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Posted on Jul 25, 2012 in Dear Diary, Fashion | 18 comments

Closet Purge

Yesterday I felt sick (again). I have the immune system of a Bubble Boy, so this really came as no surprise. I took the day off from work to console myself, made a doctor’s appointment (though as I suspected, there wasn’t anything really wrong with me that he could fix. “Maybe it’s stress,” he said.) and in order to make sure I didn’t feel like a total lump, I got a few things done around the house.

Laundry was the main thing. Here’s the back story on my laundry habits, which will probably leave the majority of you in awe and disgust. I do laundry maybe like, once every 6 weeks. This is not because I am a hobo without access to a washing machine, it is because I am lazy. It also partially because my sister used to work as a buyer for Hecht’s/Macy’s, and started her illustrious career in women’s underwear. As such, I have enough underwear to last me through the entire zombie apocalypse (and then some). And because I am apparently a 19-year-old boy, I don’t usually feel the need to do laundry until I run out of underwear.

As my clothes were spin-cycling and rinse-cycling their little hearts out, I also decided that this would be a great opportunity to do a little purging. No, not that kind of purging, you crazy kids. The kind where I go through my closet and pull out all of the things that I no longer wear, no longer fit, or just generally need to go.

Evidently 4 bags of donation-bound clothing is the norm for me, since that’s how many I netted last time too. Which is why I feel okay reusing this blurry picture from last time, hahaha.

I’ve mentioned my hoarding tendencies more than a few times on here, and I quickly came to realize yesterday that this was another prime example of such. I went through a rather significant room cleaning extravaganza and ended up with four garbage bags full of stuff that went straight to Goodwill. This was, however, over a year ago now (one of the great things about having a blog like this? It’s like a super-detailed timeline of your life! Wait, maybe that’s not a good thing…) so it was definitely time.

I was actually pretty surprised at how willing I was to get rid of stuff. I really went all-out this time, including shoes and bags. Last time I kept a lot of stuff because of sentimentality, but I was a lot better about that this time. Some things were admittedly a little more heartbreaking to part with, but it was cathartic at the same time. After all, I’m probably getting a little bit old to keep multiple Hello Kitty zip-ups in my closet… and a Hello Kitty backpack… and a stuffed Spiderman backpack… need I go on? (Though you better believe I kept my Gryffindor jacket!). Ah well. Hopefully some lucky (and age appropriate) person will be able to thrift my wares for mere pennies and they will bring her (him?) joy.

Now the only trick will be making sure I don’t quickly fill up all my new closet space with MORE clothes. I already bought quite a few new pieces when Ai Rei was visiting (what, I HAD to show her Tyson’s Corner! It’s a landmark of the area!) I will say (and actually, have probably mentioned it before), that I am much more inclined to buy clothing more frequently now that I’m a smaller size. Back when I was a size 16/18/pushing 20, I would force myself to make maybe one big shopping trip each year to replace certain things, or get more work-appropriate clothing. Even though I love to shop (always have!), the experience would leave me downtrodden and with a lot of self-loathing (damn you, dressing room mirrors!).

I can’t say that I’m totally immune to those feelings now, but shopping for size 12 not only gives me more options in the “regular” stores, And because I generally feel better about how I look, it’s more fun! Now I’m much more inclined to go “for fun” shopping and pick up a shirt here, a new dress there, as opposed to one huge, multi-hundred-dollar, get-it-out-of-the-way trip per annum. I’m definitely not saying that you can’t look amazing or find chic clothing in plus-sizes. I was just too self-conscious and ashamed to take true advantage of it back then. Now? Not so much. In fact, I have to be careful…!

Be strong, Gretchen, be strong!

How often do you go through a closet purge? Are you a love-to-shop or shop-to-live kind of person when it comes to clothes?


  1. I think I’ve convinced myself I don’t like to shop very much only because I can’t afford to often!

    • Ooooooh, maybe that’s a tactic that I should be trying… 😀

  2. I did my laundry once every six weeks, too. And then I married the Babyface, who does the laundry for us. Every week. Even sometimes twice a week. It’s AH-MAZ-ING.

    • You know, Sean does his laundry SUPER often, too! I swear, every time I talk to him he’s like “Okay, just let me finish up this load of laundry.” Maybe once we’re out of college, the stereotype flips and it’s guys who do their laundry all the time and girls who don’t? Ahahah.

  3. Yeah, I try to put off doing laundry until the absolute last possible minute. Which reminds me I should probably go put a load in right now. Hmph. But I just did a major closet purge and I think I could still get rid of a bunch of stuff. It’s definitely a problem! I keep trying to justify keeping all these clothes I just never wear when really I should be getting them out of my life. Maybe then I would stop looking at my completely full closet and saying “I don’t have anything to wear!”

  4. My goodness! That’s a lot of laundry to do when you finally get around to do laundry. 6 weeks worth!? I do it 2 times a week lol!

    I think a closet purge every season is a must! It’s also a great way to see what new additions need to be bought. I like donating/throwing away stuff and making room for new stuff. I do a faux fashion show with the boyfriend every season and decide what to keep and throw out!

    • Hahahaha, yeah… it is kind of a Herculean effort on my part to actually get it done. Maybe that’s why I have such a bad impression of doing laundry — cause they way I do it, it always takes all day! Ahahaha

  5. You make me want to clean out my closet too! I think I might stop by Mustard seed or Uptown Cheapskate to see if I can get some money for my nicer things. I could use some extra cash!

  6. Remember, when you ultimately DO hit your size 10, you have a shopping ‘coupon’ still to redeem! 😉

  7. I am so doing this on Saturday! I started early last weekend. My BF (beef) and I have been planning to do this for a long time and I can’t WAIT to get it all done.

  8. When I was in college, I did my laundry about once a month. Like you, it was until I ran out of underwear. Sometimes, I would go buy new underwear to keep from doing laundry…sad but true..LOL. As for shopping, I love to shop. I normally do a purge each time I put something new in my closet. I like to keep the balance.

    • I can’t lie… I have definitely done that before, the buying new underwear so I don’t have to do laundry yet thing, hahahahaha.

  9. I am a 19 year old boy too who hates doing laundry. I always assumed underwear and socks were the only reason to actually lug my stuff down the hall for cleaning. Good thing my husband is on top of the laundry thing.

    Oh and those dressing room mirrors are always horrible regardless of size. This probably explains my new love of online shopping.

    • We should start a support group: Grown Women Who Hate Doing Laundry. Evidently it would be quite popular! 😉

  10. I don’t get of my clothes often enough…I’m like you and have a sentimental attachment to so many articles of clothing…in addition-I convince myself that I will find an occasion to wear something…yeah right!
    I think I need to try the trick where you flip the hangers one way and put them back a different way after you wear them and get rid of the ones that I haven’t worn in a year…looks like a new project for me!

  11. In the fall/winter, I do my laundry when I run out of socks… in the summer i do it when the spare room (where my closet it) is covered in clothes 🙂
    I do a closet purge in the fall and spring.. I love finding new outfits 😉

  12. I’ve been doing some room/closet purging too. It’s cathartic. I feel better with the space available and being organized. And then I let it go right back to how it was, haha! I’m making a concerted effort to keep it clean and organized this time at least!

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