OK so it's Wednesday but I wrote this post on Sunday and here it is .... a glimpse into the mind of a hoarder as she tries to decrease the amount of stuff in her closet by 50% .....
It's Sunday afternoon and I am cleaning my master bath, bedroom and closet.
The urge to purge has hit and, like I always say, when it hits go big or stay home in your hoarded house LOL
I have already been upstairs for 3 hours, becoming overheated by the August sun as it heats up the roof overhead, but I am sticking with it and plan to remain here for another couple of hours at least.
Master bath cleaned and decluttered? Check. There is no more decluttering to do here. All perfumes and lotions and other stuff have already been carted off to either Goodwill or the trash.
Bedroom vacuumed? Check.
Bedroom decluttered? Working on it.
Closet pared down and rearranged? Uh oh. This is where the 'live' blogging comes in.
You see, I've opened the doors to the closet twice and closed them again. Twice. I look inside at all the goodies that I know I must dispose of and I get anxious. Anxious to the point of developing a headache and feeling nauseous. The stuff that is remaining in my closet as of right now is the stuff I love and don't want to get rid of but....there's too much of it. Designer labels, heels, laces and silks, party dresses .... I want to keep the lot but I can't. I literally never wear any of it. I only covet it and what good is that in the life of a newly minted minimalist wannabe?
So, I'm going to 'live' blog my way through the next couple of hours or so (on this Sunday afternoon) and let you know my thoughts on the whole situation.
Let's start with rearranging the closet, shall we?
Silk robes, lacy lingerie at the very beginning of the closet rail ... followed by all Tshirts, tops, workout wear ... to sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts ... to professional wardrobe .... jackets .... party dresses .... vintage clothing. Let's get busy.....
There, the sorting and rearranging took about an hour. Now I can see what I have. Along the way, I immediately sent to the Goodwill box: 2 new, heavy sweatshirts (one of them cost a small fortune DKNY doncha know!), 6 never worn designer Tshirts that I agonized over parting with, 2 really cute dresses that are not my style any more, 2 pairs of shorts, an adorable shrug wool cardigan and a black mini skirt with zippers lol
What did I debate over and end up putting back on the rail?
A gorgeous party dress that is sort of like an Oscar dress in that I would get to wear it only once, to a special event yet to be determined and who knows how far into the future? If ever? I tried it on and admired it in the bathroom mirror, floaty with yards of fabric and chiffon. It is a beautiful beautiful dress. Am I ever going to get to wear this dress to a special event? Probably not. Does it make sense to keep it? No. Should it go into the Goodwill box? Yes. Did I carefully and lovingly place it into the Goodwill box along with my dreams of that red carpet invitation? NO. Did I put the damn thing back on the rail? YES.
I have determined that I have 10 jackets in my closet. Never worn. TEN. I tried them all on and loved every single one of them. Half of them need to go but which half? If I get rid of the Hunter Green quilted jacket, there goes my perfect attire for a morning in the english countryside with The Hunt. Have I ever gone hunting? No. Will I ever go hunting? No. Did I used to be one of the UK versions of PETA, sabotaging the fox hunt back in the day, yelling insults at the toffs on horseback and laying scent trails to confuse the hounds? Yes. I did that. OK, green quilt in the Goodwill box. Damn, I love that jacket.
What about its identical black counterpart? Nice. I think I'll wear that on my next trip back to blighty. Back on the rail. But what about the other black quilt, different cut and design? I look like Robocop in this. I like it. Keep. Jacket with the word 'England' across the front? Gaudy and so not me but sentimental and I can't throw England in the trash. Back on the rail. What about the black jacket with the edgy studs? I might need that for the Kings Road and that black gabardine with the fur collar is so cute....... hot dayum, back on the rail with you all!!
Next up: Vintage clothing ... I should make a trip down to L.A. with this stuff. I could sell it and get, I don't know, $50. But it's all so cute!! I remember wearing the wine dress with lace collar when I was 19. Nineteen!! And it's still in my closet. My wedding dress is here too, encased in plastic, and so difficult to part with but .... but ..... couldn't someone else perhaps get some use out of it? Yes. Ask myself: Why are you hanging on to this dress? Do you plan on getting married again? And if you do plan on getting divorced and remarried, would you wear this same dress at your second nuptials? NO. I want to part with you, wedding dress, but I'll tell you what. I can't fit into you right now but I'll part with you when I can because then I can get one last glorious look, maybe take a pic or two, and then let you go. Back on the rail! Excuses, excuses. And don't get me started on the vintage wrap dress with the delightful spring flower pattern. Never worn it. Or the long elegant black crepe. Quick! Smoosh all the vintage stuff together and trivialize ... and move on.
The blouses. How many of those are there? And pants, most of which I cannot even fit into right this minute and should discard ... but if I do that I'm basically saying that I'll never lose this weight and am therefore destined to failure when I know that one day, come hell or high water, I will wear those jeans again with the sparkly things across the butt. The last time I wore those was 1981. And I'm not parting with the capri cargos because I will never find this style and color ever again and all I have to do is lose the weight and so there you go back on the rail.
Tons of Tshirts, all different colors, a Tshirt for every occasion. I'll never have to buy a Tshirt again, I tell myself.
And so on.
This is exhausting and I'm hungry. I have cleared the entire bottom of the closet and can now see the floor. I have managed to shift a pile of clothing from the closet to the Goodwill box but I am dissatisfied. I know that I should have discarded much, much more than I have been able to do but I am dealing with emotions and sentiments here.
My closet is a very emotional place. Here hangs the evidence of hundreds of dollars spent on the clothing that I have never worn. Unfortunately, just the sight of the garments on the hangers makes me feel better in a weird, self destructive way. The high of the buy. A sensation of fear and anxiety floods over me whenever I try to get rid of the clothing I love, even though this stuff is taking up space and I never decorate my body with it. I look at the party dresses and I feel happy. Some of the clothing makes me feel sad. The last time I wore that wine vintage dress, I was single and child free with a teeny waist LOL I had a gorgeous figure, a model's body, but I never truly realized it. Or appreciated it. Talk about youth being wasted on the young.
My closet is the very heart and core of my spending and hoarding problems and it has taken me over 6 years now just to get to this point. Along the way, since 2007, I have discarded bags of stuff here and there and purged as the desire hit. But now I am at the very core and this is hard. These are things that I have carried with me for years and I love them and letting them go is almost like letting go of life itself. Does that make sense? If I let go of the party dresses, I am basically saying that I will never get drunk and pleasantly wild at a party ever again. Letting go of the green quilted jacket means that I have basically sold my foolish 'vision', of quaffing sherry in front of the stately pile in the english countyside, down the river. By letting go of my vintage clothing, I am saying adios to my youth, even though it's way past time for some of this stuff to be gone. All of this stuff has far too much emotion attached to it and I just don't understand how I could've grown so attached ... but then, of course, I do.
It's dumb. It's emotional. It's difficult. The trick is to separate emotion from item and, unfortunately, I can only do that for so long when it comes to my closet. And my time is up. I have a good pile of stuff to cart down to the garage, most of it to go to Goodwill, a couple of items for Cat.
But I really do need to set myself a deadline. If I haven't lost the extra pounds that I'm carrying on my bod by this time next year, all of this closeted clothing must go.
PS. Before I finished up my afternoon of decluttering, I grabbed the beautiful party dress off the rail and dumped it into the Goodwill box. I felt compelled to do it and so I did. The dress has left the building.