I rarely ever get sick. I suppose I have an illness-inflicted childhood to thank for that; as a young kid I was constantly germ-ridden and every few weeks I’d be stuck in bed with some new ailment. Never just small things either, it was never an ordinary cold. It was always an ear infection combined with strep throat and laryngitis, or the one Christmas where I was battling whooping cough, the chickenpox and tonsillitis. I kept my parents rather busy as a child.
Being an incubator for amoebae from such a young age means I thankfully developed quite a resistance to germs as I grew older. I get the odd sore throat here or there that will last 24 hours, but rarely do I get sick…yet when I do, the walls come down. Such is the case as I sit here typing this with a flu that is not entirely unlike the plague. I have a fever that hasn’t broke for three days, a head that feels like it weighs 100lbs and this neat fluctuating body temperature issue where I’ll go from freezing to drenched in sweat in about 2.5 seconds.
The flu is fun.
So given my current state where I can barely stand up long enough to make a cup of tea without wanting to pass out, I figured perhaps keeping this random act of kindness small would be a good idea. As I dug out my polar bear onesie PJs—the kind with the feet attached that I only wear when I’m sick—and attempted to close the drawer overflowing with clothes, it became pretty clear what I should do.
I am a clothes hoarder, and I do not like cleaning out my closet. I have clothes from years ago that I either never wore or currently don’t fit into that, for some reason, I find necessary to keep. I’m guilty of telling myself the classic “You’ll fit into these again one day” lie that is so blindly hopeful. Having an older sister who is the same size as me also doesn’t help, because I gleefully accept anything she passes down to me yet I rarely wear any of the items because I just have such an over abundance of it all. Shoes are probably the worst; I can’t walk in heels yet I seem to have an entire collection of them, hoping that one day I’ll be graceful enough to pull them off. Boots, peep-toes, wedges, sandal, stilettos, pumps…you name it, I have it in at least 3 different colours. Most unworn, others have seldom seen the light of day.
I peeled myself off the couch long enough to make it downstairs to my closet, where I promptly threw myself on the other couch and took a little nap. I dreamed of my criteria: if the clothes no longer fit, then they go in the donation pile. If I hadn’t worn said article of clothing in a year or more, it goes in the donation pile.
I started off with the easy target: the shoes. All but a few pairs went straight into the donation pile; I’m just not a shoe person. I wear 2 or 3 pairs faithfully and that’s all I need. Next, the clothes closet. As I rifled through the hangers, I grew ashamed of how many clothes I forgot I had. I was pulling out shirts and pants that I had completely forgotten about. After a few hangers were in the pile, my illness-induced narcoleptic tendencies kicked in and I unintentionally fell asleep on the donation pile. I must’ve been out awhile, because it was dark outside when I woke up. In fact, it’s not unlikely that I may have completely lost consciousness—this flu bug is a bitch like that.
By the time I was done, I think the final tally was 9 pairs of pants, 16 pairs of shoes, 30 tops and 19 skirts/dresses. Usually I’d just drop them off at a Goodwill box, but this time I decided to donate them to a local women’s shelter—there are some damn nice pieces in the pile and those women deserve all the good in the world, so I hope it makes them smile. The clothes are currently still in a heap in my basement and served as the resting place of about 3 impromptu naps, so once this plague decides to stop using my body as a host, the clothes will get a good washing/disinfecting before I fold them up and bring them in.
Right now, though, I really need another nap.
RYOT Note: A lot of us that have an abundance of clothes while others do not share the same luxury. A great way to clean out your closet and make a difference in someone’s life is by donating the clothes you no longer use. The Salvation Army accepts clothes and other household item donations and will even come pick them up from you! Items you donate will be sold through the Salvation Army’s Family Stores. The funds raised support their Adult Rehabilitation programs which provide physical, spiritual and emotional support for program participants. Your donations can also be claimed as a deduction on your income taxes! Help today by cleaning out your closet or by sharing this story.