Ok, so I am officially over a month into my Project 333 challenge. One thing I have noticed right off the top is that I don’t wear nearly as many clothes as I thought I did. Even within my own 33 items picked for the next 90 days, I have worn about half. (I turn the hangers after wearing each item, so I know what is getting worn and what is not without keeping a daily log.) I also have noticed that I prefer to stay more casual over “dressing up”. I believe my most worn items include a pair of medium wash boot cut jeans with a longer inseam and my Henley + flannel or scoop neck tee shirt + said flannel.
I was on vacation for a couple of weeks – and packing was a snap! I was able to pack all I needed into ONE BACKPACK! Crazy. My husband brought a roller bag and a backpack for his stuff. I felt like I scored a point for Team Women! I gave him crap the whole time about “packing like a girl”. I really love that everything I have in my closet at this point in time matches everything else!
I have been purging more since I got back from vacation. Truth be told, visiting my Mom had a lot to do with that. It can be hard, at times, to look at yourself objectively – and your relationship with your “things”. However, when you are looking at someone else, you can sometimes see the same behaviors in yourself and how irrational they may be. My mom has fallen on some pretty tough times. I have been there before; I think we all have. It causes us to hold on to a lot of things “in case” we need them in the future. Also, people (if you’re lucky) want to help, and bring you more things. Things you may not even necessarily want or need. I counted 15 bottles of shampoo in the bathroom. Four bottles of shaving cream, five bottles of hairspray; I know why she is holding on to these things. She is afraid that one day, she may need shampoo, hairspray, shaving cream (or insert item here) but she won’t be able to get it. Legit feeling – BUT when you have limited space to live in, you need to be able to limit your possessions. I felt so claustrophobic when I was home. I have four times the space and half the belongings, so it was a little overwhelming to be surrounded by so many “things”. I was motivated to come home and get rid of those things that I have been holding onto, but have never used…just in case.
Another point I learned unintentionally at my Mom’s house was the personal connection we make with “things”. “Things” do not make memories; it’s the event surrounding the “thing” that made the memory. She holds on to things that are given to her or things from a certain time period because they remind her of better times or happy memories. The things I send her, she refused to part with – even if she doesn’t like it or doesn’t need it. I have tried to explain that I won’t be offended if she gives it to someone else who may like/want/need it, but she is so attached to these items because they came from me. We only get to see each other once a year now, and I think she really misses when we were together regularly. In her mind, by getting rid of whatever I mailed her (usually just stuff from cleaning out the bathroom or other things I think she may like), she feels she is lessening her memory of me. It seems a little irrational from that outside – which made me reconsider why I am holding onto some of the things that I continue to keep (yet, never use/wear). I realize that I had some pretty awesome memories during Prom 2003. I also realize that the dress that is taking up space in my closet didn’t make those memories – I did. The dress is too formal for anything in my life and I can’t even fit in it; so why do I hold onto it? I placed it in the donate pile this past weekend, and hope that some other girl can make some awesome memories in it!