Showing posts with label Hoarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hoarding. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Confessions of a Clothes Hoarder

Yes, I said clothes hoarder, not the proverbial clothes horse.

I have decided that I am not just someone who likes clothes, I am, indeed, a hoarder.

Oh, not the kind of hoarder where my house is piled high with boxes and dead cats are found under old newspapers. In fact, I have a very tidy home with pristine kitchen counters and uncluttered surfaces.  Well, mostly uncluttered.  I go for the cottage look so that does require a few tchockes to decorate the place.

No, my hoarding is in one area:  clothes and other adornments, also known as accessories.

I know I am a hoarder and not just a clotheshorse, because for some reason, I want to own the thing, have it waiting for me in my closet, but not necessarily wear it. Well, not right away, anyway.

It started early.  Not that my family had the money to allow me to hoard clothes, but when I did get something new, I would not wear it right away.  I would save it for some special but undefined occasion. Just having it hanging in my closet waiting for me gave me a great deal of pleasure. When I met Hubby I was stunned to see him buy something new and immediately put it on and wear it. Why didn't he save it for a special occasion?

No, it's more about the HAVING the item than actually wearing it. My closets are shrines to clothing with the tags still on waiting for just the right moment to wear them!

We might not be aware of it, but clothes represent who we are to the world.  If we only wear sweatshirts and sweatpants, that says one thing about us.  It could say we like to be comfortable and don't really care what people think.  If we are always all buttoned up, it could say we are inhibited or shy.  If we always wear bright colored sexy clothes, we are probably saying, "Hey, look at me!" 

In my case, I haven't really settled down into one style. I think that clothing represents how I want to be, how I see myself at any particular time.  When I see an outfit, I picture it as something that will change my life and I must acquire it. If I put it on, I feel it will somehow transform me.  I am always looking for that perfect outfit.  It's kind of like my dad who played the trumpet.  He kept buying new trumpets hoping one of them would allow him to hit the high notes like Doc Severinsen.

The problem is that perfect outfit keeps changing depending on what is going on in my life, the styles of the day and the size of my body. Maybe that explains why I am such a hoarder. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince and in this case, I have to hoard a lot of clothes to have the right thing when I need it.  Plus, I enjoy the hunt.  However, I realize it's one thing to enjoy shopping, but when you find yourself with almost 100 jackets, hundreds of scarves and earrings, 25 pairs of boots, 100 pairs of shoes (or more but don't tell Hubby), coats up the wazoo, you know you have a problem.

I was lying in bed the other night thinking about this and realizing that there are not enough days left in my life to wear all of the clothes that I now own, especially when you take into consideration mixing and matching and what you can do with accessories.  And though we go out, I don't think there are enough events either that will require them.  I no longer go to work every day because I am retired.  The closest thing to a job I have nowadays is going to the gym so most days you will find me in what is now euphemistically called "active wear."

So I don't really need the sequined sweater that says "Librarians Do It Better" or the pencil skirt with the six-inch slit up the back.  I know I not only need to stop buying, I need to start getting rid of clothes. But even knowing that, there are things I just cannot resist:  anything with fringe, faux fur, velvet, leather and suede and anything sparkly.  You can see that there is a great deal of room for abuse there.

But clothing is a way to express myself.  And if you read my blog, you know I love to do that. But most of us express ourselves through how we dress whether we know it or not.  We use clothing to express our creativity and to put ourselves out to the world as a particular person.  If you see someone in tight pants, tight jacket and big glasses, you know he's a hipster.  If you see someone in bell bottoms, a headband and clogs, you know she is a hippie.  If you see someone in a bright colored dress with matching coat, hat, shoes and handbag, you know it's The Queen.

But me?  Us hoarders can't decide.  We want to be all kinds of different people.  One day I might want to be sporty and wear a cute hoody and another day dramatic in a black slinky maxi dress.  Or I might want to look like a 40's glamour queen or a rocker.  I go through these different phases, if you will.  And to make sure I can fulfill the desired look, I must have the requisite clothes hanging in my closet ready for whatever sartorial whim takes my fancy, right?

