As I mentioned last week, I am working through a Mara Glatzel e-course for my Lenten promise. In some of the reading I did last week, she mentioned in passing that one of her non-negotiable rules for herself is having underwear that fits. We've all been there, right? And, in that moment, I thought that I deserve to have a wardrobe that fits. I deserve to have a closet that feels like home. That builds me up. I don't need to allow my closet to be a place of stress and disappointment. The upside of being a packrat who has lost a lot of weight? I kept a lot of clothes. And I've rebuilt my wardrobe over the past 6 months or so, so I thought I might be able to piece a real wardrobe together with pieces I already had. I was afraid I might just have 5 or 6 outfits to choose from when it was all said and done, but I was determined to create a closet space that was 100% functional for me.
I'm sorry that you aren't getting a before picture, but it just wasn't possible. When you see the amount of clothing I was dealig with, you'll understand. Between the closet and the laundry room and the back of my car and Clean Clothes Mountain in the spare bedroom, my clothes were just a mess. I didn't have a good idea of what I have. I just knew it was a mess, and a lot of it made me sad.
So I decided to do something about it. And I was prepared for it to take all day. And it came pretty close.
The first thing I did was take out anything that I wouldn't pin on my 2015 Vision Pinterest Board. Easy as that. If it doesn't fit in with who I want to be, it didn't make the cut. There are some things in this pile that are really cute, but not on me or for me. Bottom line, they aren't the person that I want to present to the world. So they are in this pile. Some of these decisions were hard. Some were clothes that I was keeping purely for sentimental value - the dress I wore to Lorrie's wedding, a green shapeless sweater I bought when we went to BlogHer '09, the first sweater with a "M" on the tag that I ever bought. But I'm not wearing them. They are not in my vision. So they are in the goodwill pile.
This basket of clothes was a much more difficult task. These are clothes that don't fit. Womp womp. As hard as it was to take these things out of my closet, I imagine it will be less difficult than seeing them every time I open the closet doors, right? Just like ripping off the bandaid instead of tugging a little off and then putting it back on each day. Some of this makes me really said - especially that Micheal Kor's grey and white striped tank on the top (that I got on consignment for around $5). And that purple Columbia jacket I bought at the outlet the day I met Cassie and Craig. And that blue cardigan that I wore when I stayed with Erin and Levi when they lived in Miami. Yeah, so it was hard to take these things out, but it was also very motivating to think that soon I'll be able to "shop" in my spare closet. (And I'm sure some of these things will be purged as not fitting in with my vision when I can wear them again. It was just easier to put them in the "not fit" pile right now. That was an easier decision without seeing it on.)
This pile had the hardest decisions in it, though. These are the things that I'm not sure about. I could probably get rid of most of them, but what if I need one of them? What if I end up needing a tan v-neck shirt or a olive green cardigan to complete a Pinterest-inspired look in the future? This is the pile of things that I kept *just in case.* They are in the spare closet so I know where to find them, but they're not mucking up our master closet.
I ended up with a main rack that looks like this (with pajamas and running gear on the shelf above.) It is amazing to look at this and know that I can wear all of it. I don't have to worry if anything fits. I don't have to worry if it will look right. I can just grab and go. (What you can't see are pants and skirts - they are hanging back in the left corner.) This makes me very happy. I see lots of Tiffany blue and lots of stripes. I see flowy cotton sweaters. I see some orange and some green and some grey. I can look at this and see what I have.
My dress rack has been seriously purged as well. It looks great. And it gets me really excited for spring. There are some pieces here that I LOVE that I had completely forgotten about.
I cannot tell you how peaceful this feels. A space that was so overwhelming and disappointing - just this morning - now feels like an adventure waiting to happen. I feel like purging my closet was a way for me to make a big step out of denial. I know what I have to work with while still knowing the work I have to do.
Now I have to figure out how I want to straighten and organize my jewelry. But that's for another day.
Oh, and I have to show you my little helper. She swatted at the hangers and chased anything with a belt. That Hershel. Such a funny girl.