Thursday, June 5, 2008

Letting Go Part Three

Continuing in the letting go series, today I will talk about how imagining the future contributes to our reluctance to part with clothing.

Maybe it was at one time your favorite item of clothing, but it's been out of style for a decade. Or maybe you bought it last year on sale, but don't have anything to wear it with. Or maybe it's a really great piece, but it just doesn't fit you correctly, and so it never gets worn. What is going on here? Why are you unwilling to let articles like these go?

Perhaps it's due to imagining all the future possibilities. Someday in the future, these clothes will be in style again. Someday in the future you'll have lost the ten pounds. Someday in the future you'll have something to pair it with. Someday....

These are your someday clothes: the clothes that take up closet real estate because you imagine how great they could be at some point in the future.

These someday clothes can be the hardest ones to let go, because there is a grain of truth to your reasons for holding on to them. It is true that [insert whatever] could happen. And you will feel some guilt letting them go before their (imagined) potential is realized.

Nevertheless, these clothes aren't being worn now. For all that we imagine that we will wear something in the future, we rarely do. The clothes come back in style, but with an updated twist. You lose the weight, you want new clothes. You never really find an outfit for your closet orphan, because you've forgotten that it't there.

My advice? I tend to be ruthless. If it hasn't been worn in a year, or I have no plan for including it in my rotation this season, out it goes. Because the truth is, if you haven't worn it in the last year, you probably never will. Think about that year you will have had at least 90 opportunities per season to wear it. That's a lot of days!

Next time I'll talk about the darker side of imagining the future: the fear of uncertainty. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on wardrobe planning, or to subscribe to Wardrobe-Wise, my free weekly E-Zine, please visit my website.)


gr8skot said...

I like the one year rule. Great information and advice.

Scott A Bell

Yann Vernier said...

Good advice Jenn. I do this 3 or 4 times a year as I often run out of space. Being ruthless with the items I have hardly, if ever, worn seems to be the only way to keep things tidy.

All the best,

Yann Vernier - Personal Coach UK

PS: I only found closets in the most recent houses during my French mission, everywhere else had a large wardrobe cupboards :-)

Dr Peter Helton said...

You got me on that one.

Dr Helton, making your skin beautiful without surgery, nationally renowned Cosmetic Dermatologist

Kevin Hogan said...

it's like old fiction books that you've read...very hard to toss, because you LIKED IT and spent money on it....a fair correlation?

S Chambers said...

It's a good idea to see how out of fashion your clothes are now as well. It makes it easier to part with them.

Steve Chambers, Sales Training Expert

Jennifer Skinner said...

Thank you for the closet intel from your French mission! ;-)

A very good correlation, yes.

Jennifer Skinner

Aaron said...

I could use a double dose of your ruthlessness. Thank you for the post!

Anonymous said...

this has been helpful. i included a link to your series from my blog about my family's journey. thanks jennifer.

Matthew Shields said...

Yep I have to say I've still got things hanging around past that mark
I like the idea as well
Focus Your Energy
Matthew Shields

RobFromGa said...

I am waiting for powder blue tie dye leisure suits to come back, when do you think this is likely to happen?

Rob Northrup
Is Your Corporation Protecting You?

Kevin Hogan said...

you ARE ruthless.