Tag Archives: Lifestyle

The Less and More of Closet Cleaning & Letting Go (just a little)

Anyone due for a closet cleaning?

The things you own end up owning you.

~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Holla dear friends and readers!

I alluded a few months back to some closet cleaning I did in an attempt to free up some space.

I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist, but living with (just a little) less has given me the opportunity to look at more than one area of my life. I often get bogged down by ‘stuff’ and feel the need to purge.

Sound familiar?

Part of this could have to do with my tiny 1940’s closet (one girlfriend cried when she saw it, citing ‘cruelty to women’), part of it is just trying to stay up to date with what the weather is doing, and a huge part of it is just wanting to be (just a little) more free.

A fit, healthy body – that is the best fashion statement.

~ Jess C. Scott

This past year has brought some big changes in my life as I started to approach things differently, with more awareness, and a huge desire to grow. It’s been challenging, exhilarating, and, quite literally, the best time I’ve ever had.

So, if you’ll oblige me, I’d love to talk (just a little) about our closets!

Many wealthy people are little more than the janitors of their possessions.

~ Frank Lloyd Wright

I’ve often found myself captured in a fantasy of me as a lone traveler wandering with a single backpack and nothing else.

In this fantasy I imagine the freedom to move with just the bare minimums at hand, and the thrill of having the world at my fingertips. The wide open spaces. The sheer open possibility without the burden of choice (what to wear?) and the weight of grounding possessions.

But reality is quite different. Real life requires certain things.

We work. We play. We run. We hike. We go out. We garden. We have outfits for each.

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.

~ Democritus

Clothes are fun. I like clothes. Jeans, shirts, shoes. Bags, scarves, and more scarves (I have a few scarves).

If you are anything like me, you end up with a few jam-packed drawers, and clothes hung so tightly you can’t see what’s in there. Items hung and not worn for months.

Sure, that blue number you got last year is a cool piece, and you got a killer deal on it, but do you wear it?

So a few months ago, after too long of looking at the same stale picture of my closet, I took action. Before I shared, I wanted to see what happened. Here is what I did.

This is my all time favorite. Classic white. Wear it till it’s dead, and get a new one.

The Less:

Less clothes in your closet means more easy ways to find favorites. Less maybes means more yes’s so you can deliberate with ease. Less guilt around what doesn’t work means less weight on your shoulders, so you can dress those shoulders smartly everyday.

The More:

More loving what you do have means more loving what you wear. More knowing what you love means more knowing who you are. More letting go means more control over your life, so you can get on with what matters in your heart.

I always have one favorite. What’s yours?

The What. The How. The Wear (pardon the pun).

Jeans & Pants: I cut my jeans selection into 3rds: those I wear often (every week), those I rarely wear (but still love and have a purpose), and those I never wear (the wide leg thing didn’t work for me). The never wears were axed, and the rarely wear got cut in half. I went from a diluted 17 casual pants to a slick streamlined 9.

Shirts & Blouses: Anything not worn in the last 2 months got axed. I took out 2/3 of what was hanging in my closet! Vintage thrifted items, lace tops, colorful fussy things I never wore. My lifestyle doesn’t change too much, and I know if I am getting dressed (down or up) a little black anything is all I need, and feel best in guaranteed. All those dresses I bought and never wore? Gone. All those tops that get put on and taken off before I leave the house? Gone.

Jackets: Jackets take up lots of space, and I had a few blazers I’d collected through the years just hanging out. I work in a pretty casual industry and trust me, the need for a blazer is rare (business attire behind the espresso machine anyone?). The wool coats, down soccer-mom gear and fleece went to the basement for the winter (to keep), along with all the rain gear I never wore… ‘but it’s new!’. I never wore it. Gone.

Shoes: Anything uncomfortable was gone. Those black booties I got on sale and hid from the hubby during my dark days of obsessive shopping? Gone. They might have been (super) cute, but they hurt my feet. Loose shoes? Gone. Old shoes? Gone! I refined my shoe selection down to less than half.

T-shirts & Running Gear: After too many times of muttering ‘where is my sports bra?’…’where is my favorite t-shirt for sleeping?’ or passing over lesser items for the ones I really wanted to wear I said enough was enough. The ones I really wanted to wear were all I needed. 2 pairs of good running shorts, 2 good athletic tanks, 2 good sports bras, 3 favorite t-shirts.

Less laundry, more finding, and more living were mine. I just had to let go. And so I did. 80% gone, and 100% better!

Classic. Comfy. Goes with everything. What’s your classic?

The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.

~ Coco Chanel

The funny thing is, I cheated when I did this.

I totally went the easy route. And now I’m here to tell you I think you could too (only if you want to of course).

I didn’t actually get rid of any of the good stuff yet. I packed it in boxes, and put it downstairs. I told myself as I felt the scared ‘are you crazy?’….’this is beautiful!’…if I missed it, I could have it back.

Guess what?

Getting dressed has never been easier.

I am done in (seriously) one try. Everything (well, almost everything) in the closet now gets worn. I don’t feel guilt towards items that don’t work. I don’t feel remorse everyday looking at things that I should be wearing.

I realized the other day as I popped on a fave pair of pants, threw on my latest favorite t-shirt, and slipped into my oxfords, that I am free.

Freer than I have ever been as a matter of fact! I don’t miss a single thing, and couldn’t even tell you what is down there.

I like just a little. And it goes with everything!

Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.

~ Coco Chanel

I don’t even know what’s downstairs, and I really don’t need to. It’s out of my mind, and out of my space.

Just like a fast clears the body of food debris, and lightens the mind – this letting go in a material sense has been of tremendous value. I’ll keep those things downstairs and maybe ‘shop’ the boxes here and there, after all, a little absence may make the old seem new again.

But more likely I’ll be giving it all away.

I am no minimalist (yet), but I like letting go, and I think I’ll be doing it a lot more.

  • Are you in need of a good closet clean or purge?
  • What are your favorite basics you can’t live without?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. After all, we (hopefully) don’t eat more than we should, or stock more food than we need (unless you do). We only eat what we like, not what doesn’t agree with us.

Why shouldn’t we take the same approach to our closets?

Thanks for reading dear friends, I’d love to hear from you! I am off on a work trip this week and may be here and there with my comments again – this is the last one (I think) until the big one (France!)..have a wonderful week all!

Next up…a fabulously delicious dairy free white bean dip!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Fashion, Going Without, Happiness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photography, Shopping