I have a closet full of clothes. Some of them I wear almost every week. Some of them I haven’t worn for a long time but I have memories of them as favorites, or I have memories of how much I paid for them that keep me from giving them away. Since I am engaged in the long term project of downsizing, today I decided to wear a dress and make a decision. Does it go or does it stay?
This has been a good day to wear a dress because I intended to stay inside and write. A dress is good for writing. There isn’t a lot else to be done in a dress, comfortably. I often wonder how our pioneer ancestors walked across the country in dresses, not to speak of all the things they usually wore under their dresses to complicate things. I know some of them probably put on a pair of pants if they could find some to fit, but I’m also thinking that pants might not have been all that great back then either.
So, in my dress, which I bought at a garage sale a couple years ago, I sat and wrote all morning. The writing was productive and the dress kept me from getting distracted and going outside. But I gradually got the “knowing” feeling. The dress was not “me”. I took it off and put it in the box to go to Goodwill. It was a useful exercise in paring down.
Home improvements have temporarily deprived me of a closet. All my clothes are stacked on chairs in the room that’s become my bedroom. It’s the perfect time to implement the “tidying up” principle and get rid of clothing that doesn’t make me happy (read about that here). Today I am picking up each piece and asking myself if it goes or stays. There’s something very revealing about the process. As I listen to my self talk, I hear this person who has trouble letting go…
this one fits, I wonder if I can get that stain out, keep
that one was just what I needed (that one time three years ago), keep
hate this color, but wow, no stains, have to keep it.
where has this been? how come I’m not wearing this! Wear tomorrow, keep
this always makes me so hot, but what if I move north, better keep
this one never shrinks or shows dirt, keeper for sure (never wear it)
I paid for this one new, can’t give it away yet (never wear it)
my daughter gave me this (sob), fits her so nice (not me) keep
nice blouse (not for me) maybe mom would wear it, keep
cute but what was I thinking, I’m not 20 anymore, maybe daughter would wear, keep
this might go under something (couldn’t ever wear by itself), keep
love this one (nearly broke arm getting out of it 😦 ) keep
I look so good in this one, can stitch up the hole, maybe, keep
I love the way this one feels (one day a year in Florida…), keep
my favorite color, except for the stain, keep and wear for dirty work
this seemed like a great idea when I was in Cambodia, might go again, keep
I know there must have been a reason I bought this, keep
Funny thing, the happiness factor hardly ever enters my mind when it comes to clothing. It’s so much more about serviceability and protection and staying on comfortably. Not that I don’t appreciate a little color and style on occasion, just sayin’…
So what does your closet look like? Have you tidied up lately?