Tag Archives: Closet

Monday Motivation – Clean out the Cobwebs!!

I’ve been going through my closet. I know I’ve mentioned it before but usually every Autumn and Spring I do a once over, get rid of things I haven’t worn or that are getting old and bring  the bags to goodwill. Recently – prior to going through my closet – I read an article about being organized and – for those of you that think I’m compulsive, there are far, far worse culprits out there!!  A woman my age decided to put a piece of masking tape on every article of clothing she owned (by pulling off the tape, she knew she’d worn it – accountability).  She then had a project where she had to wear everything she owned – mostly clothes for work – and decide what she’d keep.  Interesting…..  It’s amazing what we keep for sentimental reasons, because we like it but it doesn’t fit us correctly, etc…  So minus the tape, I’ve been doing the same thing with clothing and shoes.  The Birkenstock’s I got when I was a Jr in high school but haven’t actually worn in well over ten years??  Gone.  The jacket I adored from a friend who bought it in Paris but didn’t fit me AT ALL?  Gone.  It’s taken a couple weeks instead of an hour and it’s been not only cathartic but less difficult than I imagined once I really got started.

Day off shopping!!

First step – I went through like I always do.  Pulled the things I knew I didn’t want. Fast, easy, no big deal.

Second step – most difficult in the purging – try things on, put combinations together, start wearing things to work.  Sometimes when I actually put something on and thought about walking out the door with it I’d take it off and put it in the bag instead of back in my closet.  It was itchy, it didn’t fit well, it made me feel uncomfortable, etc…  I liked the clothing but it didn’t like me back.  No matter the sentimental value, the replacement cost (I love a good deal!) or how pretty it looked on the hangar, it was gone.   It was far more difficult than I imagined to part with “stuff” but I realized that I have so much and I actually wear so little of it.  The fun part of this stage was mixing things up, wearing different outfits and gauging people’s reactions.  A friend at work and I talked about my project and – not only is she now doing it – she gives me honest feedback on what she thinks.  I’ve worn some items that go directly into the bag when I get home.  Honestly, I had forgotten I even owned some things and it’s been like a mini Christmas finding treasures.

Traveling – at the airport.  Comfy and chic

Third step (and the most fun) – inviting all my girls into my bedroom to have a try on party.  They instigated this stating “Mom, you need help”.  Huh…  Now that I’ve narrowed things down I’m struggling.  Am I too old to wear it now that I’m in my 40’s??  Does it look good enough to keep?  Is it stuck in a time warp??  Not only was this fun – we were ALL trying things on – but it was surprising.  5 kids ages 10-16 and myself in panties….  Epic.  This put me at 2 – 13 gallon garbage bags of shoes and 3 of clothes.  Still, I have a full closet.

Learning how to mix prints

Fourth step – easy again.  I’ve purged, I’ve tried on, I’ve pared things back.  I realize I like classics with a funky twist, I don’t mind showing a little leg (running is such a good thing for legs!) or a little cleavage.  I like layering, I like having fun and I dress based mostly on my mood.  Now that there is FAR less in my closet, I’m looking at a few things and realizing I just don’t care if they’re there.  So the final bag is sitting there slowly collecting the last donations.  I didn’t keep it to my closet though.  I also went through every drawer (including my entire dresser dedicated to running/exercise clothes), my bras, panties, socks, jeans.  EVERYTHING!!!

Casual, post running moment.

Fifth step – Relief.  Purging is a good thing.  I know what I like so why keep what I don’t?  Now I’m done cleaning out and I’m making a list.  I want to make sure I have the basics and they’re good quality.  The 6 pairs of $5 leggings I have in my drawer can go and maybe just one really nice pair.  White, fitted, super soft V-neck t-shirt for layering (I have the other colors but white and armpit stains need to go).  Leather pencil skirt.  It feels good to do a reinvention of yourself through the closet!!

Love this dress. Bright color, loose, lightweight knit

Let’s Get Organized

I love being organized. Compulsively. I think there are very few things in life we’re actually in control of. Organizing, I can control. So I do. I like nice things and I like to keep them nice.  I enjoy knowing where everything is and not having to dig for anything.  My closet, however, is inadequate.  Chris uses the office for all his hang up clothes and shoes.  My shoes are in the girls upstairs closet basically consuming it.  If Chris put his dresser in the office I’d have room in “our” bedroom for shoes.  Which pushes the envelope on being selfish about space.  But I have fantasies….

Fantasy closet.  It’s as big as a bedroom with LOTS of hanging space as well….

A closet just for shoes?? Why, yes thank you!!

I use what I have and I’m lucky I have such a volume of clothing and shoes (some I’ve had since high school – but only if they fit and I wear them) and a place to put them all, even if the snotty part of my personality thinks the space is inadequate.  My dresser for all my athletic/running gear, however, is BOMB!!

I had this picture all tripped out on Power Point with labels and arrows but it wouldn’t download.  Just when I think I’m good at this I remember I’m not.  This dresser is just athletic clothing.  #1; Biking drawer, #2; tank tops with built in bra, arm warmers, #3; socks, gaiters and bandanas, ; #4; yoga pants, capris, tops and sweatpants, #5; capri’s, shorts and running skirts, #6; (pic below), #7; running tights,pants and knee high socks.

