Preparation was the key to my success. There was an excellent audiobook playing on the iPod, I cranked up the heat to a comfortable "naked" temperature, I had large bags and totes for sorting at the ready and a ruthless attitude!
It was daunting seeing the great mounds of clothes on my bed... But I started at one end (dresses) and worked my way through office attire... I tried everything on, spun around, reached up, sat down and looked it over carefully for wear and tear. (Note:I am about 8 pounds lighter than I was this time last year, I am sure I can sustain this and maybe even get a bit better!)
There were beautiful clothing items of good quality that fit fine, but I never have the occasion to wear. What to do?! Then I remembered there is such thing as consignment stores! Oh ya!
One large tote was filled to the brim with the more precious garments. I will go to the most respectable consignment shop this week and see that they say. I think these things are worth the effort.
Then I tackled the more daily wear items. Tops, bottoms, casual and the decent-for-public ensembles.
Of those categories I found 5 largish shopping bags STUFFED to donate to the thrift shop and another bag for rags.
Feeling bold, I pulled out my shoes and purses. I pulled out 6+ pairs of dress shoes and 4 purses. Some are excellent construction and barely worn, so I will try to take them to consignment too.
How did all these extra things make it into my closet?
1) a generous sister who shares her awesome hand-me-downs
2) a really good thrift store boutique next to my bank (but they have moved now so that temptation is gone now thankfully)
So my financial commitment to these items is quite minimal, and that in itself makes it so much easier to be brutal with my conviction to pare down the clothes!
Amazingly, I still had some time and energy left after all that. (And a big pile of empty hangers) so I went into the crawlspace and dug out my hot weather wardrobe from storage. This is a big deal! The summer clothes and winter clothes have NEVER both fit in my closet at the same time. Embarassingly, there were 4 bins of summer clothes down there (though one tote is all hats and strappy shoes).
This batch was harder to purge. I did a decent cull before packing it last fall, and it was fun to say hi to old favourites too. Still I found some more for donation and a few pretty little tops and dresses for consignment.
My hair was a disaster from all the trying on of clothes, and I kind of felt like having a glass of wine at the end, but somehow my body-image survived all that critical energy and I feel absolutely liberated having my closet filled only with stuff that fits, is flattering, in good shape and that I LIKE!
I put all the donations straight out into the car, Including some books and some gifted perfumed lotions that I've not even opened. Then I drove to the thrift shop closest to my library (I always multi task my excursions if I can)
It was gone without a second thought and I felt good that these items are all in decent shape for the charity to sell.
When my husband came home he immediately noticed the tidiness. He liked it so much that he tried on ALL of his hanging shirts. (He has lost quite a bit of weight this year and never wants to gain it back) he was laughing trying on the shirts and how much space he had in there. So he only has a few shirts now (more empty hangers than shirts ). He also tossed some slippers into the pile. I guess I will be heading back to the thrift shop LOL