Decluttering an OLD T-shirt (12 Days of Decluttering)

Whew.

This has been (as expected) one crazy week.  But that still-mostly-empty box keeps staring at me, so I’m trying to add to it a little at a time.

Today, I threw in an old t-shirt.

very old t-shirt.

A t-shirt that is half-of-three-decades old.

Which, somehow . . . sounds more dramatic in my mind right now than 15.

I bought this t-shirt in Phuket, Thailand.  If you’ve been to places like Thailand, perhaps you know how difficult it is to find  well-fitting, high-quality t-shirts at touristy places on the street.

It’s not easy.

But I really wanted a Phuket t-shirt.  Seriously, it’s a gorgeous beach-ey, resort-ey town.  This t-shirt, unlike most, was of a soft and thick cotton . . . so I had high hopes for it.

But alas, the torso part shrunk at a different rate than the sleeves and the neck was a little funny and it never was long enough for me to wear it for anything but an around-the-house, everything-else-is-dirty thing.

And yet I kept it.  For fifteen years.

I’ve almost decluttered it many times.

And now I’m finally ready.  I’m not sure what’s different other than that my view of stuff has changed significantly over the past three years.  Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the one thing I never conquered in my Master Bedroom Saga was my own dresser drawers.

And the fact that I can’t close some of them.

Yes.  That’s probably it. 

So good-bye, Phuket! I’ll remember you fondly with my other souvenirs.  Y’know . . . the multiple sarongs, the beach dresses, the photographs . . .

 


Comments

  1. I am a SUCKER for souvenir tshirts and sweatshirts! They SO hard to get rid of! Good for you ‘growing up’ enough to move it on!

  2. Good for you!!! I love a good t-shirt, but the ones that wash badly are so hard to toss… I keep hoping they’ll shrink again, the right way, next time. :)

    Emily in Michigan

  3. I had a T-shirt from France that I held onto for years. It didn’t fit anymore and had horrible pit stains. But it stayed in my drawer because I just couldn’t throw it away. Finally, one day when I was in the decluttering state of mind, I pulled it out, cut it up and now I use it as rags. Now, every time I polish my furniture or clean my bathroom with it, I remember the great summer I had in France.

  4. Carolina_D says:

    A few years ago I gathered up all my ‘souvenir’ tees and made 2 (TWO!) wall hangings. One is made from tees I bought at concerts…there were over 30 years of those alone…plus tees I bought on my travels. I started by cutting out the parts I wanted to save. (I DID retain the ‘scraps’ to use as dust rags, etc. I’ve basically used almost all of them up now, since I didn’t bother hemming the edges of any of them. That DOES make a difference in how long they last after laundering, but there were so many of them I thought I’d have a ‘lifetime’ supply. Now? There’s about 25% of those left, BUT I have since recycled other things into (also unhemmed) rags…raggedy a** towels, sheets, etc.) Anyway, after I cut out the bits I wanted to use…(AND hemmed THOSE!) I arranged them to suit myself, then sewed them onto a backing material. I sewed a ‘pocket’ into that for a wooden dowel. I cut the dowel about 6″ longer than the material, so I could hang it. Then I numbered the backs of the cut-outs, then sewed them onto the backing material. I used some grosgrain ribbon around the edges after sewing the ‘bits’ onto the backing. It actually took me about 3 or 4 months to complete EACH hanging, but once I had cut out my bits, I kept everything together in a tote by the couch and worked in spurts as I watched TV. The point is that I have 2 totally unique hangings, and get compliments on each one. I simply look at them and love that my memories are ‘intact’. The ‘concerts’ hanging lives in our bedroom, the vacation souvenir hanging is in the living room. My kids have been ‘dibsing’ them since I hung them…LOL! (Especially the concert one. There are lots of ‘old classic’ groups and performers there. I kind of wish I’d never worn them, but heck…tees are MADE to be worn? Anyway, I’ve collected several more tees since making my hangings, and have made pillow ‘shams’ from those. A few of those are on our couch, a couple on our bed and the rest reside in the kid’s rooms. Oh…and I made all of these things using a ‘toy’ sewing machine that I got for my 10th birthday! If a sewing project won’t work on ‘Betsy’, it never gets made!

    OK…sorry for the length of this comment, but this is one of the very few ‘crafty’ things I’ve ever actually completed. I still think it was a brilliant idea, although it wasn’t my own. It’s something that even us slobs can do, as long as we are (somewhat?) diligent about keeping all the bits together. Tee material can be jammed willy-nilly into totes, boxes, etc. without being harmed. My little sewing machine is cute enough to leave out if I ‘forget’ to put it up. All of the remnants just got stuffed into a rag bag as I generated them.

  5. A few years ago I came to the realization that all the Tee’s I wasn’t wearing because the. ECM was funny or the sleeves were too long were taking up a lot of room & I would only wear them when I was ‘desperate’ (way behind on laundry). Many were ones I really liked, so I started cutting the necks & sleeves as I wanted to wear one. Imagine that! I made a decision & just did it! Of course it took me more than 10 years to figure that one out.

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