wardrobe clearing

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7 Timeless Tips for Decluttering your Clothes & Discovering your Next Style

When you shift into a new life chapter, it’s generally a good time for decluttering your clothes! How you spend your time determines what you will reach for in your closet. So if you have too much stuff from a prior chapter, like I used to, no wonder it feels like you don’t have anything to wear!

With my 7 timeless tips, you can evaluate what’s in your wardrobe and refresh accordingly. This isn’t necessarily about how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes. Uncluttering takes time! And I always save room for a few items for sentimental reasons or infrequent occasions. 

But having the bulk of your wardrobe aligned with where you’re at now makes sense. And who doesn’t want to appreciate and use everything in their closet? I know I do! So let’s get to my tips!

decluttering your clothes
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Today's post is all about decluttering your clothes so you can curate a timeless midlife style!

declutter your clothes
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Tip #1: Don't buy anything until you're done decluttering your clothes

 

If this sounds like an extreme decluttering approach, it’s not. What truly makes sense is to wait until you’re completely done with decluttering your wardrobe. But I didn’t want to scare you off!

Yet doesn’t it make sense to clear out what doesn’t work before you add more in? Whether you have room for more right now or not, out with the old and only then, in with the new! One step at a time is my philosophy. 

Now maybe this feels uncomfortable because you’re anxious about not having the current season’s styles or missing out on sales. But if the trend is short lived, why worry? And rest assured: there will always be another sale. Retailers are pretty good that way!

reflect on your life style
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Tip #2: Reflect on how you spend your time

 

When your employment status has changed in some way, perhaps you no longer need all that business attire. Even if you continue to work from home, is it now all about the Zoom appearance, i.e., attractive blouses? 

Perhaps the formal occasions are far and few between now. Conversely, you may plan to travel extensively in style so resort wear is in your future. Or heading to the country and living the simple life is your new goal … so hello, jeans and t-shirts!

However you intend to spend your time, decluttering your clothes should take this into consideration.  Perhaps you simply admire a certain style, but the reality is that you really don’t have the opportunities to wear those things any more. That’s a critical revelation! Sort and release accordingly.

rules for decluttering clothes
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Tip #3: Choose your color palette while decluttering your clothes

 

Everyone has their “go to” hues! Certain colors just make us feel happy, powerful, or confident. Even if you like all the colors, having a theme with just two or maybe three base colors will be the ticket to mixing, matching, and maximizing your wardrobe. You can always bring in the rest of the rainbow with your accessories!

how to declutter your clothes closet
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Tip #4:  Perform "speed rounds" as you're decluttering your clothes

 

The process of decluttering your clothes does not have to be an all-day or all-weekend affair. That’s a sure-fire way to get decision fatigue … and then get stuck. 

Instead, spend as little as 20-30 minutes at a time. Start with pulling out the no-brainers: what you never wear, what isn’t a favorite, or what is worn out. Don’t overthink it! Go with your first instinct. Just grab and stash it in a bag.

In fact, label your bags as “donate” or “sell” if you plan to do both. That way, the donate bag only gets touched once. Then there’s no second guessing your decisions! 

turn the hangers
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Tip #5: Turn the hangers for what you actually wear

 

This is a tried and true trick to gain a visual on what actually makes it out of your closet! Viewing our clothes closet every day feels like the contents are part of our lives. But the hangers tell a different story when some are facing one way and others facing another! 

Now a different season may very well be the reason that you don’t reach for a sweater if it’s the middle of summer. But you’ll still be able to see what you really favor with this approach. And ultimately, you may decide to organize your closet seasonally. Then you’ll truly be able to see what your options are at a glance, based on the prevailing weather.

box the on-the-fence stuff
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Tip #6: Box the on-the-fence stuff while decluttering your clothes

 

Feeling conflicted with releasing certain things? The longer you think about it, the harder it become to make a decluttering decision. My advice? Box it up!

