Saturday, October 17, 2009


No, not that kind of purging. While there have been times I wished I had the nerve to stick my finger down my throat and relieve myself of a heavy meal, I know I never could. In short, I don’t do puke—at all. It’s in my wedding vows. The Hubster promised to love, honor, kill spiders, and clean up all the vomit. (It was very romantic.)

I am talking about the purging of STUFF. Tangible things that take up space and create havoc in my tiny living quarters. This afternoon, I found myself sans children and decided to tackle a project I’ve been putting off for far too long.

My closet. (Cue scary, psycho, knife music here.)

I have really big closets. (We’ve discussed this before.) Two years later, my closet is still jam packed full of crap. It is not a walk-in closet anymore…it is a climb-in-and-pray-nothing-falls-on-you closet. In fact, when I got close to the bottom, I found a garbage bag half filled with trash…probably from the last time I attempted to clean the damn thing. I hate it.

Time to do something about it, then. This afternoon, I turned on the radio and got busy. I started with the floor, so I could reach the clothes. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was because there were a lot of empty boxes acting as “filler.” The Hubster seems to think we need to keep every box that comes through our door…shoe boxes, stereo boxes, shipping boxes…everything. Well, those babies went in a big pile right inside our front door so they would be the first thing he saw when he got home.

I moved his stuff—guitar stuff, tools, etc in a pile by his side of the bed so he could go through it in his own time just as soon as he walked in the door.

There was clothing on the floor…not on purpose (mostly) but errant from slipping off a hanger. I started trying on everything I could reach, and in the process, I learned a few things. Of course, I was compelled to share my new found wisdom here.

Don’t buy clothes that don’t fit. Period. Don’t think you’ll save time by not trying something on in the store because if it doesn’t fit, time is wasted going back to return it or, even worse, money is wasted when it sits in the closet for so long you pass that size. I found pants in my closet that still had tags on them because they were too small when I bought them. I thought I would keep them for when I lost a few pounds…but they’ve been buried for so long that they’re now too big for me. (I know, so sad. Go get a tissue. I’ll wait.)

Also, don’t buy clothes that don’t fit. Don’t buy that cute sweater a size smaller because they didn’t have in your size and it was such a steal, you had to have it. You don’t know how it’s going to look on you when you get there—if you remember you have it. (See above.) I had a cute, pink sweater I actually bought at a garage sale…probably two summers ago, thinking I would be able to wear it in a few more pounds. I never got there and it sat, taking up space in my closet. Now that it fits me, I don’t like it. It’s too short, the neck is cut funny, and it’s itchy. I put it in the donation bag.

Know your body. For example, I don’t buy turtlenecks. I don’t like stuff by my neck; I know I will never wear them; I do not buy them. Ever. Once in a while, I will find something cute with a cowl neck and try to talk myself into it…but I usually manage to avoid temptation by putting my hand around my throat for a second or two.

And, know your body. The ladies in my office are always freezing. They wear cute sweaters and rub their hands together and comment about how cold it is. One woman even knitted everyone shawls to ward off the chill. I am always fine. It is very rare that I am cold at work. While everyone else is sporting layers and running a space heater at their desk, I’m in short sleeves with my fan on, pulling my pant legs up under my desk. That said, why the hell do I own sweaters? Hey, Genius, don’t buy sweaters! You will never wear them because you know you’ll get hot so don’t buy them! No more sweaters.

Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold 'em. (Know when to walk away, know when to run...sorry. Couldn't help it.) Some things, I just have to hold on to. I told the Hubster he could ditch the suit he wore to our wedding, but I couldn’t bring myself to do the same with the maternity dress I wore. Age has stained it, though, so I decided to do something with the fabric. (I don’t know what yet, baby steps, people.) I also held on to the dress I’ve been saving for the last ten years now, hoping that one day, it will fit me again. I unzipped it today, but didn’t try it on. I was flying high off of all the clothes that were too big for me and didn’t want to bring myself down by squeezing into something I wasn’t ready for.

So, when all is said and (almost) done, I’ve got five bags full of clothes to donate-—plus two more I’ve already donated—and two bags full of garbage. I can see the floor in my closet now, and, while I’ve generated a few “side jobs”—like going through the box of old pictures I found in there, I’m feeling pretty happy with how much I accomplished today. Some of the clothes were hard to get rid of…shirts that I liked, pants that were comfortable…but it felt SO GOOD to try on so many things that just hung off of me. I focus on my trouble spots—my stomach that won’t seem to shrink, my calves, which are anything but sexy…but at the end of the day, my body is changing…so I must be doing something right.

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