I’ve never had a good relationship…with hangers.
I come from tidy organized people (well maybe don’t look in Dad’s office). I grew up knowing that everything had a place and everything should be in it’s place. I LOVE color coding and labels and boxes to organize things. I have an organizational philosophy for everything. When I get stressed, overwhelmed, or have feelings to process, I reorganize. Everything I own should be meticulously organized, I know how I want it to be, but alas, my closet is my biggest nemesis. Somehow my clothes never stay on the hangers. Never.
Eventually it drives me crazy and I forgo sleep (not that I sleep that much) and reorganize the entire closet (read: clean up the hot mess). I realize that if I had less I would have less to clean up.
This past week I haven’t slept much, blame insomnia, feelings, life changes, whatever. I was wide awake anyway so I decided to organize.
I have been on a purging kick for for about a year and a half, almost two years. The desire to purge started because I lost a decent amount of weight and pretty soon after, life threw me a HUGE curveball. 84% unrelated incidents. I had piles upon piles of clothes to get rid of because I never wanted them to fit again. I also realized that at some point all the stuff I had was going to have to move with me and not just be in storage at my parents house. I was pretty sure my one day future husband would not want to have stuffed animals, every note I ever passed in school, a massive collection of hair do-dads, tchotchkes from adolescent and college life, to move into our one day future home together. I sure made a lot of trips to donation centers that summer. I began to feel lighter, happier, free. I kept going and I have continued to try and purge the stuff.
I run into trouble though because, well, I have nice things. I feel guilty getting rid of things for the simple reason that I just want to get rid of them. I need to get over that. I want to own less.
I started “spring cleaning” back in March. I packed up some winter things and got rid of some of the spring clothes that I realized I should have never hung on to and no longer wanted. That was the beginning of the most recent purge. Little by little I let go of a few items here and there. Then the baby came (not mine, but he lives here too).
This week I feel like I finished (for now, I realize this will be an ongoing process). I was ruthless, sort of. I did most of my purging while on the phone with two of my best cleaning support team. Sometimes we need a little validation and encouragement to let go of the stuff and someone to point out that the amount of nail polish you own is just unacceptable….
My friend talked to me for probably over an hour. Thanks to her I was able to let go of 9 pairs of shoes (including a pair I’ve had since my sophomore year of college) and some camp clothes. Shorts that have experienced at least 4 summers of camp (I can tell you which color paint and tie dye stains are from which summer) went into the bag.
Mom talked to me while I, quickly, to avoid changing my mind, boxed up 40 bottles of nail polish. I can’t believe I even owned that much polish. I pitched all the makeup that I never wear, and just about anything that had glitter in it.
I sent friends pictures of my jewelry and let them call dibs. This was perhaps the best thing I did, because then I felt like the nice things I loved, but never wore would at least have a good home and I wasn’t “throwing them out”. It assuaged some of my guilt and made it easier to just let go.
I feel lighter, more organized, and more focused. I still have a long way to go before anyone would call me a minimalist, but I am pretty thrilled with my progress. I am not even sure minimalist is my goal, I think I should just strive to have a better relationship with hangars.