What Your Over-Stuffed Closet Says About You

Is your life out of control? That’s what your closet is trying to tell you as it groans with the effort of trying to keep your past fashion mistakes from spewing out at your guests. Or perhaps you have all your clothes from the last decade condensed in those lovely vacuum sealed storage bags to better preserve your shame. Either way, it may be time to evaluate the clothing and shoes that you have held onto for so long and possibly send them on their way to a more fulfilling life. Let’s start by determining the nature of your clothing issue.

Packrat… or Hoarder?

What Your Over-Stuffed Closet Says About You, an EcoGoodz Blog postMost of us, at one point or another, have gotten in touch with our crafty inner packrat. We come up with all these grand schemes to repurpose that green and purple flannel shirt or buff up your favorite old pair of wingtip shoes for the next block party. However, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that these items are doomed to live out the rest of their existence with the dust bunnies in their cardboard home.

Items that we hang onto may arouse sentimental feelings or fill us with a warm and deceitful sense of security. Many of us also buy things because the act itself feels good in the moment. Being a packrat is not particularly uncommon but if you have crossed over into the land of hoarding then you have a real problem on your hands. The following characteristics are commonly found in hoarders:

  • An inability to let go of items they aren’t using because they “might” need them one day.
  • Constantly acquiring items that they have no use for and no reason to purchase.
  • Their large collection hinders their ability to live normally in their homes.
  • They formed strong attachments to objects at a young age.
  • Their piles of items make them uncomfortable having guests over for fear of judgment or the ghastly possibility that someone might “touch their stuff.”

This issue goes beyond a tendency to be disorganized and cling to used clothing and related items. It is a serious problem that may cause you to question all your life decisions as you smother to death under a pile of beanie babies, burnt wood logs and despair.

Taking Back Control

If you are surrounded by more clothing items than you can manage it is time to reclaim your soul from the bowels of your closet. Pull out the plastic bags and if you need some extra support I recommend Aretha Franklin’s “I will survive,” for your background jam.

Start by pulling out ALL the items from your closet so that you can sort them properly. If you haven’t worn a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing in more than a year then it’s a good bet that you probably won’t ever be wearing it again. There may be wonderful stories behind these items but remember that no one cares. Just put them in the discard pile and be done with it for the sake of your future marketability on eHarmony

Sort your items into two piles: the clothes, shoes and related textiles that you still use and the things that no longer fit or that you no longer care to wear. This second pile can include a multitude of things such as:

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Towels
  • Bags
  • Blankets
  • Accessories, etc.

Some of these things may be in poor condition but as long as they are clean they can still be donated and put to good use. Almost everything you give away will either be provided to people who need them or repurposed or recycled.        There are very few used clothing items that cannot be used once they are donated

At the end of the process it’s time to reward yourself. Drop off your bags of used shoes and clothing and ignore the scream of panic in the back of your throat. It will take some time but it will eventually go away and be replaced with the realization that your closet is no longer your master. You are free to do something you enjoy now. Relish a meal at your favorite restaurant, take part in a stress-releasing activity or buy the pair of diamond crusted sneakers you’ve been eyeing for weeks. After all, you spent hours making room for them.