13 February 2010

PURGE

Brad says that I am a hoarder. I kind of am, I guess. Not the general kind of everything hoarder, though. I specialize in certain areas: clothing and shoes. I've referred to myself as a collector before, but I think it's time to hang my head and admit that Brad is right. I have a problem. I have things that I haven't worn in years, and know that I will never wear again (even if I were to get skinny, my boobs are way too big for the stuff I could wear when I was 19). It's worse than just keeping stuff that will never fit me again. I have never once, since I moved to Nebraska in early 2002, had all of my laundry clean. I have never once DONE the laundry until it was DONE. I can't, It is impossible. I have nowhere to put everything once it is clean. Laundry is a chore of necessity, and it was never necessary for me to do it. There were times that I'd go two months without doing a single load of laundry because I wasn't going to run out of clean clothes. Then, I'd run out of clean towels, clean sheets, and clean bras and I'd find the motivation to do SOME laundry. When I moved to Japan, I packed dirty laundry. I spent nine hours and $75 at the laundry mat the day before the movers came (and even gave away a huge box of stuff to a young girl who I met there), and still had them pack up dirty stuff. When I moved to Hawaii, I had quite a few boxes of laundry, despite the fact that I did 18 loads the week before the movers came. Reflecting on these things is how I've realized that this is a serious problem. It is disgusting. When Brad tells me that I have too many clothes, I say, "That's not the problem. The problem is that I don't have enough closet space!" I used the closets in all three bedrooms in in our house, the two dressers in our room, and the dresser in the spare bedroom...and it was not sufficient. I still had cardboard boxes, Rubbermaid containers and under-the-bed garment bags full of clothes. I was right, though. Having too many clothes was not the problem. My inability to get rid of anything was the problem. Also, I have been clinically diagnosed as a shop-o-holic, which was never going to help my clothes hoarding complex.

I was talking with a friend recently about how her husband suggested that she get rid of one old thing for every new thing that she buys. Ha. Brad and I figured that a good number for me would be 25 old things for every one new thing. I spent ALL night Thursday night (started at 8:30 and didn't go to bed until 5:30 am - I was in the zone) going through some stuff in preparation for a garage sale. Now, after boxing up a bunch of clothes, I can go get 22 new things. Yes, do the math, that is right. I was able to weed out over 550 items of clothing from my bedroom/closet/dresser/boxes/suitcases. Skirts, jeans, pants, dresses, tops, sweaters, bathing suits, and more (the 550 doesn't include chonies, socks and bras that I trashed). I still cannot get everything that is left into my closet(s) and my dresser. I was going to take a before and after photo of my bedroom, but the before picture is just WAY too embarrassing (let's just say I own at least four times the normal amount of laundry baskets that someone should possess, and I needed more). These are the AFTER photos:

Two very full dressers, and a some baskets and boxes of clean clothes in the corner:
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More clean clothes with nowhere to go, it's not like that bassinet is good for anything else:
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Sam's bedroom closet (I have a bunch of formal dresses crammed into Jocelyn's closet with our spare mattress, but she was sleeping when I took these pictures):
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Vacuum bags under our bed for maternity clothes and sweaters(I didn't want to get rid of all my favorite cold weather things, even though I won't be wearing them for a couple years):
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Our closet (barely a walk in, I think it holds less than the kids' closets):
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Yeah, so if those were the after pictures, use your imagination to think about what our room looked like before I cleared all of this stuff out of it:

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Also, these two brown tubs, and the brown suitcase off to the left, are full of clothes. I haven't decided whether or not to even go through them, or just get rid of them without looking.
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I still have about three loads of [recent] laundry to do, but I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to put it.

I'm not going to disgust you further with the details of my problem. I am, however, going to disgust you with some 'farewells' to items that had no business in my wardrobe to begin with. Brace yourself.

Farewell, ridiculously, loosely, low cut thin green shirt. Though, I don't think you should be allowed to be called a shirt at all, being as your back half is missing and has been replaced with some very skimpy cold metal rings. As I recall, we had a good time in Vegas on my 21st birthday, but I still can't believe that I didn't opt for something else. Adios. You will not be missed.
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Goodbye, hoochie-mama red and rhinestone top. You are the worst of your kind. I didn't even have boobs when I wore you, thank God, because that would have upped my hooch-bag factor by at least 25%. Now I have boobs, and this photo will be the only time I ever wear you with boobs. Get-outta-here, you disgust me.
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See ya later, black tube top with mesh/netting halter. Just kidding, I will not see you later. In fact, no one will see you later because you don't even get to see the goodwill/garage sale pile..you are going straight to the incinerator. Burn, baby, burn.
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Even though I was much thinner the last time each of these things were worn, there is still no excuse. I'm sorry for ever having worn them, and I'm sorry for posting pictures of them now. But it was necessary for you to understand how awful they were/are.

