Friday, July 5, 2013

Reverse Striptease

Do this once a year, at least. Twice a year for bonus Peace of Mind.....

First, be home, alone. And know that you will have at least a couple of hours of solitude.

Second, put on your best house cleaning music. The stuff that gets you a-moving and a-grooving. The 'Grease' Soundtrack, Green Day's 'American Idiot', Stavinsky's 'Rite of Spring' - or a playlist of all three of these on shuffle.

Now open your closet doors, dresser drawers, clothing in bins, stuff in boxes under the bed, get the contents of your hamper, everything on the coatrack, the items in storage for Winter - Every stitch of clothing that you own. 
Not shown: Tension so intense it causes
the propeller to spin.
From your spats to your baseball glove to your helicopter beanie cap. 
All of it.
And try it on.
Every single item. 
One item at a time.

And see if it fits. Be honest, just this once. 
Not "I can fit back into these".
Not "I'll grow into this".
Not "the 14 belts it takes to attach to this to my person are trend-setting". 
Nope. Fit now, or never.

The things that do fit go into one pile. Everything else goes into another. Don't hang it up again or anything - just keep the line moving. Yes, no, yes, no, no, yes.
  • Hats. If you put it on and get a migraine, then its a no. If you put it on and then quickly move your head to the right (like you just glimpsed Hugh Jackman being rubbed down with oil) and your hat stays pointed at the mirror, then its a no. (Note: If your hat fits nicely but says "Ricky Martin Forever!" on the front, then its also a no.) 
    It's fine, unless I think.
    Then it pops right off.
  • Shirts. Put on a shirt and then make the 'Y' from 'YMCA'. If you can now see your belly button, then take it off - if you can - and toss it in the no pile. If your navel remains covered but when you take your arms down the shirt slides off both shoulders and pools on your elbows, then it's a no. Unless you are a stripper by trade.
  • Pants. Being able to button your pants is not an automatic yes. You must also be able to respirate freely, pick up a coin off the floor and be able to sit down without discharging the top button with sufficent force to shatter the full-length mirror.
  • Shoes. If at the end of dancing to one song (ex. Greased Lightning, Give me Novacaine, Danse de la terre) you cannot see straight and are at risk of committing homicide, then they are too tight. Conversely, if the first time you raise your foot (to make one of your 'go-to'
    This just aint gonna happen.
    moves) you launch the shoe across the room and knock the cat unconscious, then your shoes are terminally loose.

At the end of this manic reverse striptease you should have two piles. 1) "Yay, it fits!" and 2) "Boy, the dryer sure makes things shrink...."
  • The No pile goes into paper grocery bags and is taken directly to the car, while your resolve is still strong. It is then delivered to a reputable charity or non-profit during your next driving excursion. Trust me - you won't miss these items. Really. (And if you do end up losing the weight someday, celebrate with new clothes!)
  • The Yes pile gets folded or hung back up. Hey, look at all the room in my dresser! I can see the back of my closet! There's room under the bed!

Now everything you own fits you comfortably. 
Savor that fact. 
Peace of Mind, baby. A user-friendly wardrobe is like a bucket full of Zoloft. And the refills are free.

No amount of heelage can fix this problem.
PLUS! You've now provided clothing for those less fortunate, perhaps allowed a non-profit to generate some welcome income, and in a small way, helped out a Society that is swimming in goods already.

In two hours you can help your psyche, help your environment and help the world, with no cost whatsover, and with some bonus cardio along the way. Win-win-win!

Angus McMahan

P.S. Gals: You still own too many shoes. Guys: You still own too many hats.


  1. You can never own too many shoes:)

    1. Not surprisingly I was thinking of you when I added that part. ;-)

  2. I go through this ritual twice a year as well. I must admit that I am less ruthless than you ... I allow myself one spacebag of reprieve clothes. They get to stick around even though they don't fit now but might next time I try them on. They only get to be in the bag for 6 months and then they are out - either back into my wardrobe or off to charity.

    1. Agreed. I always retain a few shirts that have sentimental value, knowing full well that it is 'just a matter of time'. (Just not, you know, 'this time'.)

  3. I agree it is crucial to be totally committed to getting the No stuff out of your space and life. However, I would allow some alternatives to thrift store dumping. Like, Oh, I don't know... some big clothing swap thing put together by wacky pagans...

    1. I agree! Hence the inclusion of the phrase "perhaps allowed a non-profit to generate some welcome income....." :-)

  4. I'm still tripping that this is about organizing your closet.

    1. Well, yeah! It's just a Self-help PSA - nothing more. :-) I just changed the title, 'cuz "Put On Your Clothes" was kinda yawny.