When preparing for a seasonal shift, most women rely on the old advice: If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. Everything else gets to stay or gets repaired/altered. Absolutely essential if you live in a city like NY where closet space is pitifully limited.
The new spin on the classic rule is: If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it OR if you wouldn’t buy it today, toss it. Even more brilliant. If it doesn’t suit who you are today, your lifestyle and how you envision yourself, there is simply no use for it and it no longer deserves the space it occupies.
This was eye-opening for me – a girl who has a bizarre disorder resulting in the personification of personal goods. Yes, I ascribe feelings to my clothes, my accessories, even my shoes. I actually feel bad if they’ve been neglected for too long and even if I have no desire, I may reluctantly dust them off, throw them on and plan an entire outfit around them just so they can get some play. Sick and twisted – but anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing about not being wasteful. If I don’t give things away, I am compelled to reuse them, complete them, update them – in essence, give meaning to their being.
But this spring, with the help of a new clause on an old rule, I finally let go of my guilt.
And it felt sooooooooo good.
I was able to ‘save’ some pieces that could be reworked in modern ways and that I could still get excited about, but otherwise I let loose.
I stuffed countless donation bags with apparel, belts, jewelry, unopened cosmetics. I made several piles of shoeboxes taller than… me. I cleansed.
Once I got going, I couldn’t stop…
Some things I got rid of this Spring:
1. My Hair – I donated 10 inches to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. It was an amazing experience – and similar to a clothing donation, will really help someone who needs it more than I do.
2. My Safe Suit – I finally realized it in no way reflected my personality and keeping it, for that one day I may just need it, was absurd… because on no day in my life do I want to play it safe.
3. Sporty, Preppy Beach Bags – I realize that they are cute… for a girl who’s actually sporty or preppy.
4. Undergarments in good condition that I just don’t like – as with other things intimate, why shouldn’t they have to meet my picky standards?
5. Errand Jeans – Because my good jeans deserve to come out and play even when the task is mundane or routine… and having a caste system for denim suddenly seemed unethical and self-defeating. Rather than demoting pairs over time as styles and trends evolve, I say ditch them. (Note: If you happen to LOVE the actual denim, you can also alter the pair – I did this to flare jeans that are now straight-leg.)
Some other things all women should consider tossing this Spring:
1. Things that are bad for you: bad body image, bad men, bad energy, bad habits (really now, still smoking in 2008??!)
2. Anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself, particularly if with intent.
3. The past.
4. Resistance to change.