One of my favourite things to do to relax is to go through all of my clothes, seperating them so that I can sell or donate pieces I no longer need. This is actually pretty unbelievable to me as I was always so unwilling when I was growing up to get rid of anything. It was a constant battle between my mother and I, which I always won by simply ignoring her pleads to clean out my closet as the piles of clothes became increasingly unmanegeable. A year and a half ago I was going through a very difficult time in my life (a break in my relationship, crappy job, etc) and it became apparent to me that I would only be able to get out of that awful place by completely changing things in my life. I decided to start with my apartment- just as I had never thrown out any clothes in my life, I had also never thrown out any piece of paper, magazine, book, etc. It was quite a task to go through everything, and I ended up taking a class about clutter clearing through Feng Shui, at the Open Center. Using what I learned in that class and from the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston, I completely remodeled my apartment and, most importantly, my closet.
All of the skills I learned then have become so ingrained in me that I now probably go through my closet at least twice a month. I collect up pieces to take to designer consignment stores, vintage resale stores or to the local Salvation Army. It's actually become quite an addiction to me, yet I still seem to have so many clothes- far too many to fit comfortably in the room I have for them, but I guess that's what I get for moving from living alone in a largish two bedroom with two rooms of clothing racks to sharing a much smaller two bedroom with a boyfriend who won't let me put racks in the living room. I was just starting this blog when I was in the process of moving and those first few posts detail this massive closet clear out.
There are quite a few amazing lessons you can learn by clearing out all of your old clutter and debris, but the ones that I have found the most exciting are: one, you find the best clothes that you forgot about hidden under ten years of workout clothes and holey tights; and two, you realize that when you throw out clothes that are associated with a bad time it helps immeasurably to fade that memory from your mind. I'm so thankful I finally sold the dress I was wearing when my boyfriend broke up with me- it was the cutest little twenties style slip of silk from Jill Stuart, but whenever I saw it I was filled with so much anger and pain even a year after we had gotten back together. I would never have worn it again, and its absence is not missed.
Tonight I found a piece of clothing that started me thinking about all of this, about how far I've come, and how much farther I would like to go. A short, puff-sleeved black hoodie with a screenprint on the hood, it was a birthday present from my ex. I guess I've been keeping it around because it was the only gift he ever gave me (his idea of romance was picking cheetos up for me when he went to get cigarettes) and because he had made it specifically for me. I think I was always so excited by the fact that he had gone out of his way to do something for me that I chose to ignore the screenprint- a skull and crossbones inside a heart that says that love equals death.
I'll be selling that one tomorrow.
Labels: clutter clearing, feng shui, karen kingston