Home Forums Living Spaces Clothing Closets Thoughts on Clothing

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  chacha1 6 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #159803

    whit
    Member

    As I said on the ATAD thread, I’m switching my clothing over for the season (not that we got much winter this year), and as always it’s my chance to purge the closet. It’s been difficult and so I had a few realizations that I wanted to share in case anyone has similar difficulties/suggestions.

    I’m sentimentally attached to my clothes. I can remember where most of them came from and significant times I’ve worn them. It makes it really hard to donate or trash them, even though I have a lot (I define a lot in this case as two rubbermaid bins plus one chest of drawers plus 4 feet of closet rod crammed full). The idea of having a really minimalist wardrobe appeals to me, but first I’d have to get rid of most of my current stock and that doesn’t look likely at this point.

    On the other hand, I have no problem browsing a store and leaving with nothing, so my main solution is going to be avoiding bringing new stuff in, not shopping except for very specific needs, and making current clothes visible and organized enough that I can use all of what I have. And packing for trips early enough that I can bring all that I need instead of rushing and forgetting and buying more.

    I seem to be the family dumping-ground for hand-me-downs. This needs to stop, because it is hard for me to donate those, and I don’t need more. Even though I’m shorter and less fashionable than almost everyone else, I have clothing and don’t need their cast-offs. (On a related note, I’m going to buy my first new pair of sneakers in 10 years soon. Falling-apart shoes bought to fit someone else – well, I don’t have to be that frugal.)

    Because my family wants to make me over, they often buy me clothes as gifts as well. These are even harder to give away, even if they don’t fit my lifestyle and make me resentful. So making a gift list for birthday and Christmas seems like a good plan. I would rather get nothing than clothes, and gift cards I have to redeem, but we don’t ever do no gifts *sigh*.

    The twice-yearly purges are making some headway, I’m up to 18 pieces donated or ready to donate so far today! Also, I have to remind myself that having a large wardrobe, and even a few clothes that don’t fit, well, it’s not a _sin_, after all.

    Sorry this turned into a bit of a rant! To conclude, does anyone have advice on how to store shirts in a very deep drawer so that they all get worn and not just the top five?

  • #208521

    Thoughts on Clothing

    I roll mine. Lay out face down, fold sleeves and sides over as if folding traditional style, then roll tightly from the hemline up. Unless they are shirts that will wrinkle easily, this is a great way to store and you don’t disturb the rolls much when burrowing down to the bottom layer!

  • #208522

    pkilmain
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    Are you talking knit shirts? t-shirts? If so, what I’ve done is to fold them and then roll them so that they stand up (in my case in a deep basket on a shelf, but a deep drawer should work too) and I can see which ones are there. If you have a lot of the same color this might be an issue, but for me the only duplicates I have are white (long and short sleeved). I have also done this with my sweatshirts and lightweight fleece pullovers (4 of former, 2 of the latter).

  • #208532

    clutterbug22
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    @ whit,
    Just wondered why you are the family feel that you should be the ‘dumping ground’ for their clothes? That seems to be part of the problem with your accumulation of clothes. From what you say they seem (for whatever reason) to want to do a make-over on you but couldn’t you just head them off at the pass and say that you have enough clothes and don’t need any more? And any that they have given you already, if you make a quick cursory look at them, without them becoming ‘installed’ permanently in your wardrobe and before you become ‘sentimentally’ attached to them, perhaps because they have been given as a ‘well-meaning’ gift, if you can have a quick look at them and decide quickly if they should just go into the donation pile, perhaps that might help with the build-up of clothes that you are experiencing? Good Luck!

  • #208533

    lucy1965
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    *makes inarticulate noise* Why do I not do that with my T-shirts???

  • #208534

    pkilmain
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    πŸ™‚ Lucy

  • #208536

    Jackthetiger
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    I agree with Clutterbug22.

    It is frustrating that your family are offloading unwanted stuff on to you. Many years ago, I used to do this to my sister in law. She did not have a great deal and I used to think I was helping her by giving her lightly used clothing. I came to realise that I was really meeting my need to offload unwanted things so they would be useful. The thing is, they were not always used because she has very different taste to me and rarely wore them. She was unable to throw anything away if it had been given by a family member. I was creating a problem for her. Your family are creating problems for you and they must stop. Do not accept any used clothing from them unless you really want it. Just say, “Thanks, but that is not something I’d wear”. Make it clear that you don’t want clothing for gifts. This is presumptuous if the gifter is making value judgements about what you wear and imposing their own style. That seems to be more of a gift to themselves!

    And you don’t have to keep clothing given by anyone. It is just stuff. It does not contain their essence, but it is in your way. And thanks for the reminder that it is nearly changeover time. The nights are getting cooler here and I need to find a jumper!

