I made a lot of progress, generating four large plastic garbage bags full of things to give to a woman's shelter. Some of the items were brand new, still with tags, which I had bought on a whim and never used. (This was in the distant past; now I've solved that problem by never shopping for clothes.)
The whole process got a lot easier when I decided to generate an "intermediate" pile of things I might want to keep or might want to throw away or might want to give away. This simple decision enabled me to empty the closet much faster.
So here is my closet, thanks to my new cell phone's camera which only took me about half an hour to figure out how to use:
|Actually this is just half my closet,|
but - trust me - the other half
looks the same.
And here is my "intermediate" pile:
|That's the storage container,|
barely visible at the bottom,
and a second "intermediate" pile
beginning to grow on the left.
It may be difficult to understand why this "intermediate" pile looks like most of the clothes that were previously hanging in the closet, so I'll explain:
- My first "grown-up" skirt, bought at Frost Bros. in downtown San Antonio when I was in high school. This was the first time I gave myself permission to shop at a fancy store, after growing up in a simple yet poor neighborhood. Long outgrown, but it still makes me feel special every time I look at it. And - who knows - I might be able to fit in it again someday; it's a nice shade of teal.
- The "little black dress" bought by my high-school/early college boyfriend at Bonwit Teller (another classy store) in Boston for a college dance. The boyfriend is long gone, but the dress is still a classic, considering that it's nearly fifty years old. Black silk crepe with a draping skirt and a line of rhinestones around the gently scooping neck. I wonder if I'll ever be a size 11/12 again?
- A nice "wind suit" (remember those?), only about 35 years old, and in a size Large so it's not altogether out of the question that I could wear it again someday. And it's windy in Panama, so this might come in handy.
- And about thirty other items with similar histories.
Yes, I know we discussed how emotional attachment to material things is not good. But there are some memories I'm not quite ready to let go of just yet.
Perhaps by the time of the final packing. I will know when it's time.
And if not then, they can always go into commercial storage with the billions of other things from millions of other people's memories.