Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cleaning out the decade

Last night I walked into my bedroom with one thought in my mind: get rid of it all.

I tried to go on a cleaning rampage. I write tried here because I am very bad at getting rid of things. I'm not a pack rat by any means. I will happily toss scraps of paper. Unless they have scribbles of thought on them. I'll toss out an old shampoo bottle though. Yes indeed.

The reason I needed to clean was twofold. First of all, I couldn't see the floor. It's not that I had dirty clothes everywhere, it was that I had attempted to sort my clean clothes one too many times and had piles stacked wall to wall. Second, the drawers were full of clothes already, so there was a storage issue. Given that I have 11 drawers to myself, I figured I had better go through some of my clothes and see what could be donated or trashed.

The first thing I did was tackle the piles on the floor. This was fairly easy. It was all newly clean and therefore I had worn items in the recent past. All keepers except two t-shirts I just didn't like and a pair of jeans that had recently ripped on the inner thigh. I had fond memories of the jeans, which I bought in August 2003. They were too small when I bought them and the first time I fit into them I was very proud. I gave them a short farewell speech before turning to tackle the drawers.

Drawer 1 was a hard as it was my nostalgic shirt drawer. The t-shirt I got at my college orientation that I loved but would never wear again. The long sleeve t from summer 2000 with Waltham the band on the front. My old roommate confessed to still owning hers so it's a keeper even though I hadn't worn it since that glorious city summer. Then my Preserve California shirt from 2003, 1970s glam shirt from 2004, and, well, you get the picture. It was a t-shirt tour of my 20s. Drawer shut.

Drawer 2 was a collection of wraps/pashminas for formal occasions. My next formal occasion is this Saturday, but it will be 86 degrees and sunny, so the wool shawl won't be needed. Still, one day I may need them and having one in every color imaginable will come in handy.

Drawer 3 was pajamas. It was at this point I gave up. I had folded and organized two baskets of laundry, cleaned the floor, tracked down socks, and looked at 2 drawers. The big black bag for donations had 2 shirts that should have probably been used as dust rags. I needed help. I called in dear husband Jon to help move things along.

Now don't think that he is any better at throwing stuff out. His drawers also contain a collection of nostalgic shirts (there is one with barely a back on it, but it was a frat shirt, so it stays). He also had been living out of 2 laundry baskets [thanks mom for giving us more laundry baskets for our anniversary after giving up on asking why we dont use our drawers]. Well, he is better at it, but just doesn't do it. He sat down to help, probably wishing I had more friends in the area to do this with as I tried on tops that hadn't fit since 2007.

"This one," I said holding up a white tank with three red, white, and blue stars on it, "I bought for the Cape when we went down with everyone to Falmouth."

"That was 10 years ago," he said.

I tried it on. It wasn't even a half shirt. I sighed, resigned to lose a memento of our first group vacation. I put it in the bag. In all honesty, I hadn't worn the shirt on that vacation. I think I had worn it 2 times total.

"See, this is why I need you here."

Over the next 20 minutes--yes, it took 20 minutes to go through 11 drawer--I heard his honest opinion on my clothes. I ended up getting rid of some things I liked because they weren't flattering, or were ugly, or turned out to be a bit more see through than I thought. A large pile grew at my feet for my "gym clothes" which was the last designation for something before it ended up in the trash. The last thing we tackled was PJs. I kept 4 even though he set a 3 item limit, and got rid of faded t-s and puffy shorts. All my clothes fit into the drawers again. I had gotten rid of some outdated styles, lost my nostalgia for some of the older ts (the Preserve California one bit the dust) and tripled the choices for gym ware.

Tonight maybe we'll tackle the closet, where the dress I wore for my high school senior portrait hangs along with the suit my mom bought me when I graduated college.

1 comment:

Crazy Chicken Lady said...

Good for you for cleaning out the clutter! Just because the tees are gone, doesn't mean the memories are. Give yourself a big pat on the back for resisting saving the shirts for a t-shirt quilt!