The closet war is over, forever.
In retrospect, I can’t even believe how I lived the way I did for so long.
My closet was defined by:
- Drawers usually filled to 80%-110% of capacity
- Large stockpiles of dirty (and clean) laundry
- Clothes on hangars that were tightly packed and unseeable
- Clothes I hadn’t worn in years, if ever
- Off season clothes stored in totes in the garage, often missed for years
I didn’t keep strict track, but I estimate I easily donated ten full garbage bags of clothes. Those of you who see me regularly will not notice any change in my appearance, since I continue to wear the same clothes I used to wear. Now I simply don’t own the things I don’t wear!
Here’s a particular object lesson- the socks. I used to have a lot of socks. Dress socks, blue socks, polka dotted socks, wool socks, white athletic socks, white ankle socks, etc. There’s nothing I hate more than sorting and combining socks, so my socking experience was a lot like the canonical bag of marbles probability problem: I would draw a sock, then continue drawing socks until a match was drawn for the first or any subsequent sock drawn. This is what was in the drawer I was working with:
The whites and the colors were at least in different drawers, but still, it was a disaster. There is only one kind of sock I even like! It’s like a regular athletic crew sock, but black instead of white. Some kind of cotton-lycra blend. I would preferentially wear those socks to work, with regular clothes, and even working out (If you can’t get over me wearing black socks at the gym, we’ll never be friends anyway so I don’t care). I HATE those silk gold toe dress socks. I also hate having a million different socks to match and mate. So I simply went and bought a dozen of the ones I like, and ditched the entire sockpile that has been taunting me for all these years. I’m delighted to go sock up every morning now, because I know exactly what I’ll get. Plus my sock storage has decreased by about 80% and I’m still right where I was before laundry-wise, needing to do it every 1-2 weeks. WIN!
One of the hardest things to part with were some sentimental uniforms. The two sets of submarine coveralls that I wore the entire time I was a submariner (golden shellback, etc.), and the utilites I wore as a speechwriter for an Admiral to places like Kosovo.
I actually hung them up in the closet for about a week, and after thinking about it harder took them back out, took pictures,and stuck them in the goodwill pile. In retrospect, the only regret I had was that I forgot to get the ship’s patch off my coveralls, which could have been a meaningful memento at much less volume.
So here is my closet now, which contains all my clothes. I purposely didn’t tidy it up for these pictures, because I’m so proud that it stays in a state of organization even when it hasn’t been tidied. This is everything I own, if you see me in hang-up type clothes soon they’ll be hanging right here!