We all have a larger than average underwear collection (some of you your mind went into the gutter, btw I like you). We have talked about managing more extensive collections on the blog and podcast. However, when driving, I thought about the difference between collection vs. hoarding.
There is a fine line between the two, but my thinking through this is collecting is buying new gear and wearing it all. If you don’t wear it and either keep it for a fun day or to have that limited edition pair, that’s hoarding. And I firmly fit in the hoarding category, so don’t think I’m casting judgment.
I think I hoard because I have so many pairs I have received through UNB or bought that I will fit in when I lose weight. Countless swim briefs in my drawers are brand new, with tags on them for over five years. If you suffer from this, “If only…” you may be a hoarder. It doesn’t have to be weight-related, but that dream vacation or a perfect date. Break them out and wear them to the gym, pool, or work. Plus, they take up so much space.
Before you start sending me angry letters and texts, I know how hard it is to get rid of pairs. I have the same issue, but I’m trying to get over that and either give them a great home or sell them. I realized just how much stuff had come to me, and I said, “stop the insanity!” So yeah, I get it and know how difficult it is to do this purge.
One collector is Chris, aka Chi Thonger the Third. Why is he a collector? Yes, he does buy a lot of undies over the years. However, he does wear them and culls his collection as needed. He recently went through his collection and got rid of a lot, either by giving them away or selling them. Chris is one of my favorite people for many reasons, but this is one of them. He also shows you can have an extensive collection without being considered a hoarder.
Chris said this about his collection: “I don’t keep things I won’t wear anymore because they don’t fit or I no longer like the style/cut on me. ” I, on the other hand, go, “I may wear this later.” Which I may never do
I’m coming up with some criteria for going through my underwear/gear drawers.
- Keep sentimental pairs – We have favorite pairs that are no longer made or were given to us by someone special. Keep those in a special place. I have several pairs I don’t want to get rid of, like HOM given to me by a friend who went to Europe. It was the first time I heard of the brand (mid ’90s) and loved them.
- Get rid of or wear new, never-worn pairs – If you have a pair in your drawer that is “Just in case..” either a date night, weight, or such. Break them out and start wearing them if they are your size. If they aren’t your size, get rid of them by gifting them to a friend or selling them.
- Get rid of pairs you haven’t worn in six months to a year – I have so many pairs that I haven’t worn and pass over when they come up in the underwear drawer. If you no longer like them, get them out of your drawer. Like Chris said, if they no longer fit right on you, get rid of them.
- Keep or get rid of pairs for weight gain/loss – This is a tough one. I struggle with weight like many of you, and I think it’s ok to have pairs in a range like Large and XL, but I have old pairs that were mediums, which I will never wear again. Those pairs I need to go. Years ago, when I first became 36, I gave a lot of my undies to a friend, and he loved getting them (yes, he was a fellow underwear fan). I say this because being a 32-inch waist is way too small on me. I believe I got rid of those for the most part. My rule is if it’s 3-4 sizes difference, get rid of them.
- Pairs you are unsure about – Going through the undies pile, drawer, or tubs, there will be pairs you are uncertain of and can’t make up your mind about. I say put them in a bag or container for a month to six months. If you go during that time and find yourself opening that bag and getting pairs out, keep them. However, if you never open that bag again, get rid of them.
This is all easy to write, and I will let you know that I will be breaking some of these rules in advance. We need an underwear exchange where guys can give up the undies they no longer want and have other guys buy them. The Speedo Movement does this with swimsuits. Why can’t we do this with underwear? There is prob a law preventing it in my state, knowing my luck.
I’m curious if you guys have done this or are planning to do this? Let me know if you were successful and what your struggles were.