I always find December a good time to clean and reset. Not only are we in a time of looking back on the past year but we are also looking ahead at the year to come. Who we are at the beginning of the year is never who we are at the end. So why should the stuff we carry be the same? We get bogged down with all the things we got at such a good deal, spent too much money on to let go of, or forgot we even had.
Not only is this true with just material items. It is also true with relationships, jobs, hobbies, or even feelings. I like to start with the easy stuff first, material items. I work in fashion, which feeds my slight clothing obsession. I am blessed to get many things from work but this always results in me taking home things that may or may not align with who I am and how I want to be seen. Once my closet stops being able to breathe I know it’s time to declutter.
To begin: take every article of clothing (or whatever you would like to organize) and place it all in one centralized space. I like to throw everything on my bed like so. This way I have to finish if I want to sit on my bed again. Trust me, this wasn’t everything and I ended up with a mountain to sift through.
Next: I go piece by piece and decide if I still like it, wish to donate it, or need to toss it. Part of the fun is many things I try back on. If I put it on and can’t wait to wear it for real, it stays. If I still feel neutral about it, it stays till the next clean out. If I try it on and feel anything lower than neutral, it goes. This can go as quickly or as slowly as you like. As someone with a complicated relationship with her body, figuring out what sparks joy (a-la Marie Kondo) and what doesn’t took some time. You can’t throw out everything if it all makes you feel uneasy. If this is the case it’s a good time to journal about why you’re feeling this way and some action steps you can take to change this.
If it’s a style that needs to be changed, ask yourself what aesthetics you want to incorporate. What does your perfect wardrobe look like? Once you answer that question you can go back and pick pieces that you can build off of into the direction of your ideal wardrobe. Look for similar silhouettes, colors, fabrics, or detailing. From here you can begin to add pieces in the upcoming year that can further build into your ideal wardrobe. As you add, take away items that are less in line. You are the curator, don’t be afraid to make changes as you go.
If it is a body thing, this is a more complicated task. Our bodies are like puppies, they just want to do their best to love us. They unconditionally support us, no matter how we think about them. Also like puppies, bodies come in all shapes and sizes. You wouldn’t buy clothes for a poodle if you own a golden retriever, or vise-versa. With clothes we got to get real-real with the puppies we own.
With this in mind, pick items that fit now. Think not about how you look but how you feel as you go through your stack. What colors bring you joy and which ones you actually can’t stand. Which items just don’t fit right, feel itchy, or make you uncomfortable. Before discarding, ask what could be changed in the garment that would make you like it. If it is a blazer with an odd cut, you can instead look for ones with a better style to it. Or if it is a fit issue, can it be something that can be altered by a tailor?
Sometimes I like to make a list of items I would like to add to my wardrobe. This way when I’m out and see something I can better assess if I want it in my closet. This also helps with wardrobe building. The main goal is to have only things you enjoy in your closet. It is ok to let your closet breathe. Don’t worry about the new trends or the big sales. These traps aren’t made to enhance you, they’re made to make other people money. Instead, look at your closet as a sacred space. Every piece reflects an aspect of you. When we connect like this to our clothes we can better decide what pieces work with us and which pieces have done their job and are ready to find a new home.