Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Organization Therapy

We've heard of retail therapy, of aroma therapy. I propose a new one: organizational therapy. I'm finding it immensely therapeutic to take my anger and angst about my current state of non-employment (and my complete lack of understanding of the whys thereof) out on my hopelessly cluttered home. And I know what you're thinking: how could a perfectionist have a cluttered home? Well it's simple. If that perfectionist is also a sentimental packrat, then she does a PERFECT job of keeping every single thing of sentimental value. Every single item that might one day be needed again. And since she might need them at any moment, most of them are scattered around in piles. I'm a piler. A piler of epically grand proportion. I'm quite perfect at it.

But even I get to the point where it gets to me. It usually goes something like this. I need an item. I know an item is in a certain pile. I search through the pile. I fail to locate said item. I then need to dismantle the pile. But I'm also a practical girl. I do NOT want to do it more than once. So if I get to the "with a fine tooth comb" stage, then the pile gets sorted through, dealt with, and dismantled. The problem is, I haven't needed anything desperately in a VERY LONG TIME. So here I am. I have some extra time on my hands. And some pent up angst. So a lot of piles have gotten this treatment for no particular reason at all. And the one super, duper, mother of all piles is my clothes. It got the treatment just yesterday.

Dealing with your clothes, however, is a special sort of pile, with a lot more baggage than a pile of paper. There are the Bolder Boulder t-shirts, all 5 of them. But I know I used to be a super jock. I know I ran those. I don't need the t-shirts to prove it. So into the hefty bag they go. Those gorgeous sweaters I found on clearance? I'll never wear them. I'm too hot in a t-shirt! Take a deep, breath, a sip of wine, and GIVE THEM AWAY. Do I really need ten black t-shirts? Really? How about 7? Or 5? The ones that are a bit stretched, or with a hole, please, just do this! And let's be honest, how many times have you worn that color? That one comment from your mother, and you've not put it on since. Away it goes. And on it goes. The parachute pants from the 80s. That gorgeous dress that you'll never wear again because c'mon, you're NOT going be 120 pounds again, no matter how many times you rock out the rhythm kung fun on the WiiFit. The sweatshirts with the funny slogans go, because when you actually put on a sweatshirt, it's always the same one. So keep that one, and maybe the school of Mines one for sentimental reasons can stay, too. You're allowed some sentiment, after all, just not a drawer full of it. Give the Turner sweats from when you coached track to the girl you know who is actually on that team NOW. The shorts from the 90s? Buh-BYE! Belts, scarves, hats, leg warmers, blouses, skirts, the parade continues. Faster, faster, it's gets easier and easier until there you stand with organized drawers, closet, cubbies and three hefty bags of donations, a trip down memory lane, tears on your cheeks and an empty wine glass.

After all, lightening your closets benefits not just you, but someone else out there. Bon voyage, memories, bon voyage wardrobe.


Amanda said...

From one sentimental perfectionist to another-- all those t-shirts with messages can be bundled off to Karen to be cut out, backed, and sewn into a cozy blanket full of good memories. You could do the same with sweat shirts....

Tina said...

Nice idea! Except well, they're gone now! To quote a favorite song, "So take the photographs and still frames in your mind and hang them on the shelf in good luck and good times....I hope you had the time of your life..."