When I used to watch Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC (when it came on after Say Yes to the Dress, that is), I would always stare shocked - how did these people let their lives get so physically messy that they could barely walk through their homes?
Although it's a bit of an exaggeration, my mother expressed a similar concern to me when I came home for winter break after my first semester sophomore year. There were clothes littered on my floor at any given moment, my drawers wouldn't close, my closet was stacked with pieces I hadn't worn in so long that I nearly forgot they existed. It came to my attention that I have the tendency to hold onto things I never use, even outside of clothing, as a "just in case" or "you never know when you might need it" security blanket.
"Focusing on quality, not quantity."
For some time now, I'd made it my goal to sort through my clothes and donate or sell the pieces that I'd subconsciously already put into retirement, but each effort until then was halfhearted and never solved much of the problem. I'd donate a few pieces here and there, but somehow my clothes always found their way onto my floor.
Finding initiative to start a big cleanse like this is always the hardest part, especially because I was working part-time over winter break roughly five days a week for six to eight hour shifts. I was already tired and I hadn't even started.
I'm usually a big planner, but on one of my days off I woke up earlier by chance and decided that I'd just do it. Thankfully my mother also had off and she helped me through the beginning stages.
Before Marie Kondo told us to toss everything that sparked joy, I sat there and looked at each piece of clothing I owned and assed whether or not it was worth keeping. I asked myself:
"Do I wear it often?"
"Is it my style?"
"How many different ways can I style this?"
"Do I still love it?"
"Can I live without it?"
"Do I have something similar?"
Like I said, it's really hard for me to make decisions, especially about clothes and pieces that I've had for years. I found that asking myself these questions really helped me make better choices regarding my fashion.
After hours and hours of blaring music and heart-wrenching decisions, I had roughly five piles of clothing stacked up to my knees, as well as a pile of about a third of my shoes. Over 75 percent of my closet had been packed up to give away, and I was astounded to find pieces from middle school that I'd held onto (keep in mind, I'm a sophomore in college) for truly no good reason.
Suddenly, my clothing went from filling my dresser, armoire and closet to the brim to being consolidated solely into my closet.
This wasn't a New Year's Resolution or Spring Cleaning that had to get done, but I felt my life needed to be ridded of clutter, so that's what I did.
I truly thought that I'd be walking around half-naked with the sheer volume of clothing I'd given up, but it actually gave me an even more exciting challenge: focusing on quality, not quantity.
Not only was it a challenge for me to get rid of my hoarding tendencies and admit to myself that these were clothes I simply no longer wore, I also allowed myself to be more creative with the pieces that I kept. Having more clothes certainly makes putting an outfit together easy, but true style comes from minimal pieces and endless ways to wear them. Get creative this spring and get rid of the clutter - you and your fire outfits will be thankful that you did.