The spirit of 111 lives on!

So last month I wrote four posts about the 111 things in 1/11 project, initiated by my friend Jenny, that involved a weekly purging throughout the whole first month of the year. Many things were thrown away, or put in bags to give away. I had 4 pretty heavy bags of stuff to bring to a Goodwill or Salvation Army–but not having a car, and not being close to either of those fine establishments, the stuff sat in a closet for a while.

I could sense the stuff lurking in the shadows of our coat closet, just waiting to somehow infiltrate our house again with its clutter–I had to find a way to get it out of there before it outsmarted me.

I soon realized that I had to enlist the help of a friend with a vehicle. So about a week ago, my friend Carrie offered up the trunk of her car, and we drove my purged stuff and her purged stuff out to a Salvation Army. Of course, a thrifting expedition ensued in which we also shopped at Salvation Army. And Plato’s Closet. It was inevitable–the call of Thrifting is powerful, and no one tied me to the mast to prevent it.

Since Salvation Army didn’t have a dressing room, we ended up in front of a mirror in the corner (curiously the place where the highest traffic was occurring), throwing clothes on and peeling them off again under a hideous set of fluorescent lights, jostled by passerbys, employees and children, all while trying to keep an eye on our purses, which were in a heap on the floor. There was a strange smell in the air that clung to all the clothing, but when a shirt costs $1.56, who’s complaining? What smell? We’re all friends here!

And the trip to Plato’s was a smash hit–how I love that store. Definitely pricier than Salvation Army, but I’m willing to pay a little more for the comfort of a dressing room and the quality of the clothing. Every other dress on the 3 + racks was calling my name.

Anyway, I came home with some adorable dresses and three cute tops. And a multicolored scarf that looks either funky/cool, or like a crocheted afghan your granny knitted. As I rifled through my purchases with the satisfaction of having found great deals, it suddenly ocurred to me that I couldn’t just welcome these new items into my closet with open arms.

There were going to be strings attached. Conditions. Terms. A notarized agreement between us.

The terms: I determined to get rid of 1 clothing item for each new clothing item coming into the rotation. I couldn’t in good conscience participate in the 111 challenge and then just buy 111 more things! Then, my existence would have proven meaningless and void of purpose. I would be discovered and called out as a fraud. My friends and family would shun me, and I would have to go live in a cellar on bread and water, with the rats of Chicago as my only allies.

Having just gone through my closet and purged the undesirable items contained therein for the 111 challenge, this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. But I did it! And here’s the pile:

I also realized that my style is becoming much less edgy these days. I used to thrive on wearing shocking combinations: a hippy skirt over jeans, scarves wrapped around my head; layers of sheer fabric under regular shirts. Weird transparent black things over other things. But this lacy number seemed a little too emo for me. Goodbye, wild days of my youth!

And welcome, adorable yellow vintage-type dress.

Welcome, filmy blue hippy-Grecian-classic light and airy summer number!

I love the brown detailing along the neckline:

And hello, little racerback dress with the flounces!

I plan on wearing you over jeans with a little cardigan tossed on top. I love the texture of the silk and lace layers.

I’m going to challenge myself to keep this up this year–when an item comes in, an item must go out. On one hand, this will keep tabs on my shopping, because unless I truly love an item I won’t want to sacrifice another for it. And it will keep the bounty in my closet to a dull roar.

It’s a plan.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

18 thoughts on “The spirit of 111 lives on!

  1. Kimby

    Sounds like your 111 project is coming along nicely. That racerback dress is darling! It always amazes me to see what people donate to thrift stores — my latest “finds” were a beautiful 1957 American College Encyclopedic Dictionary (ever the word lover…) and a gorgeous brown velvet gown to wear to my niece’s wedding. Have fun deciding what goes out the door next!

  2. skippymom

    If you ever need to donate stuff or large things with no car to do so call your local chapter of the Lupus foundation [It’s a 1-800 number, sorry I can’t remember it]. They will set up a pick up and come out and get your stuff. It is awesome and free! We empty our garage this way. They came out three times in three weeks, happily. And it is a great cause. Just a thought.

    I love Plato’s closet too – because I of the girls – but the clerks that work in ours are so dippy they drive me nuts when I go in there. I let the hubs deal with it. Love the last dress – so cute.

    Think I might have to take the girls shopping over break. Oh – and my older daughter found her prom dress at Goodwill for $9 – it was gorgeous, in perfect condition. It cost me more to dry clean. 🙂 Love a deal.

  3. June

    You think your family will shun you for having too much stuff? Seriously? Have you MET your grandmother/aunt/other aunt/me??

    Please come to my house and help me purge! (And then we can shop rummage together…)

      1. Erica

        June!! I will help you purge! I LOVE purging. I think i got it from the NOT Menn side. Whenever I am near you geographically, we will have to have a purging date. Purge purge purge purge!

  4. Sarah

    what a good plan 🙂 i’m in the midst of no-spend early feb to spring break because i feel too attached to shopping and buying a bunch of stuff i don’t need!


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