Why did getting rid of different sections of my closet feel like little deaths to me? Dreams of having more children, aspirations of actually using my degree & traveling more, the nostalgia of being young and carefree… it honestly felt like I was shutting the door on those parts of me by letting go of the clothing I associated with them.
To back up to the beginning, let me start by explaining the storage layout in our room:
Two side-by-side (but disconnected) closets. The left hand one holds Charlie’s nice clothes & all of my clothes, and the right hand one holds Charlie’s work clothes. Since he is a concrete guy, these clothes are not interchangeable with his hanging out / weekend clothes, and it’s just nice to have all of that in one spot. This is also the closet he’s using 90% of the time, and since he’s horrible about things like putting dirty laundry IN his basket instead of on the floor next to it (why??!), it’s a marriage saver to be able to just keep that door shut so it doesn’t stress me out. 🙂
6 drawer dresser. 2 for Harvey’s diapers & clothes, 1 for TV/DVD accouterments & my bras, 1 for all of our swim suits & cover ups, 1 for my PJs & exercise wear, and 1 for Charlie’s shorts.
6 storage drawers under our bed frame. 1 for TV cords/box/instructions/etc, 1 for Charlie’s workout stuff, 2 for extra sheets, and 2 are currently being used for storage for clothing that as Harvey outgrows it I’m either saving or immediately pulling from his regular drawer for removal to storage once every month or two.
Now for the before & after pictures of the closet!
Joint closet: (Charlie’s section on the left & mine is straight ahead)
Charlie’s work closet:
It’s funny (annoying!) to me that looking at these pictures it’s hard to even see a difference, but I promise you that we got rid of two bags of clothing that went straight to the trash, two (HUGE) bags of clothing that went to the thrift store, probably 60 colored hangers (back to all white in our joint closet – YES!) and about a gazillion pairs of shoes that were all stuffed back in that corner. I also gave most of my maternity clothes to a friend in town who is pregnant. More on those feelings in a bit. I 100% want to go through my closet again too once I’ve dropped a bit more of the baby weight/chub – I’m tired of keeping jeans in three different sizes and shirts in two!
Now for the nitty gritty feelings about all of the stuff we got rid of…
The hardest items for Charlie to part with:
- Expensive work socks ($10-20/pair) which had been gifted to us that he didn’t like the feel/warmth of in his work boots so he hadn’t worn them in YEARS
- Boxers that were literally coming apart at the seams – he only likes one particular brand from Old Navy and is always hesitant to get rid of any until he has new ones in hand
- Golf shirts – though the upside to cleaning out the closet is that he found a few shirts that still had the tags on that he’d forgotten about! It was like Christmas morning for him. 😉
- Hats – the man has SO MANY baseball caps, and he’s very sentimental about where he was when he bought each one.
The hardest items for me to part with:
- My pregnancy pillow (the snoogle!) & maternity clothes
- Expensive clothes that I never really wore because they were too dressy for where I live now
- Cheap clothes that I’ve had since high school/college because I’m sentimental (& cheap).
- Shoes of every style that I was holding onto “just in case”
Maternity clothes were by far the hardest thing for me to get rid of. I had a few hand-me-down items from when I was pregnant with Stella that I really didn’t care about, but for my pregnancy with Harvey I had actually invested in a few nice pieces because I was working in a medical office until the end of my pregnancy. A little part of me would love to have a 3rd baby someday, and giving away those clothes feels like the 1st step in putting a nail in that coffin.
Getting rid of some really nice, expensive clothing items in my closet was also hard. They were probably way out of style (I have no idea, I suck at these things), but they were things I bought when I traveled more and still had aspirations of using my International Business degree. Just like with the maternity clothes, getting rid of those items felt like I was finally acknowledging that chapter of my life is done.
The cheap (OLD) clothes that I still had from 10-15 years ago were sentimental for different reasons. I saved a few t-shirts in case I actually make a quilt out of them someday (Ha!), but really, I think I was just holding onto part of my youth and my carefree (Fun!) college days and 20s. That being said, it was a liberating feeling to pick up a shirt that I remember wearing on my 25th birthday and putting it straight into the DONATE pile, simply because I remember that milestone. I’m 32 now – I don’t need the same, cheap shirt in my closet for 7 years, especially when I don’t even love it!
So there ya go. I know we still have too many clothes, which is why I called this “stage 1.” I have solid intentions of continuing to reduce the amount of clothing in our lives, and I’ve actually been VERY good about this with Stella & Harvey’s clothing lately. Now if I can just keep that up and extend the trend to the adults’ closets, I’ll be really happy with myself. SRB & ArchMama have recently turned me on to Project 333, which is all about dressing with 33 items or less for 3 months. Ultimately I’d really like to have a more minimalist approach to my clothing (and life), so I totally love this concept. Read all about getting started on their blog!