I started removing the junk from my enormous conglomeration of possessions yesterday. I was really in the mood to get started, so I did a couple of little drawers that were fast. It was bittersweet. Here’s what happened.
I started with my bathing suit drawer. I have a lot of suits, as I’ve changed size and shape so many times over the past 6 years with 2 pregnancies and 1.5 years of breastfeeding. I got rid of 5 bathing suits, 3 cover up shorts and 1 cover up top. I had a lot of trouble letting go of the peace sign/yellow suit and the funky asymmetrical one I got two years ago, because I love them. Note to self, when you say out loud that you love an article of clothing you sound crazy.
I kept 2 bathing suits for now so I could keep the one I’m comfortable wearing but still have something with a little more coverage, and I also got down to only one coverup that works for both suits. Miracles do happen.
Talking about my plethora of bathing suits does make me feel vain, so let’s get to something a bit more difficult. In addition to cleansing my pile of bathing suits, I thought I would go through my pajamas and workout clothes, which are all in the same drawer for reasons unknown to any man. The workout clothes were easy enough. I don’t have a lot, although I did get rid of a few items that I never wear because they are completely uncomfortable, ill-fitting or so unflattering that I may have found them stuffed at the back of the drawer. It’s not worth keeping if it’s not going to be used. Honestly, I need to get a few more workout items for warm and cold weather, as opposed to less. My currently theory for the amount of clothing I should have is enough to do 1 load of darks and 1 load of lights every other week. I’m going for overall efficiency here.
Pajamas got a little more complicated. Here’s the theory I’m operating under: I need 7 summer tops and bottoms and 7 winter tops and bottoms as I wear my pj’s for two nights before they go in the laundry. Pajama bottoms were also pretty easy, but I’ve got shirts out the wazoo and there is no rhyme or reason.
Typically the shirts I wear to sleep in are in a specific drawer… with a lot of other shirts I wear for daytime… or shirts that get worn for either. I’m thinking that if I’m getting my wardrobe down to essentially 2 weeks worth of clothing, each thing I keep needs to have a clear purpose. So what I did for now was get rid of shirts I knew I wasn’t going to wear. Shirts I keep only because they are memorabilia, shirts that fit and so I don’t want to “waste” them by getting rid of them (by the way, what’s more wasteful – donating to charity a shirt you rarely wear or keeping it “just in case” you may someday want to wear it?).
This meant I had to get rid of some old t-shirts from plays and other events that meant a lot to me. I could sit here and write out the story for each article I said goodbye to just to illustrate my point, but I think that would be counter-productive to my mental uncluttering. Let’s suffice it to say I am a huge Batman fan and theatre is what I do. Period. Giving away an item that is tied to something that is extremely important to me is hard. What I’m starting to “get” is that the object and the interest are only connected in my mind.
I’m not done working in this drawer, but I also want to point out that once I do finish with this drawer, I still have a TON of shirts in my closet. Even that huge stack of tanks that went out the door is just part one of the tanks and camisoles I own.
You want to know what thought is getting me through this? Hopefully, it’s obvious how ridiculously many shirts I own. I thought before I started this that I NEEDED to buy and then keep all of this clothing. That way when I had a NEED for a particular item I wouldn’t NEED to go buy it from the store, thus wasting my money. Now, when I look at all the clothing I’ve been hoarding, I can’t help but feel spoiled. I own too much. I worry too much about whether I have the “right” belongings. I’m ready to move on.