Now if you’re regularly wearing it, that’s a different story. Intuitively, you may know that it’s not quite the right cut or color for you. But hang on to it for now. It will likely depart in a future round of decluttering. Or when you start to in-fill with the best clothing for your current chapter.

All other on-the-fence items should be boxed or bagged. You’re hesitating with these rarely worn items for different reasons. Often it’s because that lifestyle is no longer your main event. Or it could be due to how much you paid for it. Whatever the reason, this will be a box of stuff to let go! There are post links to help with donating and selling at the end of this post so hang tight

determine what suits your shape
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Tip #7: Determine what suits your shape

 

It’s a fact: our body shape changes over time, no matter how dedicated we are to clean eating and physical activity! And so it follows that certain styles usually look better on a 20 year old body, a 30 year old body, and so on.

You see where this is going! I myself feel 10-15 years younger than I actually am. However, I’m mindful to curate a wardrobe that is more sophisticated than what I wore when I was 20.

Taking an honest yet loving look at your body will help guide what styles will accentuate your best features and de-emphasize your challenging areas. Sometimes, just going up a size will do the trick. Don’t be hung up on sizes!  All that matters is that the garment fits comfortably and attractively.

A few standard rules of thumb include:

  • Wear a darker color on what you want to minimize
  • Use brighter colors to draw the eye to what you want to feature
  • Balance out hips with broad shoulder lines
  • Choose an empire style top or dress to hint at a smaller waistline

Above all, make peace with your body shape! It’s gotten you this far in life, hasn’t it? Unless you’re fully committed with a plan for dropping some pounds, how long do you want to have clothing that’s too small hanging in your closet? Fill it with what fits, flatters and feels good now!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today was all about the best tips for decluttering your clothes as you enter a new phase of your life

 

  • Our focus and activities tend to change with each decade!
  • Ready to head into your new chapter looking fab and feeling good?
  • Start with these 7 tips to arrive in style!

Your turn:

  • What kind of clothing do you need to weed out of your closet?
  • What holds you back from letting certain items go?

Let’s chat … and thanks for stopping by!

selling used clothes

15 Premium Places for Selling Used Clothes to Clear Space in Your Closet

Selling used clothes is a tremendously smart way to make room for items that align with your current (or future) lifestyle!

It’s not easy to let things go, regardless if it doesn’t make sense to keep them. We are beings who feel deeply and so our emotions often dictate the choices we make.

But when you’re ready to say goodbye to outdated, ill fitting, or just plain “I don’t care for this any more” clothing, what next?

If you can’t shake the feeling that you’re throwing money away if you donate it, I get that.  

 Yet hanging on to the item isn’t the answer. It continues to sit there, so what kind of return on investment is that?

So I say the answer is to sell it! 

This Post is All about 15 Spectacular Sites for Selling Used Clothes

sell used clothes
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Obviously, there are an insane number of places to sell clothes! I’m breaking it down in two ways:

  • how you can sell locally and
  • where you can sell beyond your hometown
where to sell used clothes
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Local Options

Here are 5 ways to sell right in your own community, along with key points.  A face-to-face hand off (if you’re fine with that) means no mailing costs incurred by either side. So potentially, you may get paid sooner.

  1. Secondhand (brick & mortar) stores
  2. Facebook Marketplace
  3. OfferUp app
  4. Craig’s List
  5. 5Miles app
When it comes to secondhand stores, these include consignment shops, pawn stores, and thrift shops. You can Google to find what’s near you. Each of them have their strengths and drawbacks. You can get the summary in this other post of mine, Secondhand Stores Can Be Your Decluttering Partners.
 
Just realize that you’ll have the least amount of control with secondhand store pricing since they are doing all the work and providing the retail exposure for your items. But in return, going this route will require the least amount of time and effort by you.
 

Facebook marketplace groups are easily found in the app. Other local online selling groups are discoverable within the FB platform, when you type within the FB search bar, “Buy and Sell Groups near Me”. You can also insert the type of merchandise you’re selling to discover specialty groups, i.e., jewelry.

