It’s been a while! My fault again. I don’t think it could be not-my-fault for me not posting, but it’s good to take ownership of things anyway.
Anywho, today I’ve been doing some “spring cleaning” in quotation marks because it’s not *technically* spring yet and because this is something I probably should do more than once a year.
Recently, I decided it would be a good idea to have way less clothes. Because I have a lot of clothes and I don’t wear most of them. So, a few weeks ago, I went through my closet and pulled everything that I haven’t worn in a year as well as some things that I just felt like weren’t really me anymore and was left with like, 3 pairs of khaki pants, a pair of gray slacks, two pencil skirts, a shirt, 7 cardigans, and some camisoles.
And it felt pretty good. Obviously, I’m not just, like, throwing away all the clothes that I didn’t want. I’m probably going to donate the majority of them.
But my closet wasn’t even half of all my clothes.
So today, I went through three of the four drawers in my wardrobe, and took a bunch of t-shirts and sweaters and a couple pair of pants out and threw those in the donate bag, too. Then I grabbed another donation bag and opened up one of the bins of clothes under my bed (you know, those really long, short bins that are made for under beds) and started sorting through the t-shirts in that, too.
And just to make sure we’re all on the same page, I don’t actually wear like graphic t-shirts very often. This is 60% because they’re not very soft, and 30% because they don’t fit in a very flattering way and 10% because I feel weird wearing graphic t-shirts because it’s like I’m a walking advertisement for whatever the shirt has on it.
After a while, the smell of the clothes that were in the bin (because after 6 months in a bin, they get a weird plasticky smell), I had to take a break so I went on a run but my knees weren’t happy with that so it was really short, so now I’m back here. With a candle lit and the fan on to rotate pleasant-smelling air. And I’m thinking about what to do with the clothes when I dive back in.
Because it’s not like I don’t like the graphics on the shirts that I never wear. Most of them have some sort of importance that has gotten them through the last 10 or so times I’ve moved from place to place.
I’m probably going to cut them into sides and save them in groups to send off to be made into t-shirt quilts (I really don’t have the sewing skills or the patience for big projects). I have enough t-shirts for like 3 or 4 quilts (after I’ve already sent off 16 to project repat for a lap blanket). And then once I’ve cut all the shirts that have graphics I want on them and set the graphics aside for future blankets, I’m going to look for other ways to use them. Because there are so many DIY t-shirt crafts out there, it’s not even funny.
So far, I’ve used a few of the parts of t-shirts I didn’t send off to make snot rags (my lovely term for what, more or less, amounts to handkerchiefs, but because I use them principally to blow my nose, they get the name snot rags).
There are entire huge posts about things you can do with old t-shirts, like this that has 50 things to do or this buzzfeed article with 39 or this one with 28. Okay, you get it. A lot of these are ways to continue wearing the shirts in some form or another, but there are also a ton that are practical things, like you can make baskets and rugs out of t-shirts, as well as tote bags. I’m probably going to err on the side of rugs and baskets and maybe some cat toys, but if you can dream it, someone knows how to do it and there are DIY instructions online.
But why do all of this?
Over the past few months, I’ve been working to reduce the amount of ~stuff~ I have, use, and get rid of. I want this to extend to every facet of my life, from not having a bunch of random items that I never use (still a problem I have–there are these little wall cubbies in my room and they’r just full of stuff I never use because it’s in the wall cubbies), to cutting out foods that aren’t whole and plant-based, and now extending toward my wardrobe. Really, it was only a matter of time.
I’d like my operational wardrobe to consist of mainly versatile pieces that I can mix and match as I please, and to consist of only clothes that I actually wear on a regular basis. Obviously, the goal isn’t to have only clothes that I wear on a monthly basis because there are things like sweaters and shorts that don’t work for half the year, but I’d like for all of my clothing to fit into my wardrobe and closet without anything having to be stored in those under-the-bed bins. I think that this is a pretty reasonable goal for right now, and maybe one day I’ll live somewhere that doesn’t actually experience all four seasons and can cut my wardrobe back to only things I wear every month, but I’m not banking on that.
