My Clothes Are Giving Me A Guilt-Trip

Christian Leboutin High Heels
Don't you love us anymore?? Please don't give us away.... 😦

I’ve undertaken an important and dangerous mission- cleaning out my closet. I might not survive it but I hope you will carry the stories of my heroism in cleaning to future generations. It’s a toss-up how this will kill me. Either I will suffocate in an avalanche of clothes or I will commit suicide from the guilt I feel in giving them away. Let me explain.

I believe we have covered how I often associate people feelings with inanimate objects. This is called “personification”. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called but I really like the word “personification” so there you go. Anyway, I sometimes feel that things that most likely (although no one has really proven this to me) don’t have feelings actually do have feelings. For example, I never slept with any of my stuffed animals as a child. Why? Because there really wasn’t room for all of them and I didn’t want to hurt any of their feelings in not including them. That is a true story. Another example is, I always alternate reading fiction and non-fiction, that way I don’t feel like I’m placing one over the other and therefore insulting one. This is just my way.

So, now it is definitely time to clean out my closet, and I am having a bit of a hard time letting go of my clothes and shoes. Not because I would still wear any of them- because I don’t want them to think I never loved them. Really. This isn’t even a joke- this is my real life. I just start to think back on all the good memories I had in those clothes or in those shoes and it makes me feel very sentimental towards them. And then I start to think about how I would feel if after years of being there for someone they just dumped me and sent me to live with someone else. I would be devastated. Just completely heartbroken. How can I inflict that type of pain on my cherished (though now very ill-fitting) clothes and shoes?? What kind of a monster am I?

Then, I take a deep breath and try to rationalize my way out of this (which takes a lot of effort). I can’t quite get myself to a point of not feeling like I’m hurting their feelings but I definitely talked myself into “re-purposing” them. Like maybe I am helping them find a new lease on life because they will probably be going to new homes that will love them and wear them more often. These clothes might actually have a higher calling than belonging to me. They might even change someone else’s life. Maybe. Yeah, I think that could happen. So, really what I am doing is a good thing. And though they might feel the prickly sting of rejection for a minute  they will soon rediscover the joy of belonging to someone who will actually wear them. The guilt is slowly receding.

I think I have actually talked myself out of my completely unnecessary guilt. Ok, I am now prepared to let these clothes go and even if they keep giving me a guilt-trip I really think I can handle it. Probably.

25 thoughts on “My Clothes Are Giving Me A Guilt-Trip

  1. Just stumbled upon your blog as I work on trying to pare down my closet a bit. I have way too many clothes. But I like buying clothes. I’ve cut down on the buying part, but I still have way too much. I would like to have a little less, but have a hard time rationalizing getting rid of stuff that a) fits and b) is in good shape. I just don’t wear all of it. Some of it’s not my style any more, some of it maybe wasn’t my style but it was received as a gift.

    1. Are your clothes giving you a guilt trip? You have to rationalize- sure, it’s in good shape but if you don’t wear it could someone be benefitting from you donating it? If the answer is yes- give it away. If the answer is no- then keep it. Just don’t let those clothes be the boss of you!

  2. Have you ever taken some worthless object, for example a rubber band and befriended it? Did you say something along the lines of “I shall call you Bandy” and then proceed to do strange things with Bandy like take him dancing or play monopoly? If so, then you probably have a condition called Sponge Bobitis and it affects millions of women every day.

  3. A french poet once said that objects, as time goes by, become a part of your life, that somehow we as humans have a connection with our solid objects. that’s why I was deeply sad when my mom sold her old car and got a new one. I completely understand what you’re saying, i think of them as humans who have feelings

  4. Ya know, I don’t feel any kinda attachment to the stuff in my closet BUT I have a similar personification when it comes to my tools, computers, vehicles etc… I guess a lot more people does it than I thought

  5. Let me offer another perspective.

    My favourite talisman/stuffed bear, Garbo, came to me because someone else was able to part with her.

    I pass on my clothes, books, etc because I know that others will get joy from them because of the joy Garbo brings to me.

  6. Tinafromthesoftballgroup says:

    I understand about the stuffed animals. I feel like I should store them in the plastic totes, but I don’t want to close the lids. They won’t be able to breathe.

  7. Maybe your old clothes and shoes have been waiting for you to break up with them. You know how it goes… the relationship just isn’t a good fit any more. But they have felt bad about leaving you. Like you might be too sad, if they just up and left. And sure enough, the nostalgia does make you a bit sad. But emotionally, the clothes and shoes have already checked out of the relationship. They just haven’t wanted to be the “bad guy” … waiting for you to figure it out for yourself. Now that you think back, you realize that they’ve seemed distant lately. You thought it was because of you, but now you realize they were just waiting for you to give them the freedom to move on.

    So hey, let them go. It’s for the best. It’s not you, it’s them. There are other fish, I mean shoes, in the sea, I mean shop. It’s better to have loved and lost… treasure the memories… wish them well in their new lives. It’s all you can do.

    Other than move to a place with more storage.

  8. theweeklyargus says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Every time I buy a new mesh body suit, I feel really bad about throwing away the old ones.

    I actually started giving them to Goodwill, so now, whenever I see a saucily dressed hobo, I feel a little better about myself.

      1. theweeklyargus says:

        I’m glad I could help! I plan on purchasing some new latex thongs as well, so you know what that means!!!

  9. If you love someone (something), set them free. I think your looking at it as re-purposing your clothes is great! In a way, you’ll be giving your clothes a chance to fulfill their life-purpose, plus you’ll be sending them off on a new adventure.

    Perhaps clothes like to travel and experience more of the world. And, I suspect your clothes are made of sterner stuff than you are giving them credit for. Sure, they might feel sad at having to leave, but they’ll probably grieve and then move on with their lives (while still fondly remembering their time with you).

    Of course, I don’t know your clothes personally, so I could be completely wrong.

  10. beyondthedepths says:

    Break-ups are always hard but can be good for both parties…sounds like it’s time for you and your clothes to go your separate ways…Somtimes we need that extra nudge to get out of relationships that just aren’t working anymore. I’m sure they’ll find someone who fits them perfectly.

    FD 🙂

    1. Thanks! It’s been rough but I think we will both be better off in the end. It wasn’t them- it was me. We just needed to take a “break”. It’s too bad we were just in different places in our lives. Ok- I think you have inspired me to write a post about breaking up…..

  11. I totally relate to your anthropomorphism (also a cool word for it). I am 25 and all my stuffed animals of which I have about a million are still in my parents basement because i refuse to get rid of them. I also feel guilty when giving away cloths but at least shirts don’t have faces. I think this is reletivly normal if you are like me and tend to overthing and project emotions on inanimate objects. I am glad to know I am not the only one with this… tendency/problem!

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