Use Hesitation to Clear Your Closet

I recently wrote about the power in hesitation in making decisions and being mindful. I want to talk more about what I wrote and give some practical steps to utilize hesitation to your advantage. I would recommend reading my previous article on hesitation and then come back to this one.

Ok, now that we have a basic understanding of hesitation, let’s talk about how to use it to live with less.

Hesitation is a feeling of uncertainty or doubt and exists for a reason. That reason, as far as minimalism is concerned, is to help us realize what we don’t want or need.


Go to your closet with the intent to find what you love. Make sure you have good lighting. Open any drawers, get everything in the middle. If you have to take everything out of your closet and spread it all over your bedroom then do it. Get everything into the open.

Now think of the different situations in your life where you need different types of clothing. Perhaps your list has things like work, church, weekend, exercise. Be sure to only include the activities that are really important to you.

Take one item from the list at a time. Let’s start with work for an example. Imagine that you are getting dressed for work. Start picking out the clothes that you would wear for work and set them aside. Now for the important part: Any time you have any hesitation or doubt put the item of clothing into your hesitation box. Don’t second guess your hesitation, just toss it into the box.

Maybe you question the color, the size, how it fits, whether or not it’s your style. Maybe it’s really old, has a hole in the pocket, or whatever. You’ll find the reason later on.

Repeat these steps for every activity on your list. When you are done, put your clothes back into your closet and grab your hesitation box. We need to figure out why you put those items into the box. If there is something you can fix (like a hole in the knee of some jeans) in the next 6 months then make a plan to fix it and put the item aside to be fixed. If it’s something you can’t fix (you dislike the color, style, size, fit) then move it from your hesitation box into your donation pile. Ideally almost everything should go from the hesitation box into your donation pile. If you have had hesitations before and you hesitated now, you will probably hesitate to wear it in the future.

Do yourself a favor and only wear what you love. If you don’t love it then you won’t love yourself wearing it. Hesitation is a weeding out tool. Use it to your advantage when trying to cut down on the number of your possessions.

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