On Cleaning Out My Closet

Last night, while drinking a glass of wine and ignoring a list of about six things I actually needed to do, I decided to thoroughly clean my closet.

Earlier this month Rob and I filled two large garbage bags with clothes destined for the nearest Goodwill, but for almost ten years I've been stubbornly holding on to ridiculous name brand stuff that I have absolutely no intention of wearing. I'll get rid of this or that every few months, but the majority of the things I really should be getting rid of just stay in the same place, still unworn. Most of it is no longer my style, but maybe it's Ralph Lauren or J.Crew, so I leave it to take up space in our closet or random corners of the apartment. And then some of it was bought for me by my parents when I was in high school or college, and I feel guilty giving it away, like they're suddenly going to wonder what ever happened to that skirt they gave me when I was in the tenth grade. 

But those two bags of clothes we rounded up freed so much space and I felt lighter, even mentally. Staring into a closet full of things you mostly hate and thinking I have nothing to wear is such a stupid way to start your day. Especially because there are things in there I really love, they're just overtaken by the things I don't. And whose closet (and life) couldn't use a little less negativity?

I've always subscribed to the "Have you worn this in the last twelve months?" method of getting rid of clothes, until last month when I was looking for a green top to wear for St. Patrick's Day drinks with friends and I came across a really cute little silk tank top with black polka dots that I hadn't worn it in at least two years. I thought, oh my God! I'm so glad I held onto this thing while I silently tallied up all the other cute stuff I never should have gotten rid of over the years. I'm kind of a hoarder when it comes to clothes, if you haven't figured it out yet. Now I ask myself instead, "If you were shopping right now, would you spend money on this?" The answer is usually no.

There's a dress that I used to love dearly but wouldn't be caught dead in today, and I've refused to part with it over the years for a number of reasons. But I put it in a bag last night and felt a weight lift from my shoulders.

Yeah, maybe they're just clothes, but they say something about us and we move them around and they take up space in our lives and our homes. And there were so many pieces in my closet that I looked at last night and realized I don't think I ever liked that one. Sometimes it's good to let go. Move along. Start a new chapter. Who was this person, who bought that sweater and wore these pants? I barely even recognize her anymore.

(I feel like now is a good time to mention that I have a hair appointment next weekend to go lighter for the first time in my life and, if you can't tell, I'm already having an identity crisis.)

There's no reason to go through life looking back and thinking this shirt never fit to begin with about everything.

Sometimes a closet is more than just a closet. And a little spring cleaning can really do a world of good.

So throw off the bowlines.