The Purge // Why Do I Own 3 Identical T-Shirts?

Recently, I moved for the third time in the last year. Ah the life of 6 month leases and flakey roommates. I’m hoping that I’ll be in this new place for at least a year, but that depends fully on what sort of opportunities arise in other counties or states. Who knows, maybe I’ll chase the snow and move somewhere with real seasons!

This move was particularly difficult since I resolved to finally get most of my stuff out of “storage”, AKA my parents’ house, and my room space got downsized by several square feet.  Once everything got into the room, I played combination Tetris/Rush Hour to push cabinets and drawers around so that everything fit and I could actually exit my room without tripping over boxes. Most of my kitchen stuff is still in the room, tucked into corners but I should be able to tackle that soon. Hopefully. A girl’s gotta eat.

The small space and the “sudden” appearance of more (the rest of my) stuff created quite the revelation. Despite the fact that I was under the impression I had been downsizing my possessions for several months I own WAY too much stuff. Stuff like clothes that hadn’t seen the light of day in….oh….6 months? Stuff like receipts from last year. Knick-knacks that I forgot about months ago. Books that I never read and probably never will. Clothes that I couldn’t stand but kept just in case – like that ugly brown work dress or the second and third identical t-shirts.

I had too much stuff in general, but, really, it was mostly clothing. As I hung shirts and dresses in my new closet, I created a new pile – Get Rid of However Possible. By the end of the unpacking session it felt like I had an equal amount of clothes in the pile as in the closet. That’s debatable but either way, the pile was a good start. There’s still a ways to go – I still have dresses that I’m pretty sure I’ll never wear but I got them for free (thank you hand-me-downs!!!) and I might need them and I already got rid of several dresses; they’ll probably get tossed into the next Get Rid of pile I make.

Why am I suddenly all about getting rid of my stuff? What’s with this sudden burst of minimalism from both myself and a good chunk of the world? Why the purge?

There’s a whole lot of answers to those questions and I can only speak for myself, but this move triggered quite the shock. I didn’t realize I had as much as I did. Suddenly, I could see my privilege better. Not only did I have parents who partially funded my closet, but I have a wonderful extended family who would pass on clothing that was still in excellent condition. I never had to deal with worn out clothing (unless I wanted to; what can I say, ripped jeans were/are cool, right?). I never missed key wardrobe pieces whether for work or for school.

Additionally I’ve always been a big proponent of putting your money where your mouth is – in terms of not supporting what I consider corrupt companies as well as putting my money where my priorities in life are. While many of my clothes have come second-hand from older cousins, I’ve also spent a good deal of money (my own and my parents) on clothes that I never wear. That’s hardly in line with what I say I believe, and I want to fix that.

Now that I’ve left school behind for full-time employment, the clothes I wear on a daily basis have changed. I wear fewer t-shirts and casual cotton shirts. There are a few jackets that I hardly wear any more, mostly because my favorite makes it through the wash often enough that I only really wear two different jackets. My closet needs an overhaul – or rather, non-business casual clothes need to be purged with the exception of a select few favorites.

Lastly, and probably least importantly, I find that visual clutter causes a great deal of stress for me. Especially when things are already getting stressful. Between the move and job changes, the clutter in my room and my closet were far too overwhelming and I needed to cut it back. The closet happened to be the easier target and so it bore the brunt of my decluttering overhaul urge.

When was the last time you purged your closet? What spurred that overhaul urge? Are there any other areas in your house that need to be decluttered?

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