Sigh. Here we are again. Despite my best efforts to declutter and pare down to only what I love and what fits, I have clothes I don’t need, that don’t fit, and that I certainly don’t love.
But tackling closets and bureau drawers can be intimidating, even to a Diva who know that she’s worth more than ill-fitting fast fashion. So how does one approach this Kraken?
The same way you eat an elephant, darling. One. Bite. At. A. Time. (Mind you, this is just an analogy. Do NOT attempt to eat a majestic elephant! They are wonderful, kind, loving creatures, not dinner.)
OK – one bite at a time. What’s THAT mean?
Well, first you have to get frustrated enough with having things that just don’t work to want to make a change. (This is actually the hardest, longest part of the entire process. It is truly amazing how much we’re willing to put up with rather than part with things that do not suit us. More on that in a moment.) Then start with one part – I chose shoes, but you can start with tops, or socks, or scarves, or whatever. No need to do everything at once. Select the section of your wardrobe you’re going to attack, then put all of that in one place. In my case, that meant dumping almost every pair of shoes I owned in the middle of the floor – I kept a few favorites out that I knew fit me and that I was going to keep, but everything else went into the pile. Sandals, boots, heels, flip-flops – all of it.
Choose some upbeat music and pour yourself something yummy. I chose Pink Martini (I really enjoy their music) and got a cold cherry limeade seltzer. Sit quietly for a moment, then try on the first item you can reach. Decide what to do with it, then pick the next. Then the next. Then the next.
The key is this – if the item doesn’t fit comfortably and delight you – it goes in the “get rid of” pile. No, you don’t hold onto it “just in case.” No, it doesn’t matter that you spent too much money on it. And no, you don’t hold onto it because it “almost” works. It goes in the “get rid of” pile. Be ruthless about this point. And no, it’s not easy, certainly not at first. But soldier on – it gets easier.
Now, this may be scary. You might wind up with very little left – and that’s okay! Get rid of what doesn’t suit you, of what doesn’t just thrill you to wear, and of what doesn’t make you feel gorgeous when you put it on. What to do with this pile? (In my case, it was easily more than a dozen pairs of shoes. I’m sorry to say that, but it was.) Easy – get it out of the house! Within 24 hours, donate it all to charity, give it to a friend whose style is different from yours, or find a “buy nothing” group and offer it to whoever wants it. Or – if you can be strong and not go back through the pile and remove things – get together with a few friends and have a swap meet! You can look into the consignment market, but I do NOT recommend getting into the personal resale market, although if that’s your jam, go for it. I think it’s more important to get it gone. Re-selling takes time, effort, and yes – money as you box things up to ship. If that’s where you want to put your energy, blessings on you.
Make a list of what you need – for instance, I really could use some well made ballet flats and a pair of flat-heeled black boots. Tuck that list in your purse, where you keep that little notebook you carry that gives you a place to jot down ideas that cross your mind (maybe I should paint the bathroom dark blue with silver trim?) and quotes that speak to you (“Paris is always a good idea” – Audrey Hepburn). By creating space in your wardrobe and making a curated list of what you’re on the hunt for (instead of just buying something because it catches your eye – this is how so many of us wind up with multiples of the same thing yet have nothing that really is what we want), you may very well be surprised at how just the right thing crosses your path at just the right price.
You deserve better than to keep things that aren’t wonderful – and that notion applies to far more than just clothes, although that’s a post for another day.