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Stuff. It just happens. Things accumulate. Storage spaces fill up and before you know it our belongings own us instead of us owning them. You have a crazed moment (for me it was when I was at swimming training) where you go, “I HAVE TOO MUCH SHIT!”. And the rabid desire for decluttering ensues.

I came home from swimming and whilst still in my bathers (there’s not time for changing when you the desire to declutter hits you), I got to it.

I went through kitchen cupboards and bagged up stuff that had just been sitting there, waiting for me to give it purpose but was never going to. I tore through my bathroom cabinet and threw out products I planned to use but just end up creating guilt because I never do.

I got rid of old sheets, old bank statements, old make-up, jewelry that reminds me of past lovers that I’d rather not be reminded of. Anything that when held gave me a confusing feeling i.e., why am I hanging onto this? Have I been hanging onto this because I don’t know where to recycle it? (old sheets) What does this thing do? These things got the boot. Even the pantry got a birthday. Anything well past (and I mean well past) its expiry date got tossed. Red wine that has been opened but not drunk since the beginning of the pandemic? Ew.

There were other motivators for this cleanse, not just the manic urge to lighten the visible clutter. I had been doing an internal cleanse; reflecting on some life choices and feeling bogged down in the sameness of my patterns. I decided that, as evidence of new choices going forward I was going to let go of things that didn’t align with my future direction. Baggage.

So, onto the wardrobe we went.

Now, given that part of my professional services is auditing + editing wardrobes, one might imagine that my wardrobe is always in tip top shape. Um, no. I have fights with coat hangers, look at items that I wished fit me but don’t and hang onto things that I am never going to wear again. It’s normal. We are ever evolving beings and the clothes we wear or don’t wear change as we pass through different phases, mindsets, jobs, partners and experiences. Our wardrobe can evolve as much as we do.

Sometimes they represent parts of us that are dead and gone. Old corporate outfits that just don’t suit our lifestyle anymore. Those old jeans that have been worn to the point where it’s dangerous to bend over should something give way where it shouldn’t. The suit worn to a funeral that we simply can’t wear again.

Sometimes our clothes represent states of minds or emotions we were in. Flamboyant choices that are unwearable. Items purchased under duress or when in an alcohol infused/vulnerable/full moon/mercury retrograde/rebound state.

Sometimes we have in our wardrobes aspirational pieces that we want to wear but just don’t have the confidence too yet. Or it may be that you’re not sure how to wear it.

All these things are normal parts of clothes ownership.

The process I take my clients through during a wardrobe audit, I took myself through. The last time I did a wardrobe audit on myself was nearly one year ago. During the past 12 months, my life has changed; I have launched a business, been through break-ups, changed jobs, made new friends, had new experiences. There would certainly be some things needing removing, replacing or retaining. I dove in.

With a clear mind and high energy, I cleansed my wardrobe of items that, for any reason didn’t make me feel good. ‘Spark joy’ as Ms Kondo says. This is important; the clothes we wear have a direct impact on how we feel. If you are holding onto items out of practicality rather than because you feel good in them, there is a strong change you won’t feel your best when wearing them. You won’t feel prepared and equipped for the day/interview/date/experience. Our clothes are our suits of armour, they are how we see ourselves; they are how we value ourselves.

Cleansing my wardrobe of pieces that didn’t bring feelings of happy allowed me to pierce through the many logical reasons I was hanging onto things. It was a recent purchase, it was on sale, it used to fit me and will one day fit me again (take that monkey off your back, puh-leese), it was expensive, it’s a designer brand, it was a gift, I used to love it. Shake all those reasons off, hold the item and see how you feel about it. Be courageous to create a vacuum for something new to fill it. Something that better represents where you are now. Or even just something that is renewed (such as old undies) because you are worthy of having nice new undies.

Guaranteed; if your feelings around your clothes have changed, it’s because you have changed. Your life has changed. You have grown. Fall in the flow of your life and let pieces go. Trust that you are being more responsible and accountable to your current self by recognizing that if you’re not vibing with something anymore and that it’s important to honor who you are and where you are now.

To those old pieces that are shadows of our current selves, you can let them go. You can let that part of you go that that piece represents. You can forgive yourself for past choices, for past misdemeanors. We all have them. Our wardrobes are a literal reflection of our world, our headspace.

In the end, I donated 7 bags of quality clothes & shoes to St. Vinnies. I have given sheets and items that aren’t good enough for resale with a charity store to a place that recycles textiles. I’ve gifted a bag of clothes to a friend. I’ve paused to see the space in my wardrobe and the subsequent space in my mind. I look forward to opening the doors of my wardrobe knowing that I am not torturing myself with eleventy million decisions around what qualifies as being wearable for today. Every piece is wearable for now. Today.

Sometimes we can’t do this on our own. The mental, emotional and physical mountain is too high to climb. This is also normal. Our wardrobes are a literal reflection of our life to this point and heavens, it can be a lot to wade through. Its nice to have someone with you to help understand choices we’ve made, to identify the needs of our lifestyle vs the things that are taking up space in our closet, to help us restyle and refind in our own closet before spending more. Just like my swimming coach always says, “you never regret a swim”, my clients never ever say, “I wish I hung onto all that shit”. They are grateful to have someone coaching them through the process, guiding and encouraging them to make choices that suit the current and future you whilst respecting the past and gone you.

You can book a wardrobe audit with me and together we’ll clear out things that no longer serve you, create outfits from existing pieces and put together a list of items to go shopping for. Part of the value add is a review of how we see ourselves when we are in our clothes, what our buying patterns have been and an uncovering of old stories that limit how good we can feel in our clothes.

Let me help, check out the packages I offer and book a free discovery call today.

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