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Cull the bad-feelings clothes from closet

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Our journey through life starts with our first breath and it ends with our last one. Since our birth we have packed many bags for our trip. We are born naked, but then we have to put clothes on our bodies. These clothes tell our history; from the baby shoes in which we took our first steps, to the dress we wore to the prom, our wedding dress and then to the maternity clothes we wore. I'll wager that your closet recounts many of the chapters of your life.

Our closets are filled to overflowing. Each time we open our closet door we have a conversation with those clothes. If the truth be known we actually wear only a few items in our closet. The rest are there to beat us up and pretend to rescue us. Our clothes have a way of making us feel bad.

Just think about the wedding dress that no longer fits. What are your first thoughts? How could I let this happen to me? I looked so good that day. Then I want you to think about how you starved yourself to fit into that dress in the first place.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can't we be happy with ourselves like we were? We are trying to fit into an unrealistic picture that only stays with us for a moment.

Those nasty conversations go on each time you walk into your closet. If it isn't about a wedding dress it is about another favorite outfit that is too tight. It is time for us to quiet these beratings and get on with our flight without feeling guilty.

There is an easy way to banish these voices: Get the clothes that make you feel bad out of your closet and only keep items of clothing that you absolutely adore and feel like a million bucks in when you wear them. Decluttering your closet is not going to kill you; in fact it may just save your life.

It is time we packed for our journey. Our closets are no longer going to stand in our way of traveling light and enjoying our trip. Most of us only wear about 10 percent of the clothes we have stashed in there. Let's lighten our load and get rid of those nasty voices once and for all. Out of sight, out of mind! We can do this.

First we need to look at the clothes we truly love because we feel good in them. This goes for your shoes, too. Pull those out of your closet one at a time and think about the words you hear in your head when you have them on. Now put them back in your closet and pull out something that does not give you the same feeling. If the item of clothing makes you feel bad, evokes feelings of guilt or you just don't like it, then put it in the give-away box. If you have changed careers and no longer have to get dressed in suits then donate them so others can start their new jobs and look nice. Let me warn you. Going through your closet is difficult because of all the stories your clothes dredge up. This is why I only want you to spend 15 minutes at a time doing this. Do not spend hours because this will make you feel too bad. Bless yourself by being kind.

Over the next week of spending 15 minutes a day culling clothes that do not bless you, you will begin to see a pattern to your favorite items. I call it your personal uniform. We all have a favorite color, fabric or style that makes us smile. Look at your clothes with an eye for your style. It is all about what you love and how you feel.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS; check out: www.FlyLady.net or "Sink Reflections" published by Bantam and "Body Clutter" published by Fireside. Copyright 2007 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.