August 2, 2013

On the Next Episode of Hoarders

I have too many clothes!

Ever since I discovered the Salvation Army 5 for 5 sales a few months ago, I have been a regular weekly shopper. There’s something compelling about the treasure hunt that is Salvation Army, especially when those treasures come at a buck an item. Sure, I don’t buy everything for a dollar — where pants are concerned I have to buy a pair when I find my particular size, sale or not — but I think there’s only been one week in the last three months were I haven’t come home with at least five items. Often more, especially if I visit multiple locations.

A couple of things have resulted from this. First, I am becoming more selective in what I buy. In the early weeks I would generally grab anything that (a) came in my size and (b) had the right tag color. There were items I’d bypass as being “ugly” or not in a color I liked; but when it came to styles, cuts, or fabrics, I was willing to try anything for the price.

Today, I have a better sense of what looks good on me, what fits my style, which fabrics I prefer, and what gaps I have in my wardrobe; and I choose my purchases based on these criteria. For example, there was a point where I realized I did not have a solid black skirt, and I wanted one; so I actively looked for them. Now, I’ve got three of them at home, and so I skip the black skirts entirely when I shop.


The other result is that I now simply have too many clothes. I haven’t done an exact count, but as an example I counted thirty skirts in my closet today, and I know there are a few still in bags from the store. As if to drive the point home, as I was counting the stack, the neighboring stack of pants and shorts tipped over onto my head. And yes, I said stacks; my small closet doesn’t have a lot of hanger space and so I have stacks of clothes on both the floor and the upper shelf. Oh, and did I mention that I don’t even wear women’s clothes during the week?

I refuse to do the math. I know I probably average at least ten items a week, and I’ve been doing this since mid-April, but I console myself with the fact that most of it cost a buck. That makes it okay, right?

And besides, I started from virtually nothing. While I may not need it all now, I am trying to move towards a full transition. So there might actually be a day when I can wear a different skirt a day, every day for a month. Who knows?

Regardless, I have resolved to do some selective purging this weekend. As my tastes have refined there are items in here that I no longer really like; and as I slowly shed pounds (2 lbs. in July!) some of these clothes may no longer fit while others (my “I like it but it won’t fit until I drop 20 lbs.” pile) may start to; and as I was counting skirts I found one that I don’t even remember buying, so there are some thing I probably won’t miss anyway.

First world problem? For sure. Still, I’ll be re-trying on a lot of clothes tomorrow, re-scrutinizing everything, making choices, eliminating repetitive items. I’ll just make a pile of them, bag them up, and take them back to where I found them: the Salvation Army.

And then, I’ll have room for more clothes.


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