Closet Cleanout in the Age of Corona

Over the last six months or so, I’ve been feeling weighed down, called to simplify and get back to basics. This has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone else feel compelled to get rid of all their shit? I bet thrift stores are going to have some real treasures after this is all said and done.

Before life got weird, I had already pared down my clothing collection quite a bit, or so I thought. In the last two weeks, I’ve managed to fill another three large garbage bags full of things I don’t want anymore. It’s become a bit compulsive so it works out well that I can’t bring them to the thrift store yet, as I’m finding there are a handful of items I may have jumped the gun on. I don’t want to hang onto things unnecessarily, but I also don’t want to have to buy something I already had and gave away impulsively. I’m also realizing how much clothing I have that I wouldn’t have a use for if I didn’t typically work in an office environment.

I think over the last year I’ve entered a season of molting; I’m trying to shed the old layers that I’ve accumulated that helped me grow, but are no longer providing value to my life and may actually now be holding me back. The physical manifestation of this feeling is the ongoing closet clean-out. I really appreciate style and having options, but what’s helped the process is the realization that I only have one body and I can only wear one outfit at a time. As simplistic as that sounds, I had never used that as a framework for outlining what I keep in my closet until recently and it makes a huge difference. If I have ten t-shirts, but I always choose the same five and I can only wear one at a time anyway, then why the hell do I have ten t-shirts? It makes it easy to get rid of the excess and it eliminates some of the stress of having too many options.

I love getting dressed as an art form, but lately I’m seeing the draw of implementing a kind of uniform. My closet is wonderfully eclectic thanks to mostly thrifted treasures, but having a uniform of sorts would eliminate a lot of the excess. Maybe someday I’ll have the discipline to cut my wardrobe down to the bone and only wear t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans on repeat, but for now, I’m aiming to strike a thoughtful balance between personal expression and a carefully curated closet without a ton of excess.

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