We all evolve. Our closets should too!

makewayforthenew(Image source: this isn’t happiness)

Monday morning I began to go through my closet in preparation for a clothing swap with a group of girlfriends.

Monday afternoon, as I was looking over the two huge bags of clothing that I had pulled out from my closet, I had a major epiphany: I had been hanging on to way too many outdated versions of myself.

There was clothing that didn’t fit. Clothing that made me feel angry and miserable. Clothing that brought up memories of vacations and time spent traveling. Clothing that I thought I should have, but never wear. And shoes that seemed practical but were simply collecting dust.

When I stopped to look at the clothing — to really examine why I was still hanging on to it — the a-ha moments kept coming.

Every time I would have to dress up or wear something other than jeans, I would get cranky and throw a mini temper tantrum. Why? Because they were leftover relics from working in the corporate world. Same with the practical shoes that were collecting dust. Slipping on that clothing brought me back into that time in my life. And it was full of stress, anxiety, and anger.

A-HA!

The clothing that didn’t fit? I was hanging on to those pieces for the day when I could wear them again. Some were pieces from my travels through Europe. Others from a graduation trip to Paris with my parents. All of them held memories and emotions. It was the memories that were meaningful to me, and not the actual clothing.

A-HA.

There were also a few pieces of clothing that I second-guessed as being nice enough for someone else to wear, yet was still taking up space in my closet. If it wasn’t okay for another person, why is it okay for me?!

A. HA.

Once I was able to look at my clothing in this way — and how it was keeping me stuck — it was easy to let it go.

Each day I work hard to better myself, to learn and grow with each new experience. To evolve.

Yet, my closet hadn’t evolved with me.

My closet said that I was stuffy, boring, collecting dust, and not worthy of nice things. My closet kept me feeling angry, guilty, unhappy, and resentful. My closet was putting out the vibe that I didn’t want to learn, grow or evolve.

After the purge, I felt lighter. Looking into my closet actually made me happy even though it was substantially less full.

Bringing new items home from the clothing swap made me giddy. I tried new and somewhat scary pieces. I expanded my color palette. I picked pieces that were a true reflection of myself at this very moment in time. And pieces that reflected where I wanted to go.

And I still feel like I have room to grow.

If you want to create true transformation in your life, you have to create the space for it to come. Even if it’s in your closet.

When was the last time you really looked at the clothing in your closet? What would it tell a complete stranger about you if they took a peak inside?

If the answers make you unhappy, it’s time to take stock and create space for a more updated version of yourself to come through.

You never know what else will manifest in the process.

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More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a meditation encourager, mama, and Pittsburgh enthusiast. She recently launched a podcast called Nourish + Flourish and is a co-pilot at Propelle.

Comments

  1. Reply This is great advice. I'm glad you found new happiness in letting go and embracing the new. I went through a HUGE purge of all my possessions last year and I've never been happier. I found many of the same things you did... the reasons I was holding on to things just didn't make sense. I feel so much lighter and joyful in my home now. It's also funny that I wrote something about my wardrobe this week, too. We must have spring fever! :) http://debrakreps.com/blog/2012/3/19/power.html
    1. Reply I've purged my closet a hundred times before, with the most recent being back in Aug. I am usually pretty brutal with giving things away. But man, oh man, were there some major epiphanies this time around. Glad you are still enjoying the benefits of a clean and decluttered house/closet. It's incredibly liberating!!
  2. Reply I love this! You are very right that sometimes we evolve but our closets don't come with us... I'm really glad for your A-Ha moments! I did a similar clean-through last year and I felt SO liberated. Plus, now you can do a little bit of shopping! ;)
    1. Reply You know what's kind of strange, I'm not all that interested in going shopping just yet. I am still reveling in the thinned out, decluttered, awesomeness my closet has going on. :)
  3. Reply This so needed to be written. Great post!
  4. Reply Love this post! My bathroom closet had been stressing me out for months - overflowing and stuffed with old or rarely used items (make up I haven't touched in years, curling iron purchased in the 90's, etc). I finally tackled it last weekend and it felt so good. :)
  5. Reply Congratulations! You must feel so relieved now. I have been thinking about this a lot lately too. With moving homes, I have physically gone through the action of packing and unpacking clothes, and questioning why I have half of them! I have implemented a new rule to donate anything that doesn't currently fit. If it is too big (half my closet) or too small, out it goes. I have a whole wardrobe of suits and corporate dress clothes that I have kept for 10 years, even though I haven't worked at a formal office in a decade! Finally common sense has been sneaking in to say to release the burden of all these clothes that don't fit either literally or figuratively!

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