I feel so amazing, having boxed this stuff up and am preparing myself to watch it go away, far away. I'm going to to price everything at $0.50 per item or $3.00 for whatever you can stuff into a plastic grocery bag. Whatever is left is getting donated to the KidneyClothes.org people (except for the name brand things that I think I can sell on E-bay) .

I didn't even mention that I am also getting rid of over 30 pairs of shoes? Don't get me started. I still have to go through all the other non-clothes/shoes stuff in the house to find garage sale fodder.

Deep Breath. :)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Baby steps Amy! I have just started to grasp the concept of living simpler- it's harder but it's such a good feeling. -Heather

Anonymous said...

I do the for everthing I buy I throw something in my closet away, and When I shop I walk around with it for a while and usally end up putting a bunch away. But I am not a shop-aholic so I can't say any of these things would help. You probaly have like 4,000 more pieces of clothing than I do, you could dress alot of homeless(and some of those tops could do good for some hookers LOL!)-Jenette

Anonymous said...

lol to your face in those tops! ha

Steph

Kaysie said...

I can't believe you still have the SHS cheer bag! LOL!

Team Hayes said...

Kaysie, that bag was the perfect size for me to take on "Alert" when I was in the Air Force. Though, the second S got covered by an F at one point, by the Super High Frequency (SHF) satellite operators that I worked with. They wanted me to be their cheerleader, I guess. ;) Now it is full of purses. I should probably get rid of it, and all that it contains. But, I can't. :(

Stacey said...

I am SO impressed! Yay for you! And your low hootchie mama factor!

Cori Gentry said...

I have a bizarre relationship with clothes. Spending money on clothes infuriates me, and because of this, I own 3 pairs of jeans, 4 hoodies, 6 tanks, 2 sweaters, 3 nice dresses, and the rest are t's and a few dressy shirts. I buy things only as old things become unwearable. Today I am wearing a 7 year old tank top, 2 year old jeans and a 3 year old sweatshirt. I would loooove a REAL wardrobe... even if it was out of control like yours.

Team Hayes said...

Cori, for being so out of control, I'm pretty proud of how little this wardrobe actually cost me, compared to others of comparable size. I am a shopoholic, but I also refuse to pay more than $20 for shoes, or more than $15 for a top, or over $30 for jeans. Some of the things I still wear are really old. Like, the polka dot bathing suit from my pin ups? I wore that the last time I went to the beach (it's really stretchy), and I bought it when I was a junior in high school, at WalMart for $6.00. I splurge every now and then, like the $50 (originally $139) dress for my sister's wedding, and the stupid nursing tops that I HAD to have (but have definitely gotten my money's worth out of).

I do wish that I had more control when it came to spending, though...because whether it's $100 on one thing or $100 on 10 things, I am really good at buying things that I DO NOT need. I gave both my credit cards to Brad on New Year's day, and haven't looked back! :)

Team Hayes said...

The tank top I am wearing right now was $0.85 at Kohls (when I was pregnant with Jocelyn), and the pants were on clearance for $4.50 at the NEX (before I got pregnant with Jocelyn). :) Bargain hunting is in my genes. Unfortunately, not knowing when to stop is also in my genes.

Yesterday I wore a T shirt that I got at my 10th birthday party, over 16 years ago. :)

Sarah said...

Purging can be super difficult. I think I'm in denial about quite a few things in my closet right now. There are always going to be those "i'm going to gauge my weight loss by if I can fit into this shirt/dress/whatever again" that keeps me holding on to a couple things. But I think I've done pretty well over the past couple years, getting over my hoarding tendencies. Plus I figure, Carlos has a pretty huge wardrobe, and so do I - we're both going to have to do some serious downsizing before we get married. I don't know where we'll be living yet, but I doubt there's going to be enough closet space for the both of us.

Rachel said...

Good for you! You might make some $ at this garage sale! More shopping to do, uh oh!