  • #208539

    Anonymous

    Thoughts on Clothing

    Whit, dealing with the unwanted and un-useful gifts is irritating and a drain on your energy. In a sense, when they give you cast-offs that you don’t like, you are storing their junk for them so that they can feel good. Is that what you want to do?

    Shirts in drawers – think ‘file don’t pile’. Fold them flat, with sleeves tucked neatly in. Think of those silly plastic shirt folders, that’s how they should look. You can make shirt folder of your own from sturdy cardboard and some duct tape.

    Stick them in so they’re like file folders and you see the edge, rather than the whole face of the shirt. When you put clean ones in, put them at the back of the ‘file drawer’ so that you’re constantly rotating them.

    I use this system, and I also ‘file’ the short sleeve shirts at a 90 degree angle to the long sleeved shirts. Hope this makes sense.

  • #208548

    whit
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    Thanks for all these suggestions!

    @pkilmain, I’ve rolled shirts before but it never occurred to me to put them in vertically; I tried it and they all fit, long-sleeves in one drawer and short-sleeves in another. Looks pretty neat, I’m going to try it for a while. Great idea!

    @watt, I love this filing idea, I might give it a try later though I’m not so brilliant at folding. The husband is, maybe he can be in charge of this! πŸ™‚

    @clutterbug, @Jack, @watt, you’re right that I need to get the fam to back off. Several people there express love through giving things, and some of it also is me continuing patterns from when I was much younger. I did refuse a shirt my mother bought for me recently as it was (yet another) turtleneck that I won’t wear. (I felt like a jerk later, but oh well).

    Things I am going to try: making gift lists, dressing nicely in front of my mother (so she doesn’t try to fix me), gently refusing hand-me-downs before looking at them so it is not about the particular clothes but instead about not needing anything at all.

    Not to get too personal, but I think I should also talk to my mom about her worrying about me which comes out as “I need to push exercise on you and bug you to go to grad school and buy you new clothes”. Probably this is actually “I wish you weren’t sad because of your stillbirth”, and I should address it as such instead of just getting annoyed at the method of delivery ie turtlenecks.

    Why is it that I hate turtlenecks but love scarves? A question for the ages…

  • #208551

    lottielot
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    Mums are experts at interfering, all those years of practice means habits are ingrained πŸ™‚ You’re probably right though, she’s just expressing her concern for you in the only way she knows how. Maybe you could pick out a few items of clothing you really would love to buy but wouldn’t want to spend the money on and forward a link to anyone who likes to buy you clothes?

  • #208556

    irishbell
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    Whit-it might be difficult to talk honestly with your mom about this,
    but if you do it kindly – explain why you don’t want these things, or need them,
    she might just understand! And if she doesnt, at least uou tried.
    It’s really best to be honest, it can curtail all sorts of hard feelings and
    misunderstandings. I know of which i speak!

  • #208564

    Thoughts on Clothing

    Whit, is it possible to find a place in the conversation to say “hey, Mom, I’ve been decluttering clothes I don’t really like/need anymore, like turtlenecks, so I have more room for my scarves.” She obviously loves you and wants very much to help you feel happier. Giving her clues might help her make choices that will bring happiness into your life.

    My mother used to send me clothing. I think it was because I am a carbon copy of her shape, face, coloring – just 30 yrs younger and 5 inches taller, so maybe she was seeing clothes she’d like to wear but she deemed them too high fashion. She is incredibly stylish, so my casualness disappoints her. I have to admit that my 21 yr old daughter, also the same shape and 5 inches taller than me, is even more casual and I get the urge to buy her clothes and dress her up. lol.

    Good luck with tackling this problem. Radically downsizing a wardrobe to only the clothes you enjoy wearing can do wonders, even though it’s a really tough job. Tackling a family clothing donation problem is a pretty difficult proposition.

  • #208624

    chacha1
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    whit, it seems condolences are in order? Sorry for your loss.

    Re: the clothes, this is kind of off the wall but what about writing a thank-you note about each piece you’ve been given and don’t actually want? This might make it easier to release the items of clothing you keep only because they were gifts. (I myself would not consider any kind of used clothing a gift. A hand-me-down is quite a different thing, and if it doesn’t suit you, ought to immediately go in the donate bag, which is where your family members ought to have put them to begin with. Hmph.)

    You don’t have to SEND the notes. Just write them to express your gratitude/appreciation that people love you and want to take care of you. I think you clearly understand this motivation even though it’s being poorly expressed. πŸ™‚ And putting that into words for yourself might make it easier to verbalize the next time someone tries to give you something.

  • #208626

    Anonymous

    Thoughts on Clothing

    @chacah1, I LOVE the idea of writing a ‘thank you note’ to items you’re releasing. Wow. May I use this idea to share with clients and friends?

  • #208630

    chacha1
    Member

    Thoughts on Clothing

    all advice here is free, gratis, and infinitely shareable. πŸ™‚

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