6 trash bags of shoes and clothes.
Here’s the dress I bought in France and could never wear. The chic kitten heeled slippers I bought in Strasbourg. Oh, look! T-shirts I’ve accumulated from six years of teaching high school.
In the bag they go.
The cute tank top I bought in Belgium that’s too short. A scarf lovingly knit for me that I never wear because I have over 30 scarves that I wear more. The pair of Birkenstock clogs I wore when I painted a widow’s porch when I did Habitat for Humanity. I was a nun back then. The clogs still have paint on them, but they are mighty uncomfortable.
A small lifetime of reminiscing goes into these bags. As strange as some people think hoarders are and as much as I detest clutter, I can understand why people hold onto things for so long. They evoke memories of people who crossed our paths but are no longer parts of our lives. They are what we wore at our worst and at our best—our happiest times and our saddest times. The dress we wore to our best friend’s wedding or the shoes we wore when we buried our beloved grandfather.
Clothes are so much more than bits of fabric stitched together and sold at ridiculous markups. They are a little piece of us but, like everything, we change. Our tastes evolve, our weight fluctuates and our closets grow too small. So every once in a while it’s good to weed out the closet and clean out the drawers. It’s OK to laugh and cry a little as you remember what you were doing the last time you wore a t-shirt or a pair of shoes. That’s a part of the human experience. But I’ve been laughing and crying in turn for days now. I have to make a haul to the Goodwill before I hang on to something I don’t wear anymore just because I’m a sentimental fool.