Most people wear about 20 percent of their wardrobe 80 percent of the time. If you doubt me, do this test for a month: each time you wear something and launder it, hang it at one end of your wardrobe. At the end of the month you will find (unless you have deliberately changed your habits to beat this exercise or have a job that requires you to vary your outfits often) you are wearing these same clothes most of the time.
Actually it’s not just the clothes you wear that follow this 20/80 pattern. It can be applied to everything else you own and to most activities in life. We all get 80 percent of our results from 20 percent of our efforts (this is known in the business world as the Pareto Principle, named after an Italian economist who first figured it out). Similarly, we get 80 percent use from 20 percent of our belongings.
So when it comes to clearing out your wardrobe, first separate your clothes honestly into the 20 percent you love to wear and the 80 percent that are just taking up space, and it becomes much easier to dump the excess.
When sorting through your 80 percent pile, it is wise to get clear on your criteria for whether something stays or goes. First check out the colors. A great investment is to have a professional color consultation to discover which colors uplift and enhance your energy, and which colors do the opposite. You will walk away with a swatch of color samples that are sure to make you look and feel great, and this does wonders for your self-assurance.
This helps you to sift through at least 50 percent of your clothes and discard them forever, because it suddenly becomes abundantly obvious to you that they never did anything for you in the first place.
Next, try on each item in the remaining pile and see how you feel. If you don’t like the shape, the texture, the cut, the material, or anything else about it, let it go. You owe it to yourself to create a collection of outfits you absolutely love, so that never again do you open a wardrobe bulging with clothes and moan, “But I’ve got nothing to wear!”
Make a decision to never, ever buy anything again that isn’t quite what you want, because now you know it will just end up in the 80 percent pile and you will have wasted your money. Resolve to buy only clothes that you love and that look great on you, and if this means that you buy three gorgeous outfits that cost a bit more rather than twenty cheaper ones, so be it.
And, yes, I recommend you do this even if you are short of money. In fact, making a point of always looking good and feeling good is one of the best ways you can raise your energy and so attract better prosperity to yourself.
Clothes and Energy Vibrations
Some people keep things they haven’t worn in over 20 years. They say that if they hang on to them long enough they will come back into fashion. My advice is: If you haven’t worn it in the last year, and especially if you haven’t worn it in the last two or three years, then let it go.
Adapted from Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston. Copyright (c) 1999 by Karen Kingston. Reprinted by permission of Broadway Books.
Adapted from Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston.