venture in the commonly stuffed clutter tomb, the bedroom clothes closet. Clothes are an emotional part of our lives. We have a lot of feelings about our clothes. It connects with a deeply personal feeling we have about our bodies. It's such an intimate area that clients often feel insecure about taking the honest look. As a result, they've been hanging on to clothes they haven't worn for years, clothing that no longer fits them, and sometimes clothes they've never worn. It's hard to have peace of mind with this kind of stagnation.

So I encourage you to start kindly. Reach into your closet and take out three hangers of clothes. Lay the clothes on the bed. Pick up the first hanger and take a look at the clothing hanging on it. You're looking to see if you love it now or not. Chances are you are going to feel the memories of when you bought this piece of clothing, and the times you've worn it, in addition to some of the expectations you felt about how it would make you look and how others would see you. But I would like you to let those thoughts be, and focus on, "Do I love these pants?" "Would I wear this shirt today?" "Would I buy this dress if I were out shopping right now?" "Am I getting a 'no, this is not for me' feeling?" "Do I wish this would look good on me?"

Do you remember the feeling of buying an piece of clothing that turned out to be something you really enjoyed wearing? The feeling of certainty when you tried it on, the sense that you made a good purchase. The pure enjoyment you felt when wearing the clothing. How it made you feel sexy and beautiful. That's the feeling that we're looking for today.

Maybe you need to try the object on. Or maybe it's clear to you right away. When you decide to keep something, put the clothing in a keep pile. The clothes that you don't care for, put in a donate bag. Keep moving from one item of clothing to the next. There's a momentum that comes from this process that will help you.

I worked with one client who had so many items of clothing that it was difficult to be able to pull one item out of the closet. They were densely packed. She actually had to lay clothes, with the hangers, over chairs in her bedroom. She didn't want to clutter bust this area. I encouraged her by holding up one item of clothing at a time. This way she wasn't seeing every piece of clothing at once, she only had to look at and consider one thing. She could do that. She let about 70% of the clothes go to donation. She was stunned she did this.

I've also had a lot of clients hang onto clothes that no longer fit them, hoping one day they fit into them. I encourage clients to hang onto things that support their life now. What fits them today. That means physically and emotionally. Sometimes seeing clothes they used to fit into makes them feel badly about themselves now. And if they did happen to lose some weight, I encourage getting new clothes that they love now, rather than what they used to love. We change in many ways over time, and we feel better when we change our things to support the difference.

I've often found many non-clothes items in clients' closets. Things have a way of disappearing into clothes closets. I think clutter feels safe there. But since you are bringing light in this area, ask "Do I love this, or can I let it go?" of the refugees too. I saved this clutter bust for Friday so you have the weekend to work on it.

Thanks again for your persistence in clutter busting. I've been getting a lot of positive feedback emails from people who are encouraged and moving forward in their letting go. Please feel free to share any of your clutter busting victories, or any questions about the process. Also, if you feel the need of additional assistance, I'm available for online clutter busting sessions via iChat or Skype. I can be reached at brooks@clutterbusting.com