May 25, 2010

Closets: Less is the new black

black
Intervention time: Friends don't let friends buy another black tank, tee, dress, skirt, ever.
(this is mostly summer dresses and doesn't even include what is folded in drawers...)

I've been going from room to room in my little house, preparing each space to be filled with only what I love. The past several days I've been focusing on the closets. Wow can they hold a lot.

As I do laundry I will only be putting away the items that we truly love. If Gray's obsession with that one pair of pants has taught me anything, it's that you really can wear the same item of clothing every single day. Now, I prefer variety, for myself and for my kids, so I don't plan on limiting us to only a few articles of clothing each, but I'd be so embarrassed if you knew the
excess we have of things in our little house.

colors
Ivy's part of the closet, much more happytimes.

I'm always doing laundry anyway, so why not just wash the same few luxury towels each week instead of a dozen tattery ones? I am always doing dishes, so I might as well wash lovely things, dishes that make me happy, glasses that make me smile. The fewer the better! My sink mountain is not as high.


[Normally I'd freecycle the things we don't want to keep, but I'm in the throes of a broken computer and I'd love to try to make some money to put towards a new one (but in all honesty it will probably go towards Gray's dental procedure), and also I'd really like for all our stuff to be gone in a jiffy, all at once. So, in a few weeks we'll have a yard sale and whatever is left over I will give away for free.
]

Tomorrow I might take pictures of all my little purses I just can't seem to part with...


See more of my closets this week:
Closets: Less is the new black
Closets: Little purses, I just can't quit you
Closets: a rare peek into my blog closet

Closets: Dresses that I've never worn (one I will, one I'll never)
Closets: The end.


39 comments:

  1. I've been thinking about this a lot lately too. Do we really need SO much of everything? Would our houses stay neater and cleaner if we only had a few of everything? So we had to wash and put away whatever we had?
    Every closet, every drawer, every cupboard in my house is stuffed full. So full I can hardly close them.
    How much happier would I be if I didnt have to fight with them?

    I cant wait to see how much happier you are.. :)

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  2. GREAT idea. I really, really need to do the same with my closet. Every 3-6 months I purge clothes and give away those items that I don't *love* and haven't worn in a year. But, of course, I often will come up with some great excuse to keep some of those things, too. Why? I don't know. I have WAY too much stuff.

    Good luck!!

    p.s. love all the black items in your closet! I need to buy more black, I have too much color!

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  3. sounds like major spring cleaning! We do live in a small house too and I have to do some giving away too, we need some room all the time!

    Love the idea of just keeping what make you happy while do have to do your chores, laundry dishes etc...

    I think I'll be attacking the toys box today! trowing away broken one, I've been lazy with toys cause the girls seams to play with broken one as well as good one.

    It's a blessing to have a big family that give us lots of thing for our girls but we are getting to crowded with toys, time for some purging!!!

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  4. I have been doing this too! I grew up in a house that was 9and still is) cluttered with SO. MUCH. STUFF. I don't want that for my kids. It's stifling. We just did the kids playroom and I am so proud of all the stuff they got rid of. Now since I hope to one day have a baby again some will be packed up and saved, but to not be tripping over it and not having it in there face anymore is makes their playroom such a nicer place, for everyone.

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  5. AMEN!!!

    This is what I've been doing ALL YEAR. I actually sold a TON of our kid clothes that I just didn't like this spring (made $287!) and it's much more fun to have a few things that you LOVE than a ton that are just okay. My philosophy COMPLETELY.

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  6. I am thinking about these same things...especially since losing our baby. It gives new perspective on what is important in life and excess of all things that hardly even get touched makes me so sad and even a little angry at myself for letting the world take over me like this. So much beauty in our earthly life that is so often over shadowed by what the world says we need.

    I am so proud of you...I hope soon to regain my strength and do the same in our home.

    ps...thanks for the hugs yesterday...I could feel them.

