It's time to move on from the past, and move towards body acceptance.

Clothes are often a symbolic remnant of who you once were. It’s time to move on from the past, and step into the present. 


It’s calling and screaming at you from inside the walls of your house. Months that have added up to over a decade of failed promises to wear that shirt you used to wear around your last boyfriend. There’s a sweatshirt you’ve been hanging onto because it reminds you of the good old college days, plus a skirt you that you once believed would make all the difference in getting noticed.

If you’ve been putting off going through your old clothes, you’re not alone.

Sure,  you may have given away a few items here and there over the years, but there are so many more items you’ve likely held onto for those moments of “when I can wear them again,” or “when I lose the weight.”

This year, make your newfound mission to accept your body for the size it is intended to be. And there’s no better way to start that process than with a total closet clean out. That and…well, your significant other is tired of looking at the boxes.  Here are a few tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible.

1. Pour yourself a glass of wine.

Why not make this process a fun occasion, right? For some, this may be an emotional experience that will bring up all kinds of memories. Find a way to make this process “fun” if possible. Pour a glass of wine, put on your favorite playlist, or pop in Runaway Bride. This process doesn’t have to be the torturous event you’ve probably made it out to be.

2. Decide on what “piles” you’re going to need.

Create piles for: Donate, Sell, Try-On-And-Decide, Keep, Trash. While you go through your “try-on” pile, put them on and decide whether or not they will be kept. Consider selling some items that are a little less worn or a name brand, as well as donate items that you feel aren’t worth the time to make out price tags for the next yard sale.  Be sure to grab some boxes to organize and pack your items up with.

3. Reflect and reminisce.

Take a few moments before you begin and accept the fact that this is a process. You’re going to be going through clothing that may be decades old. Some of this clothing may represent a different time in your life – a different person even.

Remember, it’s OK to feel uneasy about it. It’s OK to feel sad that the clothing doesn’t fit anymore. But more than anything, recognize that you’re going through this process as a means of moving forward – to the person you are today and to honor the person that you are now.

4. Do the thing.

Nothing left at this point but diving in. When memories come to the surface, take a few moments to let those wash over you. Cherish the memories that were formed and then move on. You can always have the memory and the clothing item cannot take that away. When you find an item that no longer fits the body you’re in now, remember that bodies change constantly throughout a lifetime.

As humans, we are not meant to be in the same body for our entire lives. You don’t expect to fit into the onesie that you wore as a baby, and you shouldn’t expect to fit into the mini-skirt your wore in your teens.

Change is good, because you’re progressing in life.

Adapted from the original article.

Amber Madden, MA, LPCA is a Kentucky-based licensed mental health counselor specializing in treating eating disorders. As the creator of “Beat the Binge”, a 6-week online program, she helps individuals tackle their food rules and break free from the struggles of disordered eating, binge eating, and emotional eating. Learn more about Amber at Bloom Nutrition Therapy.

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