I’m into Month 2 of the 7 Challenge. Yesterday I dove right into what I thought was a small collection but has clearly swelled into an ocean of clothes. I pulled out absolutely all the clothes I have and put them in one place to get an accurate idea of the real amount I hide away in drawers, closets, and storage bins.
No judging the surroundings! My house is not exactly a pottery barn house. But feel free to judge the sheer amount of fabric in this picture, because that’s kind of the point.
And that does not include the large bin of maternity clothes I’m keeping in the attic should they ever be needed again. Just the fact that I have a completely different wardrobe for a few short months in my life would confound so many people around the world.
I am so blessed.
My criteria for winnowing my closet had three rules.
- If it doesn’t fit: get rid of it!
- If it doesn’t match anything else: get rid of it!
- If you’re sick of it: get rid of it!
So here’s what’s going:
(Please don’t hate me if you see something I’m giving away that you gave me. Rest assured, all of it has been worn and appreciated!)
What I’m most excited about in this picture are those two pink and purple princess dresses at the very top. My four-year-old daughter decided to get rid of these because she never wears them. She pulled them out of her dress up bag and never looked back. Probably because she has at least ten others. But it’s a start! I have to admit, those were her first two princess dresses and I get mentally weepy thinking of her two-year-old self wearing them on Christmas morning. We’re banishing that materialistic thinking, though! Photos and memories are enough.
So off to Sharing God’s Love we go. I am not against Goodwill, but I feel better about giving clothes to an organization that turns around and gives them away to people who need them.
I’m probably giving away some items of clothing that I’ll wish I had back in the next few months. That’s okay with me, though. As Eloisa James says in her memoir, Paris in Love, “Outfits are like casseroles — you only need to know how to make a couple.” Now, I just need to figure out how to make outfits. I think that’s at the root of many women’s wardrobe problems — we buy a cute top there or a fun looking pair of shoes here, but nothing really goes together. At least that’s my problem. I don’t make a study of fashion, but I do want to look presentable. I’m not buying anything for myself until mid-December, but when I do, I’ll follow two rules: (1) Shop with a list and (2) Buy with a complete ensemble in mind.
Honestly, I wish it didn’t matter so much if I look well put together or not. Part of me wants to look nice and part of me thinks of children with no shoes and yells “I don’t care if I look frumpy!” The yelling part wins often. I have always hated going into the mall, but I usually play the complacent window shopper well. In the past few weeks, I’m scared to go near the mall because I’m this close to picketing entrances with pictures of Indian orphans and yelling obscenities like “You don’t need a new leather jacket!” Yes, that’s an obscenity where I’m from. But I know I need to find a balance between blessing my husband/children/self/anyone else who has to stand the sight of me and blessing the least of these.
If you have any insight into this dilemma, please share. And share your photos if you’re joining me in this part of my 7 Challenge! It’s actually quite freeing. At the very least, you’ll have a cleaner closet when you’re done. I’m praying for more than a clean closet, though. I’m praying for change.