I have spent several hours over the past few weeks on something that is definitely not a core competency: cleaning out my closets.
While I know from The Happiness Project that this is supposed to improve my mood, I didn’t undertake this particular chore for that reason. Rather, our landlord (our next door neighbor) seems to have assumed that we planned to move in July when our lease was up. We somehow didn’t get around to that, which means that his plans to combine our apartment with his were put off for another year. As part of the trade off for extending the lease, given that we are basically living in what he thought would be his home right now, he plans to start the renovation while we are still here… by taking the closet from the master bedroom (and having it open into his apartment).
He bought us four large new wardrobes to house our stuff. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come out anywhere close on a square footage basis. It was a nice closet! We actually used it as the baby’s bedroom for the first 4 months of his life. So I have been getting rid of massive quantities of shoes, clothes, coats, etc.
Most of it I have been glad to see go. I am astounded at my ability to accumulate cheap clothes that are really nothing special. A shirt was on sale, so I bought it. Repeat that process two dozen, three dozen times and you have my wardrobe. I own a white blouse that I very clearly remember buying at a discount store four years ago, thinking it was a good deal. I have never worn it. I still can’t bring myself to get rid of it, I guess because I keep thinking a white blouse is useful. It probably is, but not taking up space in my closet. Socks and workout clothes are a particular beast because, well, you always need socks. Why would I get rid of a pair of perfectly good socks? Never mind that my husband stays so on top of the laundry that I really only need 8 pairs. I think I have three times that. Then there are the T-shirts I have kept for sentimental reasons — a souvenir of a sailing trip in Australia from college, or a tie-dyed one from high school. All of this takes up space, and I probably wouldn’t try to save it in a fire.
Well, so it goes. I’ve winnowed down a lot, and created an “A” wardrobe and a “B” wardrobe. The A one contains a nicely edited selection of clothes that I think best reflects how I’d like to appear. The B one contains everything else that I can’t quite part with yet. With any luck, I’ll just never open the B wardrobe door, and be able to donate most of the B stuff to charity when we move next July. Now that will be a good way to save time.