I’m completely convinced that you have no idea how much shit you have until you have to consider the logistics of moving said shit across a province and an ocean and into a tiny basement suite on an island.
I started purging early. Or, at least I started trying to purge early (I’m a bit of a hoarder/packrat/overall disaster and I’m sentimental to boot). My early days of packing consisted of putting everything I wanted to keep in the big box that used to house a barbecue, and putting the 1 or 2 or maybe 3 things that I decided to donate in a black garbage bag (that’s still sitting in my room, by the way). Soon, the big BBQ box was overflowing, and I moved on to filling smaller boxes.
So, what I ended up with is all my shit rearranged into way too many boxes. Looking at it I know that it’ll be absolutely impossible to cram all of that into a minivan, and that means I’m going to have to go back and seriously purge.
And so I did.
I started going through my clothes again, and again, and then one more time for good measure. I think that’s the secret to a deep clean–repeated purging. Each time I went through my shrinking wardrobe I was able to get rid of something new. Some of it was too small (leftovers from my tiny days) and some of it was just not my style anymore (I went through a Missy Elliot-influenced Adidas zip-up phase) and some of it I was holding on to for sentimental reasons… and it’s not practical to hang on to an orange chiffon skirt and pink cardigan from Primark (although, as I write this, I am re-thinking getting rid of the skirt. Hmm.) just because I bought them on my trip to Scotland in 2012.
By the end of it, I was sweating buckets and my back was screaming at me, but I’d collected 3 almost-overflowing black garbage bags of goods to donate. Shoes, outerwear, jeans, dresses, etc. You name it; I donated it. So, if you live in Edmonton and you’re in the market for a nude pair of patent leather, platform Maryjane pumps, or black and white floral-patterned chinos… there’s a good chance they are coming to a VV near you.
As much as it was a really emotional process–I have a tendency to get attached to things–it felt really, really good to clean out my closet in a real way. And I mean, all of this stuff was just sitting in my closet, never getting worn by me… but now it can have a new life and actually get used by someone else.