Downsizing my closet, with help.

My well-dressed and ruthlessly honest friend Judi came over this morning to help me tackle that which I’ve been unable to tackle alone… my closet.

I thought I’d done so well this summer when I filled two large bags for Goodwill. But when I thought about squeezing my clothes into a couple of suitcases and a wardrobe box, it was clear a radical clothesectomy was required.

Mostly I dress very casually because I work from home. When I’m not at my desk I’m pulling weeds in the yard or muscles at yoga.

But I do like color, so I’ve got sweaters, tops and scarves in a rainbow of colors that look good on me. Some have the patina of age on them. Some were good ideas worn once.

Judi hauled them all out of the closet and arranged them by color in stacks on the bed. It became clear that I had an over-abundance of tops in certain colors, and an over-abundance of tops with round t-shirt necks which I recently decided are extremely unflattering on a person with an older shorter wrinkled neck. Not naming names.

An article I read awhile back said that we hang onto our clothes for three reasons:

  1. They represent a financial investment we don’t feel we’ve recouped;
  2. We have associations, memories, feelings attached to them; and
  3. We imagine a time in the future when we’ll need or want them.

Since I rarely spend much on an article of clothing #1 isn’t a real problem for me. Nor is #2 (at least in terms of clothes… we’re not going to talk about books, photos, art, vases, paper… ).

My problem is #3 – imagining the future. Unlike so many I’m not hanging on to a wardrobe in four different sizes, because I’ve been a size 6 for decades. But I do imagine a future in which that shade of purple will come back, that shape jacket, that style of bell-bottoms. I imagine a future in which I will be invited to a costume party, a rodeo, the Black and White Ball, a hike in the Arctic, and dinner with Barack Obama.

Judi disabused me of all those fantasies, and long story short, we filled three LARGE trash bags with Goodwill material. Whenever I faltered, she had me try the thing on and look in the mirror. If the mirror didn’t convince me, the look on her face did.

What was left will indeed fit into 2 suitcases and a wardrobe box.  A personal triumph. It will be easier to choose what to wear and I bet none will be missed.



Filed under 101 Reasons to Downsize, Attachment - Vairagya, Baby steps, Emotional issues, Inspiration & encouragement

5 responses to “Downsizing my closet, with help.

  1. Kathi

    Thank you for not saying you pull muscles in your strength training class 🙂
    Upon your recommendation all the Strong Women are hiring Judi to clear our closets!
    Miss you~

  2. Lucky you having a ‘real’ friend. *Wanders off to satisfy sudden, overwhelming urge to clear own closet.*

  3. Virtual friends are good too. Their encouragement warms the heart. If I were there I’d help you clear your closet – I’ve learned at the foot of the master.

  4. Pingback: Goodwill for the homeless? « Getting to Less: Downsize!

  5. I’ve been having this issue myself. In preparing to move, again, I am overwhelmed with the amount of clothes I still own. I have given away so, so much over the past several years; yet, I feel like I want to get rid of most and start all over. Currently I have an entire dresser, closet, and two totes full with jeans on another shelf and some clothes I haven’t put away. I keep asking “What’s wrong with me?” I do know that I have bought and recycled many things over time and have some pieces that have never really been out of style. On top of that, I like to change it up most days and mix pieces together that I haven’t worn before. As a soon-to-be reporter turned counselor, I am going from having to dress up-up daily to being more comfy, but professional. Your post reminds me that I can do more with less…I think I need your friend to pay me a visit, lol.

    Thanks, Meredith

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