Thursday, May 19, 2016

Clothes First

Diving right into decluttering my clothes was exciting (in a weird way).  I gave myself permission to get rid of anything that truly does not spark joy.  Anything I didn't like, didn't fit, wasn't useful, or ugly was on its way out.  I did not think I owned that many clothes, after all I share a small closet with my husband, and have just one dresser.  But look what happened when I emptied everything out on to our queen sized bed!
My piles of clothes on the bed.  
Those piles of clothes don't include my jackets, hats, scarves, or other seasonal items that are in the coat closet.  My shoes and purses were also still in the closet, but soon joined their friends on the bed.  (I just reread that and it sounds odd!).  I really did not even think I had this much clothing!  Now that all my clothes were out in the open, the job of figuring out which items sparked joy or not was next.

Armed with a trash bag, I got to work.  For most of my things it was easy to decide what to keep and what to discard.  One by one, pieces of my wardrobe made their way into one of two piles-keep or discard.  Discarded items were placed in the trash bag with a whispered word of gratitude.  I thought to myself, "this is pretty easy!"

I was cruising along making decisions left and right with great speed.  Then I came to my wedding dress.  Now I have not even made the time to look at this dress in 17 years.  We have been married almost 20, and once we moved into this home it went to the back of the closet.  When my husband and I got married we had less than no money.  I bought my dress from a store called Fashion Bug (now out of business) in 1996 for $20.00.  The dress was white and lacy and fit over my then 6 month pregnant belly.  At the time the dress brought me great joy and hope for the future.  Now it had just become another piece of unloved clutter in my house.  I really had to stop sorting and give this dress a little bit of my time.  I was feeling sad at the fact that I never bothered to take this dress out to see the light of day let alone ever wear it again.  And my wedding dress looked sad too.  The lace was starting to look droopy and yellow.  The faux gold and mother of pearl buttons looked a bit tarnished.  I touched the dress and decided it was time to let it go.  I took the time to make sure all the buttons were done up, folded it neatly, gave it a kiss and a silent thank you and then deposited it into the discard bag.  Choosing to let that dress go was a hard decision.  It was a decision that I made with an open heart and complete gratitude.
Result of the clothing purge.

By the end of the clothing sort, I had more to donate than I thought I would!  A bag and a half of clothes to donate and some empty hangers were on the bedroom floor.   Now came the job of refolding and hanging my clothes.   Ms. Kondo also has recommendations for this part of tidying up that I did not share in my previous post.  Most clothing wants to be folded rather than hung.  Also, clothing should not be stacked in piles, rather it should be folded to stand up right.  (Wait, what?!)  If clothes are folded to stand on an edge you can more readily see what is in the drawer, not just what is on top of the pile.

This method of folding took me a bit of time to understand, but now I totally get it.  I really can see what is in the drawers better.  I also discovered I have plenty of storage space for all my clothes! (Even my seasonal clothes like bulky sweaters!)   In fact I now have two empty drawers.  I never would have thought my over flowing dresser would have any extra space at all!

Sorting my clothes is a good start but there is tons more to do!

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