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On moving, packing and why I just can’t get rid of that dress I haven’t worn since 2007

June 28, 2010

Moving is not fun. OK, understatement of the century. When I moved to Atlanta six months ago, I swore I would never move without professional movers again. Um, yeah. About that. Many, many thanks to my dad, Matt, Phillip, Amy, Robert and Kevin, all of whom helped me move out of my apartment and Amy move into my apartment. Basically, I have now moved into my former apartment twice. And out of it once. And now I’m back home at my parents’ house. Again. But just for 10 days this time.

Anyway. Fashion! Style! Thrifty!

So. Remember my gorgeous closet that I was totally in love with?

Well, no more.

I don’t even have the heart to show you guys what my childhood bedroom looks like right now. It looks like a clothing bomb exploded everywhere. There’s a narrow little path to my bed, and needless to say, I will be sorting through things this week: Take (to New York), Leave (in my parents’ basement), Donate (to Goodwill or my younger sister).

The worst part is, I already made a “Donate” pile. Melanie took a good amount of clothing off my hands, and I have a bag left in ATL that my sister needs to sort through before it goes to Goodwill.

You may have figured this out by now, but I have a really difficult time parting with clothes. I associate clothes with memories. “Oh, I wore that on this night out and it was so fun,” or, “I remember when I bought this, that was such a fun day.” I have no idea why, but I always picture another scenario in which that old dress can be worn, and then I keep it. Even if I never wear it. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by this point.

If it hasn’t been worn in the past year, it needs to go.

Deep breaths. In and out.

If it hasn’t been worn in the past year, it needs to go.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with this issue. I feel ridiculous. But I can’t help it. I. Need. To Edit. My Wardrobe. I need to stop buying sundresses and invest in some nicer basics, such as cardigans in different colors, that will actually be worn all the time. I need to stop buying $30 heels from Target and invest in nicer, more comfortable high heels. It’s worth the extra $50 if I can actually walk around the city in them.

If it hasn’t been worn in the past year, it needs to go.

OK. I can do this. I don’t want to spend a fortune shipping my wardrobe to New York, and my mom has already informed me that her basement is not the place to store my off-season wardrobe. (I can’t take it all at once, Mom! P.S.: You’re the best mom EVER.)

Do you guys periodically sort through your clothes, weeding out what you don’t wear and making lists of practical pieces to buy? Or, like me, do you wait until you’re forced to by a momentous occasion, such as a move?


18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 7:39 pm

    I went through this same thing when I moved. I remember it hit a peak with screaming episodes in my kitchen a week before leaving, surrounded by boxes with my mother, that went something like this —


    “YES I DO!!!!! BECAUSE– I— I DO— I— GOD DAMMIT!!!” And repeat with different items. I threw actual temper tantrums over my clothes.

    It was SO HARD for me to leave what must of been at least 7 or 8 boxes and bags of clothes, accessories, shoes, DVDs, candles, crap, etc. at home. I don’t know why it’s so comforting to hold on to all of it, but I swear, you really, really do let go of it. That used to annoy the crap out of me hearing it from my sister, but you do. You’ll buy new stuff.

    When I went home for my brother’s graduation, I ended up giving away 90 percent of the stuff I thought I was going to “eventually ship up to NY.” It’s just like … I don’t need 19 tank tops.

    Be strong! Listen to the voice in your head — if it’s not a favorite, you won’t miss it.

  2. June 28, 2010 7:44 pm

    OK actually I have to make one amendment to that comment. It really did sting when my Mom accidentally sold the majority of my shoes in a garage sale. But I’m still breathing.

    (God, those wedges were adorable!)

    I’m OK, really.

    • June 28, 2010 7:56 pm

      Seriously. This week is going to be rough. I don’t even know. I have like 5 suitcases full of clothes. And I cannot possibly take them all. Expect a frustrated phone call soon.

  3. June 28, 2010 8:39 pm

    I’ve moved every summer since I was 18! (I’m 24 now.) I know exactly what you’re going through and yes, I sort through clothes every single time I move… “Do I really need another pair of lounge pants?” My rule is the same: If I haven’t worn it in a year, it goes. Only once has that rule come back to bite me in the butt… Early this month I had the perfect outfit idea in mind and then– wham!– after searching through my drawers, my closet, and my “off-season” box I was informed by my husband that I gave it to Goodwill last summer.

    Best of luck with the sorting/packing. Good luck in New York! 🙂

    • June 28, 2010 8:55 pm

      Thank you! And EVERY summer? Honestly I guess I’ve probably moved the same amount of times – I even moved dorms during my freshman year of college!

      I’m hoping I won’t remember every sundress I give away, but I’m sure I will. I have a feeling I’ll end up calling Melanie and saying, “um, when you visit me, can you bring that skirt? I have the perfect outfit and I want to wear it this weekend.” Fail.

  4. Shannon's Mom permalink
    June 28, 2010 8:51 pm

    I go through my clothes every year too. Shannon, don’t worry about your multitude of shoes, I don’t do garage sales and your feet are bigger than mine 🙂

  5. Kristen permalink*
    June 29, 2010 8:16 am

    I’ve never been one to obey that rule…because some things go out and just need to be saved until they come back in again. And I like variety, so sometimes I don’t wear something one year. But this does mean I have two dressers, plus plastic drawers and bins stacked in the closet around the hanging clothes, and a storage bag under my bed…so I battle my clothes to get to what I want. I know I own too many items but until I don’t have another inch I will probably continue my defiance. But no, I’m not a hoarder, it’s all neatly hidden! Organized chaos, I suppose.

    However, to be encouraging, I do go through my clothes every few months, because every time I pull something out that pisses me off that I own it, I do a sweep. And the upside is making room for new, wonderful things. It feels good to look in your closet and love everything you see.

    • June 29, 2010 10:20 am

      If I didn’t move so often, I would still have so many more articles of clothing. I just can’t get rid of some things. I definitely relate to this.

  6. allie permalink
    June 29, 2010 9:09 am

    Oh girl I feel this post! I’ve moved 9 times in 3 years, and somehow only manage to (literally) lose the things I love! Fat clothes, skinny clothes, girly clothes, your ex’s sweatpants… how is one to choose?!

    Best of luck deciding, and in new york 🙂

    • June 29, 2010 10:22 am

      I know what you mean … you’d think with so many items, I wouldn’t notice, but I always end up losing “that black tank top that goes with everything” or “my favorite dress!” that I want to wear ASAP after moving.

      Thanks for the good wishes!

  7. Kathleen permalink
    June 29, 2010 10:27 am

    I would not be able to do what you’re doing. I can’t seem to part with any of my clothes–ever. Might I suggest those vacuum-seal storage bags? I bet you could eliminate two suitcases that way…

  8. Katy permalink*
    June 29, 2010 3:30 pm

    I just parted with a shirt that I wore on my first day of high school…which was 11 year ago. My favorite clothes that I cannot part with are ones that I haven’t fit in since high school and barring some sort of tapeworm, I will never fit in them again. Yet I keep them. There is this one GAP shirt that whenever I grab, I can’t give it away. That being said, wanna send some of those clothes to me? I’ll pay shipping…


  9. Caitlin permalink
    July 8, 2010 12:39 pm

    even though i gained about 7 pairs, tripled the amount of dresses i own, and even gained a car, i still cannot permanently replace my sister with all of those material items. i can, however, ill the void of my sister not physically being here by driving her (my) car, or wearing shoes i remember she wore, until i get to see my big sis again.

    i TRY to clean out my closet as often as i can, but im usually not very successful. i need to go through it right now seeing as how i just added a bunch of adorable clothes.
    love and miss you shannon


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