I have a problem. If you looked inside my closet, it would appear I love to shop. REALLY love to shop.
But recently I discovered something I should have known all along: It’s not shopping that’s the problem; it’s rarely purging what I buy. For instance, some of my clothing was popular during the Reagan era. I mean, really…who keeps hip-huggers that long?
Now don’t get me wrong. My apparent reluctance to discard clothing I’d forgotten I even owned came as a surprise to me. Suddenly my closets seemed awfully small. This became evident when it took nearly all my strength to push dozens of occupied hangers aside in search of a particular item. That’s when I discovered a bridesmaid dress from a friend’s 1981 wedding. And no, that’s not a typo. I’m talking 1981.
Hello. My name is Janet and I have a problem letting go.
Anyway, in March I went to the desert with some friends. We shopped, as we usually do down there. Sadly (or not, depending on how you look at it), I found things I wanted. But I made a pact with myself: however many pieces of clothing I buy I will donate double that to charity by spring cleaning my closets. Deal?
Yep, I finally discovered the cure for my particular ailment of wanting new things but having absolutely no iota of space in which to store them. It took years to get to that point but I’d finally arrived. I was ready to purge, so to speak. In the desert I ended up buying 15 pieces of clothing. (They were on sale and I’m a sucker for sales.)
Another thing I learned as I began my spring cleaning is that I own very few clothes I truly like. My closets are full of items I wear once a year. Or never. I found quite a few things with tags still attached, like a dressy jump suit from 15 years ago. The design is back in style, as will happen if you hang on to something long enough. But I gave it to my friend Patty. She loves it. And thus my purging had begun.
Once I got into the process, I remembered the book titled The life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The premise is, when clearing out your “stuff,” ask yourself: does this spark joy? So as I tried on clothing, I asked myself that simple question. And guess what?
Turns out there isn’t much in my closet that brings me anything resembling joy. Apparently I’m not someone who knows how to put an ensemble together, like my friends Kim and Pam. They have something called a sense of style. I, however, am sorely lacking in that department.
Anyway, all my joyless things have now been donated, including 17 belts. SEVENTEEN! Yet I still have 14 I’m keeping. And I rarely wear belts. All told I filled trash bags with 61 tops, 21 shorts, 6 purses, 17 pants, 5 skirts and 11 shoes and boots. Yes, for you I actually counted them. You’re welcome.
Geez, I sure hope I have enough closet space.