As you may have read in my previous post, 'More is more to lose,' I have spent the last month working to clean out my house, donating now over 200 articles of clothing, 30 pairs of shoes, over 200 books, 4 guitars, 2 amplifiers, a ukulele and a piano and a bunch of video games. I recycled 7 computers (3 of them functioning), an iPhone and two old iPads.
I sold all my gently used JCrew and Polo stuff, all my biz-caj workwear (I work from home now, haven't worn khakis in over a year!) and all my formalwear. And I've sold over $5,000 now in guitar gear. I used this cash to pay off all credit cards. My consumer debt is zilch now, just have my car and student loans!
All of this pairing down and minimizing helps me to focus on things that are meaningful to me. I'm probably going to end up wearing the same thing or similar things everyday, but the things that I've kept are some of my favorite items. I'll look and feel great in what I wear and I'll have fewer tough decisions to make in the morning.
In this post, I'll take you on a brief tour of my closet and show you my thinking behind the items that remain in it.
Back wall. Here I have (top shelf) a week's worth of boxers from MeUndies. I have (middle shelf) a pair of light jeans, dark jeans, a pair of Prana shorts (which I live in in the summertime, so light, comfy, dries fast so I can jump in Norris Lake on a whim), 2 pairs of workout shorts, one pair of super-warm Patagonia fleece pants to basically live in at home.
On the bottom rung, hanging up, I have 4 Polo shirts and 2 JCrew ties. I seldom wear a tie, I should probably donate these. And the shirts are going to slowly be replaced when they wear out with just plain white shirts (I feel a little too Easter-y in my bright green gingham). I'm on the hunt for a plain white button-down shirt that's made ethically and has a good fit.
I should probably note here that I'm slowly making the switch to companies that are more ethical in their practices with regard to safe labor and fair pay, environmental impact in manufacturing and transportation, and the use of sustainable materials. Patagonia is one of those companies.
Left wall. These shelves used to be spilling over with clothes I never wore, many of which still bearing price tags. Now I have a 'Just for when' shelf (top), a t-shirt shelf (second), and a single sweater on the sweater shelf. 'Just for when' items are items I may not wear every 90 days or so, maybe I only wear them in winter or at a particular event.
On my 'Just for when' shelf I have all of my team hoodies for football and baseball season. I don't wear these everyday. Actually, I may only wear them 3-5 times a year, but it brings me joy to be able to sit in the stands or show up to the party repping my favorite teams. I've got my Texas hoodies (hook 'em horns), my Texas Rangers hoody, and my Dallas Cowboys hoody here.
Funny story: The Rangers were on a streak in 2015 and I was watching every single game. I bought their 'Take October' hoody and they totally choked in their first postseason series. In fact, they were out of the play-offs before this hoody had even shipped. It makes for a good story at Rangers games now and it's comfy, so I kept it. But it is definitely cursed.
Also on the 'Just for when' shelf I have my baseball glove and a winter hat, winter gloves, and a scarf. My winter coat is downstairs at the backdoor.
Second shelf is for t-shirts. I keep a week of t-shirts, all from MeUndies. Lastly, bottom row, I have a single sweater from Patagonia that I love and probably wear 75% of the time I leave the house. The bright blue and turquoise pattern makes me happy.
Right wall. Pretty simple. The shelves that were once filled and running over with clothes now hold a single blanket. I have this blanket, a guitar case, and a rolled up map on this wall.
Shoes. Shoes were the hardest items to minimize and I know I could have gone even further. I had over 30 pairs of shoes. Now I have these: A pair of recycled plastic and reclaimed leather boots, a pair of Cole Haan oxfords, a pair of Minnetonka moccasins for wear around the house, a pair of custom Chaco’s sandals with skeletons on them (rock n' roll sandals???), and a pair of Boosts.
Sentimental clothing. Some of you may be reading this and wondering, What about sentimental clothing from years back? The camp t-shirts, the high school football sweaters, the concert tees, the favorite shirts that are ragged and worn, the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore but you loved it so much you couldn’t throw it away?
Simply put, our memories aren’t in our things. Things can jog a memory, so I took pictures of clothes that remind me of the past, but then I went ahead and threw them out or I donated them. Above are a few sentimental things I took pics of and then chucked.
The Washington Avenue Baptist Church Camp t-shirt. The retro 80s logo, the bright neon colors. This was my all-time favorite t-shirt for years. I got it in the first or second grade. I had been too afraid to go to church camp so my sister brought the shirt back for me. It was massively oversized and I wore it through middle school, through high school, and then into college.
The Evansville Safety Patrol t-shirt. Making Safety Patrol in the fifth grade was a HUGE deal. The Safety Patrol was made up of the most popular kids in the school. It was a total status thing. Basically you could only be a member if your mom volunteered long hours raising money for the PTA.
The Harper School sweater. It was my mom’s but I took it. So comfy. And while we moved around a billion times, it reminded me of home, my old friends, the good times. Shoutout Bryan, Tyler, Wayne, and Eric, if you’re reading this. And McKenzie. First crush. Holy smokes. Harper was the best school a kid could’ve ever attended.
My 3 Years t-shirt. Apple gave us these on the 30th Birthday of the Mac computer.