Out With the Old

April 08, 2015

I’ve always been anti-clutter. I loathe messes, unorganized piles and things that aren’t neat and tidy. I can find any item in my home in under a minute. Feel free to quiz me on this. Yet I had a massive (not quite hoard) amount of clothes and shoes. This load had nothing to do with being a fashionista or keeping up with the latest trends.

It had everything to do with a scarce belief system.

I spent my first paycheck on a Betsey Johnson dress. The first money I earned as an adult went to fill a desire for having nice clothes, something I’d always wanted. And this path set me up for a pretty crammed closet that I finally cleaned out.

Out went the shirt that I wore to a funeral last December. A family friend who hadn’t seen me for 20 years said to me (mere steps from the casket), “Lawd honey, I didn’t know yous expectin’.” I wasn’t pregnant. That shirt was the first to go.

Next went a beautiful silk and velvet skirt that had a small grease stain I’d meant to attend to. Oh, and it’s four sizes too small.

A skirt suit I’d kept around in case I needed it. I don’t like skirt suits.

Ninety percent of the corporate business clothes I had. I’m no longer in Job Jail so those went bye-bye, too.

All the hella uncomfortable shoes. Every. Single. Pair.

Nearly every scarf I thought I’d find an outfit for.

The Coach purses I thought made me look sophisticated.

The Coach briefcase that was never roomy enough for my stuff.

The low rise designer jeans. Note to self: you have hips.

The worn out sneakers I kept in case I needed to do something messy outdoors. “Messy” and “outdoors” are high on my list of things to avoid.

The shoes and coat I wore to Europe. Highly sentimental but had nothing to do with the trip.

The red Banana Republic shrug I got for $4. I never wore it.

The cute tops I bought in a Seattle boutique. Time to admit they’ve seen better days.

And much, much more.

Things I absolutely couldn’t decide on (and are within two sizes) went into a tote marked “Expires October 2015.” I have until then to fit into them or they go. Scouts honor. Pinky swear.

Purses were sold. Everything else went to Goodwill or in the trash.

I had to keep some things, as that whole nude thing hasn’t made its way to Kentucky yet. I made room for clothes that reflect who I really am. Clothes that fit. Clothes I feel great putting on. I made room for that Louis Vuitton I’ll eventually treat myself to, instead of clogging up the space with purses I don’t like.

I made a decision to release the clutter and in turn, gained not only physical space but a sense of what I really want.

That’s way more valuable than anything I could put on a hanger.