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Clean Your Closets

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The stress closet.  A euphemism for all things scary, dark, and feared.  A place we shove unwanted items or things we don’t want to deal with in a given moment.  The closet is such a visual representation of all things deep and dark we have cliches about being in them, where our skeletons lie, and poltergeists linger. Once a year or so you probably find yourself so tired with the disorganized mess that you clean and purge.  And what about those internal closets?  Those secured vaults tucked away in the bellows of your gut.  It’s the closet where you stuff your fears, insecurities, regret, guilt and gremlins hoping to never speak or hear of them again.  It’s the place you run and hide when you don’t want anyone to find out your true feelings.  Just as those closets in your practice need cleaning and purging, so too does your internal closet.

Why being in the closet hurts us

We pay the price

Closets are small.  They’re not meant to hold a lot yet we stuff and stuff until they finally overflow and topple everything out.  Literally, we can pick it all up and throw it all back in.  Figuratively, there are some serious repercussions and we pay the price.  We can’t predict when, where, how and in what form our purge will take place, but know that the body can only take so much stuffing and storing of emotional baggage before it purges itself.  Bystanders beware!

Blocks us

When we keep a ton of clutter, it clouds our ability to see clearly.  Open your nearest closet door.  Can you see everything in it?  How about all the way through to the back?  Same with the internal closet.  All those catabolic feelings, negative thoughts, traumatic experiences behind the closet door have a direct impact on our paradigm and filter of our world.  Instead of being our authentic self, we become a walking manifestation of our closet.  We make decisions by our fears, pass on opportunities because of our insecurities, lack vision by the weight of our regret and guilt, and live small as our gremlins scare us right back into our closets.  

Creates a chronic stress cycle

What we love and hate most about our closets is that they hide all the chaos in our lives.  The appearance is that we are neat, tidy, together…able, gives us the strength and, sometimes, ignorance, to keep moving forward.  As we move, those items in our closet trigger our stress response.  The more chaos we see and feel the more our brains struggle to process coherently which sustains our stress response.  What we are actually trying to avoid, stress, we are unintentionally are perpetuating by keeping our closets full.

How to Come Clean

As in your literal closet, cleaning out your internal vault will help you reduce stress and live a life where you can be bolder and play bigger.

Get it all out.  You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.  Purging your soul is the first step in coming clean.


Once it’s all out on the table you can start to categorize and compartmentalize.  When you clean out your office closets you put things in boxes or storage containers that fit together.  You find the root cause as to how they are connected and deal with them all at once.  The same steps apply to your internal closet.  Those many different feelings, emotions, thoughts, experiences, and memories seem overwhelming when they are just floating around all disconnected. Connect the dots and put them in boxes.  It’s easier to find solutions to a few issues than to a plethora of random, tiny ones.


When you share things with others it enriches all of your lives.  What you might not be able to handle or manage, someone else might find it easy to process and find solutions.  Sharing things with others lightens your load and you don’t feel so weighed down and burdened.  If don’t want to share with friends, consider more professional organizations.

Throw out

Finally, if what you find in your closet doesn’t serve you, pitch it!  Don’t hang on to it out of habit or fear that you might need it in the future.  We don’t always need to understand why we feel or think or remember certain experiences. Actually, what often keeps us stuck and stuffing our closets full is due to our need to understand the why behind an event or situation.  There are many times in life that we don’t need to understand, just accept.

We all have closets.  They are a positive coping method to help us avert things we aren’t equipped or ready to manage.  It’s not the purging of the closets themselves we need to deal with.  It’s when we have items in there for years and years that hold us back and weigh us down that we need to become aware and clean up.  You know if you haven’t cleaned out your closets in a while.  It’s time.

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