OfferUp and Craig’s List have both been around for a bit. Check out their basic rules. Then noodle around to see what type of clothing is predominantly sold in your community. 

Lastly, 5Miles is relatively new (to me) but growing rapidly as yet another buy and sell app. As the name suggests, it’s all about what’s within 5 miles of you. It’s touted as being both free and safe. It also has an auction feature for bidding on hot items.

sell used clothes online
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Expanded Market Options

A larger market will expose your items to more buyers and also provide specialty niches. 

6 Luxury sites

  1. The Real Real
  2. Vestiare
  3. Poshmark
  4. Tradesy
  5. The Luxury Closet
  6. LePrix

This is just a sampling of the top apps for buying and selling high end couture!

Take time to review the site rules before choosing where to list your clothing. Take into consideration any postage fees, mandatory price reductions, commissions, and seller protection. It’s always smart to see what comparable items are listed for, to avoid having your items over (or under-) priced.

I personally sold an LV duffel on The Real Real. Funny how a designer bag feels so special until it’s time to let it go and then you realize how many there are! So I priced it to sell and it did go quickly. It felt a little painful to see how discounted my return was but I reminded myself, “something is better than nothing”! The bag was simply not practical as it was quite large and I was concerned it would get scratched up if I ever had to check it in. So all kinds of lessons learned with that one!

Selling clothes on Poshmark can be lucrative, if you’re willing to put in the time. I’ve only bought, not sold there, myself. The sellers are quite active so you would need to stay on top of your listing and also connect with other sellers. When you network, sellers refer buyers to each other and also have combined “parties” with special discounts. 

Niche sites

  1. Fashionphile
  2. Worthy

These two sites specialize in handbags (Fashionphile) and jewelry/watches (Worthy). Both are highly reputable and worth considering.

Honorable Mention sites

  1. eBay
  2. Mercari
  3. thredUP
  4. Vinted

These four sites are all wonderful in their own way. The first two involve auction style selling. eBay needs no introduction. It’s good for scoring a decent return and selling things quickly. Mercari is similar and also allows selling a wide variety of items with easy listing directions.

For an online consignment store approach, thredUP sends you a Clean Out bag with a prepaid label. Pop in your unwanted clothing, shoes and accessories and ship it off! Plus, if your items don’t sell, thredUP will donate them on your behalf.  So selling clothes on thredUp is a fabulously convenient option!

And lastly, Vinted works similarly to Poshmark but without the luxury item category. It’s a good choice for mid-range priced clothing in decent condition.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This post shared 15 fantastic sites for selling used clothes

There is a wide range of sites for selling what you’ve pulled out of your closet! 

Unless you go the consignment route, understand there will be time and effort needed to keep your listing optimized and to ensure the sale closes successfully. It’s rare to realize a return which is the same (or greater) as what you paid for an item. But don’t let that discourage you from recouping some of your initial cost.

To get in a practical state of mind, forget what you paid for the item. Seriously! What matters now is what you can get for it today. What you originally paid has been spent. So anything you realize now is “extra”! 

Your Turn!

  • Have you tried selling secondhand clothes on any of these sites?
  • Do you have tips for selling designer clothes?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

donating old clothes

Donating Old Clothes & Recycling Textiles | Repurposing for A Better Planet!

 Donating old clothes hanging idly in your closet makes sense!

I’m talking about items you rarely if ever reach for. Usually this happens when they no longer (or maybe never) fit quite right so they just don’t feel that good. Or they don’t appeal any more. Why let clothing languish in your closet, taking up valuable real estate? My suggestion is to pull ’em out, box ’em up, and let ’em go!

And the same goes for releasing items which never see the light of day. You know, the stuff that is torn, faded or stained. No one else is going to be interested in wearing those, either! However, these are things that can actually be recycled instead of heading to a landfill. Our planet deserves love, too, don’t you think?

As part of my Creating Clarity in Your Closet series, donating and recycling are about letting things go without a monetary gain. But repurposing your stuff to help someone else or the planet will give you a “feel good” boost so let’s dig in to spread some love around!

