too many clothes.

When I read 7 last month (my review here), there were quite a few areas where I was convicted, but my clothes really weren’t one of them. I’m just not one of those girls that gets really excited about clothes. I like to look nice, but I don’t want to put a lot of effort into it (and the latter usually wins out). I have to be in just the right mood to enjoy shopping for clothes. Generally, I would sooner put time and money into decorating my house than decorating me.

So when Jen Hatmaker wrote about counting the number of clothes she owned, just to see what she was starting with, I had no plans to do the same. Here is what changed my mind:

  • I’ve been watching the weekly videos for an online book club that is studying 7, and was reminded that I can say I don’t care about clothes, but if I have an excessive number of them, something is off.
  • I’m tired of trying to cram everything into my closet and dressers. It’s just ridiculous.
  • Since maneuvering up and down the stairs with a laundry basket would have been difficult until very recently with this knee injury, my mom has offered to help me out with laundry. (And before you laugh because my mother is doing my laundry, let me just say that I really do think laundry is her love language. This is a woman who offers to do mine even when I’m not limping around). I’ve realized, I really do tend to wear a small percentage of my clothes, day after day.
  • Since I work from home, my day to day wardrobe is really casual. Sometimes I wear my pajamas all day and just wait to shower and get dressed until I’m ready to leave the house after work. Some days I get dressed earlier, but just to change into a clean pair of paint-stained sweatpants (especially if I know I’m going to be doing anything messy around the house). Buying new work clothes means yoga pants, and if I’m dressing up, jeans. I just don’t need to have a full business casual wardrobe any longer.

So, I counted my clothes. It took about 15 minutes to go through everything - the closet, the dresser, the nightstand, the laundry basket, the box in the closet of cold-weather sweaters. I grouped everything into categories, largely because I suspected there were a few specific areas that were out of control and I wanted to identify those. Here is what I discovered:

  • I have 299 items of clothing, including everything (underwear, socks, shoes, coats). A pair of shoes or a pair of socks count as one item.
  • I have 21 pairs of shoes, not including 5 pairs of flip flops. Ridiculous considering that I spent all summer wearing either sneakers or one of three pairs of flip-flops. Most of the others are items that have sat untouched in a box since I packed them away before I left for Africa, over a year ago.
  • I have 50 pairs of socks. 49! That means I could skip sock laundry for over a month and still have plenty to wear.
  • Sometime last year, I tried to cut down to 5 t-shirts. Now I have 17. I’m not entirely sure how that happened.
  • I have 30 tank tops or camis. A few are paint clothes. Several are just falling apart – so why are they still in my dresser?

Over the next few days and weeks, I’m going to work on paring down this excess. Some of it will probably be easy. Some will be more difficult, trying to balance out of season items and the occasional need for work clothes when I have to be in Virginia Beach. Still, it’s something that I’m determined to get under control – so here’s my public confession to make sure I do.

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