Monday, April 28, 2008


Internet, I have a confession to make. I am an unabashed packrat.

There, I feel much better for having admitted it. I am one of those people who saves things "just in case," who keeps cards far longer than I should, who saves old calendars for years (though that came in handy for making all those cranes!), who keeps moving the same clothes into and out of the old trunk every change of seasons. When I moved to Denver I learned that it's important to have clothing that is warm for winter and loose/cool for summer, as temperatures can vary from zero degrees to over one hundred throughout the year. But I don't have enough room in my pseudo-dresser or closet to have all of my clothing accessible year-round. So I use my old steamer trunk as clothing storage, and twice a year switch out winter stuff for summer, and vice-versa. Quite a bit of clothing does stay out year-round, but I don't need thick warm sweaters in the summer or sundresses in the winter.

This weekend we started spring cleaning the house, and by spring cleaning I mean thoroughly going through everything and figuring out what we wanted to keep, what to toss, and what to give away. This time of year always makes me want to clean and organize, since the cold weather seems to have finally lifted and given way to sun and grass and flowering trees. Recently we had a major influx of new stuff (getting married will do that, go figure) and we don't have enough room for everything, so we're reorganizing and rethinking what we have, deciding what to keep and what we no longer need. Most of this is kitchen-related items, but I decided yesterday when I was doing laundry, folding and putting clothes away, and hanging clothes up (my least favorite chore in the whole world, seriously, HAAAATE), that I'd go through everything and ask the same questions of each item - keep? toss? give away?

Now, we'd gotten rid of a few bags of unwanted stuff during the last clothing changeover in the fall. I didn't think there would be much left to purge, but I decided that my wardrobe needed a serious pruning, rather than the regular surface-area mow. It was time to get down and dirty and just GET RID OF STUFF. It was painful at times and thoroughly annoying, but I did it. I threw away at least 15 pairs of underwear and 2 bras that were no longer functional and/or had serious holes. Nobody needs to keep holey underpants. I filled two large garbage bags full of clothing that doesn't fit or I don't like or is really dated or something I just never wear. There were a few things that I'd brought with me from California that I realized I'd NEVER WORN since moving here. If I haven't worn it in five years, it's not something I'm going to wear again. In the bag it goes. I got rid of stuff with stains, and stuff that looked much better on me when I bought it, some of it ten years ago or more, when I weighed 20 pounds less than I do now.

And that's where I started to get hung up. It actually made me a little sad, to be getting rid of these clothes from college, each item something that I had specific memories about. The shorts I wore through Europe. The skirt I wore to at least half the parties at the house where my college boyfriend lived. Things that don't fit and probably never will again because I've got more muscle than I did then, so even if I lost a bunch of weight they wouldn't fit right. Things that were just plain worn out because I wore them so much. The dress I wore to DC in 2002, which still fits but is now much tighter, shorter, and younger than my current style. I decided to get real with myself, during this purge, and vowed to get rid of anything that doesn't fit right now. Because while it's possible I might lose a little bit of weight, judging by the difficulty I had in losing just a few pounds for my high school reunion back in 2006, my body's just bigger now, and I have more muscle, and I'm not ever going to be a size four again barring some freak accident that makes my legs atrophy or something. Better not to keep hanging onto things that are tight and uncomfortable and make me feel bad about the way I look. Because I don't look bad! I look pretty good right now! I eat well, I go to the gym five days a week (sometimes twice in a day), and I'd rather not starve myself again for such small gain. Or loss, as the case may be. So all those clothes I've been hanging onto for years, clothes far past their expiration date, waiting for me to get back to a size I'll never achieve again, those clothes went in the bag.

When it was all finished, I put my remaining winter clothing into the trunk. It took up less than half the space it did last year. I'm going to have to find something else to store in the trunk, as it's a good amount of space, and we've still got more stuff than we can fit in our house. And I still have to go through all my socks and get rid of the Loki-fied ones. And put away the last loads of clean laundry. And start saving my pennies, because do you know how much it's going to cost me to replace 15 pairs of underpants? A whole mess of pennies, that's how much.


Sara said...

Good for you! I love throwing shit away.

Anonymous said...

Whenever we do a big purge, I'm lucky if I let go of two shirts I've had since I was 12. I am a packrat and a sentimental fool and one day I will be found dead under a pile of clothing from the late 1990s.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

You know, the last time I did this, as an ode to my new self, my mom found said bag of clothes and HUNG THEM UP in my closet again.

Honestly, it was pretty freaking upsetting. Hey MOM, remember all the weight you wanted me to lose so I could get married? LOST IT. So please stop putting clothes circa 2000 in my closet out of the Goodwill bag.

I don't know why it upset me so much-it's like, yes, Monkey is thinified now but she still has to wear those old clothes.

Fuck that. I've been busy buying a new wardrobe and whenever my dad complains about how much money I'm spending (compared to when I was busy losing weight and still wearing the same shit clothes which made me feel like shit) I just pin all the blame on "my boyfriend."

"My boyfriend likes me to look good."

"Oh, okay then."

Desi parents. So fracking predictable.