How many of you have excess in your lives? I know I do. In my former life as a clothes collector, I amassed quite a wardrobe. My clothes are nice. They are adorable. I baby them and keep them in great condition (some among you may have even witnessed actual tears at items that went through the dryer by accident). I also gain weight. And my tastes change. I get tired of things but have a hard time parting with them sometimes because I feel like “I spent good money on it” or “I might lose weight” or “I might love it again some day” when the fact of the matter is, that stuff goes in space-saving bags in the basement only to be touched again in a year or so, and I didn’t shrink, I still don’t like it, and the money I spent on it isn’t doing me any good. Yet, I keep it. A lot of people probably do the same thing for the same reasons. I have girl friends. I know how we operate.
My partner Daniel is super good at purging items, but I get anxiety from it. For a lot of years, when I felt alone as a person, I got a sense of comfort and even self-worth from items like clothes and shoes. Someone once said to me “I’ve known you for 4 years and I’ve never seen you wear the same outfit.” That was a proud moment for me! Not to say I didn’t wear the same items, but I had so many that I could mix and remix them while adding new pieces to the mix constantly. I have learned, however, that it is better to choose quality over quantity, and I have started mixing and remixing items that I truly love, and now the large quantity of clothes and shoes feel more like a burden than anything else. I think it would be safe to estimate that I wear less than 30% of the clothes and shoes that I own. What to do with them? Obviously donating is a good idea, but, to where? There are so many options.
Enter The Surplus Project. An idea born from wanting to get rid of excess but not being sure where it could be best utilized. You can read more about it on their site, but I felt like I needed to add my two cents about why I think it’s a great idea and why I am excited to participate.
Thank you Alison and Tiffany for coming up with this idea. Count me in!