Saturday, 18 June 2011

Now what do I do with it?

I finally finished going through my clothes yesterday. 

started last weekran out of time, and then took a break.

When I returned to the task, I was a lot faster.

In the meantime, I'd been to a business-social function. In the past, this would have meant lots of outfits on, outfits off, and general angst. This time, I was able to see everything in my closet knowing that it all fit me. I picked out my clothes and got dressed in less than five minutes. This was great motivation.

Here's how I tackled my clothes.

I dragged all my clothes out of the bedroom closet, the armoire, the laundry area, and two bins and a portable "closet" in our basement. I hadn't really noticed before how many places I had clothes stashed away.

I gathered it all in our guest room.

Then I went through everything and put it into one of these categories:
  1. Garbage. (I put these things directly into my son's diaper bin, for obvious reasons.)
  2. Give away or sell. (Initially these were separate categories, but I kept getting caught up trying to decide whether to give away or sell.)
  3. Keep and mend. ("Do you want it enough to actually mend it?") (Nothing went into this category!)
  4. Keep and store -- Halloween. (Two things: a black silk skirt that would make a great Batman cape; a black velvet tunic.)
  5. Keep and store -- business clothes. 
  6. Keep and store -- off-season clothes.
  7. Keep and store -- too small. (Wear-dated for one year.) 
  8. Keep and store -- too big. (In the end I kept just one thing in this category. A pair of gorgeous black wool pants with a black satin stripe down the outer seams. I should ditch these because I don't ever want them to fit again, but they are really great, flattering pants...when I was two sizes bigger than I am now. Hmm.)
  9. Keep and wear now.
I went as fast as possible and tried to imagine myself shopping. I'm a slow shopper, so I asked myself, "Do you love it?" "Does it make you feel good?" Also, "Do you ever put this on only to take it off because you don't feel good in any way?" That's an easy good-bye.

I did 5 loads of laundry at the same time. Distracting but surprisingly effective. Every time I ran to the basement to switch loads, I witnessed the incredible amount of crap down there.

As contemplated, my remaining too-small clothes are now in a wear-dated bag. It's practically a minimalist's closet: three pairs of pants; shorts; a turtleneck; a cardigan; and ten pairs of new cotton undies, which I look forward to wearing five pounds from now. 

If these clothes don't fit in a year, I'll throw in a t-shirt and eBay the lot under the heading "Complete Minimalist Wardrobe".

My own wardrobe is far from minimalist, but it's much trimmer now and it fits me.

I still have a bin that holds off-season and business clothes (unworn since I quit my job but definitely keepers), along with the wear-dated bag.

Although I threw out lots of other clothes, I kept a bin of "rags". That is, clothes I'd be happy to rip up or paint in. Why, oh why? Possibly because my hubby recently bought a 10 lb. bag of rags!  I'd rather toss those purchased rags and use my own. And I'd like to have something I can wear to paint a room...

I just realized that "rags" was not one of my nine categories. How did this happen? This bin is pretty much as-is. I guess I got lazy. Or rushed. Added a label and felt good about it. Fell for the organization trap.

Clearly, I have more culling to do there. And apparently writing about this process has some use for me. In the meantime...

... I now have all of these clothes that I've decided to sell or give away!
Going Soon
Yes, this picture makes me smile. 

I'll be even happier when it's gone. It's all in good condition, since the worn stuff either went out in the garbage or into that "rags" bin. The easy thing would be to put it all in donation bags and be done with it. But I like the idea of a little cash in my pocket. While I'm tempted to Craig's List it, I'll probably compromise and consign it. I won't get as much for it, but I'll be able to get rid of it quickly.

So, next steps:

  1. Divide it into three sets -- dressier consignment; casual consignment (for a different consignment store); charity.
  2. Move it on out.
  3. Do something about that "rags" bin...

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