Today's post reveals resources for donating old clothes, as well as recycling options for items which are no longer wearable.

donating old clothes
image from Pexels

If I open with saying that I don’t know your best donation resources, would you think I’m nuts?

Ha! Allow me to explain by laying a foundation. If I suggested sites that don’t jive with your time capacity or interest, what would be the point?

So instead, start with acknowledging what you are willing and able to do. Then, you can land on the best approach for you!

 

3 Ground Rules for Donating Old Clothes

Firstly, you need to be on board with donating. If you prefer to recoup some of your initial cost, by all means, bypass donation and go the re-sale route.

In fact, some of the top selling resources will also donate on your behalf if your items don’t move, so that saves you dealing with unwanted items a second time. I’ve got a link to a post covering re-sale options down below!

Secondly, how much effort are you willing and able to put in? If time and interest dictate that the easiest route is directly to the nearest Goodwill, just do that! This nationwide resale chain gets dinged for their high corporate salaries and/or the well-heeled shoppers that can lurk in the aisles.

However, there are many admirable initiatives with Goodwill, including job creation. And some shopper will benefit from your donation, so why make this complicated for yourself?

Thirdly, the list is infinitely long for where you can donate clothing.  It’s beyond challenging to be objective with ranking every charity for where to take your attire. All kinds of “best donation center” lists abound on the web if you search with those particular words.

Therefore: land on the choices that align with your personal values and timeline when you do a simple Google search. If there are particular non-profits that speak to your heart, narrow your search results with those in mind, i.e., women’s shelters. 

Ready? Let’s start right there!

places to donate clothes near me
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Best Donation Options

1. In-Person Donation Centers

Enter into your search bar, “where to donate [fill-in-the-blank] near me”. Whether it’s women’s shoes, purses or business suits, type that in and then review your choices. It’s that easy! You decide how far you’re willing to drive. Be sure to call ahead to confirm the donation entity is open for drop offs, that it’s currently accepting said items, and, of course, their hours of operation. 

2. Pick-Up Donation Entities

This time, enter in your search bar, “charities that pick up [fill-in-the-blank] donations near me”. Once again, call to verify what the non-profit is currently accepting. Then make arrangements for the pick up. Even easier, no?

3. Mail-In Donation Options

Lastly, I did this online search for you, with “where to mail in clothing donations”. There are currently two options which provide a postage-paid label:
 

Give Back Box®

This option is a non-profit whose mission seeks to reduce both packaging and clothing waste. There is a tremendous excess of cardboard boxes from online shopping that can be reused (but any box is acceptable for shipping).
 
Consumers pack the box with unwanted clothing and household goods. Then they print a prepaid label to send the contents to the charity of their choice (options are given online).
 
And drop off is allowed at any UPS, FedEx, or USPS location. You can even arrange for a pickup! This worthy program is active in the USA, Canada, and the UK. All the details are here at the Give Back Box® website.
 

Soles4Souls

Next, this second option focuses on shoe donation and helping individuals start reselling businesses. There are thousands of drop off sites across the USA but free shipping via Zappos for Good is available, too! All the details are right here at the Soles4Souls website.

Both these donation options avert dumping more stuff in our landfills, which leads to uncovering your recycling options!

recycling clothes near me
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Best Recycling Options

What to do with old clothes that that cannot be donated?

When their condition is such that no one else would want to wear them, proceed directly to recycling!

Once again, we’re back to Googling! 

Enter in, “clothing recycling near me” for your best local options. Choose the ones that fit on your calendar and with your personal preferences. As always, call ahead to ensure you know the current policies and procedures.

In addition to the choices that crop up, there are two other worldwide ways to go. Just realize there is a (reasonable) monetary cost with each.

But keep in mind, we all know that there’s a worthwhile price associated with keeping our planet pristine.

