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project:simplify • closet/wardrobe, day two

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Day two of our abbreviated first week is in the books as a success (day one can be found here), and I have the pictures to prove it…

:: during • closet ::

{all my closet stuff, laid out on the bed}




{all these hangers were full when we woke up this morning…}



:: after ::

~ dressers ~


~ closet ~

{yes, that is a gas mask. my husband is weird.}


I’m a little surprised at how liberated I feel this evening, and also at how deep into my psyche I journeyed this week. After all, it’s just cleaning out a closet and a few dressers, right?

Except I have a tendency to be a bit of a hoarder. Not in a “Call A&E and get this girl on television” sort of way; more of a “You never know when 22 empty egg cartons might come in handy” sort of way. (I come by this honestly. My mother and my grandmother are the same way.)

And I realized this week—yes, even early on this week, before I was able to start on this week’s challenge but while I was thinking about the task facing me when I returned home—that I have…issues…with clothes. Over the last two days, I filled four kitchen-sized bags and a medium-sized plastic tote with clothes I’ve been hanging on to for years because of what they represent to me, not because I love them and/or actually wear them. Clothes from college that I once loved and wore often but haven’t even tried on in 10 years. Clothes friends with what I consider to be excellent taste passed on to me. Clothes I couldn’t pass up because they were 50% off on Family Day at the Salvation Army thrift store. I’ve kept all these things in my closet and my dressers because I didn’t want to be left wanting. I wanted to make sure I had enough, so every time I’ve cleaned my closet—or even moved house—I’ve held on to these clothes, many of which I have never even worn, because if I got rid of them, I would have only a few things in my closet and even fewer in my dressers, and what if I found I needed them someday?

So this week’s project, it turns out, was a tremendous leap of faith for me. I got rid of more than half the clothes I had in my closet and my dressers, and I think I could have gotten rid of more except I wasn’t comfortable letting things get quite that bare. Some of the things I’d like to move out of my wardrobe are things I don’t love but nonetheless wear frequently—because they are comfortable, because I don’t care if one of the kids smears pasta sauce or finger paint on them, because I never leave the house without two small children & thus am in something of a fashion rut at the moment—and, following Tsh’s advice, I’m hanging on to those while keeping on the lookout for replacements that I do love. (I have to confess to getting started on this last week when I hit the church thrift store near my parents’ house and bought three shirts and a sweater for $12.)

Overall, I feel good. I keep looking at my clean and rather barren closet, and I like what I see there. I can actually find the things I like—things I’d forgotten I owned because they got lost in the clutter—and it all looks very tidy. I imagine with fewer things in there, it will be easy to keep it that way. (George also edited his wardrobe this weekend, but you wouldn’t notice because he does this every six months or so. He’s just glad he can get to his things without needing a sherpa to guide him past my stuff.)

So tomorrow I will actually get my day of rest, to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of my efforts. And I’m feeling really motivated to get going on whatever next week’s hot spot turns out to be.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, 13 March 2011 12:54 am

    Great job. Better job than me, for sure!

    I completely understand your hoarding tendencies- I have them too. It actually felt good to see my closet bare. I’ve been having this “get rid of it all” desire and been fighting it for fear of making things too bare, or throwing away something “important.”

    I gotta ask…what’s up with the gas mask??

    • Sunday, 13 March 2011 9:43 am

      George asked for it for Christmas one year, and his sister got it for him. It has a cartridge but we don’t know if it actually works. I’m not sure exactly why he wanted it. He also has one of those helmets with a light on it like miners wear. He is an odd duck…

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