Sunday, October 31, 2010

Throwing Away Brand New Things

We just bought a new telephone set because ours was doing some funky stuff. You know, like not letting us make or receive calls.

We have incredibly bad luck with telephones and have to replace them every couple of years. The new one is cool, but I haven't had enough time to figure out how to make it do anything. We put the phone together and then tossed all the extraneous bits on the counter.

Yesterday I was cleaning off and organizing the giant pile of crap on the counter and came across these:


That's the wall mount for the phone base and the little belt-clip thingies for each headset.

I stopped and looked at them. I know, because I have owned phones before, that I will never use these pieces. But still. They just came out of the box. They're brand new pieces of plastic that took resources to create and will take up space in a landfill once they're gone. They were useless to me, but I didn't want to throw them away.

Then I thought about it. Aren't they kind of creating the same trash problem if they are unused in my house as if they were unused in a landfill?

I don't know. I still feel guilt for throwing them away, but the only other option was to stash them in a cupboard somewhere in my house where they won't get used and will just take up space.

What do you do with stuff like this?

Total items discarded: 4

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Clothes Purge: What I Couldn't Part With

I am a Levi's 501 gal. I LOVE them. They will always be my preferred pants. I love the shape, I love the fit, I love the button fly, I love the way they look with my preferred shoe (which is a boot), and I love the way I feel bad ass in them.

Unfortunately, I don't fit into any of the 501s that I currently own.

During my clothing purge the other day, I set aside my last 10 pairs and decided to sell them.


But I can't. I just can't. I love them. I have carefully collected Levi's from thrift stores since grad school. I gave away the really small 501s a long time ago. They were the ones I wore during the time I was referred to as "the skinny one." (Long story. There was a break up. I only ate M&Ms for an extended period of time. I dropped a LOT of weight pretty rapidly.)

The ones I have left are of a reasonable size that I can re-wear them someday, and hopefully not too far in the future. Maybe I'll even surpass my expectations and have to start checking the thrift stores again.

I've decided, however, to keep these pants as my current inspiration/aspiration. I'll get there.

Sometimes there are items that you just can't purge. Evidently 501s are mine. What are yours?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Super Purge: Clothing Edition

Oh, you guys! I'd almost forgotten all about this one. Last week I went through all my clothes and did a super purge.

Usually at this time of year, I change out my summer clothes for my winter clothes, and while I'm at it, I put some clothes in a bag to donate. I've not been very good at it though. I tend to keep too much.

 This is what I keep:

Clothes that don't fit. I convince myself that I will lose weight and wear these clothes again. Truth: When I lose the weight, I will almost for sure go shopping for new clothes. Unless I LOVE the item of clothing, there is no need to keep it around.

T-shirts that I won't wear in public but that I keep because it's a perfectly good t-shirt and I can't get rid of a perfectly good t-shirt. I can wear it to bed! I can wear it to exercise! Truth: I will wear the same six t-shirts over and over to bed and to exercise. The rest will stay forgotten in the bottom of the drawer.

Exercise clothing that doesn't fit right or has holes. Exercise clothes to me are like t-shirts. It takes a lot before exercise clothes have to be thrown out. Like this one set of running pants that has a hole right in the crotch region where the seam fell apart, but I like the pants, so I keep them. Truth: But I don't wear them because, hello! There is a hole in the crotch. I finally got rid of it.

T-shirts with emotional ties. I still haven't managed to get rid of many of these. Truth: I'm considering gathering them all up and having them made into a t-shirt quilt.

*****

I made the decision that when I went through my clothes this time, I was going to get rid of everything that I would not be wearing or that wouldn't fit in my clothes area.

To do this, I went to my extra closet area where I keep the clothing that often doesn't make it back into the dresser during the summer/winter rotation. Here it is:

And so neatly folded too!

I did a good job. I was ruthless! I got rid of 70 articles of clothing. See?

I'm a little ashamed of how many clothes I have had.

Now, remember, I didn't get rid of all this the first time I went through my clothes. I've gotten rid of a little bit at a time for several seasons now. It took me some time to work my way up to the Super Purge.

Even with all of that purging, I still have a good amount of clothing. I don't have a ridiculous number of shirts (if you subtract t-shirts), but evidently I have a lot of pants. Here are the long pants I am keeping:

These are my size and one size down.

I do plan to lose weight because I have a new exercise and diet plan in place now that my kids are in school and I have more time. There's no need for me to have to buy new pants when I lose 10 pounds or 20 pounds. I'll save the shopping trip for when I lose 30 or 40.

Don't laugh. It WILL happen. And I'm not going to keep the clothes I get too small for.

Anywho. Now I have a dresser full of clothes for winter and a dresser full of clothes for summer. And that's it.

Pretty good, huh?