My drawer with BodyRock Sports bras and long sleeve athletic wear

My running T-shirts and tennis dresses (that I wear for running) hanging in my closet.  I also hang all tank tops that don’t have built in bras

Current 3 shoes in rotation. Minimal, regular and trail that I put just under the foot of my bed for easy access

I’ve read a lot of information on how to be organized and I like new ideas.  Bottom line is that we all have differences in space, amount of clothing and organization style.  I will probably not get the closet of my dreams any day soon, so I work with what I have.  I go through my entire closet every Spring and Autumn and get rid of anything that I didn’t use, is getting worn out or doesn’t work for me anymore.  Yes, I’m in the process now as a matter of fact and this time around I’m being the most aggressive I’ve ever been.  Do what’s easiest for you – for me that means designating drawers for different things and folding them neatly so it’s easier to find what I want.  OCD??  Perhaps.  Control over something in my life??  Most definitely!!

Obsessive Compulsive

My house used to be spotless. Every drawer and closet was meticulously organized. You could eat off my toilet if you wanted although I hope you wouldn’t because then we couldn’t be friends…. I brought a lot of my clothes to the dry cleaner because they press them and I HATE to iron… Then I had kids.

8 out of 13 of them

I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone elses.  But I had to let some things go and I had to get really good at some things.  We have a chore wheel.  Plus everyone has one trash to empty and one bathroom chore.  The girls and boys each have their own bathroom and I “oversee” them.  Other rules are picking up after yourself and picking up the bedrooms.  THIS is where I’ve had to let things go….

Refrigerator. Chore wheel and Trash/Bathroom list. Yes. It's laminated. I'm a freak

I want the kids to do their best knowing that’s not the same as my best.  I usually help them out with chores and picking up (because it’s more fun to do it together and then it gets done) and I know that there’s a good possibility I’ll have to do some follow up.  I don’t do this in front of them or in a belittling way.  I’d be an idiot if I expected a 9 year old to clean something the way I do.  Plus the chore wheel isn’t to get things spotless, it’s to teach the kids skills they will use when they’re on their own.  From the actual chore to skills like working as a team, sharing responsibility, having priorities, taking care of items, etc…  So, my house is no longer spotless.  I’d have no life with my family and no time to run if I kept it up the way I used to.  So I let it go.  This is still hard for me since I love order.  It’s one thing I can control.  My husband has taught me that it will be there waiting for me so sometimes I’ll hike the dogs first or watch a TV show.  Other times I absolutely can’t relax until things get done.  But I at least attempt to be balanced.

I’ve been asked with such a large family how we afford nice clothes, shoes, etc…  Couple ways.  Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist help with that.  I’m never too prideful to accept donations from friends of clothes, etc…  We hit second hand stores first to find things and I almost never buy anything that isn’t on sale.  I feel better recycling items than buying new.  Big 5 is where most running shoes are purchased.  I don’t take all the kids at once to do clothes and shoe shopping because that would be a hefty bill.  I try to rotate who needs what and get things as they come up so it’s not so overwhelming.

It’s not a punishment for the kids to get rid of things.  Sometimes they have too much (stuffed animals???!!!), they’ve outgrown the age appropriateness or it’s just time to move it on.  Every September I participate in Haircuts for the Homeless at a local park.  The kids and I go through all the clothes and toys and bring them so less fortunate families can get things for free.  The kids spend the day with me shile I’m cutting hair and will see a doll or toy they donated light up the face of another child.  SO worth it.

Kezias style is quite unique

Something else I had to let go.  My kids dressing themselves.  I thought it would be great to have a pin that says, “I dressed myself today” so people didn’t think I was an idiot.  One rule I have is “If it isn’t physically or morally harmful, let it go.”  If it’s not harming the child but it bugs me that’s my problem.  I own it and move on.

I’ve gotten good at finding good deals, waiting for things I want.  Prioritizing.  Sifting through second hand stores and recycling.  This week I attacked my own closet and dressers.  Rule of thumb is Spring and Fall I go through all shoes, clothes and toys.  Once a year I reorganize the kitchen and miscellaneous closets, laundry room, etc…  I’ll get things given to me that I like but maybe don’t look great on.  Having kids the same size as I am means we pass things back and forth.  I love putting together outfits, love looking my best, love fashion.  After a while things just accumulate.  So I purged.  The kids were right there with me checking out what I was getting rid of to see if it was anything they wanted.  Some things I let them keep, a lot I didn’t.  Don’t keep it just to keep it.  If you’re not using it, you’re a pack rat.  Have fewer items that are better quality and used regularly.  I got rid of five 13 gallon bags from my bedroom.  Since the purge, I’ve gone back a few times and picked out an item here and there to add to the pile.  Then I make a list of things I don’t have that I’d like (none right now! Yay!) because some things just wear out.

The give away pile.

Now, since it’s Saturday and I’m done on the computer I’m going to start cleaning up the house.