airing my dirty laundry… and clean laundry [day 235]

I promised you dirty laundry, so here it is.  There’s actually more of it, but this is my basket.  My kids have one upstairs too.  So why an I showing you this?  I have no idea, other than it seemed like a fun title for this blog post.

I was thinking a few days ago how ridiculous it is that I have as many clothes as I do.  I have a relatively small closet, at least considered small by Frisco standards.  It’s a walk-in for skinny people.  I thought, “What if I got rid of half of my clothing?”  Helping my friend move back into her house, and helping her purge clothing from her son’s outgrown wardrobe, was the final push I needed to do this.

I decided to do it.  Get rid of half of my clothes.  Going into this, I had no idea if this would be easy or difficult.  Will it feel like a sacrifice?  Let’s see…

Let’s start with my closet.  I have approximately 278 pieces of clothing in there, so I will need to purge 139 pieces.  The first pass through the closet yielded 84 pieces of clothing.  Not bad for a first pass, but still a pretty long way to go.

The second pass, which was a little bit difficult, yielded 28 pieces of clothing.  This pass felt a little bit like a sacrifice, but when I thought about it, most of this is stuff I don’t wear anymore.  This batch included my pair of mismatched shoes, as they’re too small and hurt my feet.  Sad about those, but it makes sense to pass them on.  These will go to the first person that asks for them (size 7.5), as the thrift store would pitch them in the trash thinking they need exact matches. 

The third pass I went into knowing I needed to pull out 27 more pieces of clothing.  I went in and reluctantly came out with 18 pieces.  This batch had my orange Lucky Brand capri pants, which I never thought I would part with.  Sit down.  (pause)  I paid full price for them years ago at The Buckle.  Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe.  Lucky me for having the money to pay $78 for them, lucky you if you want them (size 6) and lucky for the Lucky Brand company, as they’re making a killing on this stuff.

The fourth pass was a bit different, as it was the last 9 items that were pulled from the closet.  They aren’t the 9 I would have expected, but when you look at the crazy reasons we all buy, and keep, so many clothes, it all begins to make sense.  So the last 9 pieces got their own photos.  Let’s chat about these.

Clothing experiment: 1 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: Retro 70’s style lightweight shirt with colorful stitching and flowers, with wide bell style long sleeves.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because I love it, even though it looks like crap on me.

Details: I bought this at a thrift store for $3 a couple of years ago.  I’ve only worn it a couple of times because it’s a bit short and the shape isn’t very flattering, as it’s too big in the middle and tight on the sleeves.  Bummer.

Clothing experiment: 2 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: Retro looking, babydoll style, gauze top with grungy edges and a cute bird on it.  Looks like a pink Twitter bird.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because I was going to wear it again someday.

Details: I bought this at a thrift store for $1, and it’s cute, but maybe too cute.  At my age, it’s a little difficult to pull off the “cute” look.  It was fun, time to move on.

Clothing experiment: 3 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: Old Navy long sleeve basic white t-shirt.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because you can never have too many solid white shirts.

Details: I bought this at at Old Navy several years ago.  I have about 4 or 5 long sleeve white shirts.  I do wear these a lot, but I don’t need that many.  I kept 2, and other long sleeve t-shirts, one in each color.

Clothing experiment: 4 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: Long green knit sweater dress with half sleeves.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because I’m going to wear it again someday, even though it’s not my size.

Details: I bought this at a thrift store for $1, I’ve worn it 2 times and I hate half sleeves.  This is an icon of “this was a great deal and I had to buy it.”  Someone who is a size large would look great in this, so hopefully it will go to someone who will love it.

Clothing experiment: 5 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: This is cheap superhero hoodie sweatshirt.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because it was cheap and I like it.

Details: I bought this at a thrift store for $2.50.  It’s fun and cute, but very uncomfortable.  It’s a bit tight, I think it might be a kids size.  Yes, I don’t check those things.  If it looks like it will fit, I’ll buy it.  Not all of the thrift stores have dressing rooms.  My favorite part of it says, “I need a hero.”  When I wear it, that part doesn’t show.

Clothing experiment: 6 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: Striped tank top with floral trim in fun, bright colors.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because I got a great deal on it and it’s a name brand top.

Details: I bought this at at Marshall’s a while back.  It’s an expensive brand, We the Free, but I only paid $3.99 for it.  This tiny little tank top retailed for $25.  I love the colors, but it looks terrible on me.  Why should I care what my clothes look like?  I don’t have to look at them much, other people do.


