Skeletons, Additional Personalities, History, Memories…

…or just a bunch of old clothes that no longer fit?

Today, I’m cleaning out my closet. Well, actually, my drawers…but the metaphors work better with closets, so please indulge me.

I married a manly man–the kind that has a pair of jeans, two t-shirts, a dress shirt, enough boxers for a week, and a stick of old spice. The kind that joins the Army.

However, joining the Army also results in not only lots of “gear” but also multiple “uniforms.” As women know, these are really “outfits” and outfits take up closet space. When DH returned, so did his gear and outfits.

Add that to a couple of my “if I lost all the baby weight why don’t my old clothes fit?” shopping sprees, and you have closet congestion.

So, having been evicted from space I annexed during DH’s deployment, I have been forced to make the classic keep, donate, toss piles.

This is not easy. Not only is there the time factor, there are also a number of psychological obstacles.

The most obvious is the XS clothing. Assuming for a second that I manage to slim down to that size before not only styles change significantly, but also before global warming forces us to only wear as of yet uninvented space-age super light fabrics, there is still the matter of nursing. Over the next few years I will most likely be either pregnant or breastfeeding or about to do one of the other. On the off chance my waist fits, other parts won’t.

So, into the donation or toss pile with those items, depending on how much wear they got.

Even more difficult are the aspirational items. For me these are the “clubbing clothes.” Sure, this would be perfect to wear at that club that is just far enough past its prime that I could get in but still hot enough as to be fun. Being honest with myself, though, I haven’t really gone clubbing since I got married and I’m not about to shove Lilah in a sling and head out to hear the latest DJ. And to be brutally honest, can I really still get into a club worth going to? Donate.

The most heartrending decisions, however, involve the college, sorority, concert, Army, etc., t-shirts. Most of them were way too big to begin with for anything except sleeping in or painting in. The few that used to fit now no longer do. The rare ones that are Goldilocks (just right) are mostly too worn to wear anywhere besides around the house. I could turn them into T-Shirt Quilt or have one made, but I’m not sure I really want a t-shirt quilt. Frame them? If I had a den or crafts room, that might work, but right now they aren’t exactly fit the decor or any of my rooms.

Toss? Donate? Keep?

I just can’t bear to toss them. Unless they are super ironic, they’ll just end up in the 5 for a $1 bin at the second hand store. So, for now, they occupy an entire drawer and there are more at mom’s house. I will probably box them up to make room–but should I really take them with us next time we move?

Is this healthy nostalgia? Or an unhealthy refusal to let go of the past?

Well, back to organizing clothes. Sorting out my brain will have to wait.

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  1. Laurie says:

    Not only did I to clean out my closet of clothes but, I did the baby clothes too. We are both growing! I’m growing larger with my second child and my first is growing out of everything! We don’t have the room for double wardrobes. I think its both nostalgia verses being practical. I really don’t know which one will win!

  2. Carol says:

    hey, you have a nice post here. I always had a fascination for this Army men and their way of life.


  3. Katy Jane says:

    I say do the box thing. You don’t have to decide until you move next. And I’m all for keeping nostalgia things. :) For nostalgia, though, would photos of the clothes work? If you’re only keeping them as treasured memories of a certain time, event, place, maybe a picture of you in them (if they fit) or of them by themselves would suffice?

  4. Crista says:

    I have a half a dozen tubs filled with old t-shirts for the three of us. I will someday make quilts from them. I won’t part with those memories…EVER. And sometimes, that t-shirt is the only reminder I have.

    Box them up and save them…you won’t regret it.

  5. kbug says:

    I feel for you. I’m about to tackle “the boys room.” I need to find it, clean it, texture and paint it, etc. This is the room that Kevin and Seth shared growing up that still contains alot of their stuff. It has also collected some of Rick’s things that were moved in there during the time that Katie lived with us while Seth was deployed. And of course, it now contains some of Katie’s stuff. Kevin will be coming home for a while in May during his transition from active duty to the AF Reserve and I’d like to have that room ready for him. That means I have to go through everything in there…set some things aside for the boys and Katie to take, store some things, and throw some things away. I dread starting the process as it will be difficult to part with anything that belonged to the boys. There are too many memories in that room…many that will make me laugh and some that will inevitably make me cry because I just happen to be one of those emotional people who cries sometimes…especially in remembering old times when the boys were all young. Oh well…c’est la vie….. *sigh*

  6. L says:

    T-Shirt Quilt. Definitely.