The over stuffed closet …
Because I don’t like labels, i don’t consider myself a minimalist because. Instead I prefer just stating the facts… with rare exception I’m not attached to material stuff. What’s the exception you might ask, thinking I have a roomful of some something. Nope! All I hang onto are photos, all of them, as well as an occasional macaroni necklace, ceramic planter and art from my children’s childhood. In addition, I have a crucifix that belonged to my parents (they actually received it as a wedding present) and a small replica of the Pieta in Rome which they acquired at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964.
There’s some stuffed animals that were gifts or were my children’s favorite fuzzy friends. Realistically, all my “treasured keepsakes” fit in one plastic storage bucket.
But then there’s the dreaded closet… what lurks behind the door???
I don’t believe there are many of us who don’t have items we glance at year after year; never wearing, never tossing. It’s as if magically that thing you’d only wear in desperation to avoid nudity will become an item you love! Maybe it’s lazziness (me), a lack of finances (also me), or just that thought of someday it will be handy, that keeps someone who’s not attached to stuff, tidyly hanging on to this stuff. I’m not emotionally attached to most of it (there are three items that remind me of extra special times). The clothes were not expensive (I am a bargain hunter who never pays full price). They are not designer labels or classics that will span decades.
New year, new me… I know, let’s all stop to do a collective eye roll at the tired cliche. But, seriously that’s kinda sorta what it is. I’ve found it oh so true, the better I feel about how I look the better I feel about life in general and the more I get done and am inspired too do because of it. The other day I was getting ready to attend mass. I pulled out a dress I’d not worn in six years (I know this because I wore on my last day at a job I was laid off from in 2010). Ah-ha says I, this will do nicely. Later at mass, and then a few errands I ran, I felt meh; old, tired, bored. The dress fit well, in spite of being a bit longer than I now wear, and for all intent and purpose it did what it was supposed to do, but I was uncomfortable.
Arriving home I took a long, hard look in the mirror. The reflection was of a person torn between who I was when I purchased the garment and who I am now. Subtle and trivial yes. Important for my psyche, absolutely. This thing that cost me eleven bucks and had known many wears, was pulling me down, distracting me from putting my best foot forward. Into the laundry and onto donation. This happenstance led me to a decision of sorts. I had neither the time nor inclinatioan to rummage through each article in the closet, making decisions about each piece. I sad I decided to use that one dress moment as a template for keep versus not.
Now, as I get ready, instead of reaching for a tried and true outfit I’m sure of, I grab one of those been there for awhile items. I do some self evaluatiian in the mirror and away from it. I ask myself a few questions: Would I wear this on a date? To a meeting at the office? To dinner with my kids or friends? Would I be happy to run into someone I haven’t seen in awhile? Do I feel good about myself? If most of the answers are no, it goes on to its next purpose with someone who might need or even love it. I’m doing this with shoes and costume jewelry also. Surprisingly it’s already making a difference in the amount of stuff I have!
Trust I am not wealthy; there are no plans to go on a self-indulgent shopping spree… the ten dollar, size eight, deep discounted skinny jeans I scored yesterday at TJ Max is as big a spree ask as there will be for awhile. I don’t need to replace what I’m tossing because the stuff has been idle for too long a time. For me quantity is not important. I’d prefer to have a few outfits I feel good about myself in, instead of a closet full of stuff that on some level, even if not worn, makes me feel prosperous via accumulation.
It’s said clothes make the man… I believe in this case “man” is a generic term for all humans. If you find yourself in a slump, not feeling up to par for no explicit reason, look in the mirror. Check what you’re wearing. Ask yourself my questions. Maybe all you need to do is swap out your outfit (or a portion of it) for something else you already have. You never know, could be change your clothes, change your life!
Happy dressing and purging. 🙂