Sunday, April 12, 2015

On purging and saving

Today I spent a bit of long overdue time going through what I like to think of as my "should it stay or should it go?" pile. I have a bad habit of forming piles of clothing that linger for weeks as I decide what their fate will be. There's a Goodwill pile near the door, a "possibly sell" pile near the window, a "pawn off to friends" pile that sometimes mixes with the "possibly sell" pile... Basically my room is a reject pile while my closet has become a shining example of the things I actually want to wear. My poor, sweet E has to dodge around too-big jackets and shrunken skirts while I make up my mind! These piles used to be the norm for me- I would go shopping and come home and do a mini-closet purge, getting rid of some of the items that my new purchase would replace. This was a regular habit, once or twice a month I'd haul away a trove of new treasures for thrifters to rummage through.

Now that I've begun work on a consistent capsule wardrobe, my piles are getting smaller and my trips  to drop off more frequent. I don't know that I would call the feeling of getting rid of a bunch of stuff that I don't want or need exhilarating, but it definitely is a great feeling. Now that I know what I need/want to function, I can get rid of so many things. Do I need 5 pairs of jeans? No! Do I want this ill-fitting shirt? No! Off to the thrift store for someone else to hopefully enjoy. 

Now that my closet is significantly less cluttered, I'm seeing the same problem and solution in everything. Why do I need a pile of old magazines, or 20 half-burnt candles? Into the trash! I see the benefit of ditching things I don't immediately see use for. I can feel myself getting a little manic about it. It's kind of exhausting, actually. Clutter now stresses me out. I'm looking around our living room now, and there are at least 3 things I'm craving to donate. I guess I need to find a good balance between donating and storing. There are some things that I want to get rid of, but I know I'm going to want again in a few months. When I was researching decluttering, I came across this theory of how to decide whether or not something stays: The 20/20 rule. This rule states that you can and should get rid of something you don't currently want or need if you could get it within 20 minutes and for less than $20 if you suddenly required it. Example: Biking. Now, I used to be an inspiring biker when I lived in Wichita- with its quiet, flat streets and my copious free time. Living in Texas and working and going to school have left me with neither free time nor quiet streets. What should I do with my biking gear? I don't need it currently. My bike was significantly upwards of $20 and it would be hard to find a similar model, so I should keep my bike and store it. My old biking shorts, however, are just sitting around, taking up space, and reminding me that I don't have time for this hobby I enjoy. If I suddenly had a great need to ride my bike, I could easy just go buy new shorts for less than $20. So, bike is stored for later, and shorts are gotten rid of.

I want to apply this rule more universally to my life. For all the random knickknacks and books, the chipped plates and vases sitting around. I don't need those things, and they certainly wouldn't be hard to replace if I wanted them. Our homes, closets, and lives should be filled with things that uplift us and bring us joy to look at and use!

Now that this has become my mindset, I find myself only wanting these happy, productive items around. That means I need storage for the happy, productive things that I don't need currently, but will want later. I have a system in place for seasonal decorative things like our vases, votives, and tablecloths, but I really need a good storage solution for my out of season clothing. Our closet space is a little tight, but manageable. Any tips on how to appropriately store my sweaters and boots? I'm all ears!


Post a Comment

© my teacher style 2012 | Blogger Template by Enny Law