Monday, July 4, 2016

Do these pants bring me joy?

I will be the first to admit: I'm not very good at staying organized.

Getting organized?  I'm good. Staying that way? Notsomuch.

So in an attempt to get organized and stay that way, I purchased The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.

And I read it and was delighted, because I did not know it was a book of humorous essays, and those are my favorite!!!

If you've not read this book? You should borrow a copy from your library ASAP. It will either (a) change your life, just like the title implies, or (b) make you laugh out loud.

Subsequently, I'll be talking about a few of the things Ms. Kondo suggests, but for now we'll talk about clothes.

Now, I like clothing as much as the next person. (I liked 'em better when I was young and thin, not gonna lie.) When I go on vacation, I make a list of outfits and I pack smart by putting everything into my suitcase by outfit. It's mostly mix-and-match (you can read about that here) and there's a color story to keep it easy. (One neutral, two colors. Sometimes one of the colors happens to be a neutral, like when I packed for NYC.)

But let's be honest here, shall we? I am never going to wear a size 8 again unless I get some wasting disease, like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. Or was that Susan Sarandon in Stepmom? Anyway, no matter who it was, I will not be an 8 again.

So it was off to the closet.
Kondo says I have to get all my clothes out at once and look at them. Which actually was a b!tc# because those things are stored all over the house. (Old house = no closets.) So I schlepped things down from the attic and up from the basement and out of the one little closet where I keep my clothes. It took me about two hours just to get everything into the living room! (I'm so glad my living room is huge, because those suckers were piled EVERYWHERE!!) 

Kondo also says I have to touch everything and can only keep it if it gives me joy when I hold it. (Which sounds vaguely pornographic, but there you have it.)

Readers, I found a lot of joy in those size 8s. I found joy in my smaller self, and I wanted to be her again. But guess what? After menopause, gravity is not a friend. Everything on me has shifted about 30 degrees south. So the size 8s were put into the discard pile, despite the joy I felt when I held them.

Unfortunately, there weren't too many other pieces of clothing that brought me joy, but one simply cannot go naked. Instead of joy, I decided that my litmus test would be "does it make me feel frumpy?" If it did, then it went into the discard pile. If it didn't, I kept it. In all, I got rid of about a third of my clothing, which might seem like a lot, but trust me...I probably need to go through the pile again. I'd like to be able to fit it all in one closet, if possible. (Probably not possible, given the lack of storage in this house. That will change when we get the attic bedroom completed, sometime around 2073.)

I plan periodic updates on the status of my life-changing magic, but I'm not sure cleaning feels all that life-changing to me. Life-changing is winning the lottery or Tina Fey asking you to help her write a new television show. Getting rid of size 8s is just depressing.


babsinmass said...

Now that I've wiped the tears from my eyes, I am still giggling, my size 6, 8, 10, 12's have left the building. It would bring me joy to replace them...someday. Thank you for starting my week with a laugh. Happy 4th!🇺🇸

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I'm not giving up my size 8 hopes and dreams just yet! Working my butt off in the gym aiming for the elusive size 6. I have let go of 4. Well, in my mind. Still have some size 4 clothing hanging around my drawers and closets ...

Kathleen George said...

Well, at least it's a start and I have not read the book. I'll be happy in a size 10. I'm anywhere between a Large, Extra Large, size 14-16, depending on the cut and who made it. You are making big decisions in your life, do what makes you happy and continue your funny and spot on blog! Happy 4th of July!
Kathleen in Az

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Yes, Tina Fey should call you. Do you hear that, Tina Fey??? Call Kirby right now.
I'm dreading my closet clean out but only because I share one with Magoo and he's a P-I-G pig. And a hoarder. He never wants to get rid of anything. I can get rid of things and plan on a real clean out.
I'm loving all your brave life changes. Keep going!
xo, T.

andi filante said...

I love this. I am a constant weight yo-yo and it's soooo difficult to give up the smaller sizes! I also do the frump test. If its only purpose is to cover up flab and gives me absolutely no shape and makes me look hideous at any size, it goes. Which is why I have a closet full of cute clothes that don't fit. :/


Good Time Charlie said...

I read the book and laughed out loud at some of the passages. But it worked! I threw out about 1/3 of my clothes, about 1/3 of my husband's clothes and 1/3 of my kid's clothes. That means some family out there will get a completely new wardrobe.

I actually did go through and throw out everything in this house that did not give me joy or had a purpose. Well, not really. If I had my way that would have included my 14 year old daughter's collection of empty nail polish bottles and the other 14 year old boy's collection of dinged golf balls.

I too used the litmus test of, "does this make me feel frumpy". My paint clothes, oversized basketball shorts and lovely collection of baggy sweats stayed. They don't make me feel frumpy, they make me feel comfortable, which I guess brings me joy. But maybe not so much the husband when he sees me wearing them.

Bliss said...

I've got joy joy joy joy, down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i tried to read the book and i just couldn't.... i thought she was crazy. i have purged a bunch this year, but not because of her. i just couldn't connect. now if you write an organizational book i might connect with that!

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

I decided to pass on that book because everything I heard about it seemed so ridiculous! I do need to do some purging though... think I'll feel a little joy when my kids get some of their crap outta my house LOL!
xo Heidi

Art and Sand said...

Purging is a chore, but it has to be done.

I try to do an hour in the attic once a week - it's an oven up there so I feel like I'm sweating off something while I work! And, we make an immediate trip to the Goodwill shop to get things out of the house. You would think our house would be empty by now, but only Steve and I notice that I've purged.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I would just get all guilty if I read the book because it would remind me of all my good intentions gone wrong. Yes, I have clothes I will never wear but they aren't in the way so there they stay! I do want to purge just for the fun of it. Maybe I will go to the library tomorrow.....

karen@somewhatquirky said...

I actually enjoyed reading that book. So much I read it twice in a row. it really appealed to my INTJ self. The actual cleaning - not so much. I did my books years ago and don't plan on doing it again. I didn't do my clothes because I have room for them and if I did my clothes all I would have left is paint clothes. But I did go through lots of boxes in my basement. I let go of 90% of things I used to know. Like exercise physiology papers and 27,000 journal articles that I used for research papers. It was weird. But it made me poop like she said it would. I love that pink jacket and blouse by the way.

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