Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cleaning Out Using Different Eyes

As we step closer to our departure each day (our tentative fly date is January 15, 2013), we are constantly thinking about cleaning out, clearing out, and not accumulating any more stuff.  With just the end goal of getting away in mind, it is interesting how easily that can motivate me to get rid of stuff that I probably would hang on to if we weren't having to pack up our stuff.  It's making me look at my stuff with new eyes - especially clothes and accessories. 

I'm definitely a bit of a girly-girl, with a healthy mix of tomboy thrown in that keeps me adventurous and active.  But that girly-girl part of me loves getting dressed up, having a closet full of clothes to choose from, having colorful and unique shoes, and having a large collection of purses, jewelry and other accessories in order to be prepared for any occasion (or outfit) that presents itself.

The thing is, thinking about only taking one backpack full of stuff for six months, and packing the rest of it up, has made me realize I have way too much of pretty much everything, and quite frankly, I want to have the least amount of boxes possible!  That doesn't mean I'm getting rid of everything, I'm too emotionally attached to some stuff, and too unsure of what the future holds to just trash/sell/donate it all.  It's just that I've acquired some "new eyes" when looking at my stuff.

I am able to look at my clothes honestly - it's OK to have one or two t-shirts that you absolutely LOVE because they are so worn in and worn out and comfy - but you don't need five.  Why am I hanging onto these sweaters that I only wear when I have nothing else clean (which is never!)?  Why do I have these dress shirts that I get annoyed with every time I wear because they just don't quite fit my short torso the right way?  It's not like I don't have enough clothes that I love to wear, that fit me well, and will work for different situations.  So, I've started to clear out.  So far I have two overflowing shopping bags of clothes, a pile of on the futon in my office, a jumble of shoes and purses on my office floor, and after another pass through my closet and dresser, I'm pretty certain I can double that amount.

And you know what?  It feels great!  My closet is STILL full, but now it's not so crammed that things fall off of their hangers, but still stay "hanging" because they're squished between all the other clothes in there.  It's really quite liberating, and as I said, I'm not done.  When I finish, I want to only own things that I really love, fit me well, and look good. 

With all this cleaning out, I can't help but be curious about how I will feel when we return from our journey.  Will I think, "Wow! I'm so happy to have CHOICES and tons of clothes and shoes and accessories again!"?  Or will I think, "Wow, I can't believe I thought I cleaned out and gave a lot away! This is ridiculous!"?  Time will tell!

For now, the next step is figuring out what to do with the things I am weeding out.  As we are constantly saving and "fundraising" for our adventure, I am hoping to sell as much as I can at a consignment shop, so I am in the process of researching the ones in our area.  Whatever I can't sell or give to friends/family will be donated to Goodwill or Salvation Army. 

It's exciting and cleansing as well.  It's amazing how much easier and almost fun it can be to clean out when you are devoted to the reason you are doing it!

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