March 12, 2015

Letting Go

About a week before Lent, I went through my wardrobe and pulled out all of the clothes that I didn't LOVE or hadn't worn in months or years. I wrestled with some of them. "This rainbow tie-dye skirt is ME!" but I couldn't remember the last time I had worn the sacred thing. The clothes sat in bags on my floor for a few weeks until last week when I pulled them all out and looked at them one final time.
Letting Go. Detachment. 

I enjoy shopping second hand (and the occasional clearance rack). I shop second hand because it's thrifty and it doesn't support the commercialized, capitalized, ever-changing fashion industry. I also love dressing in unexpected ways, i.e. tie-dye rainbow skirts. As much as I want to say I am a child of God not defined by my clothes, my clothes say something about me to the wider world. For the most part, I have enjoyed ditching half of my wardrobe to focus more energy on the clothes that I love.

However, a little doubt crept in after I posted this picture on Instagram and mentioned I was getting rid of some clothes. They were all sad about the rainbow tie-dye skirt. One friend, was sad to see it go. Another friend, said "that rainbow skirt was YOU." Regret. Had I done the right thing? Had I been too brash? No, I had done the right thing. I was not that rainbow tie-dye skirt. I am Katie and creative clothing choices is just one of the fun-loving, carefree things about me. My clothes are not the only thing that speak for me. If my whole house burned down, I am still Katie, without all of my things.

So far, Lent has been a good practice in letting go. It's hard to let go of clothes that I might wear or are cute or have sentimental value--but it's cathartic to let go, knowing I will have a happier life and so will another person in that rainbow tie-dye skirt. It had more gyspy life in it and I needed to share the love. I dropped off three bags of clothes to the "Free Store" at Earlham--hopefully, they will find new life on the hipster, grandma, 80s, college style of the Earlham students.

Don't worry, I kept the pink overalls.

Benefits of Donating Half My Wardrobe
Less Clutter, More Options. The past couple weeks, I have loved not having to pour through my drawers to find something to wear. My drawers and less full and so is my closet. It's easier to find things and what is in my drawers--I love. Why would I keep something that I don't feel awesome in?
Rewear Clothes, Less Laundry. I am awful at doing laundry. I would wait until I had nothing left to wear and then have about 3 loads of laundry to do every week and a half. Also, I'm in seminary and really only had enough focus and time to do one solid load of laundry. I've taken to re-wearing an item of clothing 3-4 times (I do the smell and stain test!) before I wash it. The past three weeks, I have had one small load of laundry to do at the end of each week.
Feel Good, Stress Less. Clothes were often a sense of stress for me--figuring out what to wear, letting dirty clothes pile up on the floor, having things that I didn't love but took up space. Now that I am re-wearing my clothes between washings--I roll them back up and put them in my drawers so that they don't end up on my floor. Plus, I know exactly what is in my drawers and what goes with what.

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