1. ReTold Recycling

This is such a fantastic resource because they do it all for you! They make the rounds on your behalf, starting with thrift and charity stores, and then move on to recycling companies who turn fabric into rags, insulation, car seats, and so on.

Consumers can either purchase just one bag or sign up for a subscription of multiple bags during the year. All arrive with prepaid postage labels so you just throw in the clothing and drop it off at the nearest mailing center. The details are here on the Retold Recycling website.

2. TerraCycle®

This company uses a Zero Waste Box® system to recycle even more than just clothing. They also recycle plastics, metal, glass and paint, to mention a few.

Consumers order boxes, pouches (even pallets!), pack ’em up and ship ’em back. How easy is that! The details are on TerraCycle’s How it Works page.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Was About Donating Old Clothes & Recycling Unwearable Items to Create Clarity in Your Closet.

When you no longer need, use, or want what’s in your closet, consider redistributing the items through donation or recycling.

Someone in need can give love to your no longer wanted items. And diverting excess stuff from a landfill is the right thing to do! 

Make room for what truly suits your present lifestyle!

Your turn!

 

  • Where is your favorite place for donating old clothes?
  • What items are the hardest to release from your closet?

Share your thoughts with us below. Let’s chat … and thanks for stopping by!

Decluttering Clothes to Create Clarity in Your Closet

Curating a wardrobe that reflects your current taste and lifestyle requires decluttering clothes which no longer warrant a place in your closet. When you’re over 50, there’s likely been a change with how you spend your time. Which means what you’re wearing has also pivoted, too.

So if you find yourself pawing through blouses, slacks and shoes to assemble your day’s outfit, this series is for you! Imagine the serenity of readily seeing only what you need, use, and love in your closet!

I’m timing this series with the annual Spring ritual of swapping out Winter clothing for warmer weather (or the opposite, if you live below the equator). Unless you are blessed with a roomy walk-in closet, many store their off-season clothing in another closet or room. So pause before packing away things you didn’t wear yet again. It’s is the perfect time to curate a wardrobe that fits, flatters, and feels good now!

First things first, before decluttering your clothes!

 

Begin with why, create a plan, and then get going

Grab a notebook or create a Word doc which captures what you personally want to achieve. Maybe your top goal is to downsize your wardrobe. Or perhaps it’s to add in clothing that truly aligns with your daily routine. You may have a few things on your list.

Whatever it is, this will be your personal reminder to refer back to, when your motivation slows down or hesitation sets in.

-Decide when you will devote a block of time to focus on your closet. If you can do a daily session, great! Is it 30 minutes a day? Will it be an hour, 4 times a week? Or will you be a weekend warrior, armed with strong coffee?

Just land on what fits in your schedule and suits your energy level …  and commit to it. 

And now, on to my 5 rules for decluttering clothes that need to go!

This post kicks off a series about decluttering clothes to discover your new midlife style!

how to declutter clothes
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Rule #1: Release Costly Items Never (if ever) worn

How often do we cling to things that we regret buying? Oh, they may be perfectly beautiful yet they don’t fit quite right, they aren’t truly your style after all or they were an impulse buy. You know exactly which items these are in your closet! But then your second thought is remembering how much you spent … and so they stay. 

Go ahead and set them aside for now. If you’re up for recouping some of those dollars, label the box, “Sell”. But if you don’t have the time or inclination, label the box, “Donate”. I will share the best current options for both in an upcoming blog post!

Be willing to let these items go. The money has been spent so it’s not actually costing you anything to release this stuff. But they are costing you in terms of occupying valuable space in your closet.

Focus instead on the fact that you’re finding a better home where they will get the use and love they deserve. And now you’ve made room for what truly reflects you. What do you think about that? 

how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
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Rule #2: Release "it" colors or styles that aren't you

Are you smiling now? Good! I’m simply making the point that while we want to look current, sometimes the so-called “must have” looks are simply not our friends.