    Jen

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  7. I LOVE that you are doing this. I have been cleaning out every nook and cranny as well. It feels good to only keep around the things you love. Good luck with your yard sale!

    Oh, and I admire your collection of greys and blacks. I seem to collect many of one color, too. It was purple, now it's coral. It's rather embarrassing. I took a coral dress to be hemmed last week and I went in the shop wearing a coral top. The lady commented on my love for coral. Not to mention the day I picked it up I was wearing yet another coral top.

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  8. I just went through my closet and packaged up two bags of clothes and a bag of shoes to donate. I realize that it makes me happier if I have work clothes that I can wear casually, too. So as I'm purging, I'm buying cute tunics and leggings and spending more money than I should on Matilda Jane. It makes sense, though. Why have a closet full of blouses that I wouldn't dream of wearing outside of work? It makes me happy to have a closet full of clothes that I love and can wear anywhere.

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  9. I've been thinking about this a lot lately too. Why have a bunch of clothes with most of them you don't even wear? I had planned on going through all our clothes later today ... if I get to it with all the baking I have planned as well LOL

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  10. I LOVE organization and cleaning! can't wait to get my hands on our house once school is out! And a side note, my BFFs now have to "approve" all my clothing purchases to make sure I don't have too much black, gray, or brown. heh heh.

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  11. I am in a similar place right now. The excess of (cheap, plastic) toys is mostly what's driving me nuts, but also just stuff in general. I'm trying to give one room at a time a makeover.

    About the towels... During my last pregnancy my midwives gave me a homebirth supplies list (aside from the kit) and towels/washcloths were on it. I went through my linen closet during a nesting marathon and pulled out all my raggedy, mismatched towels. We washed them carefully and used them for the birth. My daughter was dried off with one. They worked great and my linen closet got organized. Two birds with one stone! :-)

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  13. We're moving across town and I am trying to be mindful of what I am packing to take.

    We've made so many trips to the consignment store, Goodwill, and the Habitat Home Store.

    I fear that in the next couple of weeks the frenzy will hit and I will just start throwing things into boxes without thinking about whether or not we need/love them.

    Not to dis your hangers, but a few years back I splurged (with a coupon at BBB) on nice wooden hangers for me and my husband. For some (psychological?) reason, it really makes looking into the closet that much nicer. I may not have a lot of clothing, but I like how uniform and organized the closet (usually) seems.

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  14. I just won a free closet edit from a stylist. She went through and helped me figure out what in my closet I really loved. And she talked alot about only buying things you truly love. I love it!

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  15. Having lived with 85% of my stuff in storage for the last eight months, I'm so aware of how few things we actually need. It's very freeing & I'm very excited to weed out the excess! (I thought I'd gotten rid of so much before we moved, but now that I'm looking at it all unloaded... WOW!)

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  16. I'm in the same process myself! I cleaned out our coat closet last night and am parting with several jackets, snow pants and LOTS of shoes we no longer need. It feels sooooo good to rid OUT! Good luck with the rest of your cleaning (and yard sale). We are hoping ours is a great success.

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  17. I am in this same process, it is amazing how we fill our homes with so much unneeded clutter.

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  18. I'm like that with purses, and shoes, too! Just have a tough time parting! :)

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  19. Well you know, if you have any of Ivy's things that are too small and need a good home, we are willing to part with some cash for some of those. Her wardrobe is so wonderful! :)

    I've been thinking about simplifying myself lately. We just have so much STUFF. ugh.

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  20. We have done a MAJOR cleanup of our little house in the last couple of years... It's only 1000 square feet (which, in the south is pretty darn small) and has no garage or storage. I used to count the days until we could leave!

    Now, though, we have EXTRA space! I feel like we could stay forever :). It's been such a relief, not to mention saving us a TON in a bigger house!

    Good luck!

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  21. what a good idea, it does add up soo quickly. i have a habit of keeping things that i might just wear if we go camping in the fall (which hasn't happened in 5 yrs).

    good call!

