Clean Your Closet, Clear Your Mind!

by: Joanne Pittman

Have you ever seen a closet full of nothing to wear? This condition often regarded as being gender specific is actually a plague affecting the feminine and masculine gender equally.

We don’t hear about it because the masculine gender has devised a less vocal yet brilliant coping mechanism.

Here are some helpful tips, especially if you are going through divorce, or experiencing a transition where you are ready to reinvent your life.

The Feminine Scenario:

Woman: Exasperated, frustrated and out of breath from trying on seventy percent of the clothes hanging in her closet for an evening out. “Honey, I have NOTHING to wear!”

Honey: Looks into the closet of Woman and sees a lot of clothing. Perplexed he looks at the heap of clothing covering the bed too. Honey also knows that this terrible predicament which makes absolutely no sense is HISfault. He should just apologize immediately and say he will do better and take her shopping to buy more things that she will wear once and lose in the abyss known as her side of the closet. Every time there is an event or date night he can push the repeat button. Sound like a good plan?

The Masculine Scenario:

Man: Somewhat irritated, he looks into his closet to get ready, realizing he doesn’t really know what to wear. He probably doesn’t have the right thing to wear, but knows he will quickly forget about it. He prefers to spend his time thinking of more interesting things like electronics, game day, or custom rims for his car.

“Sweetheart, what should I wear tonight?” Problem solved. He won’t have to think about shopping and will conveniently slip into a safe cloud of closet denial. Sweetheart will tell him what to wear. If he looks terrible, it will not be his doing. Sweetheart will make him wear that shirt that he hates, but he doesn’t care. He did not have to go to that dreadful place where there are a bunch of sales people waiting to take his money as he wades amongst and racks and racks of clothes.

Have you witnessed this scenario before? Not in your own home, of course, (chuckle) but in the homes of your less evolved associates and friends.

It’s All Too Much:

For those of you who no longer have Honey or Sweetheart in your homes, placing blame or obtaining fashion advice from a scapegoat is no longer an option. This is the perfect time to come out of closet denial and start fresh.

I have been privileged to be in the closets of nearly one thousand clients over the past 24 years. The stories they tell me are most fascinating! Here is the one thing that I have learned: If you have repeatedly found you have nothing to wear, it is likely (over 95% of the closets I have seen) that you have TOO MUCH.

Pulling the Roots, Cleaning and Organizing Is Not Enough:

New clients are often hesitant to invite me into their closets, they think I am going to take their treasures, dramatically throw them in the garbage, and light them on fire. That makes for good television, but it doesn’t make for lasting results.

  • A wardrobe review is a discovery process. What am I trying to discover?
  • Motivators
  • Drivers
  • Value Propositions
  • Self-esteem, health
  • Problem-solving formulas (shopping for clothing is a problem-solving exercise, just in case you were not aware)

There are always rational explanations for the madness that exists in one’s closet. You most likely created your formula between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four. As life progressed perhaps you did not give thought to adjusting the formula embedded in your subconscious. Chances are your solutions have become obsolete. They do not take into consideration your current and future lifestyle needs. Your formula may be the root of frustration, and anxiety affecting you on a daily basis.

The Top 3 Reasons People SAY They Keep Things That Should Probably Go Elsewhere:

  • I might fit into it someday or it will come back in style.
  • Sentimental (file in the hope chest)
  • Guilt-an entire article can be written on this subject. You know why you feel guilty, don't you?

While you imagine the limitless reasons you should keep these articles clogging the positive energy flow in your closet, please ask yourself the following:

  • What do I have to gain or lose by deleting/keeping this item?
  • If you saw it in the store today, would you buy it, FULL PRICE?
  • Why am I really hanging on? (popular answers: fear, unresolved emotional attachments, needs, lack of better solutions)

Thoughtful and self-reflective Spring Cleaning will help you create efficient and effective habits, which will support your current and future lifestyle goals. By addressing the real issues; such as going through divorce and re-inventing your life, which have nothing to do with clothes, you will be on your way to experiencing a more positive mindset as your clean your closet and clear your mind!

"Clutter is a physical manifestation
of fear that cripples our ability to grow." 
-H.G. Chissell 

As one of the principals and founders of Pittman, Lamitie & Associates, Joanne has developed their proprietary IMAGE Authenticity™ Training Programs which address the multifaceted work and lifestyle demands on employees and executives in the corporate world today. Her innovative approach has evolved over the past twenty three years in the fashion, fitness, luxury retail and image consulting industries. Joanne has been writing training curriculum and presenting developmental workshops to large and small audiences for over eighteen years. She is known for raising new questions and expectations which successfully foster authentic corporate and personal brand presence.You can contact Joanne Visit her website at and linkedin at