What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

19 August 2016

Overstuffed Drawers

There are two things I hate about clothes: 1) When one of my favourite things wears out, and 2) Having too many to know what to do with.

As far as the first one goes, well, nothing lasts forever. I mend (in defiance of Brave New World), I treat stains carefully, I line dry to keep the tumble dryer from wreaking its havoc. In the end, if I really like it, I might add it to a quilt or a pillow, or dust rags for the not-quite-as-well-loved items.

I have this thing for turning Chadwick's clothes
into soft furnishings, it seems.
One of my favourite Chadwick stories happened in our first year of marriage, when he had a t-shirt that he had loved almost to death, and for the sake of his own modesty I asked him to make it an at-home-only shirt. Of course he forgot and wore it to class one day. Sigh... so one weekend I took that shirt and an equally problematic pair of shorts and made them into throw pillows. He was so delighted, he told all his friends (and IIRC, they all agreed that that shirt was well past its usefulness as a body covering).

I know this is not something everyone can, or is willing, to do. No worries! The good news about green living is that there is room for a lot of things that work. Being a sewing person, I mostly can only thing of uses for old clothes that require a needle and thread, but people more imaginative than I can probably list a few more.

Which brings us to the second, and probably a lot more common, problem: What to do with the clothes spilling out of every available crevice of the house? A t-shirt quilt is not the solution to everything, unless you just really need a lot of blankets. Thrift stores are an obvious answer, although as a green solution it merely kicks the can down the road a bit, because then the thrift store has to get rid of any unsold clothes. (Some of them have really good solutions for this that don't involve the word "landfill." Ask before donating if the end use matters to you!)

In most places that I've lived, I've ended up amassing a group of friends who willingly swap clothes back and forth between us, which has been a great solution for me. My other solution is to refuse: say no to the free t-shirts that come flowing my way at every event I go to. Unless it's a shirt that's so great it knocks my socks off (and dangit, races have gotten a lot better at this), I leave it on the table.

Because especially for many of us in the U.S., the best solution to crammed closets is probably not to cram anything else into them.

What do you do about clothes?


Deborah Phalen said...

I have 5-6 shirts, 5-6 skirts, 3 pairs of pants, and 1 dress, and two nightgowns. And I wear it till I can't wear them in public anymore.

Su Wilcox said...

You're definitely out of the ordinary in this country, sad to say.