• Evan Wolkenstein

The Unbearable Lightness of Getting Rid of Stuff


The Style For Dorks Guide to getting rid of stuff. Clockwise from upper left. 1. Anything you haven’t worn in a year. 2. Anything that no longer fits. 3. Anything made redundant because you have a “better version” of it. 4. Anything with a stain.


I feel sorry for sweaters.

Allow me to explain.

I’m a sentimental person. I’d hope my friends would say that  this is what makes me a decent listener when they’re in crisis.  I empathize, I feel others’ pain. It’s worth it to be wired this way, because being a human being is about human feeling.

It has a few odd side effects.

1. Crying uncontrollably when Battlestar Galactica ended.  I take comfort knowing I am not the only one.


Cylons don’t wear ties. But when they do, they prefer to wear Cylon-Ties.


2. I feel sorry for sweaters whose time has come to complete the Circle of Life, and continue their journeys to the Sweater-Nightlands.


As a result of this somewhat misplaced sentimentality, I own the following:

  1. A Ted Baker blazer. Moleskin. Forest green, awesome lapel pin, gorgeous pattern. Too long. Don’t wear it.

  2. Diesel Blazer. Military khaki. Cowl neck collar. Sleeves are weird. Don’t wear it.

  3. Striped shirt from Target. Got two compliments on it, five years ago. Don’t like the collar. Don’t wear it.

I won’t bore you further.

What I remind myself: Styling-Up is not just about amassing stuff. Though I am good at that. It’s also about streamlining, refining. Curating. Editing.

In that sense, Styling-Up is exactly the same ongoing process as all learning, all growth. Continuously, we add new elements to who we are, and say goodbye to elements that have outlived their usefulness. Or rather, we try to. If it was easy, therapists would be out of a job.

It seems to be that the thing that makes growing difficult, as a human being, is that not only may we fear the unknown, we may feel sorry for the old-selves who we banish off to the Old Self Nightlands.

Forever may they ride.

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