Monday, May 4, 2015

The Purge!

It has been a minute since my last post. This time, I'm going to fall back on the best excuse ever, the ubiquitous and unquestioned, "I have been busy." It is true; I have been busy! I have been busy working, of course, and taking care of my kids. I also took a little trip to Missouri to see my boyfriend, and though I originally planned to blog while I was away, I decided to make it a real vacation and didn't do any work at all. I've also been busy clearing out all the excess crap in my life, and I do mean ALL the excess crap. Check out this before and after action with my closet and dresser:


Before...
...after.




Before...
...after.


Before...
                             

...after.


Before...


...after.

That's a huge difference, right? A little disclaimer: These "after" shots do not include the clothes in the laundry basket, so just imagine a few more tops and some pants, and that is my entire wardrobe. I managed to fill five garbage bags full of unwanted clothes and shoes; I sold some of it to a consignment shop, and donated the rest. The best part of this purge has been donating my wedding gown. It hung in my kids' shower for two years because I didn't know what to do with it. It is amazing how much power such a thing can have over a person. I allowed it to take up space in my home and my life because I felt like discarding it would be disrespectful of my ex-husband and the relationship we once had. I thought it might hurt my kids to see me get rid of such a thing. Plus, it was the most expensive piece of clothing I had ever owned, and even though it was such a tiny size that I would never even kind of fit into it again, it was a gorgeous gown. So, I kept it. Even though it was out of sight, stuffed into my kids' unused shower (they still prefer baths), it was not out of mind. It stressed me out, having this awkward, giant pouf of white in my life. It was useless, and though I don't have any regrets about the one day I wore that dress, the dress itself did nothing to make me happy. It was a piece of my past that wasn't relevant anymore. Once I made the decision to just let it go and donate it, it was suddenly the easiest thing I've ever had to do. I feel relief now, and it's good to know that I have an extra shower readily available, should I need it.

Clearing out all the clothes I don't love and don't wear felt so good, I have decided to go ahead and get rid of anything and everything that does not fit into my life anymore. The day after I donated those five garbage bags filled with clothes, I was back at Goodwill with over 200 books. Usually, discarding books is difficult for me, but not this time. I kept only the books I really love, and I still have over 200 books. I finally got rid of my tattered old literary anthologies from college, but I kept my Shakespeare volume because that thing is amazing and I still get excited when I hold it in my hands. My house feels larger and more streamlined now, and as exhausting as this process has been, I'm looking forward to going through every little thing in this space and keeping only the most important things. No more clutter, no more mystery boxes that haven't been opened in years, no more unnecessary crap piled in corners or shoved into cabinets. If I ever move again, it will take me ten whole minutes to get totally packed. I'm only half joking. :)

For the curious: If you're wondering where this seemingly sudden urge to purge came from, well, it came from my sister. She started talking about having a ten-item capsule wardrobe, a concept she first learned about from The Daily Connoissuer on YouTube. At first, the idea of such a simple wardrobe bothered me a lot. What about variety? How can you possibly have a fun wardrobe if you have just ten pieces of clothing? After some thought and some serious looks at my own closet, I realized it made perfect sense. Of the piles and piles of clothes I had, I found myself reaching for the same few pieces over and over, while I had to talk myself into wearing other outfits. I was wearing only a small percentage of my clothes, anyway, so why should I keep all that extra stuff? My sister also directed me to the work of Marie Kondo, who has become a celebrity thanks to her amazing tidying abilities. If you're unfamiliar with her or her philosophies about home life, I highly recommend taking a look. All you have to lose is everything, and that can be pretty awesome.








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