Most of my clothes fall into one of three categories: too tight, too loose, stained and/or covered in holes. And armed with this ill-fitting wardrobe, to get dressed each day seems to require entirely too much energy. For starters, the ill-fitting clothes seem to have multiplied. My dresser drawers no longer close properly, each hanger in the closet struggles to hold more than one item, and the shelves are stuffed to the brim in a mass of fabric chaos. Yet, I continue to keep.
There are very few items of clothing in this tangle that actually make me feel good or comfortable. In fact, most of what I own causes me to fidget and shift and squirm. Most things with a fitted waistband seem to make me angry. Anything with a collar makes me irate. and pants that have to be hemmed…well, don’t get me started.
This mess of clothing happened for a few reasons. One, my weight has shifted over the years like a yo-yo back and forth between 3 different dress sizes. As a result, even if something doesn’t fit me anymore, I tend to keep things just in case. You know we all have those pants or that skirt or dress that we keep…just in case I drop an extra few pounds one day and can finally close up the top button. I have a thyroid that seems to change its mind a lot. Some months it doesn’t want to function so well and other times, it picks itself back up, dusts itself off and revs up the metabolism. So, despite having lost the weight I gained in college beer parties and late night burgers…I keep all the clothes that are also too loose on me in case my thyroid decides to shut er down and I find myself needing to go up a size. It is like, at times, that there is clothing in my closet for three people.
The second reason: I like to thrift. No, correction…I love to thrift! And I have a terrible habit of picking something up, noticing that it’s not quite perfect, but buying it anyways because my crafty brain says: oh, we can take that in or out, we can hem those pants, we can fix those rips, we can turn that giant old lady dress into a trendy new skirt, we can felt that sweater into a pair of mitts…etc. etc. Every piece of clothing is a potential craft project. I go to a second hand shop. I try on a piece of clothing. I recognize that it doesn’t fit. It still makes it to the cash register….because…oh, but the fabric is just so so pretty.
The other day I decided…enough. Even though i’ve purged a thousand times as a result of what feels like a thousand moves…I still feel overwhelmed by stuff. Stuff that takes up space in my life and in my home…yet, no longer seems to serve any kind of practical purpose. I have this vision of sliding open my dresser drawer and actually having the drawers be capable of opening and closing smoothly. I have this vision of opening up the closet and not having a single thing fall off the shelf. I want to rescue my hangers from a lifetime of sagging under the weight of too much fabric.
But mostly, I want to only own clothing that makes me feel good or at minimum fits properly and is comfortable. And i’ve decided, if this means giving almost everything away and being left with only two t-shirts and a skirt…so be it!
So I started today. I’ve photographed the mess and in a few days I’ll share with you the results of the great purge. Goodbye giant pants, goodbye pinches me in the stomach skirt, goodbye shirt with only one button that can be done up, goodbye t-shirt with the stain that is not so noticeable if I cover it with a scarf, goodbye collection of blue sweatshirts (why do I have 4 or 5 blue sweatshirts? why?), goodbye too tight jeans, goodbye too loose cat hair magnet brown cords. It’s time to say hello to opening the dresser drawer and finding only the right clothes.