Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Decluttering #1

The decluttering process continues.

To describe where I am, I’ll just say that I’m on a never-ending road of “Taking two steps forward, and one step backwards.”

The last time I spoke on this subject was in April 2009, in my post titled, Collector or Packrat. It was the beginning of “journaling” my recognition of having too much stuff.

Collecting stuff and sentimental attachments to stuff have been a lifelong trait of my personality, but I realize now, that the sight of it takes up too much valuable space in my brain - a brain that has gotten older and more mature, and that does not want to waste time or energy.

So, once again, I start.
I gather the troops (my three daughters) for closet cleaning. Each of them has a spacious closet filled with clothes…and you’re right…they don’t even wear half of what’s there.

The reason for keeping the clothes is to save from the first child for the second, and to save from the second to the third.

It’s not working.

The oldest child is tall. The middle child is short. The youngest child is tall, but not interested in waiting to grow into clothes from her oldest sister.

The remedy - hold the kids hostage in their rooms while asking about each item of clothing.

I am very pleased to say that we have packed fifteen bags of clothes to donate.

Where did we get all these clothes?

More than half the clothes are from my friend/neighbor, and some are from the girls’ cousin, Michelle. When we get a surprise drop-off of clothes, my girls dump out the bags and begin staking their claim on each item of clothing. I’m glad they still appreciate the generosity of others.

When the next drop-off comes, we’ll immediately pack what we can’t use.

(I should write that one hundred times on lined paper, like I had to do in elementary school as a punishment.)

There are still more clothes to donate. As I write this, I’m making a decision to be finished with packing unused clothes - THIS WEEK!

Check back with me.

Are you saving clothes? Do you still have that “almost new” jacket from 1990 – waiting for it to be stylish again? Or maybe it’s the abundance of clothes that are too little that you’re waiting to fit into again? Hmmmm…
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yonca said...

I usually pack them and take to the nearest clothing drop box. Only a few things I put aside if there is someone in my mind to give. And a few baby clothes which reminds me those beautiful baby days:)
Have a great afternoon Anita!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, thats a lot! I need to do that too and then organize. I cant find where I put anything!!!!

Good job and keep up the momentum!!!!!!

Anita said...

YONCA, Okay...I'll admit it; I have a few baby clothes too.

Sounds like you don't have unnecessary clothes...good for you!

TRISH, Thank you...I need to be cheered on as much as possible!

Tabor said...

One of my daughters retirement gifts to me was a clothing consultant which I bounced right back to her, since she was the one who had to dress for success. She goes through you closet with a fine tooth comb and throws away at least a third and then goes over each of the remaining and begins building outfits.

gayle said...

I have 2 closets of beautiful clothes that I can't wear.....too small but I can't ger rid of them because I am going to get back in them. I should write that 100 times like I had to do in school!!

Joanne said...

When I change my clothes over seasonally, I always go through and toss the worn stuff, and items I haven't worn in a year or two. So I kind of keep thinning out the wardrobe with the change of seasons.

Anita said...

TABOR, what a good idea! That could be in my future.

GAYLE, Get to writing! :)

JOANNE, I'm determined! The kids are I are going to do what you're doing too. :)


Nakamuras on Saipan said...

It's a little different here...clothing is very expensive so most people don't usually have their closets stuffed full- I always share what I don't wear anymore with friends who do the same. No one is ever ashamed to wear hand-me-downs here and not much goes to waste. I love it when my sister sends me a box from Colorado, she lives near Aspen Snowmass and has lady friends who can afford nice things...I get the "expensive" hand me downs! I guess when you live in our part of the world you see life a bit differently then when you were living in a western country...and no one really cares that much about "fashion" here which I love..I can be comfortable!

andrea said...

