Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

While following Susan Wagner’s What I’m Wearing pictures (addicted really, she’s adorable, I love the cocked camera in the mirror, it’s hard to look away) I came across her article about taking stock of what’s in the closet. I was inspired. I knew there were some maternity pants lurking in the back and a few awkward sweaters my well meaning mother had given me for Christmas. I tried everything on. I was brutal, tossing things that I really thought I’d figure out how to make look good on my body someday, as well as shoes that I just love but have always given me blisters. But here’s the twist: I added a step to Susan’s instructions and included a clothing exchange party with some girlfriends. While I ate cheese and drank wine I watched the things that never worked on me take on new life.

oh that’s how it’s supposed to look
super cute as a preggo jacket!

It was such a fun afternoon, I highly recommend it. (And I actually didn’t get a bag, I just liked the title. I did however get a coupla great sweaters, black flats and a cute red sundress which was a hit at my niece’s 1st birthday party earlier this month.) We ended up with two or three hefty bags full of clothing to take to Goodwill, a bag for consignment and a special bag of formal wear and jewelry to donate to The Ruby Room. And we each walked away with a few choice pieces to add back in to the closet at home.

My closet feels streamlined and it’s been a lot easier to get dressed in a hurry (which is the only way I get dressed now). There was some initial doubt about getting rid of a few items – nothing is more telling than watching a girlfriend try something on and say, this is cute! to make you feel that mine!mine! emotion. This is the very same emotion I’m watching develop in Liam (sans the pushing part) and it reminded me that although it’s a human response, it is one we can mature beyond. Letting go and sharing, giving away and giving back, are all a part of our individual journey toward enlightenment (yep. i said enlightened. through closet purging) Being able to enjoy others appreciation for my stuff-that’s-just-stuff, and really delight in seeing them shine in something that I could never make shine, was fascinating. It was liberating to let things go. Cleaning my closet was a very real-time, tangible lesson in taking a deep breath and letting go. Our possessions can become a part of the background, and when we stop seeing them, we stop appreciating them. Clearing out the clutter does more than open space in our closets and cupboards; it can freshen up the vista outside your window and open the door for something entirely new to enter your life.

(cue Babs)

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