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Purging the Closet

on June 10, 2012

A friend was in town this week who is also, currently, a “women of size”.  She’s on her own journey toward reclaiming her health and is moving toward having weight loss surgery in the future.  For those who don’t know, one doesn’t decide to have the surgery and then just schedule a date.  There are numerous requirements for tests and evaluations, psychiatrist visits, nutritional counseling and so on and so on.  It can take months.

Anyway, we had breakfast together and she mentioned that if I had any clothes that I was ready to get rid of, she’d be interested.  I was going to sort through my closet at my leisure and then ship some up to her, but I called her and asked if she had room in her suitcase.  Since she did, I figured I’d start the task right then.

Wow, what fun!  I started pulling out tops of all styles, for all seasons.  There were lightweight summer tops and some good fall sweaters.  A sweatshirt I know will be too big for me by the time it’s cool enough in Florida went into the pile.  A polo shirt here, a t-shirt there, a soft knit or two.  Once I began, I didn’t want to stop.  I didn’t even take the time to try any of them on “just in case”.  I simply folded them up and put them in one of three piles.

After a fast hour, I had three groups.  The largest went into two shopping bags for my friend.  Another pile held shorts that I was sure were also too big for my friend as well as other clothes that were okay, but that I thought better suited for donation.  The last pile had things that, on close inspection, revealed a pesky stain or a too-stretched seam or some other flaw.  Those garments went into the trash.

I didn’t keep count, but I estimate that I purged about three dozen garments out of my closet and drawers!  The day before yesterday, I dropped off a bag and a half of garments to the Salvation Army that I’d previously purged.  All this work has made a big difference in space.

The exercise also made me realize that I’ve held onto one hell of a lot of clothes in a wide range of sizes.   Looking at all of the bags, I struck a Scarlet O’Hara-esque pose and declared, “As God as my witness, I’ll never wear these large sizes again!”  It was a fine, dramatic moment that made me laugh out loud.

Best of all, this was only one closet.  I still have two more I can go through.  Down here in the Keys, we’re ultra-casual.  The closet in my bedroom holds all of my work clothes — T-shirts, a couple of polo shirts, and shorts — plus my other casual garments like cropped and capri-length pants, and lightweight tops and blouses.  In the guest bedroom closet I hang what I call my “conference” clothes.  These are mostly dresses and pants outfits that I would wear for a special dinner or event here in town or take with me to business conferences.  There are also some heavier weight garments that I keep for when I go up to Jersey and PA at Christmas.  Some of these clothes were tight on me when I started the weight loss effort.  As written about before, I successfully “shopped my closet” and was delighted to find outfits now fitting that I hadn’t been able to wear for several years.  Well, those that fit me two months ago are now too big or soon to be too big.  That’s the next closet scheduled for a purge.

Finally, in the third bedroom that serves, right now, as a storage room/pseudo office, is a closet that has some old evening clothes, cocktail dresses, suits from my Jersey life, and some costumes.  I’d held onto the cocktail dresses and heavier suits “just in case” I ever needed them in the Northeast and managed to fit into them.  The costumes I’ve worn over the years.  In my purge frenzy yesterday I finally accepted that I’m never going to need the suits and, if I did, they’d be TOO BIG!  If I ever have a reason to wear a cocktail dress then, as God is my witness, I’m going to treat myself to something new, that fits me perfectly, and is absolutely fabulous!  I’m going to research an organization in the Northeast that outfits women from lower income circumstances who need clothing to reenter or improve their positions in the workforce and ship them that entire wardrobe.  The costumes are huge, but we have an active community theater in town.  A talented seamstress could easily take them in.   Hopefully they can use a Regency-style gown, a Scottish vest, a fairy-esque skirt and blouse and a couple of assorted other dresses.

I think I’m on a roll with this purging of clothes.   I’m not quickly replacing the garments since I continue to lose fairly quickly.  I buy a few things here and there to get me through.  In the meantime, the act of getting rid of the old, too-big is very freeing and affirming.  It’s like shedding my old skin along with the excess pounds and confirming my determination to never put them on again.

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One response to “Purging the Closet

  1. Skye says:

    You sound so joyful and buoyant in this post! It’s a pleasure and an inspiration to read you as you are changing and enjoying the fruit of your changes. Go you!

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