Years ago we lived in a rental home (while we re-modeled our home) and we had closets galore! In our house we only have ONE closet. But, in the rental we had multiple. Our master bedroom had an enormous walk-in closet that could easily fit a twin size bed and a nightstand if need be. I kid you not. Of course, that would have never happened because it was STUFFED. Yes. Stuffed with stuff. My hubby ceded that closet entirely to me and he took over the other enormous walk in closet in the hallway. My closet was completely packed. Not only was it filled with clothes that was hung up, but the shelves were covered in handbags and the floor? Well... the floor had boxes and boxes of more clothes. When the day to move into our home came, I was feeling the pressure to get rid of clothes. How else was I to fit it all in our one closet? My hubby hung up two rods. The top one for him and the bottom one for me. ONE rod??? Oh dear. Oh... and he gave me 4 little shelves for handbags. Wait. Four little shelves? Yea.
I had no choice but to be completely ruthless with my wardrobe editing. Upon moving in, I'd gotten rid of about 70% of my clothes and about 50% of my handbags and shoes. That bottom rod at the new place? Completely stuffed with the other 30%. So much so, I couldn't even see everything I owned and I always felt like I had "nothing to wear." Ridiculous, right? And yet, oddly familiar to most people out there.
Over the past 3 1/2 years that we've been at our new place, I've continued the editing process. It wasn't until about a year ago that I cut that amount down by another 50% and it felt great! Suddenly getting dressed felt like a breeze without any stress! This summer I went at it again... ruthlessly and with a little help from Marie Kondo's book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." In her book she suggests picking up each item of clothing and getting rid of it if it doesn't "spark joy." In other words, it doesn't bring you a feeling of happiness, contentment, JOY. If that's the case, then you are less likely to actually pick it up and wear it. Therefore, it needs to go. This exercise was so incredibly therapeutic and eye opening for me. I realized I kept so many "What if?" items that didn't spark joy at all. If anything, they simply reminded me that my pre-baby weight was a beautiful tale from long ago. Those size 2 pants? Yea... not sparking joy... at all. That size 10 dress from a couple of years ago? Not sparking joy at all because it reminds me of a time when I was incredibly unhappy with my weight. What did spark joy? Those articles of clothing that I reach for each and every time I get ready. The dresses that fit right and make me feel great. The purses that feel like me. The shoes that go with everything and are super comfy. Those sparked joy... and got to stay. This is what the final outcome looks like now...
This is about a quarter of that rod my hubby installed for me. The amount of clothing here is probably a good 10-15% of what I owned at the rental house. These pieces spark joy. Two pairs of jeans, one pair of patterned pants, a pants romper, some tops and cardigans and dresses for work and the occasional nicer evening event. Done. Where are your shorts and t-shirts, you say? Marie Kondo recommends that these things be folded in a "filing system" way. They are not folded on top of one another in a drawer, as most of us typically do. But, instead, each item is folded in such a way that it stands alone and is ready to simply be picked up to wear. This is what my shorts/tops drawer looks like (keep in mind, it includes all seasons):
I've got another small drawer holding my undergarments; another to hold my socks (which I definitely edited!!) and another holds scarves for chilly weather. I've also got one more drawer that holds my workout (running) clothes and gear, one other set of pajamas and my swimwear. Done. My shoes and purses? Edited down to the things I always reach for. Could I edit shoes down to 3 or 4 pairs like I'd hoped? No. But, do I wear all of my shoes? Yes. All of them. Purses? Got those down to the bags I LOVE and that spark joy. The rest? Consignment or gifted.
Getting dressed now is a joy in and of itself. Stress free and fast. Packing also proved to be a breeze on a recent family trip. I opened up my shorts and tops drawer and quickly grabbed what I'd need. Easy peasy.
At the end of the day, minimalism is not about depriving yourself of the things you love. But, instead, it's about surrounding yourself by the things you love. Absolutely love. Have you given your closet a nice purge lately? Why not bless someone else with the items that are collecting dust in your closet? It will spark joy for them and get out of your space. Win-win! Have a lovely week ahead!