The Purge | Cleaning out my Closet

afterlightI have this bad habit of buying a lot of clothes. I don’t consider myself like, a “shopaholic”, but I feel like I always see like, the perfect sweater, and I snatch it up impulsively. And then a few months later, I’ve moved on, or it’s not exactly what I wanted, or I found the actual perfect sweater. I also tout myself as a minimalist, which, let’s be honest, I’m so not a minimalist. I spend money like it’s my job. Not on junk necessarily, but like, gray t-shirts or cool baskets from Target, or candle holders. I usually find a way to justify it. Then, every fall I get the Urge to Purge™.

For most, Spring is a cleansing time. For me, it’s Fall. Right before winter I want to clean out my closet and re-stock with the very best in cold weather clothes. I take a look at what I barely wore (or in some cases, *never* wore) during the previous year and I cut that shit out. This also coincides neatly with the Bitch & Switch, which is an annual gathering of cool ladies at my friend’s house, and we bring all our clothes we don’t want, and with luck, pick up a few new items. I tend not to partake in the “swap” part of the clothes swap. I’m very particular. When I want new clothes. I know where to go to get new clothes. All the clothes that don’t get taken at the B&S are donated to a women’s shelter. Win/win! I really think people need to do this all the time. It’s the height of privilege to be able to buy clothing to excess. It’s only right we let those clothes live on with people who actually need it.

The empty hangers were not empty so long ago.

The empty hangers were not empty so long ago.

Another reason I love to purge is it gives me an opportunity to evaluate my closet and continue to cultivate my personal style (privilege is calling…). I’m really particular about what I wear, even though it’s generally pretty straight forward: I love a good pair of black jeans, with either black tennis shoes or boots, a billowy gray t-shirt. My uniform. It’s when I feel most powerful and at my peak coolest. Otherwise I like t-shirts that have interesting patterns, are neutrally colored, and leave some room in the mid-drift area. AND, sweaters. I looooove sweaters. afterlight(2)Alas, if only this were the extent of my entire wardrobe. I have two other small dressers full of workout clothes, pants I don’t quite fit into right now, socks and way too many t-shirts. A lovely goal I have is for this to be it. See also the poorly under-utilized shoe rack.

Yesterday while doing a last minute scramble to get rid of stuff before the big Bitch & Switch, I started quickly trying on clothes I either haven’t worn in a long time, or maybe only wore once. It was sort of a confidence boost! Some stuff I assumed I no longer could fit into. Some, I found a new way to wear it. It was a pleasant surprise to realize that my wardrobe could be way more diverse and stylin’ than ever before. Getting rid of the clothes you no longer want (which, for me, I have to turn my brain off while doing. I can’t get sentimental about clothes. I’m super determined to get rid of clothes and not try to think about how many dollars I’m literally giving away. Can’t think about that) allows you to better appreciate the clothes you still have and make more effort to rotate them back into your wardrobe. Since cleaning out my closet I feel like I’ve actually doubled my clothing arsenal. It’s super cool! And exciting!

And today, I’m wearing a shirt I’m sure I’ve only worn like, once ever, because I never realized how good a fit (both literally and figuratively) it was for me. It’s empowering to make these rediscoveries. afterlight 2

About the Author

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Hi! I'm a graphic designer, photographer and female person. I live in Minneapolis with my husband Alan and our baby son Alexander and baby cat Arya.

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Personal, Style

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