Lose it or Move it

Has your life ever gotten so intensely complicated that you simply could not find time to blog about leggings? Same here.  Apologies for the long absense, and I’m back with some musings on my own inability to Let Shit Go.

I own too much stuff

I recently was invited to help Lydia clean out her closet. It was revelatory on two levels: 1. Lydia’s got a smokin‘ bod that she has been hiding from me, and  2. I’m not nearly as good at cleaning out my own closet as I am at cleaning out everyone else’s.

I’m moving in a couple of months. And I hate moving. It’s a requires me to touch and evaluate every single thing I own. Some questions are easy: Do I want this box of love letters? Do I want this brand new cast iron skillet? Sure. Then it gets tough. Do I want this pair of pants that almost fits? Do I want these shoes that I used to love? Do I want the corsage that I wore to my prom? And then some of the questions that should be easy become overwhelming and simple answers are tougher to find. Do I want this t-shirt that fits funny but feels good? Do I want this jacket that Bruce hates? Will I ever play tennis again?

I have a fantasy where I put all of it on a street corner. The weight of all of my possessions and the decisions that go with them lifts. Then I just float away like a red balloon.  When life is heavy, the allure of feeling light is intoxicating.

So I came home from Lydia’s and figured that I’d give myself an audit.  But I was stuck. I stood in my closet and just stared. I took one shirt off its hanger, held onto it for a second. then put it back on the hanger and hung it up again.

Stuck.

So I let myself off the hook, and decided that I didn’t need to get rid of anything today. But I could still make progress. I just needed to to take stock of what I had. I just had to gain some knowledge, and that would be enough.

closet auditIt took me 15 minutes to verify that I own about 350 items of clothing. And instantly had clarity that I had more than enough, and just by knowing what I was dealing with, I was able to make progress. I have a theory that the amount of items that I think I have should match the number of items I actually have. I thought I had 5 dresses. I had 16. I think that means that I have 11 dresses that I don’t love.

I cleared out one big bag of clothes, and that was enough to feel a weight lifting – a lightness in my step. All the time that I spent folding, hanging, ironing, washing, and overlooking those clothes could be reclaimed.

I just needed some breathing room.

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About dhanamura

When I was ten years old, I owned a mustard yellow sequined dress that I got at a garage sale. I stuffed it with rolled tube socks so that I would look more glamorous. That year I also got my first bottle of Chanel No. 5. I felt beautiful in my room, in that dress, smelling like Chanel. What you wear matters. It makes you feel things... or helps you to express things you already feel. Your feet aren't firmly planted on the ground, they are crammed into a pair of shoes. Love those shoes, or take them off.

6 responses to “Lose it or Move it

  1. Lara

    You have inspired me to slowly throw out the horrible yoga pants that seem to be multiplying in my drawer without my consent. I love the fact that instead of auditing your closet you made a graph to illustrate your inventory. If you decide that you want to really audit and need an additional opinion I’d be happy to help. Also, you are fantastic.

    • dhanamura

      Congratulations on your liberation from excessive yoga pants. Glad my post helped 🙂 And doesn’t everyone keep a bar graph of their closet contents? I’M NOT CRAZY. 😉

      • Lara

        I never said you were crazy- it’s adorable. I actually think we should see the before and after graphs.

  2. Sarah

    It feels so great to have a good clear out – as it were. I’ve recently moved house (feeling your pain about whether to keep it or chuck dilemma it by the way) and was forced to confront a 4 year accumulation. Now I have less clothes, I wear more – just cos now if I want to wear that skirt, I know just where to find it! Happy days. Loving the blogs 😉

    • dhanamura

      Thanks for the comment, Sarah – love your point that lightening the load can actually give you access to MORE stuff, rather than less! Keep it up! 🙂

  3. Jessica

    I missed this post. I think the best line is, “I thought I had 5 dresses. I had 16. I think that means that I have 11 dresses that I don’t love.” That is exactly what happened when I cleaned out my closet. I found out that I had all these dresses that I couldn’t fit into or I didn’t like. OUT. And now, I do only have 6 dresses. But I love them all. Except one. Which I haven’t throw out because it’s a prego dress all flow-y and crap. I really should just throw it out.

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