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  22. YES. i believe in this. mucho.

    and. i pledge that you shall never buy black in my presence.

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  23. I think we must be having a bit of a mind meld moment -- we're also in the process of just clearing out all the STUFF. I don't know where it all comes from -- can't wait for our yardsale in two weeks!

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  24. That picture of your closet totally made me smile because it totally could have been MY closet. I have so much black (I really need to venture out and buy some color).

    Also - I love the entire philosophy behind this post. We, too, aspire to live by the "quality over quantity" rule.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  25. I need to do the same thing. We have too much "stuff". We could use the money a yard sale would bring.

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  26. lol, all the clothing I own is black, white and gray! I have some fear of color! I'm anti pack rat so always seem to be getting rid of things, it is a good feeling :)
    Minimal is good.

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  27. Instead of black, I have a problem of over-buying white clothing. It goes so well with my dark hair and I love white summer dresses/shirts!

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  28. If you're selling any of Ivy's smaller things would you consider a virtual yard sale? Or, emailing me? I will, most definitely, buy them!

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  29. It's so important to do this often. We had a garage sale in the fall but are still inundated with junk. And the closets are stuffed full! It makes me feel guilty sometimes. We'll be going through again soon with a critical eye and eliminating what we don't need. Actually that's not true. We'll be keeping tons of stuff we don't need, but hopefully it will be less than we have now.

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  30. You may have just motivated me to clean out this house. We have WAY too much stuff. And, I do agree that I would love to just have the things that make me truly happy. Why have all that other stuff? And, my house would be a lot easier to clean without all the extra. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  31. Such a good idea and you are so right about closets. How do they hold so. much. stuff?

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  32. Wish I lived close enough for your garage sale-I always love your picks for Ivy. We are in the process of reducing the clutter-it is a slow process for a pack rate like me. I keep increasing Elle's wardrobe though, little girl clothes are irresistible (and oh consignment sales have some gems)!

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  33. This is so wise. Why keep that dish I've never used in 7 years? I don't even like it, for Pete's sake. Maybe it's time we had a yard sale of our own.

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  34. I have a lot of black in my closet too!

    I can only imagine Ivy's closet with all the cute outfits I get to see in your pictures ( :

    This is such a good idea. I usually have the nice things put away like towels and dishes.

    Taking them out to use with the people I love is something I should do more often.

    I recently got rid of every plastic container in my kitchen, I am slowly buying glass pieces.

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  35. Love this. And good for you. Space is so freeing.

    We've moved a lot during our five years of marriage, so I feel as though I'm always purging our house. Still...we have SO MUCH STUFF. Time to clean closets again.

    Bri

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  36. I've been doing an overhaul too...our house is for sale and the realtor said "put everything in storage except what you use/wear right now"...so I just decided we should clean out and get rid of what we don't use and wear right now! And I don't want to hold onto it until I have time to have a garage sale, so I just donated most of it. And now I like looking at my closets soooo much more! (Well, except my husband's. He's still a slob. Sigh.)

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  37. I love cleaning out! I always have a Goodwill bag going. My daughter just had a birthday and I felt that sense of "too much." Since new toys came in, some old toys had to go.

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  38. Oh how I dream of updating my wardrobe to pretty, sustainable, organic, colorful clothing!!
    I desperately need some new clothes (you know, stuff without holes and stains) but I just can't, in good consciousness, go out and spend money on stuff that I know was made irresponsibly (probably in sweatshops). But then again, I live in such a small place that in order to make room for "the good stuff" I'd have to get rid of the old stuff (which I don't really wear half of it anyway).

    Ugh, it's a vicious cycle, isn't it. Good luck! =0)

    ~Tatiana
    http://www.iam-manythings.blogspot.com/

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  39. Loved this post :) I love the feeling of giving clothes away and seeing less in my closet. Sounds weird to most people, but it's like good closet karma or something. lol

    http://whenredmeansgo.blogspot.com

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