Monday, June 17, 2013

Keep on Purging

I got rid of a lot of things before I moved, and I have gotten rid of a couple of things even since then.  My apartment is uncluttered and I have exactly what I need.

Except for my clothes.

I admit it, I am a lazy girl when it comes to laundry.  I don't mind putting it in the washer, I get annoyed when I have to put it in the dryer but I do it, but when it comes to putting it away, I get a big F.  My method is usually to take all the clean clothes and pile them up on a chair.  Then I take what I need, and file it back away into the dirty clothes basket.  Clothing items that are 'gently used' like jeans or sweaters, etc, often get thrown artfully over a different chair and the process repeats itself.

For the first time in a very long time, all of my clothes were washed.  Why would I want to move dirty laundry?  Well, having all my clothes actually clean and in front of me begging to be organized in my much larger closet forced me to come to terms with exactly how many clothes I actually have.  I posted this status update on facebook a little while back: I'm officially admitting I have a problem. I've been putting away clothes for three days now and I still have a pile on my couch and in the truck of my car. There is no end in sight. I have five identical charcoal v-neck t-shirts.  This prompted a friend of mine to call me a hoarder.

I know she meant it in jest, but it actually upset me a bit.  Here I've been feeling all smug because my new place is nice and organized and uncluttered, but what I've actually been doing is shoving things I don't want to deal with into the back of the closet.  I've made progress finding a place for everything in my new apartment--except the clothes.

I have been trying to pare down my closet to the essentials for some time now.  I'm pretty pound of the fact that I can look into my closet and know that I've worn a lot of the items in the last year and have had many for years as well.  But there are some things I have trouble dealing with.

1. The dressy outfits a.k.a the ones you wear to weddings.  
I have a cadre of sundresses that get a lot of use during the summer months, but I also have quite a few 'nice' dresses that barely get worn.  When you attend a wedding, you of course are usually photographed, and I don't want to wear the same dress to every wedding I go to.  Thankfully, I don't have any weddings to attend this year, but I do always get annoyed that guys can just buy one suit and wear it for years while I have to accumulate an expensive and rarely-used wardrobe.  I do have some dresses that I've had for years, and still like, but even then, it seems like a bit of a waste to have them hanging in my closet when I never know if I'll need them again.

2. The Suit
I do not wear a suit to work--never have, nor am I ever likely to.  When I was in grad school, I bought a suit for job interviews, but I actually never even wore it for one.  I finally had to admit that it was just too small and unlikely to ever fit me again, so I freecycled it.  But now people keep telling me that I need another suit.  Obviously, having one on standby is probably a good thing, but suits are also expensive and if I never wore the last one I had, what are the odds I'll actually need the new one?  When I finally pulled it out of my closet, it was actually dusty!  I don't know that could happen to clothes!

3. The clothes that go with a life I don't live
I've always struggled with this one.  You see something in the store, it's beautiful, but you have no occasion to wear it.  I used to just wear them anyway--I was the girl in grad school showing up in smart casual when my classmates were in pajamas, but for biking to work and frequently crawling around on the floor while at work (more than I'd like to admit), it just doesn't make sense to have some of these clothes.  I've been hanging onto a skirt from Banana Republic for literally three years.  

Occasionally, I try it on, remember how much I like it, and then don't wear it.  Ugh!

My new plan is to be aggressive with the closet.  Thankfully, the layout should make it such that I can actually see what I own and therefore am less likely to buy things I already have, but I also vow to keep up with my laundry and pare things down a little further.  Yes, I have five identical charcoal v-necks, but I will not buy any more!

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