November 30, 2008

Out with the Old

My recent bouts of shopping haven't been without sacrifice. Many savvy shoppers have a rule of "one in, one out," whether it be via donation, strategic gifting, consignment, or ebay. After the purchase of my first home this summer, the subsequent move led to a decrease in net closet square footage. When Chris and I found out were were being evicted because our landlord was a victim of the housing crisis, I spent days and days sobbing as I sorted through my endless empire of crap.

Vintage clothes/accessories/etc. that I bought with the good-but-never-realized intentions to sew/alter/gift became my new enemy. I chastised myself over the sheer volume of STUFF I managed to accumulate?! I swore that I would never again collect junk just because I had a house and easy, regular access to the cheap, well-stocked thrift and antique stores of the Mon Valley. I made a promise to Chris that I would never again come home from my parents' house with a trunk full of what was essentially garbage.

My most vivid memories of this summer were of hauling my things: From the living room to the lawn for the yard sale; From my trunk to resale shops and Goodwill; From my front seat to the post office, where they would be mailed to their winning ebay buyers; From my rented home into Chris's parents' garage where the stuff that survived the ruthless edits lived for most of the summer. Thank goodness for their unwaivering generosity or else we would have needed to rent storage and throw away a lot of stuff we needed. It was during the time I spent hauling my stuff that I realized how important it is to stay on top of revising and editing one's things. I also have vivid memories of hauling our things out of that garage and into the new house after Chris finished working on the floors.

Professional movers are a luxury I've never known. We were lucky to have so many friends who were happy to be paid in beer, pizza, and the promise that we will return the favor someday. My most precious box of things that weren't coming with me to DC for the summer was kept out of the garage. I made my purse collection fit into one box. One big box. And I stored it separately just for peace of mind. Now two of those things contained in that box are off to their new owners. And one more is in the marketplace of The Purse Forum, waiting for a buyer.

I already mailed the ChloƩ Tracy to the buyer last month. Tomorrow I will ship the MBMJ Turnlock Teri. And the Kate Spade is still waiting for a new home but I am sure I will find one. I am eager to keep pace with an ethic of editing.

I make more room in my closet, more room in my life (because you can only really carry one bag a day), and more room in my budget if I don't allow myself to merely accumulate. When I examine my collection of goods, I evaluate what has been bumped to low rotation and what hasn't seen the light of day in recent memory. Making room for something new makes the entire process that much more exciting and that much more necessary! I wish my bags good luck in their future adventures!

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