Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"GIVE IT AWAY" Therapy...otherwise known as cleaning out your closet

For the entire month of January, I've been sorting through my by room, stuffed closet to stuffed closet and through every hidden nook.  I'm sure most of you have been there.  If you haven't, then you've either a. never moved or b. are extremely good at being "minimal".  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of clutter or holding onto things.  I grew up in that house.  Trust me, I'm not a fan.  However, after a few years of being in the same place you just, sort of, accumulate things.  After going through most areas of my house, I was totally feeling it...the therapeutic high of getting rid of junk I don't want!!!  Until I got to my closet...

I fall into your classic "but I might wear this sometime" category...or "I forgot I had this"...or, my favorite, "awww, I remember when I got this".  Yup...all crappy excuses.  Seriously ladies, if you're at all like me, we gotta cut the crap and be honest with ourselves.  There is no point in hanging on to all that stuff!  (Especially when all that stuff ends up filling a very large walk in closet).  To better tackle this task, I am choosing to break it into 3 stages.

The Strategy

  1. Quick sort: go through every piece of that closet (bags, belts, clothes, shoes, etc) at a relatively fast pace.  Make quick decisions of yes or no.  Then take the no stuff away.  My donation place of choice: Salt&Light
  2. Moderate sort: go through the remaining pieces and pull out items that do not fit.  This includes pieces that technically "fit", but just don't look right.  This probably seems like a "duh" step, right?  However, if you've lost a decent amount of weight, like myself, then it's not always so easy.  There is that weird evil voice in your head that says "you better keep that bigger size just in case".  I know, it's dumb.  But it takes awhile to beat that voice into submission...and to muster the stones to get rid of those clothes. You always end up keeping those few pieces...
    1. Sub-Step: If it doesn't fit quite right, could it be tailored?  If yes, is it WORTH tailoring?  In this age of cheap clothing, some pieces just aren't worth the $ to tailor.  Likewise, I have to really love it to go through the process of having it tailored or doing it myself.  (yes, I have a sewing machine and YES I know how to use it)
  3. Hard-core sort: go through what remains and rationalize the usefulness of each piece.  Where does it fit into my style now?  Or does it?  How often do I wear this?  Do I feel good when I wear it?  (sidenote: this can include schlumpy tshirts and sweats)  And the weird one...How many do I own that are the same or very very similar?  I used to be the girl that would find a piece that fits and buy it in every color.  I thought I was being practical, but I was left with a wardrobe that just didn't excite me.  Two in different colors=acceptable...Three or more in different colors=boring.  For me.  The exception to this is probably dress pants and button down shirts because great fitting ones are hard to find!  At least they are for this chic...
So that's the plan folks!!  I've done #1 a few times over the past 2 years, but always got stuck when I moved to #2.  I blame it on the evil voice...

All this sorting is really brought on by two factors: I need to downsize (for reasons that will remain private for now) AND I need to further define my wardrobe and "style".  I've had way too many mornings in the past that start with me standing in my closet thinking "I don't want to wear any of this".  I'd end up feeling frumpy, lumpy and dumpy...a depressing trio.  Now that I feel better about myself on a personal and physical level, those mornings have changed to an occasional "why would I wear this??".  Hence the need to further define my style as I am NOW!  It's a work in progress, but I'm giving it a violent shove into def con 5.

One last tip: just because it's on sale, doesn't mean it's a good buy!!!!!  I need this printed and laminated on a card to keep in my wallet...

Fashion Blogs  

In general, I'm not a huge fan of fashion blogs.  I find alot of them very unapproachable and unrealistic...and too "look at me, look at me".  Who changes their bag, nail polish, etc every single day??  Not this time for that of focus!  BUT, I have a found a few that I enjoy following because they are actually useful.

  • Putting Me Together  Audrey is in process of doing something similar to what I am.  She's trying to define and refine her style.  She's got some great tips on how to wear one piece many different ways, shopping tips, ideas for revamping pieces you probably already have, etc.  This particular entry on mistakes was so spot on that it had me wondering if we were somehow linked...
  • The Small Things Blog  Kate is probably one of the first blogs I followed and it all started with pinterest!  She has a style that, in my opinion, mixes pretty with casual in a very grown up way.  I can relate.  I'm 31, so I don't really want to wear things that make me look like I'm 21...been there, done that.  Likewise, I don't want to dress 41!!!  Let's not go there.  She also has some awesome hair tutorials; I've tried a few.  They're great for adding a little variety.  Who wants to look the same every day?!?!
  • Hems for Her  Katie is pretty great at addressing those feminine curves!  It can be a challenge for those of us who are, ummm, well endowed.  Belts in the wrong size or wrong spot can emphasize rather than flatter...the same goes for necklines, lengths, etc.  Alot of us just say "forget it! I can't wear belts".  Katie has some great ways to pull things together and show that you's just about knowing how.
Other than that, I can officially say I'm addicted to pinterest!!  I'm a pinning machine at times :-/  BUT it is a great place to get inspirations for alot of things.  Just take my advice and don't get too set on things being perfect...they are just ideas, suggestions, etc.  Make it your own!  If you're not having fun doing it, then stop doing it!  Or at least fail so extravagantly that you can't help but laugh.

Closing thoughts

Go donate!!!  It's seriously therapeutic.  There are alot of great places out there (other than goodwill) that you can donate your items depending on what they are.

Happy sorting!!

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