Sunday, June 1, 2008

More On Letting Go

Last time I began the topic of why it is just so darn hard for us to let go of the clothes in our closets.

The reason I discussed was that clothes represent an investment of our money.

Today we'll look at the association factor.

I'm sure that many of you have at one time been reluctant to say goodbye to an article of clothing simply because of the memories you associate with it. Whether it was a period in your life that was really happy (college, perhaps), a special event (a wedding, a vacation), or a special person or group of people (your first love, your family) it can be really hard to let something go if the article has become a representation of the person, the good feeling or the event.

Sometimes, because the item signifies a moment in time that has already passed, we "hold on" to the item as if we could "hold on" to the person or the event or that time in our lives. And we can actually feel grief at the thought of letting it go, because that puts closure on the past. The thing to remember is that these items don't have any feelings -- we ascribe certain feelings (and sometimes magical properties) TO the items. The sweatshirt that your old boyfriend gave you doesn't share your nostalgia; it only inspires it. And holding on to the sweatshirt can't resurrect the past.

Now let me be clear: there are some clothes that are absolutely worth hanging on to. For example, you might be saving your wedding gown or a vintage piece for posterity. Should this be the case, then the rightful place for these items is carefully stored away from heat and bugs. If they are hanging out in your closet, then they are not only taking up valuable space, but they are being subjected to dust which can harm the fibers in the clothes over time.

But please don't hold on to the articles of clothing that are in your closet with no actual function except to remind you of times gone by. That means all the clothes you used to fit in to five years ago but havn't touched since you gained the weight. And the clothes that made you popular in high school...let them go! You want a closet full of clothes that fit you now, in the present time, and not a bunch of clothes that keep you anchored in the past.

Next time I'll continue the discussion on letting go. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

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


Tim Birch said...

Hope is my enemy. I think I can lose weight and be that guy I was before.

"Hope is not a plan!"

'TimBirch –Can it be better?

S Chambers said...

Hope is not a method or a plan. I really should throw out about 2/3 of the clothes in my closet and dresser, but simply never budget the time.

Steve Chambers, Sales Training Expert

Yann Vernier said...

Great post Jenn.

Thankfully I no longer have this problem... Probably because my closet is really tiny.

All the best

Yann Vernier - Personal Life Coach UK

RobFromGa said...

I got around this problem byu changing what I call my Closet. It is no longer a "closet", it is a "time capsule"!

Problem solved. :-)

Great post, Jenn...

Many of the things that are in our closet belong at the very least in boxes in our basement marked "Old Nostalgia Items". From there it is a quicker path to the dumpster...

Rob Northrup
Is Your Corporation Protecting You?

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was painful -- especially the part about hanging on to clothes that used to fit you five years ago and keeping only clothes that fit you NOW. I'm always thinking, I'll lose a little weight then that will fit and I so like it

Aaron said...

I second Steve's problem: lack of time. I unfortunately need more motivation to get it all cleared out.

Dr Peter Helton said...

It is always so sad to see old clothing go. It becomes easier if you limit your clothing, for instance every new tie that I buy means I have to get rid of an old one. That means I had better like what I am buying.

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

Lisa M. McLellan said...

I have 2 dresses in my closet that I've had for 20 something years. They were given to my by an old boyfriend, but I don't keep them because of them. He was Lebanese, and he got them for me during a trip back to Lebanon. One was a traditional everyday dress worn by Lebanese women, and the other is all black with gold trim that he said was the same dress that the princess of Lebanon wore. (I don't even know if there is a princess in Lebanon, he could've made the whole thing up to score some points!) Anyway, of course I never wore them, because I never had any place to where clothing like that. I hang on to it because I feel like as soon as I get rid of it, I'll need it for a costume or something. LOL

Midlife Dating Expert, Singles Workshop Conference Speaker said...

Definitely, the Association Factor is big for me.

This is also a HUGE issue for couples who are together for a number of months, or years, but it's not really The Satisfying and Fulfilling Romantic Relationship they really want and deserve.

but they stay around and hang on... for The Association Factor.

All the best,

April Braswell - Online Dating Coach, Romance Coach

gr8skot said...

I have a few items of clothing that I hang onto because of the memories the rekindle. I don't see any problem with that. Kind of like a photograph or a piece of memorabilia.

Scott A Bell

Unknown said...

I like to move forward. Sometimes it's necessary to let go...

Sheridan Randolph

Matthew Shields said...

I'm with Sheridan
I try and not hang onto unnecessary things.
Focus Your energy
Matthew Shields

Slenzo said...

I am so glad that I am not the only one that holds on to an item of clothing for the emotion attached to it!!!!I still have my wedding shoes....I know, I know ...I will probably never wear them again, but I shopped for them forever and they are so beautiful, and I felt so beautiful when I wore them....Sigh!!!!!
Sonya Lenzo
The Business Insurance Expert