Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Emptying My Closet

As my wedding in 70+ days, I've started packing.

First, my papers. Papers from grade school. Papers from high school. Papers from college. Newspapers I've been published in and edited. Post-it notes. Letters. Spirals full of notes. Journals full of memories. Three garbage bags and many, many boxes from The Container Store later, they were packed and placed in the basement.

Next, my books. When B. and I were first discussing moving, he looked around my room and asked, "Are all these books coming with us?"
I started at him. What's wrong with five bookcase packed full and spilling over into different stacking styles with lovely books?
"Yes!" I told him, incredulous he would ask such a question.

Well, that is no longer true. I decided to be the bigger person and go through all my books and really discern which ones should come and which should stay and keep some soul in my to-be old room. I'm not saying I wept to leave a few books behind, but... books are like friends, right? Six boxes packed, four or five to go.

Now, clothes. This is a more serious problem. I realized that I have a lot of old t-shirts. So does B. They have more sentimental value than anything else; if they were a plain shirt, they'd be tossed in a minute.

My question is this: How do you get rid of clothes you've had forever? What kind of basics should I start looking into to buy for B. and me/ make sure we have? We both have a lot of clothes but... we're grown-ups now. I don't think I should keep my old lacrosse and sorority t-shirts around forever...


  1. Make a tshirt quilt! Or do what I did... enlist a good friend to make it for you :). Now I have 16 of my favorite tee's that I can cuddle up with on the couch every night, but they aren't taking up room in the drawer or closet.

    70 days will go fast! So exciting!!!

  2. I'm impressed! A pre-wedding purge! It took me years and several moves to realize I didn't need to keep every momento... Best wishes to you and your soon-to-be husband!!

  3. In the past year or so, I've tried to get a "grown up" wardrobe. My advice - buy lots of basics that can be mixed and matched (layering shirts, cartigans, etc) and when you look at an item think, "Would I still want to wear this in ten years?"

  4. I've always had an easy time tossing out some stuff, probably too liberally. But tshirts, I definitely have that hoarding bug. I second Stacy's suggestion! That, or just realize that if you have pictures from that time, they are more valuable for your kids to look at than a ratty old t-shirt. I have one or two old shirts that I've allowed myself to keep. Otherwise, I just toss them out when they're too worn to wear in public.

    Of course, the whole idea behind this post is that you're moving towards becoming an independent family with B!! Which is SOOOOOOO exciting! New memories will come and deciding on which things to keep and which to leave behind won't play a huge role shortly!

  5. If there's things that you really can't imagine parting with, but simultaneously can't think how it would be used, or where you would display it- give it a time frame. Ie, label a box or an item: if I havent' used this in 6 months, or a year... then it needs to go. Sentimental things are important too, but what I've learned is that you're constantly accumulating things like that, so you have to make room for only the really important ones. Honeymoons, anniversaries, first Christmases- all those things are going to have sentimental things too, and unlike things from before getting married, they will be memories for you both! rather than just you. Those are just some thoughts I had to process through since I just moved! and had to do a TON of purging :)

  6. Sometimes I find it is helpful to go through and ask yourself if you haven't worn something for a year. If not, away to salvation army it goes. Or to ask myself if it's one of those pieces (and we ALL have those) that I'm keeping just in case one of my "favorites" is dirty/ I've worn it too much/etc. And if it is, I usually get rid of it then, too. And then my closet is full of only my favorite pieces which makes me feel super-stylish.

    Of course sometimes neither of these work and I just end up keeping it. That's ok, too.

  7. My mom made me a tshirt quilt of my old shirts from grade school and high school! Love it!

    Also, I have a box of old tshirts - I imagine someday that I will pull them out for my kiddos to wear as night shirts and things. i've always had old tees from my mom and dad's college days to wear to bed and it's so much fun. A box of shirts in a closet somewhere doesn't take up *too* much space :)