Sunday, January 17, 2010

I was ruthless, and I was thorough.

Today was productive, but there's little evidence.  I spent hours--HOURS--going through all of my clothes.  (Michael declined my offer to join in the fun, which means we still need to do the process again wtih his clothes at some point. He doesn't have many clothes to begin with, and probably half of them don't fit him well.)

I was ruthless, and I was thorough.  I did ALL of my clothes...everything in my closet, armoire, and dresser drawers...right down to the socks and undies! And here's how I did it: if I hadn't worn the item in the last few weeks, I tried it on and appraised.  I'd ask myself Would I buy this today, if I were in a dressing room right now? If the answer was no, out it went.  There were few exceptions: a sweater someone knitted for me, some Hampshire and Harvard hoodies that I hardly ever wear but that do fit and were expensive, the Thai fisherman pants from our honeymoon, and a sarong wrap from our trip to Hawaii.

There were several highlights to this project:
  • I have three bags worth of donatable or yard sale clothes.
  • I was surprised at how good I looked in some things I haven't worn in a while. It was practically like going shopping--I now have many new pieces added to the rotation.
  • I was surprised to find I actually have PLENTY of well-fitting work pants (and can therefore stop alternating between the same two pairs.)
  • I fit into my old pants again!
  • I can now close my dresser drawers and pull a sweater out of the armoire without feeling like I'm losing a game of Jenga.
On the downside:
  • I had to make myself get rid of several items that I actually love, after finally admitting that they either didn't fit, weren't flattering, or needed repair they were never going to get. (and I'm left wondering if these items were just as un-flattering the last time I wore them.) sigh.
  • There were a few things--not many, but enough to be embarrassing--that either still had tags on them or were hardly worn at all but that I clearly wouldn't buy today. sigh. Dealing with the guilt of "waste" was definitely the hardest part of this task.
  • After wondering how so many of my shirts could possibly be too short when they didn't used to be, I realized my chest has gotten bigger. How'd that happen? When did that happen? 
  • I now have three bags of clothes, and once again need to decide whether to save them for the yard sale supposedly being organized for March, or just donate them and be done with it.
  • Even after all of this, my closet is still too small for even my hanging clothes, and Michael is still relegated to the pantry and various sprinkler pipes. Sigh. I need to find somewhere else to stick a shower rod and make into a closet. I might need to rip out the shelves currently installed in the closet. They aren't very useful--just sheets/blankets mostly.
The worst part though, was that even after hours of ruthless culling, nothing LOOKS much different. Even cleaning the floors was more immediately rewarding.

Though my arms still hurt from yesterday.

At least I'm on track...tomorrow I need to finish the hallway and do the books. Wish me luck!

What did you get done today??


runningwiththejig said...

Good Job! I really need to do this. When you do the books, let me have first dibs!

Melisa K. said...

Well, I can tell you this: trying things on and asking yourself if you'd buy it today (or let a friend buy it) really works!!

You've probably read most of my books over the years, lol, but I'll try to figure out a way to let you have first dibs. (wanna come up and shop next weekend?) I'm going to want to get rid of them pronto or it will never work! Maybe I'll set aside the ones I think you'll like, and stack the rest downstairs to let the community at them before making a donation to More than Words in Waltham...

Alexis said...

I hate realizing I have stuff I never wore too! I end up keeping it for an abnormally long time because I feel so guilty getting rid of it. Although, it does make a great contribution to a second hand store since it has never been worn. My new prevention strategy is to not buy anything UNLESS I love it AND can envision it as part of an outfit I already have the components to. At least I can say to myself as I look at the tag that I won't let it happen again.

Melisa K. said...

true. i am learning a lot of lessons through this process. hopefully they'll stick. =)