Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More letting go of things - they're just things, right?

2011 has been the year of decluttering. Still a ways to go, but holy smokes, what progress.

Every couple of weeks this year, I've been able to take 2 or 3 or 4 boxes of stuff to Goodwill or Salvation Army. It feels great!

The latest: I've culled a bunch of old photos. In the theme of keeping my favourites, I'm dumping the extraneous, or else the number I have will continue to take up valuable space. Space I want to be empty.

I also finished cleaning out my bedroom closet. I've got roughly 1/3 the number of pairs of shoes I had. The shelves above the rack have my sweaters and cycling clothes, neatly stacked and organized.

And here's the bit I'm most proud of: all the clothes in my closet are items that
a) fit
b) I like

That's basically the first time in my life it's ever been that way. Sure makes getting ready in the morning easier and more positive.

Almost all of my jewellery is out, where I can see it, so now I wear it. Necklaces are hanging on hooks along the wall above my dresser, or on an iron candelabra my brother made me years ago.

Scarves and belts are on the back of the door.

Got rid of my crappy old socks and I actually have enough bras - quite a few, actually, in different colours. ALL Liz Claiborne.

And last weekend, I dropped off some BIG stuff, emotionally:
My bubbie's dress - the one she wore to my parents' wedding. I kept it for awhile. Tried it on a couple of times - we sure were different shapes! Then I decided to give it to a consignment store - because it's quite in style again - it's beautifully made, a lovely turquoise, and was made in 1961.

But as a few months passed, and I didn't go to the hip consignment stores again and again, I decided last week to send it to my two favourite stores mentioned above. I have found so many great treasures at those stores, like my long tweed Brooks Brothers coat, and I just started picturing someone coming across this dress and getting it for a steal, and it made me happy.

And don't tell me the staff grabs stuff for themselves. Truth is I don't care whether it's just a rumour or whether it's true. Plus I've found enough treasures to know that tons of great stuff gets onto the racks - which is why I love those locations and why others do too! (My Goodwill was in the Scott Pilgrim movie, oh yes it was - which means I'm much hipper than I even realize.)

I also dropped off my old, though pristine, high school ski team jacket. It's rather cool and kinda gorgeous, but I look like a dork in it. No way a 48-year-old woman should be wearing stuff that's not just reminiscent of her high school days, but actually has the school name on it and the big Broncos logo on it. Also in that bunch of stuff, a velvet teal 1950s dress that belonged to my mom and will make some quirky young 20something very happy (it seriously doesn't fit me - mom's shorter in the body than me), and the dress my mom wore to my brother's first wedding.

I just have to keep reminding myself it's a process.


  1. I really want to find the time to do this. We haven't moved in 15 years, and that used to be the surefire way to de-clutter. I've been thinking I should try to make it a year-long project, doing fifteen minutes or half an hour's worth whenever I can find a pocket of time, rather than procrastinating because I can never find enough time to take it on in a big way. Congrats on all that new clean space.

  2. @mater, Thanks!

    It was quite deliberately a year-long project - and, as it turns out, it's never going to end because it's a process. If you end it, or even pause it, the stuff builds up again.

    And, yes, breaking it down into areas and time units is the ticket for sure.

    I've found - on certain weekends especially - that once you get going, the discovery of wonderful items you forgot you had is quite fun and exciting. Even with items like that, which have generated excitement, I've let many of them go. It's just easier to get a handle on what you have if there isn't as much.

    2012 is going to be a lot about getting rid of photos.