So yesterday, after pumping myself up with that post about cleaning out my closet, I went and did it. I through all the shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses in my closet and asked myself, “Do I love it? Does it make me feel great?” (Turns out I should have been asking, “Does it still fit??”)

Because day-to-day classroom teaching is dirty work – I mean this literally; I was in contact with 150 public school students with varying degrees of personal hygiene a day, so sometimes I came home feeling like I’d been at the train station all day – I had a lot of work clothes that were serviceable, but not particularly flattering. In fact, I didn’t want to wear my favorite clothes to work because I was bound to come home with overhead marker on my sleeve and chalk dust in my hair. (This is no joke, I often referred to public school teachers as the ditch diggers of academia: lots and lots of hard, repetitive, under-appreciated work.) Also I was prone to procrastinating the ironing… suffice to say that I had enough dress shirts and outfits to get me through a month – easy.

So I filled two large shopping bags (mall size large) with clothes and posted them on freecycle as “Assorted Woman’s Clothes Size 6-8.” Within an hour I had a perky reply from somebody who’d just started a new office job and needed office clothes. I called her, we talked, I asked if she was a size 6 and she said she was. I got off the phone and decided to go through my closet again, even more deeply weeding out clothes.

I got rid of silk dresses, a wool ralph lauren skirt, ann taylor slacks, a silk suit (purple?!), and countless dress shirts.

I halved the clothes in my closet and it felt great.

Shortly thereafter, the woman who wanted my clothes arrived at my door. I gaped.

There was no way this smiling blond was going to fit into my clothes. She was a size 10 if that.

But what could I do? The point was to empty my closet after all. So as I turned to pick up the bags I swiftly grabbed a pale blue-green linen blouse that for sure wouldn’t fit her and tossed it back over my dining room chair, completed the turn, and handed her the bags with a fake grin plastered to my face. Enjoy them, I said. It was the only thing I could think to do under the circumstances.

Even more unbelievable? Several hours later she emailed to thank me and to say, Everything fits great!

How do I make that little steam symbol that always appears over Lucy’s head in the Peanuts comic strip?

I have to keep my eye on the prize though – there’s room in the closet! Plenty of space for Chad now. And really, when’s the next time I’m going to need a pair of lined wool pinstrip dress pants?

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