I’ve been trying really hard for some time to clean out my closet. At the beginning of the year, I went through a minimalist phase — which I would still like to continue to do but have admittedly fallen off the wagon — and got rid of so. much. stuff. It felt good and I couldn’t wait to get rid of more. But then life happens, as usual, and I haven’t kept up with it as well as I would have liked. Each day I take a long, hard look at my closet and try to grab at least one thing that I know I can part with. It’s hard because I like my clothes, otherwise I wouldn’t have bought them, but some of them just don’t excite me anymore.

Nikki by example | www.nikkibyexample.com

This is as boho as I get. This skirt is about 4 years old and a tad too big.

Then I read this blog post by the amazing Alissa of The Adored Life about how she got rid of half the stuff in her closet. She describes how the woman her closet reflected wasn’t the woman she sees in herself because her clothes were from a different point in her life. This resonated with me SO. HARD.

For, at least, the last five years, I’ve struggled with how to present myself. I look much younger than I am, so I got rid of my jeans and t-shirts from college and dressed as professional as possible to make sure I was taken seriously in the professional world. This went well until I went to grad school at the age of 28 where I was one of the oldest in my cohort and felt out of place in my blazers and pencil skirts. So I assimilated to grad school life and donned my jeans and t-shirts again. Transitioning back into the work force after graduation was pretty easy… until I got pregnant. And then got laid off. And then found another job while still pregnant. And then quit working at all for a while to be a stay-at-home mom. Now I’m back in the office every day. As you can imagine, my identity and lifestyle has changed so much in these last five years, but my wardrobe? Not so much. So, when I read Alissa’s post, it just made so much sense. All of these clothes in my closet that were going unworn were neglected for a reason — they represented a version of me that I’ve outgrown. And some of them I had literally outgrown!

Nikki by example | www.nikkibyexample.com

Layering up for winter. I still like this outfit even though I was pregnant, but I would only be able to wear it on weekends in the winter.

I wish I could say that makes it easier to get rid of the clothes that don’t fit my current lifestyle, but it doesn’t. I’m a sentimental creature so I hold on to things for their emotional value, even though that emotional value starts to take it’s toll on my sanity by clogging up my closet. Also, I paid good money for those clothes and I can’t just throw out my clothes and start over any time life changes.

Nikki by example | www.nikkibyexample.com

This top feels like chainmail, and this is the only outfit I’ve been able to figure outw with it. Might be time to go.

But this does serve as a good starting point. Instead of just grabbing things I bought two years ago when I was pregnant and throwing them in the donation pile, I’m going to wear them one last time. If they feel good, I’ll keep them. If they don’t, I’ll know it’s time to move on.

Wish me luck!