Sunday, June 4, 2017

Making Room in the Closet

Let's get to it, shall we?

This week's assignment (#5):

Go through your wardrobe and get rid of 25% of your clothing. Then, also declutter your bathrooms.

As I've been writing up this post, I keep looking for an aha moment or a story to tell about me and my clothes. After all, our clothes are fraught with meaning, with self-expression--and for most of us in the Western world--excess.

But, honestly, my closet isn't like that. Never has been. I have been infatuated with the whole capsule wardrobe idea ever since I enrolled in The Canadian Armed Forces--Reserves at the age of seventeen so I could leave home for the summer and not be homeless. There, I experienced the efficiency of having just enough items for two sets of uniforms (one, my combat field uniform: combat boots, field jacket, field pants, two t-shirts (issued to women only and much coveted) and two--or was it three pairs of socks (an army is only as good as its feet)? My "dress"uniform was similarly sparse and less clearly remembered since I hardly ever wore it.  I was only a reservist for six months.

The other reason I don't have a lot of clothes is that I truly hate shopping. But, I still had sentimental clothing. Clothing I had kept--not because I could wear it --no, not that-- clothing I kept because I was emotionally attached to it.

Some of it was here:

In the basement, under the stairs. Surprise, surprise--sentimental clothing. These are the few items I have left from the days when I was young and skinny. These are items which have survived many past purges. These are clothes that would either be expensive to replace (like wool dress coats) or were such favourites, I wore them only a few times, "saving" them for "best."  A couple of dresses were just fun--and one was a spontaneous gift from an old dear friend.

I went to my wise facebook group and asked them, "How do I get rid of these?"

Two thoughts emerged.

1) If you are hanging on to something because you feel you must, somehow, for some reason, fit into it again (like expensive wool coats), let them go.

2) If you are hanging on to them because you would really miss them if you didn't have them when you were that weight again where you could wear them, keep them. (Like the dress my old dear friend gifted me. I tried googling her and looking her up on Facebook, but I didn't find her.)

I also go rid of a dress I had sewn (but never hemmed) (size 8), a beautiful cobalt blue dress and jacket(also size 8), and an old much loved but fairly ratty jean jacket. (size unknown).

And then I stopped. I kept thinking about a few items that I assumed I would find...but didn't. A denim skirt. A denim jumper. A beautiful, heavily patterned light cotton dress. I found myself grieving for these items. Sometimes, I thought, sometimes I purge too much. (Ihave132 blog posts with "declutter" as a label. This will be #133)

So, then I turned to my bedroom closet.

Chris's side, the center, my side.

I emptied it--and gathered clothes to give away as I went, putting them in a designated spot on the bed.

I don't even remember what was in that pile, now.

While the closet was empty, I decided to paint it. It's on my latest home list, after all!

It was shocking how filthy the walls were. I used the paint I had purchased --but didn't use-- for the downstairs bath. I took one day and pushed through. I was determined to get my gorgeous, clean and tidy bedroom back!

I also took the opportunity to go through some boxes I had on the wall of shelves in the basement holding old textiles, curtains, and pillows and the like.

I wound up with five garbage bags, a box, a grocery bag of hangers and a lampshade for donation and a paper grocery bag for textile recycling. I also decided to consign one item.

When I restocked the closet, I discovered I had only one pair of capris and no shorts. Nothing, in other words, shorter than ankle pants. And I didn't have any shirts with short sleeves, either--only sleeveless. I purged everything "too small" last year.

So, in a fit of uncertainty and madness I decided to purchase Alison Lumbatis's Get Your Pretty On Summer Challenge 2017. I wanted to see what would constitute the quintessential summer wardrobe.

Turns out it is four tops, four bottoms, four pairs of shoes, two dresses, two purses, two pairs of earrings, two bracelets, two patterned scarves, a denim jacket and a hat. (Oh, and a swim suit and cover up.)

So, I went shopping. I bought two t-shirts (which surprisingly had the second one discounted to 1/2 off because I bought two) and a pair of bright blue capris.

I don't have all the pieces in the Summer Challenge--but I have more than enough for me!

 In case you're keeping track, I am missing a dress, and another purse (a bright coloured cross body bag). Those "neutral" capris were supposed to be olive shorts, but I didn't find any which fit.

This is quite the liberal interpretation of the footwear required, (and not nearly as much fun as the recommended sandals with pom poms) but I'm fine with it.

What I really lack is jewellery. Oh well.

I am actually hoping that none of the clothes in my closet this summer will be in my closet next summer. I am hoping (and actively working towards) being a smaller size. The summer 2018 wardrobe post will be a fun one to write!

(PS. I could not wrap my head around the bathroom portion of this week's assignment given the downstairs one is still not quite finished.)

1 comment :

t said...

Great job! And I like your capsule wardrobe choices.

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