When I help someone organize their closet, we take everything out, from the wedding dress to the suit you wear to work three times a week to the pile of jeans you wish would fit.
Once we start sorting things into piles, we always find the t-shirts. They’re raggedy and misshapen. They don’t fit and they look so dated. Many of them are designated as “rags” but there they are in the back of the clothes closet anyway. They’ve got everything from college logos across the front to Springsteen tour dates on the back. Many of them were black but quite a few are so faded that only you remember what color they originally were.
And everyone wants to keep them all.
- They’re good to run in.
- They’re back up sleepwear.
- They’re just so comfortable (holes and all).
They’re my t-shirts! I need them!
When we wore these t-shirts, we were young and the world was full of possibilities. We were going to get out there and make our mark on the world. And while we love our life now, it’s just the teensiest bit less exciting than we’d hoped it might be back when we were young and dreaming. Somehow, getting rid of the t-shirts is like snapping the final thread connecting us to vision of a life touring as a back-up singer, teaching surfing in Hawaii, becoming a big shot Nobel prize winner.
- Can you consider saving your five favorite t-shirts and letting the rest go?
- Could you make a quilt out of them?
- How about asking someone to take your picture in each t-shirt, creating an album or a collage of the photos and then letting the t-shirts themselves go?
Could you gather them all up in your arms, give them the biggest hug ever and thank them for connecting you to your dreams? Remind them (and yourself) that although you may not be everything you thought you’d be, your life is still pretty amazing, with a whole lot of wonderful things you never dreamed could happen way back when. If you want to, start writing down all the things you love about your life right now. Then let the t-shirts go…
If your closet is stuffed to the gills, contact Joyful Surroundings LLC for compassionate, creative, and totally nonjudgmental decluttering & organizing services.