After reading A Boy And Her Dogs post Every Shirt Tells A Story I got thinking a lot on how I deal with clothes, and stuff in general.
We don’t have much storage space in our house, and that’s the way we like it. However, this means that it’s almost impossible to hide all your excess stuff. You have to deal with it somehow. Since we are swedes, we don’t like having stuff everywhere (Our house is frightlingly similar to this! ). This means that we have to clear it out.
It’s not until we moved to our house that we started to systematically get rid of stuff we don’t need or use. When moving here, we filled the movers truck to the brim, and still had to get some larger pots, our bicycles and a few extra boxes later. When we started purging, we started out small with just one bathroom cupboard filled with non-sentimental things. Excess stuff is fairly easy to get rid of, but things with sentimental values is a whole other story! For me, I first had to accept that my memories doesn’t depend on the things themselves. I can still remember my grandparents, and all the good times we had, without keeping any object around me to remind me. I still think of them everyday anyway. Secondly, I discovered that a lot of things carry many happy memories – but they also carry sad and hurtful memories. Getting rid of things with a lot of memories attached to them meant that I could let go of all the sad memories and just keep the happy ones. I am now in charge of my memories and choose to remember those things that make me happy. It’s liberating!
So, what has this to do with my closet?
Over the years I’ve lost and gained weight periodically. When you do, it’s easy to keep clothes “in case they will fit when I loose/gain weight again”. However I have found that even if I keep the clothes, and that they do fit me some year later, they don’t flatter me anymore since I normally change proportions along with the weight. Just because you lost your weight over the hips last time, doesn’t make you loose the same amount of weight there the next time. This time it may be the boobs. At least this is the case for me.
Therefore I have always cleaned out items that do not fit or flatter me anymore. It is important for me to feel comfortable in my clothes, and has always been (even though I wore women’s clothes for most of my life and are more comfortable in men’s, I always picked out the most comfortable ones). For this reason I also cleared out my wedding clothes since they simply doesn’t fit or flatter me anymore and I won’t use them ever again. To keep them would be a constant reminder of not just the happy times, but also all the stress and anxiety around the wedding (I had several argument with my dad considering the location of the service – a church or not. I won eventually. We had the service outdoors! We also did most of the work, including cooking and crafting invitations…).
My current closet is tiny and has needed a lot of purging to work at all. With my latest clear out I got rid of all old women’s clothes and not much was left. This has made me realize how little clothes a person actually need – what you see in the picture is what I own, and I don’t feel the need for much more (a winter coat, a new pair of shoes to replace my current one, and an extra pair of pants is all I need).
Remember that clearing out stuff with sentimental values is nothing you do on a weekend, it’s a lifelong challenge – I still feel like I just started! If you want to get started, I recommend that you read The Minimalists (go to the archive and pick the topics that interests you).