07 October 2016

Clean Up, Clean Out, Decide!

This is one of those times of year when I get the itch.  As I put away the summer things - tank tops, shorts, flip flops, etc. - to get out the sweaters, tights, boots, etc., I seriously have to pick up and look at each and every item of clothing I own.  I have neither the money nor the room to have a vast wardrobe, but I do realize each time that I come across the following:

1. Things I bought because they were on sale and I kinda sorta liked them.  But maybe only wore them once.
2. Things I was "saving" for God-knows-what, but it hasn't occurred yet.
3. Things that no longer fit, or are really worn out.
4. Things other people gave me as gifts that I pushed into the back of the closet.

And then I think, Why am I keeping these things?  Why did I buy some of them?  And on and on.

I do a pretty good job of pulling out obvious things that fall into this category, and either giving them away, or donating them.  But there are some things that I keep and really should not. They simply take up space, and there may be someone else who could use/wear them.

I was thinking about this when I read about Slow Fashion October, and have seen Instagram posts by those participating.  The older I get, the more I can appreciate being more thoughtful about things, and especially about what you buy, wear, make, and have.  And everyone has read at least one of the many articles that talk about the waste of clothes donated and then sent around the world.  I also read Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and though it should be (and to some extent is) things I already knew, it did help me gain a certain level of perspective on pretty much everything I own.

At the moment, I am in the throes of knitting scarves and hats for Christmas gifts, as well as knitting things to donate as part of Harry's Hundred.  So I didn't even try to sign myself up to participate in Slow Fashion October, because I want to keep my focus on getting those things finished and ready to go.  I know I will be able to accomplish this goal, as I just have a few more things to do, and it's still early in October.  But I didn't want to muddy my thoughts and get distracted by something else.

But between Slow Fashion October, and Marie Kondo, I have determined what I want to do going forward.  Each time I switch my closet, I'm going to do it in a more thoughtful fashion, and be firm with myself about what I keep and what I do not keep.  A lot of the things I donate tend to be work-type clothes, so I donate them to a local organization that helps women rejoining the work force (similar to Dress for Success, but more local).   And I will make every effort to donate any other things to local groups who I know actually need and use them.

And I've already been thinking that after the holidays, I want to refocus my knitting and also actually start using my sewing machine.  I'm toying with 2017 being The Year of Me.  Nearly everything I knit is for someone else, and I'm always looking at patterns, blogs, etc. and thinking how I would love to make xyz but I'm working on something for someone else and that will take precedence.  I want to try and make things that I can use/wear, and also make things for our house.  I would love to sew and/or knit some pillows.  Nothing elaborate, but something that would make the place seem even a little bit cozier.

So I will start with some baby steps when I get out my more wintery clothes and put away the summery things.  I will try to shop even more conscientiously and not buy something just because it's on sale - but if I actually will wear it and use it.  There are specific items I actually do need, since I have worn them out and they are things I wear nearly every day.  If there is something I would just love to have, I won't deprive myself, but it will also have to be something that I'll actually use/wear/enjoy/whatever.

I'm not a person who has a completely different outfit for every mood, style, occasion.  I have finally realized that 99% of the time, I choose similar pieces to wear, and so many other things - though nice - just are ignored.  So it's time to Clean Up, Clean Out, and Decide!

I am even going to try and keep myself honest by documenting what I can here.

Feel free to join me, and let me know if you do!


Anonymous said...

I'm joining up with you right this minute. I've been going through my closet removing the stuff that does not fit properly. I've already gotten rid of the things I bought on sale and never really liked.

I am pretty good about the clothing thing. I need to apply some stricter rules to yarn buying. I have some yarn that makes me think --- WHAT was I thinking????

Nothing like the prospect of moving to help you decide just WHAT stuff is important.

Mereknits said...

I have been doing the same all over my house. I have another three bags of items to donate to Goodwill in my garage right now. Lots of craft things I no longer need, papers, scissors, inks and such. I threw out almost all the old fabric pieces I had on hand. I have gone through my boys rooms, but need to do so again. Every piece of Little Buddy's clothes go to one of my patients. I am trying to riddle away what is not needed.
Hugs and good luck,

Summer said...

I got that itch earlier this year too ♥

Vera said...

Ahhh, I'm with you all the way. I did my switch over of clothes a couple of weeks ago before I went to NC because I knew I would be shopping with my friends...we always hit Marshalls and TJMax, DSW, etc. I managed to get rid of 5 pairs of shoes and to large bags of clothing. I do this every season. And, for once, I did not buy much at all while I was away. I bought one pair of boots - that's it! (I often have to borrow a bag to bring stuff home...or ship boxes home which is just nuts!!)

Last night I discovered 4 pairs of sneakers in my son's closet -- he has not lived at home for 6-7 years! I confirmed with him that he does not want them and they are in a bag to be donated. Next to tackle are the shirts and pants still in his closet.

My friends and I have also gotten more selective about what we give each other (we always bring gifts for "Sisters' Weekend"). This year my one friend didn't have gifts. She said she tried but couldn't find anything and didn't want to just buy something to have a gift. We all said that was Perfect! None of us need anything really.

I still need to tackle books, yarn, material, etc. And like you, I hope to use my sewing machine a lot more this coming year.

Good luck to all of us!!

Lorette said...

I'm slowly trying to get through my closet and get rid of stuff. I don't have a real attachment to any of it, I'm just too lazy to sort through it.

And that crazy Tidying book made we want to toss it across the room. I'm probably the only one I know who hated it.