I Hired an Organizational Psychologist to Give Me a Virtual Closet Cleanup—and It Was Life-Changing
In the days before my Zoom meeting with Joanna Lovering, an organizational psychologist and style coach, I wondered if I really even needed a helping hand with my closet or my approach to fashion. I’m generally pretty tidy, I purge my belongings about twice a year, and I’ve been working from home for about a decade, so honing my style never felt like an imminent priority.
Ten minutes into our nearly two-hour session, I realized this experience was exactly the jumpstart I needed. Not only did Joanna offer a new set of (much-needed) eyes to my existing organizational approach, but she helped me discover and open doors that I didn’t even know were there.
What’s an Organizational Psychologist, Anyway?
When you really think about it, our closets are extremely private places. Almost sacred, in a way. They accumulate functional items we wear often, but also sentimental pieces that rarely see the light of day. More than that, our garments and accessories are not just a reflection of who we present to the world, but, as I realized speaking with Joanna, a direct look into how we view ourselves.
Yes, having a clean and organized space—one that prioritizes function and aesthetic—can help streamline our lives and not send us shuddering every time we open the closet door. But really thinking about the garments we buy, keep, and wear provides deeper insight into ourselves. Culling old pieces and adding new ones can actually help us understand more about who we are and can even propel us to the next level in our careers and relationships.
Just like any other therapist or psychologist, an organizational psychologist knows exactly what questions to ask in order to help you dig deeper into yourself and refine your focus. They can help you understand why you tend to buy the things you do or why you struggle to let go of other items. It’s truly both an internal and external cleansing experience.
5 Changes I’ve Implemented Since Our Session
The first thing we did in our sort session was to create a personalized decision tree for me to use from that day forward. My decision tree included the following questions: Does it fit? Does it show signs of excessive wear? Does it align with how I want to present myself? Using these questions, and some other tips from Joanna, I implemented the following changes.