Keep it in your memory, not in your closet

For the past two days I’ve been on a mission to downsize my wardrobe.

We wear 20% of our closet 80% of the time. After perusing Pinterest for far too long and reading every “Create a Capsule Wardrobe” pin and “Kondo method” anecdote, I decide it was time to attack my closet and purge everything that

  1. Didn’t fit perfectly.
  2. Didn’t match with anything else in my closet
  3. Didn’t “bring me joy.”

For my work wardrobe and casual wardrobe, this was easy enough. I ended up tossing more than half of what was in my closet, resulting in 8 large grocery bags/canvas totes packed full with things that just weren’t right.

Then I got to my “running clothes drawers.” These are two very large drawers in my very large dresser crammed full with tank tops, tech tees, long sleeve tech tees, shorts, running skirts, capris and leggings. What usually happens is I dig through to look for the same handful of items, wear them to run, wash them, shove them back into the drawers and repeat the process week after week. There are tons of tops that I shove into the corners of the drawers because I know they don’t fit correctly or they’re itchy or nothing matches them… yet I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them.

Tonight I grabbed everything in said drawers and spread every item out on the floor of my bedroom. I easily found 10 tops that I don’t wear, right off the bat. I picked each one up and tried to rationalize keeping it.

“But this was the tech tee from my very first half marathon!”

“But this is the long sleeve tech tee from the local marathon… everyone has one! We can all match!”

“This was the top I wore to my first Disney race!”

Then I remembered something I had read in the umpteen pins I’ve saved to my “Let’s Get Minimal” Pinterest board: Keep it in your memory, not in your closet.

I will never wear the v-neck, faded neon yellowy-green tech tee with the weird pinkish-purple lettering that marks my first half marathon.

So I threw it out.

I still have the race medal, I still have the photo my mother-in-law took close to the finish of the race and I still have the online record of my time (2:06:10 — it was a trail half, and my first time ever on a trail, and I had no idea that the zig-zaggy line on the website was an elevation profile, nor did I know what an elevation profile was… but that’s another story). Bottom line: I don’t need the shirt.

Once I threw that one out, it was much easier to toss the rest. Bye, 5K tees! Bye, ill-fitting long sleeve race shirts! See ya, ugly sponsor-laden jacket!

I haven’t forgotten any race that I’ve run and I surely don’t need a tank, tee or long sleeve to remind me.


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