Clutter - une femme d'un certain âge

Clutter


Ever since my Goldilocks post, I’ve been looking at my closet with a critical eye, and feel another major wardrobe purge may be imminent.

Truthfully, I’ve just been feeling a bit overwhelmed in general, what with the losses of both of my parents earlier this year, our son starting Middle School, worries about the economy, etc., etc. When I get like this, my urge is to simplify, to pare everything down to the bones, to get rid of clutter both physical and mental. But let’s start with the physical: I’m going to cut some wide swaths through my closet (again), beginning tonight.

After that, I’m putting myself on a shopping ban (excluding anything amazing stumbled across in Paris) for the next four to six months. I will keep my Goldilocks items, and so should never have one of those “nothing to wear” moments. I talk the talk about upgrading my wardrobe, but as long as I keep spending on the same old “usual suspects,” I don’t have the motivation or budget to really walk that walk. I’m going to seek out some new places to shop, do lots and lots of trying on, and attempt to hone in on what is really worth buying and wearing. And reporting on my efforts and experiences ici, bien sur!

This will be an interesting experiment.
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27 Comments

  1. September 11, 2009 / 1:54 pm

    Other than selling some unworn valuable pieces online or by consignment, do you have any particularly interesting charity projects where you can give away good-quality clothing?

    Remember how happy this can make women looking for work or working at part-time or ill-paid jobs, but who like to look nice as much as you do.

    Remember that Parisian armoire! I have a friend in Paris who was a professor of Italian literature (now retired). She lives in a lovely but tiny apartment, dresses out of an armoire and a couple of dressers and always looks splendid. But this did take a lifetime of practice.

  2. September 11, 2009 / 2:01 pm

    lagatta – yes a few of the items may go to “Dress for Success,” an organization that helps lower-income women trying to enter the workforce to have suitable interview and work clothing. But most of what I’m going to cull is pretty casual, so that will go to the local charity thrift shop.

  3. September 11, 2009 / 2:36 pm

    I look forward to hearing about your progress with this project!

    I am trying something similar. I have been weaning my wardrobe and not buying things online anymore.

    I have also taken to leaving tags on my garments for the first wear if I can get away with it. This way I can still return it if I find an issue by the end of that first day.

    I am behind you all the way and wish you luck with the endeavor!

    PS
    I wore my ‘paris’ scarf today, it came in the mail yesterday! Merci!

  4. September 11, 2009 / 3:29 pm

    I don’t know that I’m on a ban, per se, but I’m editing my closet to get rid of things I don’t wear. DF has requested 3 feet of space from the MBR walk-in, so I figure it’s the least I can do.

  5. laura
    September 11, 2009 / 3:40 pm

    one of my tricks to “keep it simple, sisters!” is to use the [now defunct?] Chic Simple concept of shopping one’s closet.
    Empty the bin and keep out the appropriate seasons worth of the perfect, the need to have out (fleecy vest for riding) and those items which may fulfill the trend du jour{e.g. a tee in the colour of the season) –the rest…well, either keep, alter or give away…
    it really really helps if there is a limited number of items out to choose from at any one time!

  6. September 11, 2009 / 5:00 pm

    Sometimes Miss J wonders if having TOO much to choose from is part of her own problem. She got rid of plenty when she had the stylist in, but still she finds she has plenty she never wears- the top she doesn’t have slacks or skirt to match, etc. Like Miss Pseu, she doesn’t want to keep throwing money at the closet! Good luck, Miss Pseu.

  7. September 11, 2009 / 6:53 pm

    I need to do this too. I do an okay job of it about once a year, but i think I need to really buckle down. Like if its not been worn in a year, its going!

  8. September 11, 2009 / 9:00 pm

    I’ve been toying with something like this for a while, but am not quite ready yet — you’ll be my inspiration!

  9. September 11, 2009 / 9:19 pm

    Fantastic – never settle for the ‘it’ll do’ pieces – they just won’t give you the joy that you want. Look for those really great pieces that make your heart sing and excited about dressing in the morning!

  10. Rubiatonta
    September 11, 2009 / 9:51 pm

    I’ve got to go to the storage unit tomorrow to start the “seasonal swap” — especially because here in New England, it’s gotten cool all of a sudden, and I want my toes covered — but I’ll also be doing a big purge. If I don’t absolutely adore it, feel gorgeous in it, and get compliments when I wear it, it’s going. That said, I’ve also allowed myself one “treat” this month — a teal sweater and tank from J. Jill to take me from now into winter.

