I might have mentioned this before, but I am embarking on a major long-term decluttering project. Later this year my house is going to be renovated — cross fingers it happens. It’s been put off so many times — and I’m going to have to move out while the work is being done.
It’s everything, you see — walls, floors, new bathroom, new kitchen and laundry — and there’s no way I can write while all that is happening.
So I’m trying to get rid of stuff. I have a charity collection coming tomorrow for clothing and so I’m attempting to be ruthless. I’m not very good at being ruthless — there’s a reason my house is full of stuff.
But I’ve just pulled out several large vacuum-sealed bags of “clothes I used to wear, and loved.” They smelled faintly musty, so I put them all through the wash and now I’ve just hardened my heart and packed all of them, clean and sweet-smelling (but unironed) into bags for the charity collection.
It’s so hard. I used to wear a lot of small, delicate silk shirts — I was thinner back then — and also lots of vintage clothing — crepe skirts and jackets, clothes from the 40’s, 50s and 60’s, lace shirts, and general hippy-style clothes as well. I still love them, but I know I’m never going to wear them, even if I got to be that thin again. So I’m biting the bullet and out they go. Someone is going to love them, I know.
But I feel as though I’m packing away my youth, because so many of these items of clothing spark memories and events and people. Some were very special purchases that I had to save to afford, others I discovered by serendipity at a market or in an op-shop, or were passed on by a friend.
There’s the outfit I wore for my graduation — complete with academic gown. I hadn’t planned to formally graduate, and had told my parents that. But the next time I went home for a visit, there was an academic gown hanging on my wardrobe. I took the hint and graduated, and as it turned out the ceremony was quite personal as the supervisor for my thesis was the guy who handed me my certificate. He winked, and I grinned and forgot to bow — Mum was appalled. LOL.
I’m keeping the academic gown. Over the years it’s been used for numerous plays and costumes, but the black cord skirt and African print top is going. My beloved long red boots wore out long ago. But the academic gown is going to be used by a friend next week in a ceremony, so it keeps on proving its usefulness.
It’s tough, giving away the clothes of my past, but I know once it’s all gone I’ll feel so much better. I was planning to start my book cull (shudder — I’m dreading that) but the charity people are not taking anything except clothing at the moment, so the cull can wait. (phew)
PS I realize now that I should have taken photos before I packed stuff away, but it’s too late now — everything’s securely bagged. So here are some of the bags I’m putting out. They don’t look big but each one contains 30-40 items of clothing.