Feb 25, 2011

Binge and purge: Can it ever be a good thing?

By no means is this post intended to make light of a tragic and serious medical condition.  Those who binge and purge to control their weight need our compassion and our encouragement to get help and get healthy.

But this isn't about that.  It's about a shopping binge.  And a closet purge.  (Or, as the Thrifty Decor Chick calls it, a "decrapification.")

First the binge.
I recently used my lunch hour to look for a new dress for a special dinner.  Tried on a few at one of my favorite chain boutiques,  but--of course--the ones I liked had price tags with numbers that hovered just under two Benjamins apiece.   Yes, I know that's nowhere near designer dress prices, but I'm an ordinary girl living in an ordinary world.  And speaking for ordinary girls everywhere, it makes us squirmy to pay full price for a dress we're going to wear for a season or two.    So I hit a nearby department store and hit the motherlode:  scads of winter and spring dresses in my size that I liked, all marked down or on sale.  Tried on a dozen or two, sent "how do I look?" cell phone pics to swimmer girl and with her help, selected four finalists.
Not naming any names, but....

The sum total for the quartet was about the price of one dress at the other place, which I still heart.  Just not at full price.

 So I felt pretty thrifty, although I guess I could have bought just one dress.  However, in my defense, experience has taught me when I find a dress (or dresses) I like at a price I like, buy it (or them.  Because it could be a long dry spell before that happens again.

Then the purge.
Our walk-in closet is in the space our former "master" bathroom occupied.  It is 40 inches deep and  80 inches long.  (When we added on a new bath, we made the new shower nearly as large as the entire old bathroom.)  Moving the closet to this space, as diminutive as it is by today's closet standards, freed up another 2 or 3 feet in the bedroom, and made the former wall of closet doors a usable wall.

However, as much as I love the new closet, its size regulates how much clothing we can hang (and therefore, hang onto.)  I'm just not a closet stuffer, so Mr. Official and I each have 80 nice wood hangers, and a self-imposed rule: if you don't have any extra hangers when a new item comes home, then something has to go to charity.  Simple as that.  That's where the purge came in.  The four new dresses meant four somethings had to go.  I took the opportunity to give away some less-favorite dresses and blouses before they become completely out-of-fashion (another rule of mine - why wait to give it away until no one else would be caught dead in it?)  Then I keep the purge going and went through all my clothes - sweaters, socks, t-shirts, nightgowns, everything.  Including several pairs of shoes that I had to admit I just don't wear any more.  Basically anything that was too big, or too tight, or pinches or binds, or otherwise makes me regret wearing.  They were all targeted for elimination.

When I was done, four bags were filled with items to donate, and one bag was filled with tired, grungy, unmatched, torn and otherwise unwearable items.  Off to the trash with it, because I don't need any more rags. My efforts motivated Mr. Official, and he cleared out three bags of clothing to donate, too. (Which is good, because sometimes he sneaks his dry cleaning hangers into his side of the closet, so he won't have to get rid of anything. Yes, that's called cheating.)

So I guess the conclusion is that an occasional binge and purge can be a good thing.  As long as we're talking about keeping our wardrobes updated and passing along the things we no longer need or use.  Speaking of which, I think I hear the linen closet calling for some purging, too...

Happy decluttering!