My closet doesn’t quite look like the picture above, but it’s not too far from it. I have a lot of clothes in a lot of different sizes. As I’ve mentioned in blog posts, on my web sites and in a book available in bookstores nationally, I’ve gained back some weight since my all-time lowest weigh-in. I make a point to say that because I sometimes still get comments or emails from people who think I’ve been hiding this fact despite everything I’ve done to publicize it. So yes, I am fatter than my thinnest, but thinner than my fattest. And I’m okay with that. Seriously.
That said, I’ve still got all these clothes that I bought either on the way down or the way back up, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of them. I’ve got at least 4 or 5 boxes of jeans, shirts, and even some underwear, plus everything that is currently hanging in my closet. I felt rather ridiculous moving all these boxes of clothes across state lines last year, and felt rather sore carrying them up the stairs. (Or rather, my Lil’ Brother felt sore for me.) Yet…I couldn’t leave them behind either.
The practical, de-cluttering part of me thinks I should get rid of anything that doesn’t fit right now and buy new clothes in the proper sizes when I need them. There’s no need to stuff my apartment with boxes of stuff I’m not using, and they do no good to anyone sitting uselessly in my closet. There are plenty of Goodwill shoppers who would actually wear these clothes and appreciate them. And even if I do keep them, when you have this many boxes of clothes it becomes hard to figure out what items currently fit you. It’s possible to completely miss your window of opportunity to wear a garment, which I did with size 24 pants during my original weight loss. It’s also possible that by the time I fit into my old clothes I won’t like them anymore.
However, the cost-conscious, sentimental and optimistic part of me shouts, “Don’t you dare giveaway your Campbell’s Soup sweatshirt!” Why should I spend money later buying clothes this size, even though they don’t fit me now? I’m also emotionally attached to some of these garments. Going through the boxes I’ll suddenly stumble upon a black knit sweater or brown corduroys that I completely forgot I had, but really loved wearing. I feel the same way about some of my childhood clothes, like the white summer dress with tiny flower embroidery my mom made for me, or the double ruffle hot pink skirt I wore in 4th grade. (Hey, I didn’t say I had fashion sense. I’m most likely fashion deaf and blind.)
It wouldn’t be a problem if I had a TARDIS-like closet that was bigger on the inside than the outside. Though that would probably be an excuse never to get rid of anything ever, and I do think de-cluttering is good for the soul. I am almost always for simplifying my life.
My closet is still stuffed with clothes. I still tell myself to get rid of them. I still keep them anyway. I still don’t know what to do about this. Still, still, still.