Monday, November 17, 2008

No Binging, Just Purging

The dreaded time has come to trade out my clothes for the next season. Our closet isn't big enough to hold enough clothes for all seasons, so we just take it the 2 seasons at a time- you know- dead of winter (50 degrees) and summer (104 degrees).

It is definitely sweater time here and I have been pulling them out of big rubbermaid containers in my hall for fear of what I knew had to be done. The purge.
I didn't just need a swap in/ swap out this time, I was in need of a Stacy-and-Clinton-esque re-haul (if only I had the money that comes along with that) because of all the crapola that has been accumulating in my closet. I've been gently purging over the years, but not enough to make a difference.
Here's the problem: I completely and totally relate to clothes as if they are humans.
I know that sounds crazy, but hold on.
Almost every piece of clothing in my closet has a story or a memory attached to it. They all make me feel a certain way and most of them can be traced back a long way- like old friends. I have pants that I wore on my first job and felt so smart in (grey slacks- still fit!!). There's the sweater that I was wearing when we told our Sunday School class we were expecting Owen (pink turtleneck). I think the outfit from when I first met Jason (navy sleeveless top and khaki shorts) is long gone, but it's still etched in my memory- along with many of the date outfits I scrutinized and hurriedly threw on before he arrived.
A royal blue dress that I wore to our senior formal is still here and I will never part with that one. I worked so hard to fit in it (with Donna) and I felt like I was on top of the world. We were on top of the AmSouth building in downtown Montgomery, so we actually were pretty close.
I had on a purple top when Jason proposed on the beach. I wore a peach shirt the day I went in to have Owen and a white one for Harris- both with grossly large maternity shorts that I still wore back home. I can also recall what I was wearing when I did embarrassingly stupid things or stuck my foot in my mouth. This is generally pretty often, so I've got lots of stories in that section of the closet.
I remember that I had on a khaki pants suit at my Grandfather Hart's funeral. And a black maternity dress (that was on loan from Emily) at my Big Daddy's funeral- and the only pair of maternity panty hose I could find in town. I had just had Harris the day before my mom called to tell me that my Other Mama unexpectedly died. I just remember sobbing into my blue print hospital gown- and realizing that I wouldn't get to talk with her about this precious new baby. Not on this side of heaven, at least.
Most of these aren't even memories from pictures, but they are just tangled up there in the cobwebs of my mind. It's like the lyrics to Achy Breaky Heart or Ice Ice Baby- they just don't leave. You're welcome. Hope you enjoy singing those.
For years, I had been thinking things like, "I wore that skort around summer 1998 when I met Jason's parents, so it might come back in style in just a couple of years". But, after a reality check, I decided to do a big purge tonight and this is what's leaving and going to find a new home at Goodwill:

You can't see most of this stack, but here is a side shot of the pile with some really interesting jeans in there (pink sweater on top right is the Sunday School announcement one):

I've built myself up for this all day. You know you will not wear these clothes again. You can do it. It will feel good. The clothes aren't the memories... you will still have the memories.
But it's still hard. I'm looking at the pictures now thinking "I should take those to a consignment shop and sell them! There's some good stuff in there!", but I know it would never get done. They would continue to live here and suck up space in my closet or garage.
So, here's the final product. My side of the closet:

I'll have to see what stories come from this group. It looks pretty promising. I can already see the outfit I'm wearing to one of my best friend's wedding this weekend. And look at all those camis! Woohoo! Wait- those are undershirts. Nevermind...


LOOK WHO'S MARRIED!!!! said...

Where is Laura's wedding?
Your closet looks are so organized that I kind of expected it to be color coded. You're amazing like that. Me...mine are in piles...I'm lucky to know if something is clean or dirty. Ugh....

Gray Matters said...

That was a big job - you'll feel better about the purge in a few days. I'll feel lots better about my closet when I can fit into more than 5 things - five babies have taken a toll on this old body of mine!

Tara said...

Good job! I'm impressed how you remember things that were happening while you wore a particular piece. I need to do the same thing. My closet is quite scary right now, and you have given me motivation to do my fall/winter cleaning. I hope nothing bites me in there :)

holly said...

ok, my chest is closing in hearing you justifying all of that! fashionista is freaking out! so glad you got rid of stuff. you should make a scrapbook. take pics in the outfits you have memories in, and caption it 'outfit' then get rid of those clothes!!!

Hollie and Janie said...

your closet looks great! just think of all the people at goodwill who will be so thrilled to have finally found another skort!!

Amy said...

I think it's safe to give away the skort. Don't listen to anything it says. It's confused. It doesn't even know if it's a pair of shorts or a skirt. Just put it in the stack and walk away.

Emily said...

dang, hill..that's some memory you've got there! i have a hard time throwing things away, too. i put them in a "yard sale" bag. i now have about 3 "yard sale" bags..piling up in the attic because our covenants say we cant have yard sales. whatever!

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