Re-feathering your belly dance “nest”
Anyone who reads my Facebook wall is used to the constant references to “organizing” and “decluttering”. If you’re a belly dancer, then EVERYTHING is somehow related to BELLY DANCING, and this topic is no exception. Here are some tips for decluttering your costuming closet/physical belly dance nest. Decluttering the mental part of your dance is a future blog.
1. Time – Set aside time for undisturbed organizing. Whether it’s 15-minute bursts, or 2-hour sessions, it’s important to turn off your cell phone, stay off the computer, and WORK! I find it helpful to play some music while I’m working, but if you find it distracting, then leave it off.
2. Empty – Remove everything from the closet, clothing bin, accessory box or whatever area you’re addressing. If you have a large closet and limited time, start with just the bras/belts or the skirts/pants. Breaking the task into smaller chunks helps give you a feeling of accomplishment for finishing *something*!
3. Focus – Make 3 piles for “keep”, “repair” and “swap/sell/garbage”. This is where it gets interesting, and you have to be honest and brutal with yourself about what you’re keeping (and maybe why you’re keeping it).
KEEP = it FITS… it’s FLATTERING… I LOVE IT!! Go ahead and hang it back in the closet or return it to its storage place. Perhaps think twice about keeping any stray items that you love, but you never wear because they don’t match anything.
REPAIR = it needs to be altered, something is broken or something needs attention before it can be worn again. Be brutally honest with yourself! If you’re not able or willing to fix it yourself (or to pay someone else to fix it), then do yourself a favor and put it in the “swap/sell” pile. Doesn’t fit anymore? Same answer! Let me tell you my experience with this pile. I’ve certainly paid others to professionally adjust my expensive costumes. But the rest, I’m too lazy to fix myself. I’ve had a baby and my body changed. I *love* my body, but it’s not shaped like it was 5 years ago, and nothing will change that! Want to know how I feel when I look in my nest and see pretty things that don’t fit, can’t be altered successfully, or worn? I feel frustrated… and who needs that? Move on, fellow dancers!
SWAP/SELL/GARBAGE = totally broken beyond repair (trash, duh!) or items that don’t fit, can’t be successfully altered, don’t match anything, look fugly on you, or never get worn for other reasons. As for the garbage pile: honestly, who wants a sparkly rag??? Sure, maybe there’s somebody crafty who could do *something* with that ratty shawl that’s missing 90% of the pretties… but odds are that you’re *not* that crafty person. So throw it out! The rest could be set aside to sell (only as new if you NEVER wore it) or to swap with another dancer for something you’d really like. This includes accessories or jewelry that doesn’t seem to match anything you wear. Trust me, if it’s pretty, shiny, bad-ass or whatever… so long as it’s in good condition, somebody else will take it off your hands!
1. Take out the garbage! (yes, I’m talking to *YOU*, keeper of the ratty shawl!)
2. Put your REPAIR items in a bin, and schedule a time to get with somebody to repair these (or repair them yourself). If you haven’t addressed this bin in 6 months, consider parting with those items.
3. Put your SWAP/SELL items in a bin, and start looking around your community for costume swaps and/or listing your items online. Some haflas will allow costuming swaps or offer vendor tables for cheap. Post the items on Facebook. Email your dancing buddies with descriptions of what you’re trying to sell/swap.
This can be a fun way to breathe new life into your belly dance world. Now… grab some coffee and bins… and get going!