Fitting tights over Kira’s cute baby thighs is something Craig and I always giggle through and describe as stuffing twenty pounds into a ten pound bag. I had a similar experience moving my wardrobe into our new closet this weekend. Here’s a confession: I have too many clothes. Jordan, age sixteen and a self appointed style expert, popped into my room while I was in process of making decisions, and he shook his head making tsk tsk sounds. “Mama this is what happens when you stay in shape and always have good style, you keep everything.” It’s true. I wear the same size since college, and I like what I like whether it is trendy or not. I actually don’t buy trends, I just have my thing going on with my clothes, and, well, the result is a ten year collection. We won’t even talk about the shoes.
My former closet was like a bedroom and it had every princess quality of a closet that a girl could wish for, and this one is slightly diminished, and it is a space I must share with my husband. Jordan delighted to poke me with the truth that he has his own closet and I have to share. It’s a good thing I like his sense of humor.
We had the closet installed this week, and so I had six rolling racks packed with my clothes that I had to edit. I began to sweat just at the thought of shedding some weight from my collection. I had to make a dive and go into the mindset that I can’t keep everything. The first question each piece had to pass was, “Have I worn you lately?”, and then, “why not?”, and finally, “Will I wear you if I could wear something newer?”.
As I began it was difficult and I wasn’t enjoying it one bit, feeling a little cranky. Craig came in and asked to see the give away pile. I sighed, and showed him two big boxes. I said, “it’s hard because I still like all of them.” He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Now someone else can enjoy them too.” Strangely, that made me feel better. I didn’t think of it in terms of giving someone else pleasure. So after that, I carried on with dwindling my collection to my favorites that don’t have stains, holes, fading or pills. I color coordinated it all from white to black with the rainbow in between. It’s very pretty. And I believe when I go to get dressed it will be inspiring rather than overwhelming. Again I am learning that less is more.
I set aside a huge pile of clothes that I wear in Africa. Many of them I bought there. I love these clothes! I love wearing them while I am there, and I wish there was an appropriate place for me to wear them here. (I will wear them when I go to speak about our orphanage.)Craig said, “what are you going to do with that?”. I’m going to buy a rolling rack for the storage room and keep them hung there, so it is easy for me to pack when it’s time to go to Uganda! He opened his mouth to say something, and I put my hand up. This one is non-negotiable. He immediately loaded the van with my give away piles and took it to the good will. I don’t think he trusted me with them still in the house.
Jordan popped in to check on my progress, and said, “isn’t most of your stuff still in the storage with your books?” Yes. All of my purses and shoes and drawer contents are still in storage. He walked out laughing.
I have begun to learn if I’m not wearing it someone else will enjoy it. I also began to see that when there are fewer choices of the best things, I’m more inspired to assemble a great outfit. So the big question remains, when I am shopping and I want to buy a new skirt, will I be willing to discipline myself to give one away for everyone that comes in? That is the new guideline…goal. I hope I can do it, but it is going to take some discipline.