The Great Closet Purge

closet

You know when an idea or concept gets lodged in your brain and the only thing you want to do is implement that idea?

That happened to me this week x2.

After last week’s post, I couldn’t get the concept of the capsule wardrobe out of my head. I am a huge fan of purging my closet and letting go of the things that no longer serve me. The problem is, I tend to refill the closet with other things to take their place.

I go shopping. I go to clothing swaps. I cram my closet full of new (to me) things.

I shop because I need a break.

I grab things because they’re a really good deal (or free, in the case of the clothing swap) and not because I need or want them.

I purge and replenish over and over again.

closetcloseup

This time, I took a different approach.

I took an honest look at what’s in my closet and kept only the things that I absolutely love and feel great in.

I held my clothes and got a sense of what energy they left behind. I was surprised by the results. I had clothing that made me feel guilty, annoyed, and lackluster. And I had clothing that made me feel gorgeous and strong.

At the end of the assessment, I let go of about 3 large garbage bags worth of clothing, sleepwear, sweats, and accessories. I also took 3 pieces that I love but hadn’t been wearing to the tailor so that I could start wearing and enjoying them soon.

I ended up with about 50 pieces in my closet. With 5-10 pieces (sweaters and cords) in a bin for fall and winter, and a few jackets hanging up with my other coats.

Now when I look in my closet, I feel light and excited; I cannot wait to get in there and pick out an outfit for the day.

I also noticed a few things:

  • I am totally crushing on turquoise.
  • I really like patterns and am wearing more of them than ever before.
  • I can seriously envision how every piece goes together.
  • I seriously only wore 1/3 of the things in my closet.

Crazy town.

clothingpattern

My goal: to fight the urge to go shopping or replenish the closet so it feels full again.

I’ve already caught myself dreaming about shoes and jean shorts. Or even wishing that I kept a pair of jeans so that I could cut them up and repurpose them.

The truth is, I have more than enough.

I don’t need anything else.

There are no gaps to fill… in the closet.

Where in your life could you stand to purge a few garbage bags of stuff?

It could be physical like a cleaning out a closet or desk.

It could be electronic like unfollowing or hiding people on social media that bring you down. Or even cleaning out your inbox.

It could even be an emotional purge via journaling and forgiveness work (that’s a favorite of mine).

Let me know what you choose to do, and I’d be happy to help keep you accountable.

X+O,
Emily

P.S.—That other thing that I just had to implement? A new blog design and logo. Turns out purging my closet freed up a lot of creativity energy and decision making ability.

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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 Goodness, the new design is perfection! I love it. And I love your resolve to get rid of the excess. I could definitely purge some office supply and crafting things. I hoard little bits of scrapbook paper, save tissue paper, and have a giant bag of buttons JUST IN CASE a project calls for them.
    1. Reply Thanks lady! I'm kind of in love with it myself. :) Oooh. Office and craft supplies. I definitely purged a lot of those a few months ago, but could probably stand to get rid of even more. I have so many things left over from my days as a bookbinder. It's still hard to part with it... If you do decide to purge, I'd love to see a before and after photo!
  2. Reply I'll be curious to hear how the capsule/smaller wardrobe goes for you! I just did a capsule wardrobe (well, 3 capsules actually--fall, winter, spring) as well and it was a great experience! I learned that less can be more and that I feel so much happier with less stuff! It was kind of a surprise... I used to be quite the clothes hoarder :) And I love your blog's new look by the way!
    1. Reply I am loving it! It has taken a lot less time to get ready in the morning, and I'm excited to put together new outfits. I am also more interested in playing with accessories, which is new for me. I'd love to hear (or read) about YOUR experience with it. Sounds like you're quite the pro!
  3. Reply I mentioned this on Instagram, but I have been wanting to do a capsule wardrobe for months, but I have this weird fear that I'll have very few items left that I absolutely love. And then I'll have to go shopping and spend money (and probably a decent amount) and stress that I can't find anything that I truly love or I'll worry that it doesn't fit in with the rest of my wardrobe. Oh dear, I think I sound like a crazy person. But this is truly what's holding me back! Any advice? I'm really great about purging clothes in general (I don't usually spend a whole lot of money on them in the first place), but the thought of really tailoring it down to JUST the creme de la creme and letting go of those things about shopping you mentioned is trickier than I thought. It's a work-in-progress. It looks like you've really pared down to some really beautiful items in your closet! Would love to hear an update down the road as you transition seasons.
    1. Reply Go for it Marissa! It's totally worth it. And nothing says that you have to get rid of the things you purge immediately. In fact, one of the posts I read about it encouraged you to put it in another room for a while so that you can grab an item or two if you realize you were a bit too zealous with the purging. I actually took 3 shirts back from the purge, because I was overzealous with the work-out gear. Lesson learned!
  4. Reply I'm glad your closet purge became so freeing! I feel like I've been working on downsizing my stuff for ages. I give garbage bags of clothes to friends and to my sister after they've seen the rounds at buy/sell/trade places like Avalon. Then there's still a lot of stuff I put into storage bins because I can't bear the thought of parting with it... Some stuff has memories and other stuff I feel like I haven't outgrown yet even though I haven't worn it in months or years. That doesn't sound the most logical, does it? PS I've been a terrible pen pal. I've been meaning to send you a letter back but I haven't gotten the chance yet.
    1. Reply I hear you on the holding on. I have done it for years. I will say that I felt some relief finally parting with those items. Like the emotional weight of them were gone. The KonMari method includes thanking your clothing for the role they played in your life, saying a little blessing of some sort, and then letting go. Perhaps that would help with some of the items that are hiding away in bins?

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