Clean out your closet | The Happy + Healthy Life


Do you ever try on multiple outfits before heading out the door? Do you have a bunch of clothes in your closet and drawers you never wear? Is your closet filled with clothes that are either too big or too small? 

Have you ever worn pants that are too small and they dig into your stomach once you sit down? Or do you have an oversized shirt you wear to hide your body? 

It’s time to look at your closet with fresh, new eyes. 

Becoming a detective in your own closet can be an eye-opening experience. Whether you realize it or not, the clothes you put on your body each day are sending you a message. 

A client of mine had a closet filled with business attire clothes. Tailored suits. High heels. Crisp, button-down shirts. Power pant suits.

She had once been a high-level sales representative but had decided to stay home with her two small kids while they were young. She was afraid to get rid of her “business” clothes in case she decided to go back into the corporate world. 

After digging deeper, the real reason she didn’t want to get rid of these clothes is because she missed the powerful feelings these clothes gave her. Once we got to the root of it, she realized she was afraid of letting go. Once she donated the suits, it freed her mind and she was able to enjoy being with her kids. 

When going through your closet, I highly encourage you to get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit you. That’s right. Say good-bye to all the clothes that are too big. All the clothes that are too small. 

This is more than cleaning out your clothes. This is about getting rid of the messages that don’t serve you. If you have clothes that are too small and are hoping to someday wear again, these clothes are sending you a message of stress and anxiety because you are not there. If they were motivating you, you would already be that size. 

If you have clothes that are too big, this is sending you a message of fear. Don’t hold onto those clothes in case you gain the weight back. If you do that, you are setting yourself up for failure. 

What we put on our bodies impacts our moods and how we feel about ourselves. As you are cleaning out your closet, pay attention to the messages your clothes are sending you. Get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel confident/comfy/relaxed/powerful. 

Only good vibes are welcome. 

Is there anything you are holding onto that was “on sale” or “such a good deal” but you don’t really like the way it fits? It doesn’t matter if you paid $2 or $200. If you don’t wear them and they don’t make you feel good, they need to find a new home. It’s not helping anyone by just hanging there.

Be grateful you bought it and then pass it on to someone who will genuinely love it. 

Once, I had an adorable and comfortable dress in my closet that I got rid of because every time I wore it, I felt sad. It was the dress I wore to my grandma’s funeral. It had to go. 

Clothes impact our mood and how we show up in the world. If you put on a scratchy sweater, you’ll feel irritated and cranky. If you wear clothes to hide your body, you will, almost unconsciously, start hiding in other ways, like holding back your opinion or not sharing your ideas. 

As you go through your closet, be gentle and kind with yourself. Often we don’t realize how much emotion can be caught up in our closet. 

As you clean out your closet, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel when I look in my closet?” 

Do you have an overabundance of T-shirts? If you don’t wear them, let them go. 

Many times, people get stuck on vacation T-shirts. They don’t want to get rid of them, but they don’t wear them. Usually it’s because they’re fearful the memory will be gone once the T-shirt is gone. It will not. Your memories will always be there and I’m sure you have a picture or two to prove it. Or, have your T-shirts made into a quilt. 

Find a way to make them useful. 

Decluttering your closet makes it so much easier to get ready in the morning because your closet is only filled with clothes you love to wear. You’ll stop staring at your clothes thinking, “I don’t have anything to wear” and instead confidently put on any outfit that makes you happy and feels good against your skin. 

Let’s be honest, you don’t need all the clothes in your closet. That’s why you usually end up wearing the same things over and over again. 

If decluttering your entire wardrobe seems overwhelming, start smaller and do one drawer or one shelf at a time. Categorize it into smaller steps: socks, underwear, bras, pajamas, t-shirts, shorts, pants, skirts, etc. 

For example, one day go through all your socks and get rid of the ones with holes or that have lost their elastic. The next day, go through just your T-shirts. 

Each day, focus on one category and before you know it, you will have gone through your entire closet. 

Keep decluttering your closet until it looks like a closet of someone who loves themselves and is celebrating life.

You deserve to have a closet filled with clothes that fit you and you enjoy wearing.

Amy Wagenknecht is a Certified BARE Life Coach who helps women and girls build confidence, become mentally and physically strong and detox the things holding them back so they can live their biggest, bravest life. Visit or call 314-369-8333.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email