In continuing with the Wardrobe Architect series, February’s challenge was to clean out our closets. There has been some interesting discussion, related to this month’s topic, about minimalism. I love what Jacqui from the blog Birds of Thread had to say about it. Like Jacqui, I grew up collecting things. As a child, I always wanted the doll that had a million accessories. As a teen, it was comic books and action figures. In my twenties, it was pretty much anything vintage. As a photographer, it’s images. If you look around my studio, a lot of these phases of my life are represented and as Jacqui says about her own “curated” items, they bring me a lot of joy.
As my living spaces increased in size over the years, it became easier and easier to collect things. I started feeling the weight of it all a couple of years ago, and since then have become pretty good at not bringing things into the house I know there is no room for, but it’s created a kind of holding pattern on some things I want to do in my studio and the rest of the house (like a basement remodel). My focus lately has been to keep the things that bring me joy and get rid of things I never use and don’t care about any more, so there are plans for a big yard sale this Spring. So this is all good timing!
I feel like I already have a pretty good understanding on what the gaps are in my wardrobe and I was more interested in my thinking on what made the cut to keep and what didn’t, so I didn’t fill out the worksheets this time.
I did follow Kristen’s advice and created “out”, “mend” and “maybe” piles. I was surprised at how quickly it went from there. If I hadn’t worn something in a while, I didn’t like the color or it was poor quality, it went in the “out” box. Things that looked cute on the hanger, but didn’t look good on me (like my many cardigans from Target), went in the “out” box as well, to be replaced by hand knit sweaters later. If the fit was bad (like so many of the clearance Mod Cloth dresses I’ve bought), “out” they went!
The “mend” pile was easy, as I already had one!
My “maybe” pile was pretty small. Just a few dresses that aren’t really my style anymore (a couple from my rockabilly days), but still get worn occasionally. Since I’d made so much room in my closet, they ended up going back in.
I mostly just went through my closets, as I had gone through my dressers recently and they mostly just have socks, underwear, pajamas and workout gear in them anyway. The things that were sentimental, that I kept, were my roller derby jackets and uniforms and stuff. I also kept some vintage Halloween costumes, like my awesome vintage handmade clown suit (cuz everyone needs a clown suit, right?), a dress that would be perfect for being Margot Tenenbaum someday and a women’s white pinstriped suit, because… just because. Halloween brings me joy, so there.
Since I was able to be so decisive, this exercise only took me a couple of hours. I’m also not a clothes horse by any means (I often joke that if I loved shopping for clothes as much as I do books, I would be a way better dresser than I am), so I didn’t have that many items of clothing to start with. I got rid of over 20 items, so for me that is a lot.
Everything has been sitting in boxes for a week now and I haven’t missed anything yet, so my sister will get first pass of all these clothes and if there is a lot left after that, I will organize a clothes swap. What’s left after that goes in the yard sale. Anything remaining after the yard sale will be donated. Nothing will be wasted, but I now have a lot more room in my closet (and my mind) for all the incoming me-mades!