Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lounge Wear: A Keepsake?

I was working with an organizing client yesterday to pare down her wardrobe. I started the morning by sorting all of her clothing into categories: blouses, t-shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, off-season, etc. This took about three hours, as there was a substantial amount of clothing we were working with. And yes, we pulled it ALL out. Every last thread was sorted between her bed surface and a folding card table she'd borrowed from a friend. Our mission was to donate or consign 50%.

She started with blouses and made quick decisions, effortlessly eliminating about 1/3 of what she had. We would do a second pass later to pull the additional 20%. I was on fold/hang duty. We moved through several other categories with similar efficiency until we hit lounge wear. She moved quickly through the category, but only pulled one or two pieces for donation. That's when I had to do a bit of coaching. I suggested we pair down lounge wear to one laundry cycle's worth, so about seven pairs each of cozy pants and t-shirts (which would be generous). She simply didn't have the drawer space to keep it all and still be organized.

We talked a bit about why it was hard for her to part with these pieces - she'd had many of them for years and the cotton had worn soft, bringing extra comfort through sick days, kitty cuddle time and more. After playing "tough and hard (but still friendly)" organizer for awhile, we were able to pair it down to ten t-shirts and about four pairs of pants each for warm and cold seasons. Not bad! At the end of the day, her clothing fit comfortably into her drawers and hanging space (and was organized by color and style for easy selection). My car was loaded with seven trash bags full of clothing for donation and a large plastic bin for consignment. Mission accomplished.

As we were having the lounge wear sentimentality conversation, I remembered another client who had the exact same challenge. We were sorting through her wardrobe and just like yesterday's client, she was breezing through decisions until we hit her old hoodies and sweatpants. So many memories were attached to those pieces. It's interesting - would lounge wear be considered a keepsake then? I'm having trouble with the idea, but I did allow my client from yesterday to store an old ski t-shirt that no longer fit in her keepsake box.

Kristen Ziegler

1 comment:

Emily said...

I laughed as I was reading this because I too have many t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts from athletics, concerts, travels, etc and they have a surprising amount of sentimental value! I don't wear any of them now but they've lasted while most things I don't find useful get purged eventually. I guess everyone has their sentimental something(s).