post grad grind

I am a Clothes Hoarder…

A couple months ago when I was working in retail, I quickly realized why I’ve hated cleaning my room. This may seem irrelevant to my retail job but really, if you take a look at my room and all the clothes and useless junk I’ve accumulated over the years, it might begin to make sense. Folding clothes, cleaning after other people and putting things in their proper places at the store was an epiphany for me. I hate cleaning up after messy people, let alone straightening things up after people have tried on clothes they aren’t going to buy. So this might make some sense after I soon realized, I might be that same messy person I had to clean up after…

I guess I have fast fashion (cheap clothing stores) and college to blame for my messy room. It’s not that it’s extremely messy, I’m pretty organized, but I think I’m just scared to throw things out. College was tough because I didn’t bring everything I had at home to school and I allowed myself to buy cheap things I could wear on a whim at school or useless crap that could distract me from my studies. (Did I really need a new dress for every weekend party? But it was only $10!) But then I brought everything home…

The worst thing about moving back home from college (and I’m already a year in,) is the fact that when you have a job and your life changes, your stuff has got to change too.

At moments I feel like a person on the Hoarders t.v. show because I can’t seem to part with the crap I have. I wish I could dump my whole room out and start over again. Maybe this is what growing up really means.

I’ve tried to give things away but sometimes I feel as though these clothes are like threads in the memory that were my college years and I feel a need to keep them, just in case. Hoarder tip-off #1: Clothes fade, memories should not.


So, while I’m still struggling to cleanse my closet from my fast fashion college days, here are ways I’m hoping to de-college-afy my closet:

1) Sorting through stupid promotional t-shirts and actually throwing out/donating them. The one thing I’m a sucker for is free t-shirts. Seems like it doesn’t matter the cause or the words on the shirt, I believe I have a boastful collection. Half of these t-shirts have never been worn and unless I decide on creating a repurposed t-shirt quilt for my bed (very hipster meets dirty bum-esque) then I won’t need my whole collection, even if I did decide to start going to the gym again.

2) Clothes that have holes (even teeny-tiny ones) or clothes that are made of thin-soon-to-get-holes-material, no matter how long I’ve held on to them, should be thrown away. If it can be replaced, I can buy a newer, similar one.

3) If the clothing item in question was only in style for less than one semester and immediately placed on the “banished trends” category, I should donate it. I don’t think knitted turquoise ponchos will really ever be hip again, at least not at my workplace.

4) If I haven’t even touched the clothing item (aka the only ones that are still neatly folded on my shelves) then I really need to ask myself, “Would I wear this to work? Would I wear this on the weekend? Would I wear this in a week? In a year?” and the answers (most likely) are “No” then it’s best to say, it won’t ever be trendy and useful to me.

5) Would you rather have the cheapy-it-cost-$5-to-make-and-looks-that-way version of that cardigan in the closet or the slightly more expensive but you-know-it’ll-last-longer-better-made version? I need to learn that fast fashion styles and low manufacturing quality only equals spending more money and having more junky clothes piling up in my closet. Investing in quality brands and styles that can last more than 1 season are keepers and worth investing in.

As in all resolutions, they are easier said than done but I really do hope I can get rid of some threads of the past and have space for better investments for the future. Especially for when my paychecks start getting thicker.


A Letter


Dear Student Loan Bill,

Thank you for reminding me that I will not be moving out of my parents’ house any time soon. As if I had any previous hope of vacating these parental premises soon and get on with feeling like a normal adult, you have made it clear that it won’t happen.

You’ve ruined the archetypal, pre-economic crisis vision I had of jumping ship and wanderlust-ing around Asia or third world countries spreading my post-graduate charm all while blogging and taking pictures of me doing exotic things only to make my Facebook friends jealous and depressed in their cubicles.

I think you like the fact that I wake up extra extra early every morning, jump on a bus that takes as long as if I rode a horse-driven chariot to the best city in the world, work for exactly 8 hours (no more and no less or my anal boss will chop my head off), rush to catch a bus back home to the suburbs, eat dinner and get in bed by 10pm. It just tickles you that I can be in the city but not really BE in the city, doesn’t it?

With an estimated 12 years of monthly payments that double my current weekly hourly salary, you’ve truly brightened my day. (Note: sarcasm)

In 12 years, I hope I can laugh this off, or I guess I hope I can pay this off…

The fact is, let’s be honest: I’m going to grin and bare it. Because that’s really all one can do nowadays, isn’t it?

You’ve got to grin and bare the shit that’s thrown at you in order to rise to the top. A wise person once told me that, actually no, I said that. Because on college graduation they told us we’d success in anything we did now that we had a diploma and 4 years of loans to be paid. (Nice inspirational thought though.)

I’m the granddaughter of a fortune cookie fortune writer, did you know that?

So cheers to you, Student Loan Bill, congrats on being another factor pushing me ever so forcefully to rise through the muck that is my future. And let’s hope that hard work does pay off, wherever that might lead.

And Lord have mercy on the generations of grads after me.