I just moved this summer. I’ve actually moved six times since 2007, including twice across an ocean.
And you know what I realized?
I’ve dragged a lot of crap across an ocean. Twice.
Clothes were the main culprit. I had so many clothes. Every time I looked in my closet, I’d get stressed out. I had the same problem many women do—so many clothes, but nothing to wear.
There were clothes that were too big. Clothes that were too small. Clothes that still had tags on them because I saw them for $4.00 at Old Navy and bought them after a temporary lapse in fashion judgment.
But the biggest category were clothes that didn’t look bad, but that didn’t make me feel good, either. There wasn’t anything wrong with them per se, but I didn’t feel like my best self when I wore them (for a variety of reasons).
Why did I do that to myself? Why would I spend energy looking at them in my closet day after day? Why would I drag them across an ocean (twice)?
Brutal but Necessary Bluntness
I decided to do a clothing purge. I recruited the help of my friend Danielle who was visiting and helping me pack for the move. She’s sweet as pie, but she also tells me like it is (one of the reasons I love her).
I modeled some, and described my feelings to her when I saw each piece of clothing.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: “I haven’t worn this since that time I was at your house in 2009.” Her: “Get rid of it.”
Me: “This isn’t long enough and I keep pulling it down when I wear it.” Her: “Get rid of it.”
Me: “My ex’s mother gave me this and…” Her: “Get rid of it.”
Me: “Well, I…” Her: “Get rid of it.”
By the end, I was tossing things into the “Donate” pile before she could even say a word.
I’m happy to say that now I have a much cleaner and more organized closet of clothes that make me feel good. And I’ve also vowed to not buy anything again unless I absolutely love it, and it makes me feel like my best self. I feel lighter already!
I’m going to try my “Purge” in other areas of my life. Why eat a food if you aren’t particularly in the mood for it? Why put so much effort into a friendship or other relationship that drains you? Why say yes to that obligation that is going to take up your entire weekend and bring no joy to you and your family?
I guess it comes down to mindfulness. So, that’s what I’m going to try my best to practice. What would you like to purge from your life?