Throwing Out is Hard to do

by Rachel Felder | in The Tell All, Underwear

There are plenty of seemingly complicated things I’m pretty good at: cooking risotto, dj-ing, finding the one extra-marked-down silk bra in my size at a crowded lingerie sample sale.  But when it comes something most people find easy — cleaning out their underwear drawer —  I’ll admit it: I stink.

It’s not that I’m a potential cast member of Hoarders, or even much of a packrat in general.  But underwear’s always been filled with emotion and memories for me…so much so that the idea of chucking the bra I wore on a big first date, or the red satin garter belt I bought in Rome (even if it is a size too big), just seems too much to bear.  Every time I think about sorting out my bulging lingerie drawer, on goes Joni Mitchell’s Blue and out floods my usually-latent sentimental side.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying to be a bit more conscientious about purging out old things on a regular basis. It’s come after a period of bigger picture “cleaning house”: a divorce, home renovation, and a handful of juice cleanses too.  Between all that transition and buying a bunch of pretty new underpinings, getting rid of some of my old stuff has simply become a necessity.

My latest cleanout included some obvious bits (like overwashed cotton bikinis with fraying elastic) mixed in with plenty of pieces that, as they hit the garbage can, felt like a dramatic statement of closure.  (Case in point: the underwear I wore on my wedding night, yellowed and unworn for years.)  But I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t need those garments to remind me of the good times I had wearing them…or how far I’ve come since then.  In fact, not having them around feels like cumbersome baggage — more metaphorical then physical, actually — has been happily removed from my life.

Sure, there will always be a few special old things I’ll hang onto, even if they don’t get worn much.  And I’m never going to win a neatness award for my (still overstuffed) underwear drawer.  But getting rid of unworn relics isn’t quite the emotional ordeal it used to be…particularly when I think about the lovely new purchases that can fill their empty space.

What’s the one piece that you’ll never be able to throw out?

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