Archive for May, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing

May 30, 2010

Thrift shops are the inexpensive way to get new (to me) clothes. I love that. Shirts for work, an extra pair of jeans, skirts for dressy events are easy and painless to obtain when they only cost a few dollars. But I confess, I indulge in this guiltless pleasure a bit more than I should, and today I am paying for it:  I’m cleaning out my closet.

I told myself to be ruthless. Get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit you well; anything that is dulled or worn. And above all, get rid of duplicates.

I started with sweaters. Ugh. I love them, but they take up so much room. Here is where I complied easily with the no-duplicates rule. How many green cardigans does one person need? But I had to bend the not-worn-in-a-year rule. I can’t get rid of my handknits – even if they are over twenty years old.

Shirts were split into long and short sleeves. I have a few of those long hangers that can accommodate six shirts at a time, so that became my limit of each type. That turned out pretty well until I had to factor in my sleeveless blouses and the turtlenecks. Because they are in season, I had to compromise and create overflow for the sleeveless blouses (only three). I decided to forfeit all regulation for the turtlenecks and hid them away for the summer in the trunk (all nine of them including three white ones).

Clearing out my pants was easy. I rarely buy pants for fun. When they fit and look good, I wear them routinely. But I found a few pairs that were bought for their cool color (or their just-as-cool label) that never seemed to make it into the regular rotation. Out they went. No regrets.

Then there are the miscellaneous items like fleece vests, dresses (I don’t have many), dress shirts and skirts. Those dress items were tough. I kept saying, “What if . . . .” But I was eventually able to come to terms with saying good-by to some of them.

This project took several hours. Does that make me want to change my thrift shopping habits? Not a bit. Even if I’ve worn some of the discarded (now donated) items only one or two times, I’ve gotten that thrill of wearing something different and braving a new look. I feel good about having weeded out my clothing. I can’t say that I was as ruthless as I had hoped, but I do have less congestion in my closet. I just wonder when I’ll muster up the same determination to go through my shoes.