Ultimately, I’d like to have my wardrobe consist of:
- about 14 short-sleeved shirts in plain solid colors or patterns; I’ve recently purchased half a dozen plain pocket tees that I think will be the basis of getting this started. I want 14 so that if laundry day doesn’t come weekly, it’s okay.
- 3-4 pairs of jeans; I wear jeans almost every day, and I’m usually okay wearing the same pair for up to 5 times (which is totally legit) between washes, as long as they don’t get something gross on them
- 5-6 cardigans; cardigans are my absolute favorite wardrobe item; I have them in almost every color of the rainbow and they go with everything. They can also be worn a few times between washes as long as they don’t get anything gross on them.
- 2-4 pairs of shorts; I don’t really like wearing shorts, but sometimes when it gets to be in the upper 90s and the 100s, they are a necessary evil.
- 2 pairs of yoga pants; I go to yoga classes 1-3 times a week, and it’s good to have more than one pair of yoga pants in case the class gets more physical. That being said, if I’m doing yoga where I expect to get physical and sweaty, I wear leggings instead of yoga pants because my leggings all have moisture-wicking and 4-way stretch so they serve better for that purpose.
- 1 or 2 hoodies; because let’s be real, hoodies can be work like 10 times between washes if they don’t get something icky on them, and they’re way too bulky to have a whole bunch of.
- 4-7 long-sleeved shirts, because I am more likely to wear a short-sleeved shirt and cardigan than a long-sleeved shirt, but it’s good to have the option for colder days.
- 3-4 actual sweaters; because sweaters are comfy and soft and everyone should have a couple to wear while drinking hot cocoa and watching a movie on a cold day.
- 2-3 nice blouses; I don’t see myself in a life where I wear nice blouses on a daily basis, but there are always occasions for which it is necessary to go business casual, so it’s good to have a couple.
- 1 pencil skirt, see above
- 1 pair of slacks, for the same reason
- 1-2 pairs of sweatpants; because they’re necessary on the cold, lazy days.
- And a bunch of workout clothes; I work out almost every day, and once I wear something to work out, it’s kind of gross, and I don’t want to re-wear it most times. I mostly wear full-length leggings and technical t-shirts or tank tops, so my workout wardrobe is generally pretty manageable.
For now, I’m also keeping a decent selection of my pants from theelephantpants, because (1) they’re comfy as heckie (2) they’re cute as heckie and (3) I am still wearing them on a regular basis. I am working on getting some of them a new home, since I had way too many pairs, but they’re not taking up that much of my wardrobe space and I still love wearing them, so I think it’s okay to have them for a while longer, until I truly don’t feel like wearing them any more.
Shoes are another problem altogether. I have so many shoes that I rarely/never wear but for some reason struggle to let go of. My short-term goal for shoes is to get down to few enough pairs that they actually all fit in my over-the-door shoe holder thingy and I can keep them all in one place. That might happen this go-round, since only 5 pairs don’t fit in there right now, and two of those pairs of shoes are ones I’m probably going to get rid of, and I see 5 other pairs I’m willing to part with just at face value, as well as 2 more that I’m willing to consider getting rid of.
My ultimate shoe goal is to have:
- 1 pair of nice flats for business-casual purposes
- 1 pair of converse for casual-casual purposes; unless/until I reach a point where I no longer love converse
- 1 pair of regular TOMs bc I love TOMs
- 1 pair of winter TOMs bc they’re comfy and warm
- 1 pair of sandals for those sandal-y days (and in case I need to use a community shower in the future ever again)
- 2-3 pairs of running shoes, because I don’t like wearing them when they’re still sweaty from the last time and there are different running shoes for different kinds of running, guys.
- 1 pair of hiking boots for weekend adventures
- 1 pair of rain boots because rain happens.
Right now, I’m probably going to end up keeping my 2 pairs of charlotte russe fashion-combat-style boots with the sweater bit at the top, and my pair of realistic combat boots because I can’t convince myself to get rid of them, but can convince myself not to replace them when they get worn out.
Anyway, that’s it for today. I’m going to go back to sorting through the bins of plastic-smelling clothes and deciding what to do with them.
See you next time!
The Fierce Feminist