I think that's the only way I can explain some of these...uh, looks, and why I still have some of this stuff.  As Tim Gunn would say, "That's a lot of look!"


80's Rock & Roller.

Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach?"

I think I was going for a rockabilly look here.


Faux fur look. 

This is my "pinto pony" look. Or does it look more like skunk? I can't resist faux fur of any kind.  I have about 20 fake fur coats and jackets and it doesn't even get that cold here.


My "I love all things UK look."

I can't resist anything with the Union Jack on it even if a woman in her 60's wearing PLAIN Doc Martens would look ridiculous.

"Game of Thrones" got into my head a little here for this look.

I got this from one of those "goddess/witchy/sexy costumes for your husband" catalogs that also sells vibrators.  It even has a little hood with a tassel on the end. It's one thing if I had gotten it to tease Hubby but I've never worn it! 

This is a "Look at me!" look.  Look at me, I'm wearing wooden shoes!

If I could have taken those wooden shoes home from Amsterdam I would have.  I loved Hans Brinker.

And then there's this.  It's a gorgeous dress, but where will I wear it?

See?  It's a disease.

It doesn't help that one of my favorite ways to get exercise is to walk the mall. It's like an alcoholic being hired as the night watchman in a bar.  I walk the mall and if I see something that is 65% off I can't help myself.  Hell, even if it's not on sale and it's a faux fur coat with the Union Jack on the back or a fringed bathing suit, I have to have it.

Earlier today, I just strolled through Ross and bought a couple of muumuus.  Muumuus?  What have I become? But I imagined myself floating around the house like an ethereal hippie with my hippie name, "Violet Skye" that I got from a Facebook quiz.  Anyway, back to the muumuus.  Even though there were selling points I find hard to resist (they were only $9.98 each and "one size fits all!"), but muumuus?  How far have I fallen?  Have I hit my bottom?

So now I realize I am at an all-time low and that's why I an confessing.

So you get the picture.  There is a fine line between a fashionista who uses clothes as a way to express herself and a hoarder where the clothes use her.

So now I need to go back to that book I reviewed a few weeks ago (and made fun of) -"Spark Joy" - by that trendy Japanese de-clutter guru and get some tips.  I saw the author on "Ellen" and she demonstrated how we are supposed to decide what to keep and what to toss.  First of all, you are supposed to put all of your clothes in a big pile. Then, take one item at a time and hold it up to your body, close your eyes and see if it "sparks joy."  If it does, keep it.  If it doesn't, toss it.

Can you imagine how long that would take me and how hard that would be? I have a feeling every item would "spark joy," because I never know when I might need those zebra booties or that "witch jacket."

I know what I have to do, but as Scarlett O'Hara famously said in "Gone With the Wind," "I'll think about it tomorrow."

Right now, just thinking about de-hoarding has given me an anxiety attack and with all of this confessing I have done, I had to soothe my nerves with a little Ben and Jerry's which in turn made me think I should probably get some exercise at the mall.

Pray for me.
Thanks for Reading! 
See you Friday
for my review of the new Netflix original movie 

"Special Correspondents"

 The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on
"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before

 I Die Project."

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Confessions of a Baby Boomer Consignment Queen: Tips for Making Money on Those Clothes You Don't Wear Because Your Are Retired, Too Fat or Too Old

I may have already mentioned that I have three closets full of clothes. 

I think I might be a hoarder. 

So when I retired, there was at least one closet's worth of clothes I would probably never wear again. 

What to do?

I talked about how to have a successful garage sale back in June of 2014, but you can read between the lines and tell that I will never, ever do one again.

I can't stand to see people going through my stuff, especially my clothes, and asking with disdain if I will take a quarter for my leather moto jacket instead of the $1.00 I am asking (that I paid $300 for)!

When I was working I tried to be trendy, but I mostly wore suits. Since I was the manager, I wanted to have an air of authority.  Now that I am retired, the only ones I have any authority over are Hubby and the dogs, and I don't need a suit to tackle that task.