I have it all---the too-small clothes for me, the outgrown kids' clothes that by the time they fit someone will be hopelessly out of style, and so on! My 7-yr-old could pass clothes down to my 5-yr-old but for the fact that he wears them out long before HE outgrows them, let alone giving them to his brother! And I have a pile of like-new clothes my 12-year-old outgrew within like a couple of months when he went from a boys' size 16 to a men's! (He's 5'10" and isn't even 13 yet) Your post has made me see I need to do something about all this because THERE'S NOWHERE TO KEEP IT ALL! Oh, and I can relate to one sister not wanting to wear her older sisters' clothes. Maybe that will be my New Year's resolution---do something about the clutter.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Every year I pack up bags of clothes and send them out. But I never get near enough gone. It's just never ending.

Anita said...

NAKAMURAS, somehow I can imagine living in a place where clothes are not a big deal, or when receiving "different" items of clothing, it's a pleasant surprise.
Ps. thanks for all the answers/explanations to my questions on your blog.

ANDREA, so nice to know that I'm not alone; that we're in the same club! But...let's work on it! :)

EILEEN, I SO understand! So many projects...sometimes the clothes get put on the back burner. But at least you sound somewhat in control. I'm getting there. :)



Abby said...

Funny, I was just contemplating a perfectly good pair of snowboots that are too small for #2 son and much to big for #3 son. Save or donate??

That said, I am a serious declutterer! I think it's because my parents are serious packrats.

15 bags? You GO!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Anita, you must have some great closet space now to fill! I donate so many of our clothes and my daughter's toys. I hope it's making a difference to the environment to reuse and recycle!

Anita said...

ABBY, sounds like the boots are going.
I think my "saving for later" days are over.
Thanks for the inspiration.

MENONEWMOM-DEB, that's a good way to think of donating - as reusing and recycling.
Oh, and I will NOT be filling the closets again. When the goodie bags come from friends and relatives, we will process immediately!


Midlife Roadtripper said...

I wear nothing out of my closet. I call it the "The Cave". On my list to go through it, but keep thinking, I will lose weight. There's good stuff in there. Who cares if it is out of style.

And, I appreciate the problem of all the stuff - as I gazed at my piles today.

Anita said...

MIDLIFE JOBHUNTER, Maybe there should be a group available to attend, like AA, but instead, it would be called something like "can't give away old clothes anonymous." I believe lots of people would join!

The Cave - I like that. :)


Nakamuras on Saipan said...

lol...Anita...that only problem I have is when I go off-island! My daughter and I joked that we probably looked like a couple of hill-billy's from the boon-docks when we went to the states together a few years ago! I went right out and bought some "decent" clothes to go shopping in...lol! Here, flip-flops a t-shirt and jeans is appropriate attire for just about anything, sometimes even work!

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

oops...I meant "the" only problem I have...got my monthly today and when that happens my brains fall out and roll under the sofa or something...

Anita said...

NAKAMURAS, If I could be casual all the time, I'd be in trouble if I had to dress up, because extremely casual is so comfy.
But...maybe the little girl princess would come out and make the dressing up all worth it. :)

oh, those dreaded hormones. It's a new day - hope they've leveled out and your brain is back where it should be. :)

Jen said...

I've gone from a size 8 to a size 4. I have a lot to get rid of. I need to do it soon.

Anonymous said...

Love it that you are raising three daughters. Mine are now 20, 22, and 28. Loved every minute of it, ok, well almost every minute of it :) Teen years were a bit challenging at times...

I have almost no clutter because we have moved too many times. Every time a transfer comes up, I purge. Goodwill loves me. If hubby has already moved on to his new position and I'm purging his stuff, even better. He never even missed those 1970's corduroy Levis. Like they would ever fit again anyway...

Anita said...

MARLA, Pray for me during the teen years - which has already started. :) You give me hope since you've already been down that road.
Actually, I'm feeling optimistic. I adore the girls and they adore me, even though, we've already bordered on the "Mommy asks too many questions" and other ways that Mommy annoys them.

Clutter...you're in my "idol" category. When I'm in doubt, I'll have to think of you and visit your blog for inspiration!

Oh, how I wish I could get rid of my husband's stuff without him noticing! :)