This is what my closet looked like two weeks ago.
I thought I had culled and donated as much as I possibly could. But I was still overwhelmed. Getting dressed in the mornings took forever. I'd go to bed at night, actively trying to plan my outfit for the next day, only to find I didn't have time to iron or my dream outfit was too tight. I also felt an obligation to wear everything in my closet (and dresser. There's a dresser involved as well.) I'd heard the old addage, "You only wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time." Well, not me. I loved all my clothes equally and would wear them as such. Only I don't LOVE all my clothes. Some things are itchy, or don't fit, or aren't really ME. But I felt like they all needed equal attention.About a year ago, we put our 3000sf house on the market. I had to pack up all my photos and sentimental items to "stage" the house for sale. Our attic was filled to the rim. I gave away clothes and had a yard sale. As the months passed, I kept looking around and thinking I still had way too much stuff to pack up should the house sell. Even though we took the house off the market, I still felt like I was being smothered by all the things I didn't need. I cleaned out the attic and the kitchen and luckily I didn't have too much clutter to deal with. The more blogs I read about decluttering, though, the more I read about Project 333 and my closet felt stifling. I thought, "There's no way I can live with only 33 items of clothing." But the more I read, the more I wanted to see how low I could get. Two weeks ago, I took the plunge. Here's my closet now:
Here's everything I did wrong:
- I didn't count shoes and jewelry. You are given a pass on workout clothes, underwear, and pajamas, but not shoes and jewelry. I didn't think I could make a small wardrobe work without the extra shoe and jewelry options. I'm realizing that's not the case. My lifestyle is a little different than when I felt like I needed flashy shoes and accessories and I just don't like them anymore. I'm going to get rid of a bunch soon like earring that are too heavy and bracelets that are too noisy.
- I went over the 33 item limit. I ended up saving about 50 things. I also made the mistake of asking my husband to put my 6 (six!) bags of clothes that didn't make it into the attic and of course, he didn't. So the first day, I had a panic and went straight for the bags, pulling things out. I had a "come to Jesus" moment though and put everything back (in the bags, not the closet.) I also put the bags in the attic myself so I didn't have that option again.
- Last weekend, my sister sent 3 bags of clothes to my daughter. Looking at all the boutique and high-end cast-offs, I kept a few things for myself. I never said I was an image of self-control.
- I kept too many "fantasy" items. These are things I bought because I wanted to be the kind of person who wore them. A JCrew dress and Anthropologie dress, to be specific. I paid a lot for them, and really like them, but I can see I'm not going to wear them. I've got a business trip coming up and if I can't bring myself to pack them, they're going to have to go.
- I still got rid of a boat-load of stuff. Besides the 6 (six!) space bags full of stuff in the attic, I also sent 3 (three!) garbage bags of stuff to charity. My dresser is almost completely empty except for pj's and workout stuff and underwear and you've seen my closet.
- I'm getting rid of things that stayed. Those fantasy dresses, a t-shirt with awkward sleeves, stuff that doesn't fit, jewelry that hasn't been in style since the early part of the century, yes the 2000's! (for shame!)
- I haven't taken any more stuff out. I switched a few dress pants for jeans when I got the opportunity to start working from home, but (except for my sister's stuff) the overall count has gone down, not up.
- I'm figuring out my style. Luckily, that seems to be French casual. I've got navy stripes, boatnecks, and a trench coat. Flats, white tees, jeans, and leather pants(!) and I love them all. For the longest time, I wore mostly preppy clothes. Polos, colored jeans, "mom" clothes, and I never felt like "me." I looked ok, and I thought that was what counted. Well, now I want to look Good and FEEL Good. Goodbye capris and flip flops!