Get Rid of THAT?? Confessions From A Client

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My new client Elizabeth wrote an essay on her feelings before we started working together. Does any of this resonate with you? Why do YOU hold on to clothes that no longer work for you?

"Your closet should be filled with only those pieces that you love and look great on you!"-  Susan Kanoff

Ok, so how often have you thought this, heard this, or said this?  Is the answer usually the same?  The precious object usually stays put: on the shelf, in the closet, in the attic or in the basement.  Rarely will it be worn or used, let alone see the light of day.

Why do we, against recommendation or advice, hold fast onto certain possessions?  For several years now, I have been contemplating hiring a fashion consultant/closet makeover wizard, but before I could commit to making an appointment with her, I knew I had to come to grips with knowing that she was going to tell me to get rid of a lot, ok probably most, of my clothes, shoes, and accessories.  I could just hear me defend…”What?  Get rid of the hand painted silk blouse and floor length skirt that my mother wore 40 years ago? NO! The material is priceless!”   Was I really going to be able to follow through with her advice to donate or consign the investments I had already made or been given?

Let’s just take the challenge of a wardrobe. There are as many reasons to cling as there are personality characteristics, but here are a few:

·         We are sentimentalists; such saps we think that the long gone still care, or we want to pass it along, because some day it will fit someone and be cherished.
·         We are hoarders; we love to have a large inventory just in case
·         We are egotists; we can’t admit it was a mistake to buy it in the first place, or by virtue of owning it, we are a notch up on those that don’t have it
·         We are masochists and want to punish ourselves by wearing it despite how bad it looks, doggone it.

Do I really suffer from these sometimes-unflattering psychoses? I’ve always been a firm believer that we all exist on one continuum or another of the many defined personality disorders – but what I really want is some order.  To simplify my daily routine such that it brings me more pleasure and less angst, thereby freeing me to give more time to activities and people I enjoy.  

Ahh. I’ve stated my goal, but what about all of those devilish traits that are lurking in me? How can I overcome them?

There are some well-known beliefs to help accept the “get rid of it” mantra– Feng Shui believers and/or architectural minimalists or not – less is more.   To see space, to feel space, is uplifting and energizing.   Lack of chaos is also calming. To have some semblance of order, even just in the closet, when life is throwing us so many curve balls, is comforting and positive. And hey, admitting mistakes is not easy, but as those of us who have done it in the past can attest, there is a cleansing feeling after admitting wrong, almost as if the weight of the world has been lifted off our shoulders. Let it go and move on.

I believe in all of that, and I am therefore convinced this is good process to go through, and one that will be rewarding on many levels.  I’ll breathe through each toss into the give away box.  But one more question:  can’t I just do this myself? Is hiring a consultant the right path for me – an investment up front for reward longer term?

This is my answer to that.  There is just one of me, and at least four alter egos ready to stop me in my path to serenity and beauty. Go it alone? Are you kidding?

Written by Elizabeth, client

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