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The Great Closet Cleanout

September 6, 2016


(This is one of my friends and me at a Travis Tritt concert in Evanston, WY. This T is a new treasure in my wardrobe. Do you think I’m ever going to get rid of it? Don’t be crazy…)



There’s something about transition, opening new life chapters, the changing of seasons, moving to a new place, beginning something challenging, etc. that seems to inspire me to get rid of everything I own. Kind of like I’m shedding my old self by getting rid of stuff. Right now there’s a combination of a few of those above things that recently lead me to the closet cleansing to end all closet cleansings. Actually, my pile wasn’t that big. As Mom said when I triumphantly announced that I’d cleaned out my closet, “But… You don’t have any clothes to get rid of.”  Not true. I have clothes, but they fall into four, major, distinct and hard to multipurpose categories. Scrubs, yoga clothes, church dresses and undies. There really aren’t in between categories. This makes going out on dates or with friends interesting. Going out usually ends up being a combination of  the “church” and “yoga” categories and then we just hope for the best. But really, I literally have more pairs of undies than I do going out clothes. And that… actually, is irrelevant for this post. It’s just some information.




Cleaning out clothing closets. If you’ve been meaning to do this then hopefully this post will spark something to get that ball rolling.  The reason I think this is so darn important is because I believe a lot of us carry around the emotional weight of owning too much stuff. Truly, a first world problem. Tell me if I’m wrong, but there are many of us who purchase things too readily without need and then we keep EVERYTHING we’ve ever purchased. I’m probably overstating, but you know what I’m talking about. Have you moved lately? Are you amazed at how many things you’ve accumulated? We could start in any kind of closet anywhere, but like I said, I recently cleaned out my clothing closet so let’s talk about that for now. And I’m here for moral support.  Attachment to stuff is real. If you need help, I will gladly come to your house and help you.  Dead serious.  I’m reckless when it comes to detachment from clothes or other kinds of closet items and I have fiendish delight in creating space. Shall we get started then? For our convenience I found this on Pinterest.



 (This is NOT mine! These people from Passions for Fashion made it. Am I in the clear for copyright?)


And a little quote to inspire as we get going….


“If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous; don’t do it, don’t buy it, don’t keep it.”


So, go ahead. Get into that closet and start shoveling out. Go through every little thing. Even your sock drawer. Even clothes that have holes and stains in them. Maybe give those a toss too? Remember, you only need a couple paint outfits and yard work clothes. Those two things and of course the old, “I might be able to make that into a costume.” are the biggest excuses I have for keeping some clothes that really should just go.


You can do this! Be committed to lightening your load. This is such a great practice in detachment. I promise, you are going to feel so great once you drop off that pile of stuff to Deseret Industries or wherever you take old clothes.


I read an interesting something when I was getting this post together. Read this and continue to feel motivated. This is by a woman named Jane Porter and she quotes another woman named June Saruwatari.


“There are myriad reasons we keep stuff. You might get around to reading that fat stack of old New Yorkers one day, or lose 30 pounds and fit into those unworn pants hanging in your closet. But the reality, says Saruwatari, is that we hang onto far more objects than we need, and, instead of motivating us, they become talismans of guilt and shame.

“You hold onto things based on hope,” she says. You hope to lose weight, catch up on reading, finish that abandoned project. But when you don’t, it’s hard not to feel like a jerk about it. “How much stuff do you really need to represent that thing?” says Saruwatari. “How many items do you need to hold onto before it starts controlling your life?”


I can relate to that. I bought this super cute pair of khaki pants from J. Crew in 2002-ish. I was freshly graduated from high school and in my first semester of college.  The infamous Freshman 15 and I quickly realized each other and I proceeded to layer myself with pound after pound. Before long my cutie booty didn’t have a chance at fitting into those size 8 pants. Sad day. A lot of things in my wardrobe went the way of all the earth during that time, but those pants… They turned into my goal pants. I couldn’t get rid of them! Gah!! They were J. Crew! They were long and beautiful and my poor college girl income had scrimped and saved for them. Now they hung in my closet as a beacon of a future size I ached to be. Well, that future size didn’t come until 8 years later. I remember the day that I put those pants on again. I was in my studio apartment and I think my palms were sweating a bit in anticipation. Up they went! Comfortably zipped and buttoned! And THEN!!! Well…  they were pants from 2002 and we were now in 2010. Very different pant styles. Right then I realized how silly I was for keeping them. They had been that “talisman of guilt and shame” because I hadn’t fit into them for so long and had been sad about it. Now they were just old, out dated pants. Point of the story: Throw that baggage out.


Alright. So, the next REALLY important thing in this decluttering journey is the part where we don’t clutter back up.


Sometimes when we get rid of lots of stuff there’s this need for replacement switch that wants to flip on. “Yay for space! Let’s fill it up!” Here is where we pause for some education time before we go shopping. If we need to go shopping.



 Do you have Netflix? Will you do me a favor? Will you watch a documentary called “The True Cost”?  The gist of this documentary is that most of us are not educated or responsible consumers when it comes to clothing. The picture of what is happening behind the scenes at stores like H&M and Forever 21 is definitely not painted for all to see. Though this documentary may be as sensational as the next it does open your eyes and gets you thinking about the reality of the situation. So much of the clothing that fills department stores is made in places where people are paid ridiculously small amounts of money to make cheap clothing all day in conditions that are horrific. Not to mention all these cheaply made clothes that fall apart or are discarded quickly are filling up our landfills. Please, just watch the documentary. They can tell you way better than I can.


Now for the shopping part. How you dress is an expression to the world about who you are, what you’ve been doing, where you are going, what you value, and how you feel about yourself. With THAT in mind, when you’re shopping for clothing, wait for those things that you fall in love with! That you can’t wait to put on when you get home. That you’re proud to wear. That look great on you. That are going to last for a long time and are made in conditions that wouldn’t make you sad. That’s the sum total of my shopping advice. The. End.  Thank you again for reading the opinion of Charlotte. You’re loved by me whether you’re in my boat or not. Kiss! Kiss!


P.S. I feel like I end these posts so abruptly sometimes. I guess when I’m done, I’m done. Except I do have this for you. It’s just something interesting I thought you might like to know. I went on a date last week and something this man said has made just a peach of a journal entry for me.  It was one of his last statements of the evening. And if you’re going to make a statement to a woman it should be something sensational. Like this…


“I would get my vasectomy reversed for you…”


Aaand I’m just going to let that hang in the ether…



Juicy Jam Session: Water Runs Dry by Boyz II Men. Unrelated to ANYTHING written above. I’m just a sucker for a boys band. In all honesty, this song makes me cry a little when I listen to it. I mean, hasn’t it made you cry at some point in your life?

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