Lighten Up!

strong-mover-201x300I hate clutter, but sometimes, behind closed doors, it can sneak up on you. Out of sight doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The lengthy bouts of inclement weather we have endured this spring have also made for unintended, positive consequences. Forced time indoors and the ensuing purges from closets, basement and attic are not only freeing but a trip down memory lane as well. Read on for my quick impressions and whether any resonate for you.
• Clearing out
• Five trash bags worth of clothing
• Weight lifted
• Holding on to the dream/image/notion of a secret/glamorous life waiting beyond
• The never worn striped sweater a la Audrey Hepburn on a Mediterranean yacht
• Sky high purple heels for the red carpet
• The chandelier earrings for the paparazzi
• More mundane; the comfortable look that feels more like a Halloween costume
• When do we really get our fashion sense and what is it a reflection of? Frozen in time.
• False eyelashes
• Gold headbands
• Outerwear for the après ski moments in the chalet perched on a mountain top overlooking a quaint Alpine village where the locals are sipping hot toddies.
• What about cooking utensils, dishes, glasses, and more?
• All to be used when entertaining, baking bread or making pasta from scratch. Seriously???

And suitcases…too many to count, multiplying in the attic like a science fiction movie. Where did 20+ suitcases come from? Admittedly we travel a lot and have done so for many years. Also, the size restrictions have made it almost an impossibility to keep up with changing regulations for check in and carry on. Too big, too small – feels like Goldilocks, tortured to find the perfect piece…for now. Is it identifiable?

• Who else would have a red suitcase with a day-glow green tag?
• What are we ignoring?
• Holding onto?
• Prepared for anything? What emergency?
• Too many novel story lines. The glamour of sashaying through an airport looking ever so put together, lightly pulling the perfectly sized piece is an image for the big screen.
• Reality. More like dragging, pulling, and negotiating the byzantine JFK check-in procedures/process. This is not 1960!
And airports…Imagining the places you could be and the experiences you could have.
People leaving + returning = adventure.

Readying the bags for donations or trash day. Someone out there will love and feeling lighter already!


Spring Clean Your Closet

spring-cleaning-your-closetShould it go or should it stay? Each season I approach my closet with a mindset of reorganizing everything to make way for shifting clothes from one space to another. It’s the kind of task that is energizing in anticipation of warmer weather and fewer layers to consider. There’s a beginning, middle and end if I can remain focused and unattached  to the garments. Sometimes it is very straightforward and sometimes there are stops and starts, events to recall, and reminders of places where I’ve worn a particular outfit. Good thoughts and others mix in with the texture, fragrance and times of the past season…evocative and worth the pause to summon up memories.

However, when getting down to the real business of a seasonal closet reorganization it is easy to get off track and lost in the land of wishful thinking. Sometimes it calls for a merciless extraction exercise to leave you with physical and psychological space. It’s time to purge using the following guidelines:
• Stained
• Doesn’t fit now, didn’t fit then, won’t fit in this century
• Not trendy
• Smells
• Doesn’t convey the right message
• Worn out
• Wouldn’t buy it now
• You keep trying it on but wouldn’t wear it out of the house

Lastly, a reason often overlooked is the clothing you connect with a bad memory. It might be the gorgeous coat that you splurged on but you associate it with the winter you lost your job, faced a difficult family situation, got dumped or were going through a rough patch. Toss it! If it’s a piece left behind by a painful ex, a previous friendship, or anyone negative. Toss it! When you purge your closet of bad memories it is empowering and now baggage free, you can shop for replacements, adding things that you love!