So with a yard sale out of the question, what to do?

I have discovered consignment shops.

What better incentive is there than money to get you to go through your closets and weed out those size 2 short shorts, the white poet's blouse that makes you look like a mime and those gi-normous hoop earrings that are probably not a good look for a 60-something?

I have to admit I got sweaty the first few times I took my clothes in. 

Well, OK, I still do.  But I can't help it.  Those items were selected especially for me by me and they are my babies, every single one of those 72 jackets I own.  What if they don't want my St. John suit?  OK, I didn't have a St. John suit, but I had nice ones.  What if my clothes are rejected?  What if she doesn't want my fringed Betsy Johnson purse or my purple Steve Madden boots?

I have to say my first experience was quite good.  The consignment shop owner did not sniff disapprovingly at anything and took almost all of my items.  It's been a good relationship.

I have been doing this for almost a year now and have some tips for you first time consignors:

***Tips for Happy Consigning***

The hardest part is going through all of your clothes and accessories.

I know, it's hard, sweaty work and it can be very emotional.  But like I said,   you might make some money.  Let that be your incentive.

But you must be ruthless.  You might say to yourself, if I just lose 40 pounds I can fit into those size 4 capris, again, right?  NO!  You will probably NOT lose that 40 pounds so put those capris in the pile to go to the consignment shop!  That tulle evening dress you wore to your 40th birthday party?  That was 20 years ago! Out!

What about those stripper shoes with the nautical theme?  (Thanks, Hubby). 

You should probably just chuck those.

And the bikini?  Don't even think about it.

Off to the consignment store!  

I don't mean to be harsh but that is how you need to talk to yourself if you are ever going to part with anything. 

You need to have a good eye for what people will want.

I hate to tell you this but people shop consignment stores as if they were at Neiman Marcus. They are fussy. They are almost as bad as garage sale shoppers, but at least you don't need to be there to see them reject your stuff. This isn't vintage shopping, though there are usually some very high end vintage items at consignment stores. 

You must look at your own stuff with a buyer's eye. 

Is it in season?  Is it in good shape?  Is it in style?  Would I buy this again? Would only a stripper by those shoes? All good questions to ask yourself as you select your items to consign.

Choose a shop where you don't have to bring in dry cleaned clothes. 

I mean, by the time you do that, you will owe THEM money.

Certainly you want to take in items that are clean and in good shape, but the first place I tried, that was the deal.  It was run by a couple of old ladies and though I am an old lady myself, my clothes are decidedly NOT.  Many of my items sold, but the shop was not very busy so...

Choose a shop with a good location as in lots of foot traffic.

Thrifting and shopping consignment shops depends quite a bit on browsing and that needs foot traffic.  My favorite consignment shop is in a shopping center so people can shop for groceries and then buy my stuff!

Choose a shop that uses a website that keeps track of your items so you will remember what you have consigned and how you are doing.

Otherwise, it would certainly be easy for you to get cheated. The shop I go to uses a website called MyResaleWeb.  It has drop down menus for your State, then your store.  The store gives you an ID number and when you add that and your last name you can see everything you have left there, what is sold and how much they owe you.  You can also see when it's time to pick up the items that did not sell.  If the store you use, doesn't have something like that you might want to tell them about that website.

Speaking of which, when you first sign up at the consignment store, you usually have the option of getting your items back after the selling period (usually two months). 

I opted to get my items back, but be aware that when you pick up the items that didn't sell, it can be emotional. 

Try not to brood over why someone didn't want your Keep Calm and Get Over It t-shirt or your Union Jack top from Forever 21....  or better yet, maybe just tell them you don't want to see the stuff again and to give it all to Goodwill.

Now march yourself into your closet right now and start pulling out all of those clothes and shoes you will never wear again!

I'm sorry.  I don't mean to be harsh but you and I both know it needs to be done.  And you will thank me when those consignment checks start rolling in.

Then you can go shopping for more clothes!

Happy consigning!

Thanks for Reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 
"Ricki and the Flash" 

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on

My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

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