Purging Your Closet - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Purging Your Closet



    Purging Your Closet
    Two North Texas clothes hoarders are learning to let go.

    Most women have clothes they never wear, but, for some, clothes hoarding gets out of hand.

    Experts say most women only wear 20 percent of the clothing in their closets -- the shoes that looked good in the store but just aren't comfortable, the outfit that was on sale but doesn't fit right. For the average overstuffed closet, a simple reorganization can work wonders.

    Actress and model Leeanne Locken reluctantly admits to being a shopaholic and clothes hoarder.

    "I went through a period of time in my life where I was unhappy with where I was in life,” she said. “I was unhappy in my relationship, I was unhappy with myself, and I used shopping as a way to make me happy."

    A Closetful of Clothes, And Nothing to Wear?

    [DFW] A Closetful of Clothes, And Nothing to Wear?
    Two North Texas clothes hoarders are learning to let go.
    (Published Friday, May 21, 2010)

    She has lots of clothes. They are in the bedroom, the dining room, the garage and even in the little room that houses her water heater. Hundreds of the items have never been worn, and the price tags are still attached.

    "And every time I go through, I think I want to pull something out and keep it,”’ she said.

    But Locken is getting help from professional stylist Valerie Elizabeth, of Society Stylist.

    "What I think, my goal for her, is to kind of purge out all that extra stuff and totally get it out of her closets that she is in every day,’” Elizabeth said.

    Professional organizer Cherie Ware is to real estate agent Deedra Poteet's rescue. Poteet is hanging on to clothes that don't fit and are out of style.

    "I've gained some weight, and I can't fit into those any longer,” she said. “I've got the plan to lose the weight to fit into those, but it's been a couple of years.”

    Both women have common closet problems.

    "I see people hanging onto things because they may attribute kind of an emotional experience to when they bought those shoes or the event that they wore those shoes to," Ware said.

    But for some, it's more than just a few extra clothes. Extreme clothes hoarding can indicate an anxiety disorder, and therapy or medication may be needed.

    "It may be an issue that it's gotten so out of control, and they're so overwhelmed by their environment that they become embarrassed to have friends over, have family over, and suddenly they begin to isolate themselves from social relationships,” Ware said.

    For some people, giving items away to a charity can provide some emotional gratification. But if giving clothes away makes them feel wasteful, they can try consignment or a garage sale or just give some things to friends.