Spring Cleaning in December

I identify as an Artist. I’ve always thought that wearing clothes was a form of self-expression.

As the new year comes on I persist in thinking “I dress, therefore I am.” As if the right outfits will take me where I want to go.

It was time to let go of the clothes and the thoughts and the feelings that held me back. Out, out—with the old—and in with the new.

I’m doing spring cleaning in December to get rid of clothes that no longer thrill me.

I’ve tossed blue and faded jeans into the donation bag. An olive cardigan too dull and drab to continue wearing.

The beige-and-black summer blouses I washed out of my sartorial hair too. Couldn’t I command attention without having to wear shirts that made me look like a 1990s office worker? Wasn’t there a better way?

The urge to purge my drawers, closet, and storage rack was stronger than ever.

For me change starts with my wardrobe. Sorting and organizing better what I own. Not bringing into my apartment new clothes that won’t see the light of day.

Like the multi-color zig-zag pattern rayon cardigan. I’m not a disco diva so what was I thinking when I bought it?

Resisting the allure of buying things that catch my eye has always been hard. Who isn’t taken in by an item of clothing that beckons you to believe that if you wore it you would become a superstar? Or at least—a spectacular version of yourself.

At the end of the day to a lot of women a dress is just a dress. They don’t imbue their clothes with the magical power to engineer a positive mood in the wearer.

Only I’m ready to test the theory that dressing up in black jeans and different color pants and colorful tops could cheer me up.

My thinking was that clothes could have the effect of vitamins.

Living through 2020 has been hard for all of us. I firmly believe 2021 will be better.

What better way to bring in the New Year than to clear out your closets?

One day we will be able to go out and paint the town red or gold or whatever color catches our fancy.

Until then I stand by the maxim that whatever gives you joy shouldn’t be discounted in this time when the COVID-19 outbreak is still in effect.

Unlike a lot of people I enjoy cleaning out and organizing my closet.

What gives you joy? Just Do It.

Spring Cleaning in July

I was having an email conversation about the protests with another person. She understood that the root of injustice predates Floyd. She feels it’s a factor of the strictly capitalist American society.

I thought about this:

Buying a ton of stuff feeds into our capitalism-on-steroids where companies exist for pure profit on the backs of an underclass.

Going through a burst of spring cleaning got me thinking. This week I started tossing shoes sweaters and pocketbooks into a bag to donate to the Salvation Army.

It felt wasteful to have bought a tweed beret I wore only once and two sweaters that remained on a shelf unworn for 9 years.

For those of us who carry credit card debt because we buy too much stuff this is a different kind of burden.

Laboring hard at a job to pay The Man–the Billionaire who owns the company–depletes your life energy.

Going forward I’ve decided to set an upper dollar limit for each item I buy like a pocketbook. I won’t go over that limit.

In my burst of spring cleaning I got rid of the stuff that weighed me down. A trash bag lies on my bedroom floor ready to be taken out.

The idea that “Maybe I’ll wear this some day” is the biggest myth going.

These unused items didn’t “spark joy” like Marie Kondo attests things should in order to keep them.

Revelations flew into my head as I filled the trash bag. This was only the start of a great big clean-out.

De-cluttering I can vouch for is often the gateway to making new changes in your life:

Out with the old. In with new people, places, and experiences.

Spring Cleaning in the Time of COVID-19

Staying indoors in your apartment or house is the perfect time to spring clean.

It’s a great day to get rid of the clutter as well as the thoughts in your head that keep you stuck in one place.

Are readers like I am thinking about your priorities in terms of what you want to keep and what you want to toss in your life?

I’ve decided to engage in spring cleaning as a method of rejuvenation and reinvention in this early spring.

What I’ve learned in terms of setting priorities is that you don’t need a lot of stuff weighing you down.

Yes–I can remember having had 22 tubes of lipstick when I was 40. Count them–22 tubes 🙂

Today  halfway through my fifties I have only 4 tubes of lipstick.

Living on less money while not at your job is the perfect time to get clear in your head that you won’t spend, spend, spend, as a hobby anymore.

Living through this crisis is the natural segue to making these kinds of changes once you’re on the outside.

I’m getting older. Your priorities can change when you go through menopause. I find that while living indoors I have cooled out with caring about things that don’t matter.

Having 22 tubes of lipstick is the not the kind of life goal to aspire to 🙂

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about ways I’ve used to cheer myself up while living through this exceptional time.

These ideas might empower readers too.

 

Having a Capsule Wardrobe

It strikes me today that having too many clothes is a liability.

Your mental health suffers every morning when you stare at a bursting closet and lament: “I have nothing to wear!”

Seeing everything take up all that space in reality you subconsciously think: “I’ll never get my act together!”

Having a routine and prioritizing what’s important to focus on is imperative at mid-life.

After the arrival of the Uniqlo package over a year later I understood that it can cause distress to be overwhelmed by the act of choosing and using items in your wardrobe.

To wit I had written: “Where would I be able to stuff yet another sweater?”

Having a capsule wardrobe is the antidote.

Ever the radical that I am I created a genius plan that beats Marie Kondo at her own tidying up game.

The solution is to only buy clothes you truly love instead of schlepping home impulse buys.

When you do this you won’t have to stare at a bunch of clothes and ask yourself if you truly love each item enough to keep it.

Choosing and using only a core collection of wardrobe items saves your sanity at the front end.

So that you won’t have to engage in clutter control at the back end.

Elsewhere this concept is calling having a capsule wardrobe.

Most experts say this involves having and using about 30 items of clothing each season.

My goal is to replace the clothes I buy in the future with fewer items of better quality.

Really one hack for front-end clutter control is to know Your Self and determine your Style. (More about creating your own style here in the future.)

Then you’ll be saved from purchasing mistakes that only hang in your closet unworn.

Here I can tell you that limiting the amount of clothes you buy frees you up to spend more time on things you truly enjoy.

Some of us hate to shop–at least in actual stores.

Putting careful thought into the clothes you buy is a good habit.

I plan to go 2 years without buying another sweater, pair of pants, skirt, or dress. I’ll talk about this Fashion Challenge in a coming blog entry.

My goal is to do what experts advise: “shop in your own closet” to create new outfits every week.

It seems about right to have 30 to 33 items of clothing you rotate every season.

For the original source of the Capsule Wardrobe Makeover you can read about Project 333 here.

The Be More With Less blogger edited out her clothes to help herself better manage a medical condition.

I’m confident that this approach can S.O.S.–save our sanity every morning when we open the closet doors and ask:

“What do I have to wear?”

Spring Cleaning 2019

Spring arrives in only two days.

The weather in New York City is going to get better–the meteorologist promises.

In keeping with the theme of cleaning out your closet I want to recommend one genius option for storing things: the InterMetro storage rack that’s on sale as of this week from the Container Store online.

Two years ago I bought the InterMetro storage rack to hold more clothes and a trio of hat boxes on the bottom shelf.

Though I’m only five feet tall I was able to assemble this nifty item on my own. I put it together on the floor and lifted it up and wheeled it to where I wanted to keep it.

It doesn’t cheer me that I have a ton of clothes.

Only the storage rack with the canvas cover can give you extra room for your clothes. You can buy an extra shelf to insert at the top or bottom of this rack.

I still haven’t discovered the remedy for storing pocketbooks so that they’re easily viewed for quick choosing and using.

Taking photos of the pocketbooks can help. Otherwise when they’re not stored out in the open you tend to forget which ones you have.

I’ll have to think about the pocketbook dilemma more and report back in here on a solution.