I may be a bit of a packrat, but I am generally pretty good about getting rid of clothes — whether it be because they no longer fit, they’re out of style, I just don’t like them, I’ve ruined them in some way . . . you know. There are a million reasons to get rid of old clothes, and only a handful of reasons to keep them.
Since the end of a particularly heart-breaking relationship several years ago, I’ve generally been able to pack up old things and place them in a nice little “boyfriend box” — a stash of momentos from past relationships I keep under my bed. I’m sure my current significant other isn’t thrilled about its existence, but I think he understands that some of that stuff . . . some of that just can’t chucked out. Whatever the reason I have for keeping old dog tags, photos, cards and printed e-mails (yes, I have printed out plenty of e-mails!), they’re all together in one common place, gathering dust out of sight but oddly still within reach.
Except for the clothes.
For years, I’ve tormented myself with constant reminders by keeping around old tops, skirts and sandals purchased when I was a completely different person — physically, emotionally. Even though I routinely go through all of my clothes and pack of bags of them to give to charity, there are a few items I just couldn’t bring myself to give away. Until this weekend.
I know — it’s an unassuming, albeit short, jean skirt. Probably not that trendy. Definitely doesn’t really wrap around me quite the way it used to . . . and it’s incredibly wrinkled from the years I’ve had it shoved in some dark, cold recess of my closet. But I bought it on an important day . . . and wore it on an important day. But three and a half years later, I don’t need the jean skirt anymore.
I got rid of a lot of other clothes, too — clothes I thought I would have to save forever, just “because.” I read somewhere (or heard somewhere?) that if you’re emotional about having to part with something material, take a photo of it — you can keep the picture forever, but you don’t have to worry about the stuff taking up space in your house — and your heart — anymore. It’s just stuff.
To paraphrase home organizer extraordinaire Peter Walsh, “Will you choose the stuff, or will you choose your life?”
Needless to say, I’m choosing my life.
So, goodbye to . . .