Monday, June 16, 2014


The past week has been a whirlwind of going through clothes and some of our things in storage. Between Tuesday, Friday, and today I've gone through my entire wardrobe, trying on most of my clothes and carefully critiquing all of them to decide if they are appropriate for a 6-months-to-30-years-old woman to wear.

You see, I've had a problem with my wardrobe, one that many other people might not identify with. While most people grew out of their clothes throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and college, I didn't. A pair of running shoes I bought slightly large to grow into in grade 6 or 7 were still slightly too large on me when I graduated from high school. And there is one skirt in my current wardrobe that I've had since grade 8 (I have, for now, decided to keep it, since it's a style/pattern that doesn't seem to ever go out of style). For the most part I didn't grow out of my wardrobe from my younger years, and somehow most items survived those years without too much trauma and still looked almost as good as new when I was done with them.

Of course, even though I didn't wear these clothes out or grow out of them, many of my clothes from high school have long since left my wardrobe. But I do confess to still owning clothes from my early days of college (almost 11 years ago now). Year after year, I would cart my favourite clothes to and from college, and until we moved ALL my things to Maine last year, I didn't have my whole wardrobe all in one place since heading to Southern in 2007. So this week, I went through them all. Old clothes, new clothes, select clothing items my sister decided to give away a few years ago that I thought could work for me, pajamas from every Christmas Eve for the past 10 or so years, all of them.

The end result is that 42 clothes hangers have been emptied* (and several of those held more than one item of clothing), my hanging clothes have much more room in my closet, and my dresser drawers are not packed to overflowing. Two bags of clothes -- one normal plastic grocery bag and one extra-large one -- have already been taken to Goodwill while running errands in town last week, and two more extra-large bags are tied shut and waiting by the door. One will follow the other two to Goodwill and the other will hopefully go to a local consignment store.

Jonathan also went through much of his wardrobe and found quite a few items he simply wasn't ever wearing and didn't think he would ever really wear again, and we donated them, too (part of that first extra-large bag we already donated to Goodwill).

Bags waiting to go to Goodwill and the consignment store

What actually got this whole wardrobe-revamp-ball rolling was that early last week Jonathan and I decided to go through some of the items we're storing in our back room (a half-finished bedroom where we're keeping all his tools, part of my personal library, tons of games, and lots of other stuff until we move into some place with more closets and/or a garage or workshop). In the past, we have mentioned wanting to get rid of this or that, but this week we grouped all those items together in a To-Sell pile. Jonathan spent hours taking pictures of each item and listing them on eBay and Amazon. If those options don't pan out, we'll turn to Craigslist. With only one more semester left before Jonathan finishes his master's degree, we're realizing it's time to get serious about deciding what we want to keep, pack, and move along with us, and what we want to let go.

We have a ways to go yet, but I'm sure we'll go through our clothes and some of our other items several more times in the next six months. For now, it feels good to get these un-used or under-used items out of our house, and hopefully others will find them more useful than we did. I'm already enjoying more space in my dresser and closet and fewer choices to make each time I get dressed!

Notes: Ironically, I read one of Mr. Money Mustache's latest blog posts during this past week. It was quite timely and gave me some extra fortitude to keep on going through my clothes, and hopefully soon to go through other items as well.
*Those 42 hangers are from both mine and Jonathan's wardrobes.

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