I have been on a bit of a minimalism kick lately. Everywhere I turn there are items we never use and it drives me crazy. We don’t need two pie servers, one is just fine. And while I’m thinking about it, we really don’t even need one because I rarely make pie and when I do a fork and knife do the trick quite nicely. I’m tired of drawers that are brimming and closets that could be considered a OSHA hazard. It is time to weed out.
I am ashamed to admit that the place needing immediate attention was my closet. The amount of clothing that had accumulated is embarrassing and something I’m not proud of. There were things I bought and never wore, hand-me-downs that don’t fit properly and things from college that I REALLY should not still wear.
I decided the best way to tackle this project was to take the approach discussed in a book Bird has about living with ADHD and separate things into three categories:
- Friends: Those things you love and use frequently. For example, my dark blue vintage-style jeans (currently wearing) and my adorable red flats (also currently wearing)
- Acquaintances: Things I wear sometimes but feel no real attachment too.
- Strangers: Things I had forgotten about or constantly pass over when choosing my outfit. Those things that when I put them on, I promptly take them off and think, “Um, no.”
The Strangers pile immediately went into a “DONATE” bag and then I turned my attention to the Acquaintances and Friends, which were still quite plentiful. I picked up each piece and thought: does this item make me feel like a Million Bucks when I wear it? I should not keep things that make me feel gloomy about my shape or size. I should not keep things that make me feel like a “Buck-Fifty.” When I’m dressed in something that makes me feel good my entire day improves. If it’s not a “Million Bucks” piece then it has no business being in my closet.
My No. 1 and No. 2 piles were shrinking and my No. 3 pile was growing. I applied the same formula to my drawers. I opened the sock drawer, which was filled with cute printed socks that I never wear. Now that I walk or bike to work and spend my evenings working out or practicing yoga I only wear white ankle sports socks. I really can’t remember the last time I wore my Halloween or coffee socks. Why on earth are they taking up drawer space? Strangers. Out they went.The purge continued through pajamas, undies, t-shirts, accessories, scarves, belts and hand bags. Drawers were opening up, and things were hanging neatly in my closet. It felt good.
And then I did something that some folks might not agree with – I took that large pile of Acquaintances, put it in a storage tub and slid it into the attic where it will hang out for three months. In three months I’ll pull it out again and reconsider. What items have I missed? What items have I completely forgotten about owning? I suspect I will not have missed any of these pieces and then they will go the same way as the Strangers – to the thrift store.
As I put the Friends back in my closet and drawers I felt great relief knowing that everything was something I loved. It makes me happy to know that every morning I will feel like a Million Bucks because all my Dollar-Fifty things are gone. Simple as a closet purge seems, I think it is a huge step towards my goal to find peace and balance in my life. I want every day to be filled with light and hope even during gloomy times and my new, clean, junk-free closet is a great place to start those days.