Closet Purge

by | Oct 20, 2018

I’m lying on the couch ready to write. The huge bag of socks is staring at me. Screw off socks! I know I shouldn’t have so many of you. I’m trying OK???? 

How did I end up with so many anyway? Well…I used to run everyday. I have running socks. Apparently running is not the best for my joints (advice from the physiotherapist). So some of those can go. I used to take transit everywhere and in Toronto you have to be prepared to stand outside in winter and wait for a bus that seems to never freakin’ comes along. So I have ski socks and really loooong socks. Now I live a somewhat pampered life and have a car. I don’t really need so many socks. Do you think there is an optimal number of socks that one can own? I still have too many. It’s on my to do list.

Really though, who cares about too many socks? They are not that big and they don’t take up too much space. It’s not just the socks though, it’s my whole closet. I have chucked out loads of stuff over the last few months.

The other day I did a big Project333/Konmarie on my closet. I pulled out every item of clothing I own, except shoes. I was rather embarrassed by the amount I still had. It was all over the living room, in boxes, laundry baskets and on the couch. I organized stuff into ‘like things’ heaps and started going through each one.

Canadian Clothing
The trouble with Toronto weather is that we can have four (or five) seasons in one week. We have almost 30C weather in the same week as snow. I was gardening in my summer uniform last week (see below for summer uniform) and then before October was out we had snow. For all that I love the Project 333 idea, this makes it almost impossible to wear only 33 items in 3 months. So I’m going with the overlap idea. I have 4 small, fabric storage containers and I’m going to put in my 33 items for each season. I am however, going to make sure I can access them during the season changes. This works for me because I have very few items of clothing that I bother to hang up.

Professional Clothing
Things like suits took me a long time to let go. I’m not sure why (maybe the amount of money I spent on them). For health reasons I don’t work in an office/cubicle anymore. I was never comfortable with the whole power dressing thing. Not that I was really a power dresser, I just wanted to look presentable for the environment in which I worked. Now I don’t. I still have a few things left that can go. I had a dream the other night I tried to put on my one remaining suit and I couldn’t get the pants over my expanded arse. I think it was a sign that the last suit has to go. I’m ok with that. I’m keeping 2 pairs of black dress pants that fit me and 3-4 blouses that fit and 1 pair of shoes. You can’t really pull off the look with a pair of Birkenstocks.

Summer clothing
I have a summer uniform. Tank top and shorts, with aforementioned Birkenstocks. I ‘Project 333’d my summer clothes and now have 30. This includes 4 dresses, 2 light cardigans and a light sweater and 2 pairs of shoes. If I can’t wear any of these, I’m not going.

Until recently I had way too many bras (TMI?). A totally ridiculous number. I had a few with matching undies. I mostly kept them because I didn’t know what how to dispose of them. I didn’t want them going in a landfill. I donated a few, through a friend, to a women’s shelter. The best thing I’ve seen so far, however, is an organization that takes gently used bras and sends them to girls in underdeveloped countries. Apparently this simple act can give them more status and allow them to go to school. Unfortunately the project was only in the UK. So, why would I keep things that I don’t much like or want, if I could give them to someone and it would have a massive impact in their lives? I want to research this more. I also chucked out 24 pairs of undies. All of the uncomfortable ones at the back of the drawer – and the emergency ones you have to wear when you fall behind on laundry, all gone! What is the optimum number of undies anyway? Don’t tell me it’s 2 – one to wear and one in the wash. And socks: see above.

Exercise Clothes
I ran out of energy before I reached this section. I had a glance through the pile. My two favourite workouts used to be running and ashtanga yoga, neither of which my body will allow now. I started back at Highland Dancing which has been my passion since I was a child. It’s probably not any better for my body but I really enjoy it so it’s worth it. Oh, and I get to keep some extra clothes because of all my dancing costumes! Blah, blah, I’m still figuring out which clothes I will keep and which I don’t need any more. I did donate a bunch of long sleeved running tops to a women’s shelter but I still have a way too much. I used to exercise a lot, everyday, now I don’t. I want to start riding my bike again so I’ll need to keep a few things for that. The rest can go.

Other clothes
According to Project333, accessories and shoes count but underwear, sleepwear and what I label as ‘can’t be seen in public’ clothes don’t count. But let’s face it, it is possible to have too much of this stuff. I decluttered my pj pile, I tossed out some of the ‘it’s time this went to the clothing pile in the sky’ stuff, like ratty t-shirts and still the huge pile of f’ing socks. I also cheat sometimes and my ‘can’t be seen in public’ pants actually do get seen in public.

Did List
1) I went through all of our family’s winter gear and collected a big bag of hats, scarves and gloves. I took them to New Circles – they collect clothes for new comers to Canada who don’t have clothes for our winters.
2) I took a bag of clothes and donated to Value Village and dropped off my clearly marked bag of clothes for recycling.
3) I have a box of clothes I’m going to try on a decide if they are keepers or chuckers.
4) I have a bag of stuff to take pictures of and post on Mom’s groups on facebook, if I get no takers, I’ll donate this stuff too.
5) Clothes to give to a friend with boys in her family younger than mine.

To Do List
1) Figure out from my remaining clothes my fall, winter and spring capsule clothing. I’m aiming for less than 30 and then keeping a few things for special occasions. Like the sweatshirt and yoga pants I wore for my birthday (kidding). I do own some dresses and heels but these will be pared down to minimum.
2) Socks.
3) Post some things for sale or for free on moms groups or bunz.
4) Do the same for my kids closets.

You know what though, it’s all a process. I just want less. Now I have less. Not enough less for me to be satisfied but I’m getting there. I don’t want endless storage bins of clothing I never wear or forget about. I still have a box to decide on and a bag that will go, but go it will.

My “what to do with purged clothing” resource list will be available when I’ve done it. Enjoy your less, I am. What this space for the to do list to be completed.