After you get engaged, all the imminent changes slowly begin to sink in. Exciting, positive changes–like moving in together,growing old together, and getting to wear a sparkly ring (more about that here). But also some that are a little scarier—like paying our own auto insurance and buying our own groceries (right now we eat at my parents’ house almost every night).
However, the one that scares me the most (and the inspiration for the name of my blog) has been that after we get married… I’m going to have to share a closet. This may seem trivial to most, but to me it’s absolutely petrifying.
My shopping habit, in combination with my pack-rat tendencies, created a problem over the years–I owned too much crap. I’ve literally just scoured my photograph archives, trying to find proof of the astronomical amount of clothes that were stuffed into my closet, but couldn’t find evidence. Really, that says something right there–I purposely closed my closet door in every single picture I ever took in my bedroom.
Because I’m a naturally-defensive person when it comes to my individual faults, I do have to point out that after losing a fairly substantial amount of weight, I was in desperate need of new clothes… (three years ago). However, I can no longer depend on this excuse. I’ve maintained my new size long enough that it’s time to get rid of my old clothes, and put the brakes on the shopping frenzy.
It took me three full days and two van-loads of over-stuffed trash bags, but finally I’ve condensed my wardrobe enough that it at least fits in my walk-in closet. (Yeah, it was that bad.)
Here were my criteria for keeping or donating:
By adhering to these “rules,” I took my wardrobe down to one plastic crate of T-shirts (from four), six skirts, six dresses, one pair each of brown pants, black pants, pinstripes, and khakis, etc. I wrote these numbers down, and made another rule for myself:
When I buy something, it’s a replacement.
For example, if I buy new skinny jeans, I have to donate my old skinny jeans. If I buy a new fancy dress, I have to donate one old fancy dress.
Having accomplished such a huge task, I feel much more under control of my closet. It may sound silly, but I also feel much more in control of my life. My closet is one of the first places I step each morning, and stepping into an organized, simplified space helps the rest of my day to feel organized and simplified.
In addition, I now feel prepared to put my wardrobe next to B’s in our new closet (although he’s already agreed that I’ll be using 1.5 of the 2 closets available in our new apartment).
I’d like to think that my dedication to clearing out my wardrobe is analogous of my preparation for marriage. Everyone brings a certain amount of baggage, weaknesses, etc. to a relationship. A relationship takes work, and the first step is realizing that you are not perfect, and working to take the steps necessary to change. So far, I’ve managed to do that with my closet–let’s see what else I can accomplish in the next three months to make my marriage a little easier and a lot happier 🙂