Are You Creating A "What If" Scenario?

 Photos by  Merrill Melideo
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Last week I was in a client’s closet and she pulled out an old, ratty t-shirt and said “Oh this is for painting.” I thought to myself that this was a bit strange since she wasn’t really a painter, but its ok to keep something for when you need to get messy. I let it go. Then it happened again. This time with a pair of sweatpants that were so worn we couldn’t make out the writing on the side. “Oh, well I might need these if I get sick.” And then again over a tattered yellow cardigan. “I am saving this in case I go to a Golden State Warriors game and need some yellow.”

“Ok, we need to have a talk.”

I said this to her lovingly but firm. “You are holding on to clothes ‘just in case’ but do you really like them?”  This stopped her in her tracks. She didn’t even realize that this was something she had been doing. She said “You’re right. I don’t even like this cardigan, and if I went to a Warriors game I probably wouldn’t choose that anyway.” Talk about an epiphany!

Once we had identified that this was something she did, it became SO obvious and easier to get rid of things. It was like magic. We were going through her closet with ease and it was fun to hear what stories she had made up about her old, unwanted clothes. Finding the humor in it made her realize that she wasn’t attached to these clothes for reasons that still held true.

The stories included things about possibly saving for a pregnancy she wasn’t planning, a dress for a business meeting even though she didn’t work in that field anymore, and “baking clothes” even though she bakes regularly and never picks them to wear.

At the end of the day we sat to chat about what shifted for her. What she said really rings true for so many and I wanted to share the sentiment with you.

“If I don’t love it, and I wouldn’t buy it in a store now, why should it be taking up space in my closet or drawers? I was more concerned with the scenarios that haven’t happened yet. But I know that if those ‘what if’ scenarios happened I would find something to wear and would probably be happier in something that I liked. For example, my cozy and soft sweatpants I adore is what I want to wear when I’m sick. So why do I need that gross pair again?”

So let’s do some deep diving into your closet for a sec. What do you have in your dresser that you THINK you might need but the reality is you are holding onto it for all the wrong reasons? A lot of us hold onto old t-shirts to sleep in for example. How many old t-shirts do you need? Maybe it’s time to let go of a few that are no longer in good shape. A good rule of thumb is to pick three. You shouldn’t need more than three pieces that you wouldn’t wear out of the house. You actually probably don’t even need three but let’s start easy and work our way! So if parting with things is hard for you, start with keeping three!

So what is your scenario? What have you been keeping in your closet that’s not serving a true purpose and how can you make that change?



Melanie Kluger