How often do you start the day looking in your over-stuffed closet and saying,  “I have nothing to wear!” Time to ask yourself why you’re hanging onto clothing that doesn’t work for you.

Maybe a change of jobs has left you with a wardrobe no longer appropriate for your needs.  Or maybe you feel obligated to hang onto that sweater someone special gave you as a gift, even though you don’t actually like it.  But the number one reason that people keep clothing that they can’t wear is that they’re not happy with their current size.

If that applies to you, think about what you’re doing to yourself by holding that comparison in front of you every morning.  You may be:

  • Robbing yourself of the confidence that comes from looking and feeling your best;
  • Depriving yourself of expressing who you are today;
  • Holding yourself back from losing the weight, because part of you hasn’t accepted where you are now — so why change habits?

A more constructive approach might be to accept that bodies change with time.  It’s important to take care of yourself, but remember that self-care includes not beating yourself up over life changes.  Motherhood, genetics, injuries and illnesses are just a few things that can lead to long-term changes in our shape and size.  Even if you’re determined to take the weight off, consider accepting where you are now and not keeping clothes in your prime space that subconsciously talk to you in unkind ways.

So, how do you part with a wardrobe that’s not working for you?

  1. The old-fashioned way:  Take an afternoon and try on your garments one at a time, sorting them into piles to keep and discard.
  2. The 6-month test.  Start by pinning a scrap of paper to  each item in your closet (or, for hanging items, turn the hangers around backwards.)  Each time you wear something, remove the paper scrap (or re-hang it facing the right way). After 6 months, any clothing that still has tags or is still hanging backwards is something that hasn’t made the grade in that amount of time — let it go!
  3. Enlist a friend.  While you sit across the room, have your friend hold up your items one by one.  If your reaction is less than “love it!” put it in the discard box.

Need some more nudges?

  • Donate your discarded items, and feel good knowing that someone will get good use out of them.
  • Take your best items to a consignment store, or check out the many used clothing outlets online where you can sell them and recover some of the expense.
  • Remember that if you do return to a previous size, you can treat yourself to new clothes then.  
  • If you really don’t want to part with things you’re sure you’ll be able to wear again one day, pack them away, leaving space in your closet for what you wear now.

Envision a closet full of clothes you love.  Imagine starting every morning in an outfit that’s comfortable and well-suited for the occasion — and for YOU.  Now make that happen, because regardless of how your bod compares to a past version of yourself, you are worth it.