Clothing experiment: 7 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: Layered look, one piece thin, fitted t-shirt with long sleeves.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because it’s comfortable and I don’t care that it makes me look fat.

Details: I bought this at TJ Maxx about 7 years ago.  I love it, it’s comfortable and I wear it, even though it’s too short and makes me look like a muffin.  A Billabong muffin.  In colors that look good on me.  Did I mention how comfortable it is?  If’s there’s any piece I would consider pulling out, which I won’t, it would be this one.


Clothing experiment: 8/9 of 9 in the finalist group.

Item: A two piece suit, solid black, long jacket with tapered pants.

Reason for keeping: I was keeping this because I paid a ridiculous amount of money for it.

Details: I bought this at Macy’s about 7 or 8 years ago for $280.  It was for an event, a party after the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in California.  I did get a lot of use out of it.  The jacket is still stylish, although I don’t wear clothing like this very often.

Here’s a few photos on the “closet comparisons”, or could be referred to as the before and after photos.  My closet isn’t the most organized spot in my house, but this purge should help.  🙂

Looks like I got rid of a good portion of my short sleeve t-shirts.  That was an easy section, as I had a lot I wasn’t wearing at all.

This section, long sleeved shirts and sweaters, seemed to loose more, but they were more difficult to weed out.

Pants and skirts lost the most in their section.  I didn’t take a photo of the jeans section, but I only got rid of one pair.

Lessons uncovered.

I learned a few things by doing this exercise and I was intentional about keeping some clothing articles:

  • We buy different versions of the same stuff. I had many of clothing pieces that were very similar, or a piece where I have 2 or 3 in different colors.
  • The little black dress. I kept 2 of these, one long one and one short one.  I might not use them often, but they’re good to have when you need one.
  • Too much. I don’t know how many clothes we should have, what is too much or what is too little.  I do know it’s nice to have less clothing and it will be easier to do laundry and keep my closet clean.
  • A sacrifice. I’m not sure if I did this to make a sacrifice for my cause, or if it was to show how it’s really not a big sacrifice to get rid of so much stuff.  It doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice.
  • What I love. I love more of my thrift store clothes, but my store bought clothes are my basics.  It’s a good mix.
  • But it’s a good deal.  Big deal.  I need to only buy it if I’ll wear it.  I need to stop buying things just because it’s a great deal.  I’m much better about that now, but I still have room for improvement.
  • Blank canvases. I have to stop looking at everything as a blank canvas.  I don’t have time to design, paint or modify much of anything.
  • Mind over matter. The pieces that I purged are ones I had second thoughts about when I bought them, in most cases.  If it’s not exactly what you want, don’t buy it.  In the thrift store, walk around with it for a little while to decide or place it back on the rack.  If it was meant to be, it will still be there.
  • Watch What Not To Wear. It will make you feel better about getting rid of a few things and really happy that you’re not losing your entire wardrobe.

I’m sure there’s more, but this is good.  I still need to go through all of my clothing drawers and do the same purge.  Are you ready for a challenge?

Take 25 pieces of clothing from your closet, place them in a box or plastic tote.  Put it away for a month and see if you miss any of the stuff in it.  If not, take it to the thrift store.  If so, take out the item(s) you missed.  Rinse, lather and repeat.

If you do this challenge, send me a photo and the date you did it.  I will even pick up your box if you live in the north Dallas area and take it to the thrift store for you.  I would also love to blog your results.  🙂

About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world.
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1 Response to airing my dirty laundry… and clean laundry [day 235]

  1. embracechaos says:

    Okay, I just had both of my kids pull 25 clothing items out of their closets. Interesting results…

    My youngest, 10, has some emotional attachments to his clothing, and to stuff he’s never even worn. Wow, we all start this process early. He has a lot of hand-me-downs that he intends to wear. The process was not easy for him.

    My oldest, 11, is way pickier than I thought. I learned a lot about him in the process. He hates yellow and thinks it makes him look like a clown. He won’t wear anything with a collar. He had a lot of clothes in the back of his closet that were too small, and some clean laundry. I thought he had a lot of clothes, but he doesn’t because his brother, being the same size, has hoarded them all.

    50 pieces of clothing is going to the resale shop. 🙂 And my boys? They feel good about it. It’s easier to keep their rooms clean.

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