I have limited energy these days, but lots of time (this seems to be a common problem…you have one or the other, never both.). So, I am continuing my quest to cull my closet (oh, and my drawers, and the multiple laundry baskets in my bedroom and closet, and multiple Sterlite bins in my closet and in the attic, and other various and sundry locations where my clothes are hiding). It is a major task, and one that I’ve avoided like crazy over the years. Recently, however, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. So, I am using the book as inspiration…but not, as it turns out, as a strict instruction manual.
So far, I’ve only gone through folded clothes…T-shirts, shorts, jeans, underwear, pajamas, sweaters, etc. I have so much more to go through; I have clothes dating back to my teens. I find that I cannot go strictly by Ms. Kondo’s directions. As it turns out, she’s been throwing out her things (and those of her family members) since she was a child. How much more could she have to discard? I, on the other-hand, have five decades of stuff…plus the left-behind stuff of my ex…another fifty years worth of stuff. Oh my goodness! When you look at it that way, I have over 100 years of stuff to sort not counting all the stuff my three children have accumulated.
So, rather than having three categories for my clothes (discard, donate, keep) I’ve made my own categories. I still have discard and donate, but as for “keep”, I’ve given myself the following:
- Keep until I can sell it…This is something that I no longer want or need, but which is still in fashion, still in good shape, and is worth the effort to try to sell
- Keep because I still love it and even though it is too small for me, it fit me just last year. Now that I’m getting back to my usual level of activity, I’m sure it will fit me again by next year.
- Keep because I still love it and even though it is way too small for me, I have a reasonable weight-loss goal that will get me back into it within a year or two.
- Keep because my daughter saw it in my discard pile and decided that she loved it.
- Keep because it has sentimental value and according to the book, I should save sentimental items until the end of the process.
The way I look at it is that I have procrastinated way too long in de-cluttering my closet and I need to accept the inspiration the book gives me and reject the parts that put me off of the whole thing. Truly, the more stuff I can get rid of or compartmentalize into easily discarded lots, the better.
So, now I have a second garbage bag of discarded clothes (I must be pretty good at discarding-as-I-go) and an ever-growing pile of donations. I am quickly moving to the most dreaded part of this task…the hanging clothes. Before I had children, I had a penchant for buying high-end clothing…some of it is classics and some is just stuff I paid a lot for and hate to toss or donate. I will need to employ the “thank you for bringing me joy” method of disposing of such items as explained in the book. I’m sure it will bring me happy memories, so, onward I go!
Find the Joy in the Journey…Joy is rarely found in objects, so keep those that do bring you Joy and don’t feel bad for letting the rest go.