1902 Victorian

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Clothes Horse Reined In

This weekend was productive but not in the way I planned. I didn't work on the drywall-over-beadboard problem, but I did clean out and organize my closet. I have what some might call an overwhelming mass of clothes. A swarm. An avalanche. I regularly sort through them, but I still keep buying new stuff, too.

And I still have a surprising volume of old - like high school old - stuff hanging around. I tend to have sentimental attachments to objects, including clothes. I keep it if I wore it for a significant event (the teal satin shirt I wore the night I met my very first boyfriend, the turtleneck I wore to cover up my first hicky) or if I just really loved it (the pin-striped summer suit that made me look skinny, the fuschia sweater I wore all the time in college).

I allow myself to keep the things that I have strong emotions about because just looking at them takes me back to that place in time ... the night I kissed the much-older boy in a parking lot, playing Spades all winter in the dorm common room, that romantic late-night dinner at an Italian restaurant on our honeymoon, my first grown-up job, my wedding, ninth grade Homecoming when we decorated the hall with streamers and glow-in-the-dark paint.

But every time I do a sort, I can let go of more. I examine each item and ask myself a battery of questions:
  • Do I even like this anymore?
  • Would I wear this even if it still fit?
  • Did this really look that good on me in the first place?
  • Will this ever come back in fashion?

    When the answer to all or most is a resounding NO, I can get rid of the item with no regret. Most of the time I donate or try it out at a yard sale. I sold lots of my skanky "juniors" clothes from high school at a yard sale two summers ago. This weekend I listed some stuff on eBay.

    My vast collection is dwindling, and that's a good thing. Even now, I have two closets and an armoire packed full, along with seven or eight plastic bins and one dresser. Before I started the frequent sorting policy? I couldn't even venture a guess.

    I know what I should do. For every new item I buy, I should ditch one old thing. But who can keep track of all that?

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  • 7 Comments:

    kingstreetfarm said...

    Hey, congrats on discovering the dark world of eBay selling!! Believe it or not, that's what I do for a living.

    1:34 PM  
    Kristin said...

    I've sold on eBay before, though never clothes. I'm swiftly getting addicted. I think it's so cool you do that for a living!

    3:45 PM  
    Jocelyn said...

    I am all about getting rid of stuff these days and being very selective about what I buy. We just do not have room to store much. I get rid of stuff every month and I am getting leaner all the time. Great if you can make some $$ of de-cluttering!

    6:42 PM  
    Patricia W said...

    Most of what we brought to Michigan is still in boxes. We have done without so many of our usual 'traps and calamities' that I am beginning to rethink how much of it we really need. Of course, her toys are something that will be kept and all of my electronics/computer junk but clothing is a major chunk of what is in boxes (embarrassing). I'll probably end up taking everything to Goodwill. I took box after box to them in Texas and will probably do the same here. I'm not patient enough to do the ebay thing unless it is something I know I'll get a decent return on.

    6:52 AM  
    Chris said...

    Why not take a picture of all the items you have a sentimental attachment to,write a little sentence or two about the item and then ditch the item. That would probably be a lot more fun to look at than sorting through dressers full of stuff.

    7:09 AM  
    Kristin said...

    Good suggestion, Chris. I've also considered making a quilt from the fabric. Of course, then I'd have to learn how to make a quilt.

    10:04 AM  
    Leah said...

    Another good question to ask yourself is, "I know I was saving this for sentimental reasons, but do I even remember what that sentimental reason WAS?" If not, ditch it! Going through my memory box, I discover that problem - "I know this rock is from some beach somewhere, but darn if I can remember where!" ;)

    10:28 AM  

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