Monday, March 13, 2017

Simplifying Your Closet

I'm on a mission in 2017 to simplify our lives, top to bottom. Attic to basement.

Maybe you dream of simplifying too?

Well, I know one thing for sure. Looking at my daughter's toys, and my craft supplies, and bins of college mementos --- all those things are totally overwhelming. Starting there is an exercise in frustration.

Marie Kondo talks about this in her book, "The Magic of Tidying Up." She says that you have to learn the process of simplifying and letting go with things that aren't sentimental or overwhelming. Her process starts with books. But books are much more meaningful to me, personally, than clothes. :-)

So last weekend I decided to start with something I could tackle in one day: simplifying my closet.

Too much.

I'm not (yet) going for minimalism. I'd love to be there someday, but right now, it's simply about less. Less is my theme for 2017! So there is no perfectionism here.

I completely admire people who can scale down to a capsule wardrobe or embark on Project 333. Right now, I don't have the brain space to think about coordinating my clothes that completely. Also, being in the plus-size world, it is HARD to find clothes that fit well, especially when you live in a small town.

So much in there that doesn't even fit!

I just might have been buying up super cute LuLaRoe Classic Ts and Perfect Ts, because heavens are they comfy and cute! And I have three friends that sell. Oh! And don't get me started on how much I love the Lindsay Kimono!!

This process of going through everything in my closet and my two dressers took about three hours in total, while my sweet daughter and my husband gleefully played Super Mario World in the living room.

Here were my simplifying guidelines:
  • It must fit, right now.
  • I need to have worn it in the past 6 months.
  • It has to make me feel good when I wear it.
  • No holes, stains, rips. (I do not want to focus on these things.)

I should mention that my closet and two dressers are the sum total of all my clothes.

I don't put away seasonal clothes or store clothing anywhere else. My mom did this when I was younger, and I used to do it when I lived in the midwest. We had super hot summers and very cold winters!

Now, I live in the pacific northwest, and while we do get snow, our seasonal shifts aren't quite as big. My husband also travels to California for work on a regular basis, and sometimes we are able to come along... which means we need shorts and summer wear for trips to the sunny coast when it's freezing at home.

I don't have any desire to dig shorts out of a bin in the basement when I need to pack for a trip.

This simplifying run was only my clothes. I didn't touch my husband's stuff -- that's for another day.

I'm being real here, so I'll show you how much got donated that day. It's embarrassing.


Yep, that's five bags of clothes that didn't fit well, were worn, had holes, or that I simply didn't like.

That's pretty ridiculous.

I did make a couple of exceptions to my first guideline, and that was to keep a couple pairs of jeans one size down from what I'm wearing now. That slightly smaller size is what I've worn for the past 5+ years, and I'm only a bit bigger now because of the extremely stressful past 6 months. I'm hoping that now that some of those situations have resolved and my stress level has gone way down, I'll get back naturally to that size (and hopefully further!).  I got rid of all the older/worn jeans in that size, and only kept a couple pair. 

What's left in my closet and my drawers makes me happy. There's a genuine feeling of happiness in knowing that anything I pick up fits, and I like it! 

The order of an organized closet makes my heart sing. I work best in a clean and organized environment (which is a challenge being a homeschooling mom of a 7-year-old who loves every little thing she has ever been given). So when I open my closet, I smile.

Much less. And it all fits!

There's any empty shelf! It's a miracle!

There is also space for everything. I don't know about you, but before my clean out, putting away laundry was my least favorite chore. Unorganized piles and stuffed drawers make putting away clothes difficult, and finding what you want to wear on any given day even harder!

Those feelings of happiness... that is the goal of simplifying for me. I want our home to be a haven, a place where we love to be and where friends love to be as well. The secondary goal is everything having a place, and being able to put my hands on whatever I want to find quickly and easily. 

Are you working towards more simplicity and organization in 2017? 

Where have you started? Share your story in the comments!


  1. I love that you've done this and am so jealous! Someday. I have to keep threw solid wardrobes: maternity, postpartum (during weight loss--process usually takes about 6 months), and back-to-normal. I have to have coats, jeans, tops, dresses, the whole 9 yards in each size range. Ugh. AND we've got the tiniest little 1920's closet, and hubby's clothes hog a solid 2/3rd of it! *Sigh* But I have the big dresser. ;-)

    1. Still being in the "having more kiddos" stage of life makes it more difficult, to be sure! I'm lucky that I don't have to have a work wardrobe at this point either. For many years I held administrative jobs and had to have appropriate clothes for that (although I will say that things have become MUCH more informal in that area as well). I'm grateful that I can have one wardrobe now.

      I just did another run though my clothes last weekend and gleaned two more bags. It's definitely a work in progress and I'm willing to let go of more as I go along... I sort of become less emotionally attached, somehow. I also have more closet space... those old houses make it harder!