1 ETOILE ISABEL MARANT sweatshirt | old….
2 OLIVER PEOPLES glasses
3 EVERLANE ryan tank top
4 INHABIT cotton v-neck sweater | old…
5 PROENZA SCHOULER ps1 satchel | purchased with credits earned from Forzieri
6 FRAME le garcon jeans | made in the US
7 VINCE perforated sneakers | 20% off at azalea with code GRECHEN20
What I wore this weekend:
Saturday | Frame jeans, Etoile sweatshirt, Everlane ryan tank, Vince sneakers, PS1
Sunday | Frame jeans, Everlane ryan tank, Inhabit sweater, Vince sneakers, PS1
What a beautiful weekend we had!! And of course, where did I spend most of it? In my closets, drawers, bathrooms…no, not really, well, yes, most of it, but I did get out for long walks in the sun, and lunches out with Leo in between all the tidying up.
It wasn’t until I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last week that I really thought about going through and purging the REST of my stuff, not just my clothes, shoes & accessories. I realized as I was reading, that I was holding on to a lot of things that were taking up space in my life (books, papers) and came to the stunning conclusion that they could be purged also.
As I sat in my chair reading, looking at my bookshelf filled with what was left of the books I’d had for many many years; the ones I’d decided to lug with me from Atlanta to Austin and then to Dallas, I felt burdened. I’d always thought my books were my prized possessions, that there were certain ones I’d never get rid of, even if I never opened them again, but as I thought more about them, I realized I was holding on to nothing.
I used my books to define me, as I used my clothes (sometimes still do, let’s be honest…I’m working on that). It’s a long story, with too much explanation, but suffice to say, I only have a few books left out of my hundred or so.
I thought every book I owned was meaningful, and it was, at some point in my life, but they served their purpose, so I released them. I had quite a few books that were “unique” – including a few I got at Yad Vashem (the holocaust memorial in Jerusalem) and at Masada, that I NEVER thought I’d part with, but I wasn’t looking at them anymore, and thought about others who may not get to go there, who would appreciate reading and holding in their hands books from those places. So I let them go.
I wanted someone else who appreciates books as much as I do to have a chance at them. I apply this all the time to my clothes, shoes, and bags – never wanting to hold on very long to things that weren’t getting used/appreciated, wanting them to go to a loving home, but my books…they were a PART OF ME.
Not any more. I have some left, that belonged to my grandmother, and a couple I’m just now reading, but otherwise, I sold them all. As with coffee, clothes I loved, etc., etc., my things do not define me; they are not who I am, and now that they’re gone, I feel strange, honestly, having a bookshelf with no books, but a little lighter, and excited to have shared my joy with someone else.
I also spend a LONG time alone (with a sleeve of thin mints…) in my bathroom throwing things away and struggling what to let go of. It was almost harder to get rid of the last few drops of my Caudalie vinoperfect serum (that I couldn’t get out of the bottle anyway) than it was my books. But I did. I have only things I use daily left in my bathroom drawers and on my counter top.
I also went through my exercise & “home” clothes, and underwear drawer and made a large plastic bin full of things to go to goodwill. As I was going through drawers I found this Inhabit sweater and wore it Sunday to try and decide if I should keep it or not. I’m not keeping it.
Finally – I shredded ALL of my papers. I might have shredded more than I should have, but it’s too late now! I also got rid of folders full of my pre-school and elementary school papers, childhood vaccinations, and first birthday cards. (before you ask if I should have saved those to give to my mom – SHE gave them to me long ago. so…).
I did not get rid of any photographs yet, and I have not finished with my closet. Honestly, I was too scared to tackle either of those quite yet.
As I was reading the book and her chapters about deciding which clothes to get rid of – the ones that do not “spark joy” – I wrote a note to myself to remember while going through things:
do my things spark joy?
or have i resigned myself that this is what is? and i must be satisfied with them?
I was terrified after that. Because I think I will find, as I touch my clothes, and honestly evaluate what I have chosen to keep, after my massive purge last year, that there are very few things left that actually give me butterflies – that spark joy.
And then what do I do?
So then, I am left with more questions. Maybe touching a thing won’t spark joy, but wearing it will. Maybe our clothes don’t NEED to spark joy, maybe they need to both be “beautiful” and practical in their own way, and in a way that is satisfying, not necessarily “joyful.”
I need to explore those things more, and work on how I want to proceed with the rest of my clothes. Maybe I don’t do anything. I’m relatively satisfied with the size of my wardrobe right now, aside from a few pairs of shoes and a couple of things I KNOW I’m ready to part with. So I may just leave well enough alone for now.
Anyway, that was my weekend, and thoughts on some of the purging I did after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I still plan to do a full book review with MANY more of my thoughts on the book on Thursday, but that is my journey so far.
Who else has read this book and proceeded to tidy up? What was your experience?