    Now if I can only teach my mom how to edit her closet! She will NOT let go of anything…and a lot of what’s in there is way past its sell-by date. Le sigh.

  11. Sher
    September 11, 2009 / 3:25 pm

    I’m on a clothes shopping ban also. Only letting myself get Christmas items only.

    Wonder what you will be letting go…

  12. September 11, 2009 / 10:33 pm

    “no shopping in Paris”…. OMG!

    I applaud your effort!

  13. September 11, 2009 / 10:47 pm

    Bonjour Madame – I probably was unclear…Paris is the *exception* to my shopping ban. One cannot NOT shop in Paris!!
    😀

  14. Sal
    September 11, 2009 / 4:14 pm

    Can’t wait to hear more about this experiment. I’m quite sure you’ll learn LOADS.

  15. metscan
    September 11, 2009 / 6:57 pm

    Oh, I´d love to join you! I have been weeding my closet constantly and every time I remove something, well, I feel better when placing something in. I really have done my share of shopping this fall and I don´t need anything! I don´t want anything. I can wear the same clothes in a row. Do we really have to wear a new outfit every day? No! I´ll start my ban on 150909. This is a great idea for everyone.

  16. September 12, 2009 / 2:05 am

    Oh, that is lovely.

    Nice time to remind not only une femme and all the others I can post on but also my fellow Frugal Scholar and others who restrict postings to things I can’t log on to how important your advice is for not wasting money and the earth’s resources, whatever our budget!

    Though Frugal, I’d REALLY like to be able to comment on your blog!

  17. Daffodil Planter
    September 11, 2009 / 7:21 pm

    Glad you are allowing for a scarf-hunting expedition to the Hermes shop in Paris.

  18. September 12, 2009 / 2:24 am

    Oh I so wish that I could delve into my closets and clean them out, but I just don’t have the energy. They are organized but overflowing, in fact I’m pretty sure that I no longer have a bedroom…only a huge closet with a bed in it!
    The “Dress for Success” organization sounds wonderful. I hope that you will write a post about it.

  19. September 12, 2009 / 1:47 pm

    I’m also a shopping ban until the first week in December. My closet is like a store (stocks all sizes), and I’m only actually wearing a few things.

    I’ve already donated three Hefty bags full of things, and it’s still overwhelming.

    Looking forward to reading about your progress for inspiration!

  20. September 12, 2009 / 5:45 pm

    Will be very interested to hear how you get rid of your clothing clutter- something I am working on on a weekly basis. I want to have less (that fits) so I don´t have to think about it!

  21. Frugal Scholar
    September 12, 2009 / 9:32 pm

    @pseu–Hope this is Ok. Lagatta–I’ve loved your comments here and elsewhere and would love to have you comment on my blog. I have no idea why you can’t do so. Duchesse comments from Canada….

    And–as to this post–Don Aslett, declutterer extraordinaire, said ALL his clothes took up about 2 feet of hanger space! I once read something to the effect that we should only wear the clothes we would pack for a trip–i.e. not too many and only the best.

    Word verification=”weedness”–appropriate

  22. September 13, 2009 / 2:20 pm

    Why do we feel so elated to ‘bag’ the item, then feel elated a while later when we purge? Great comments, Pseu!

    Wondering- is the “seeking new places to shop, trying on things” after the 4-6 month ban? Trying on for me is indeed a slipper slope 🙂

  23. September 13, 2009 / 2:21 pm

    Oops meant to write “slippery” though sometimes it leads to buying the slipper, too!

  24. September 13, 2009 / 3:52 pm

    frugal, I can’t seem to log in with either google (though I do have a Gmail account) or Open ID.

  25. metscan
    September 13, 2009 / 4:51 pm

    A good question, Duchesse. I behave just like that. The latter half ( in my case ) has to do with remorse. Btw., tomorrow I have to do my last shoppings ( tights; Wolfords), my ban starts on Tuesday, OMG !

  26. September 14, 2009 / 1:18 am

    Please do keep us informed. Maybe your motivation will motivate me. I don’t even know what I own, but I do know I own lots more than I need or want.

    Good luck.

  27. Anonymous
    September 14, 2009 / 5:08 pm

    This comment is for Shar. Please do not wear the item once and then return it to the store. This is unfair to the retailer and to the next customer who comes along and buys something she thought was “new”! Try to choose wisely the first time and forget the “I might return” method.

    StacyfromPgh

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