Who dreams up these “rules” anyway? What if we created our own rules? Think about it this way: there’s a reason we reach for certain styles or colors time after time. Certainly, it’s possible we get ourselves into a rut. Maybe we’re playing it safe. Or we might truly benefit from a little styling advice! Don’t worry: I’ve got blog posts coming up addressing all of this!

Meanwhile, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Go ahead and weed out what you don’t like or wear. Why hang on to idle clothing? You can sort into the two categories mentioned earlier: “Sell” and “Donate”.

There, doesn’t that feel good to release what doesn’t truly flatter or make your heart flutter? I thought so!

how to downsize your wardrobe

Rule #3: Reduce your stockpile of special occasion items

Here we are delving into identifying what reflects the cadence of our current lifestyle. It’s not uncommon that our roles change after 50. And so it follows that our clothing choices should, too.

While the definition of a special occasion will vary from one person to the next, think about the situations calling for an outfit other than your everyday wear. How often does that happen? Ensure that the quantity of said items jives with the frequency of such situations.

Also, pay attention to the color, fabric and design of your special occasion clothing. If black is not your best hue, then perhaps your “little black dress” needs to be blue! Or red. You know what your personal power color is.

And if the material feels confining, stiff, or itchy and it’s always a relief to take it off, that should go, too! The goal is for you to define what creates confidence and comfort every time you put it on. Those are the timeless items  to keep. Release the rest. 

Additionally, corporate (business) attire may not fit under the  “special occasion” label, but don’t overlook releasing this or any other type of clothing if you don’t mingle in a certain arena any more. Most of us don’t have sufficient warehouse room for all the “some day”, “you never know”, or “just in case” clothing!

how do you declutter too many clothes
image by maria orlova from pexels

Rule #4: Release multiple sizes from the fluctuating scale

This is a touchy subject but bear with me, please. Who hasn’t experienced a change in their shape and weight, as the years go by? Despite our best efforts, there will be a natural shift despite exercise and dietary adjustments.

We can still look fabulous! But clinging to sizes that are unrealistic or require deprivation than we are unwilling to endure? Let those go! Life is too short to berate yourself on the basis of size.

However, only you can decide what to keep, based on your personal goals and determination. Is it de-motivating to see sizes too small in your closet? My suggestion is to remove those items and store them in a box labeled with the size and the current date.

If they still don’t fit by a future date, i.e., the next season, re-evaluate your situation. And if it no longer matters to you, don’t even open the box … just let it go! Make room for what truly fits now.

5 rules for decluttering clothes
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Rule #5: Reduce the sentimental volume

 

The 70’s called to get your groove back on! Whatever makes your heart swell, keep it. How wonderful to have your heart smile when you open your closet door and see a reminder of a happy memory.

The key is to limit these items to a discreet number. If you have too many items for viewing only, this will pose a practical problem. How will you have closet capacity for what you actually wear?

Whatever the size of your closet, an artistically arranged set up with a few sentimental items will allow for a pop of joy every time you open the door.

Can you have a dedicated shelf for these things? Would a wall display or a free standing rack in your bedroom be the way to go? Sort for what is most meaningful.

Does each thing have equal value? Likely not, so quickly release anything you feel iffy or “meh” about. Don’t ruminate too long … or decluttering your clothes will grind to a halt!

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: This post was about decluttering clothes in order to curate a midlife style that fits, flatters and feels good!

When we’re entering a new season … weather-wise or decade-wise … it’s an ideal time to re-evaluate our wardrobe. 

It’s extremely tricky to recommend styling ideas since we all have such individual taste! And my bottom line is always going to be, “If you love it, then wear it!” Seriously. Don’t be concerned with what anyone else thinks.

Oh, we will be judged. It’s what we do (c’mon, admit it!) and so does everyone else. But do you anyway! 

Your turn!

So I’m curious:

  • Does your clothing reflect your personal lifestyle and taste? Or does it mirror what the “fashion police” decrees?
  • Is your closet chockfull of items from a former role or era? Will you realistically reach for these things again?
  • What truly holds you back from letting certain things go? How do you do it anyway?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!  

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