The Art of Leaving Clothes Behind

I find deleting text messages easy. I find throwing out old assignments fairly easy (there are several I can’t bring myself to get rid of, but mostly I’m okay). What I don’t find easy is getting rid of an item of clothing or an old journal. These are the two items that I will always feel bad about putting in the bin or sending off to an op shop.

I didn’t enjoy reading any of my old journals from when I was seventeen and younger. They were cringe worthy, filled with the thoughts of a young girl who was dramatic and thought the world was ending every other day. Some things were for sure important; the friends who came and went, the bullies who were stood up to, the teachers who made an impact, whether that be positive or negative.

Even though these journals were rather awkward to read, I had trouble throwing them out. They’re gone now, the only journals I own now being written by eighteen or nineteen year old Sarah, and these journals I don’t know that I’ll ever throw out, because they tell my story of when God and I got real real, not just real. These journals are filled with revelations and worship experiences and prayers and visions, and I love rereading them. They still speak to me.

One day I decided to go through all my diaries and I read them and I chucked them in the bin. Nothing spectacular. I suppose I felt slightly bad because I know of the effort I went into writing all those thoughts; I kept a diary almost every day all the way through high school, and so to get rid of them was kind of like parting with myself. But I think it was something I had to do. They didn’t bring me joy, they didn’t hold any information that I wanted to keep. Who wants to remember their awkward teenage phase, am I right am I right?

So into the bin they went, and I was filled with this relief at knowing no one would ever read them (that’s how cringey they were). So in reality, the thought was harder than the action of getting rid of my old journals. I realized that it wasn’t me betraying gorgeous younger me, it was me just moving on and not keeping something that wasn’t worth all that much to me.

Throwing out clothing is harder, and something I still don’t usually enjoy. In my previous post, I talk about remembering clothes and how a part of your life they become. I don’t struggle with throwing out a shirt that I simply don’t wear anymore, because I know it did me well for the season where I, sometimes literally, wore it to bits. What I do struggle with is saying goodbye to an item that I love love loved.

When I was a kid, I didn’t want to send my purple jacket away. It didn’t matter that I was simply too big for it, I wanted it. And that has continued. I don’t want to get rid of this dress, not because I like it, because I don’t, but it was the dress I wore to this or that. But sometimes we have to let go, and even though I now understand why, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I’m not an overly sentimental person; I don’t like clutter or having heaps and heaps of things, so I like throwing things out and I only have one box of things from when I was a kid. But every now and then, like clothes, I come across something and I just don’t like seeing it leave the comfort of my closet. Wardrobes are kind of precious, though not really. Clothes are just clothes, but sometimes they’re more than that. I’m not going to go around treating my clothes like people, but some pieces of clothing really do serve us well.

I like all the de-cluttering advice you find on the internet. I know you’ve heard of them; the ten piece wardrobe, the getting rid of things you haven’t worn in a month or two, the don’t keep anything that doesn’t give you joy. I love this kind of stuff, because even though it’s hard to get rid of clothes, it’s the best feeling to open your cupboard doors and see not cramped clothes creasing each other, but clothes spread out, and the feeling that when you look at your wardrobe, you like everything that’s in there. So go ahead and de-clutter your wardrobe, friend. It’s worth it. And sometimes letting go of an item (or ten) is exactly what you need.

Until tomorrow, campers,

Sarah xx

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