While recording a podcast last week, I made mention of the fact that I owned enough clothing to open my own thrift store three times over, yet I was on day two of wearing the same pair of underwear because every item of clothing I owned was dirty.
You’re welcome for that visual, by the way.
Just admitting so out loud made me cringe - not because I was exposing my less-than-hygienic secret to unknown masses on the other end of the microphone, but because the piles upon piles of dirty clothing waiting for me at home weighed heavy on my mind. With nearly every moment scheduled for the foreseeable future, I couldn’t even begin to fathom a break in my schedule large enough to begin tackling the mess in my walk-in closet (known more commonly to the rest of the world as… my basement). I had a free day coming up, but it was earmarked for some long overdue self-care.
I made a mental note to cancel self-care day in favor of “clean up all your shit” day.
I felt defeated.
And then it hit me.
Driving home that evening the absurdity of it all hit me hard. For years I have turned to retail therapy as a radically misguided attempt attempt at self-care. I used it to self-soothe, to distract myself, or to simply to pass the time when I was bored. The results, however, were doing nothing to bring me peace or relief or excitement - I simply felt enslaved. My stuff wasn’t taking care of me, I just had a lot of stuff to take care of now.
Clean up all your shit day.
I woke up three days later, on “clean up all your shit” day and headed straight to the walk-in closet / basement, cup of coffee in one hand and phone in the other, Pinterest app open, displaying a board I had curated years ago detailing a dream wardrobe. It was a simple capsule collection of pieces that represented how I wanted to show up in the world - easy, light, airy, a bit decadent, pulled together, with a bit of an eclectic edge.
I piled every item of clothing I had on a couch (okay, two couches - I had a LOT of stuff) and started sifting through it, discarding anything that didn’t match up with my Pinterest board.
Like a lot, a lot.
Now, lovelies, when I say I had a lot of clothing, t’s not hyperbole. It took me 16 solid hours of work to sort through everything, wash it and bag up what I wanted to donate. When all was said and done, I filled 30+ large trash bags - donating nearly 50 sweaters, 40 pairs of jeans and eleventy-billion other things I “just had to have” at some point and time over the past few years. In the end, my walk-in closet (remember: the basement) had been pared down to two, four-foot, clothing racks.
The next night a local organization came by to pick my donations up. I couldn’t get it out of the house and hand it off to them fast enough. Each bag that went through the door was a weight off my shoulders. In the end, my donations filled up the entire bed and backseat of their pickup. I feel proud when I look at what is left on the clothing racks in the basement now… less stuff, fewer choices, more ease.
Quality over quantity.
My view on wardrobe has long been quantity over quality. I guess that's pretty much been my view on life too. But my views are changing. I don’t need more of anything except ease. Peace and ease. I've started with the wardrobe. Who knows what's next?
What’s taking up too much space in your life these day? What do you want less of? I’d love to hear what you have to say! Drop a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ursula Adams, MSPOD