While I'd love to relax and de-stress to free activities like an hour of yoga or cleaning my room, those methods simply don't work for me. To be perfectly honest, I've never understood how cleaning can help anyone relax. Small tasks like cleaning off the top of my dresser actually stress me out more than leaving the piles of jewelry, price tags and empty water bottles where they lay.
But I digress.
So in participating in my therapy sessions, I accumulate quite a few articles of clothing. Rest assured, I shop at cheap stores so I get a lot for my money. (Forever21, H&M and Express, especially with the sweet associate discount, are oh so kind to me.) Since I'm a habitual shopper, I tend to buy what's trendy so I tire of it quicker than most. Couple the huge quantity of textiles with my ability to hoard crap like a squirrel before winter and I'm left with a very full closet and drawers that can barely open.
Starting last summer after my freshman year of college, I donated two large garbage bags of very gently worn clothes to Big Sisters of Rhode Island and gave some to my younger cousins, who were eager to raid my wardrobe. I finally got around to unpacking my clothes from school this year (yes I moved home two months ago, stop judging me) and realized I was in dire need of purging my closet again. Then just like that, nostalgia hit. The overflowing laundry basket at my feet is full of tops worn on first dates, message tees bought as jokes and a shirt worn for well over 24 hours when I went to Paris for a week on a senior class trip and my luggage went to Mumbai and Milan, courtesy of Delta, the greatest airline in the world.
It's so hard to let go of the memories that the clothes carry. I'm well aware that it's probably shallow and overly dramatic. Some people scrapbook, I shop. So I'll give the clothes away, for a cousin or a complete stranger to maybe wear on her first date. And I'll continue to do what I do, creating a nice little cycle. It may be a weak justification for spending money, but what other kind of therapy is reusable?