Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Damn, I've got too many clothes!

One of my goals this week is to clean out my drawers, shelves, bins and closets in order to take a hefty load of discards to Goodwill.

My reaction after three days of work: OMG! I have a LOT of clothes.

Mostly clothes I don't wear -- that's the ironic part. Clothes I used to wear but haven't included in my regular rotation for at least 18 months. Why are they still taking up space in my house and psyche?

Here's what I found:
  • stockpiled white and blue button-downs, jeans, t-shirts and camisoles; all of these are doubles or triples I bought because I liked a particular style and planned ahead
  • two bins of scarves and wraps I hadn't worn in a while
  • two of every kind of coat or outerwear
  • bins of wool sweaters in red, blue, turquoise and purple, unworn
  • three pairs of boots, when I wear one
  • a bin of winter hats I haven't yet worn this year
Solution: cull through everything, compare and discard. I've already gathered one big bin, the contents of which needs to be photographed and noted for tax purposes, then dropped off at my favorite Goodwill. There is at least another big bin of discards in my future.

It's easy to become overwhelmed with this kind of task. While it might be easy to throw out torn, stained and worn-out clothing ("should be," I note), it is less easy to let go of perfectly usable clothing and accessories that you (I) still like or which have good memories or that might fit if you (I) lost ten pounds, of course. It feels like throwing out money or wasting money already spent.

But one must let go of things in order to let new, positive items or energy come in. This is the basis of Morris's statement.

Plan of attack:
  • Wear or toss: if I can't wear it somewhere in the next month, the piece of clothing goes.
  • Toss one of the doubles: if I have two, get rid of one.
  • Don't buy more: the t-shirts, the camisoles and the jeans are what I want... DON'T BUY MORE.
  • Think color: with a limited palette, those things outside, no matter how pretty, can go.
More, I'm coming to grips with my own need to re-think how and when I spend on clothing. I keep talking about 20 pieces in rotation, minimalizing my wardrobe, focusing on my style... now it's time to walk the walk.

How to do it? I could go about it drawer by drawer or bin by bin, but I think I want to try a different tack. By focusing on the kind of piece, choosing to keep a limited number of such pieces, and holding to those lines. I think this will be more profitable: if I look at all my red sweaters, for example, I can discard 50% of them. That's a good initial goal, I think.

And where will they go? To Goodwill, to the dust bin, to friends and students. Fly free, little goods.

In the end, I genuinely want to get my wardrobe down by half. A wearable half, one with style full of clothes I genuinely like wearing. And that leaves me open to looking for (a very few) new, stylish pieces that are distinctive with oomph.

What a great idea!

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