Saturday, May 26, 2012

Streamlining Saturdays: Project Simplify (Part Two)

Boy howdy. Just about the time I think, "Wow. I've got this under control. I'm doing great!" I read a blog post like this one.

If you didn't click the link above, I'll fill you in: Jordan of Oh Happy Day is moving into a 450 sq ft apartment in San Francisco with her husband and two sons. Yep. Four of them. In 450 sq ft. Now, granted, they live in California and are probably not so sequestered indoors for the majority of the year like us Portlanders, and they have an art studio close by that they work out of, but still...

Don't get me wrong. I don't need a mansion. At all. In fact, my dream home would be just about as tiny as possible, but with everything perfectly placed and expertly crafted to provide maximum organization. I mean, I like a little room to breathe. But those Ikea model floor plans make me a little giddy. (Admittedly, my dream home is the apartment out of Friends. Yeah... one great room that's well organized and arranged and two bedrooms. With a view of Central Park Forest Park and a little balcony for entertaining.)
And then I think back to my simplification project. All of this stuff... no way would it ever fit in an Ikea home.

So I did some more cleansing and purging. Next step: closets.

I think I took over half the clothes out of my girls' closet. I realized I was dreading doing laundry because it was always such an insurmountable task. So I decided to get rid of the clothes that didn't fit them or I didn't really like in an effort to minimize the laundry I had to do. It's been nice.

And in my own closet I got rid of anything I haven't worn in a year. Way too many things were being saved "just in case." Or because I loved the color even though the article didn't actually fit. Or because it had some sort of sentimental value. I'm a grown up now (gasp!). I should probably act like one, especially when it comes to my wardrobe. No more uncomfortable shirts just because they're cheap. No more anything that isn't perfect. I've realized that if that dress/top/skirt/whatever didn't work out, there will come along one that will and I'll love it and I'll be sad if I wasted my money on something that didn't.

So the guidelines I used to clean out the closet go as follows:
  • If you haven't worn it in a year, it's out.
  • If it is showing wear and tear, it's out. 
  • If it doesn't fit, it's out. 
  • If you don't like it and don't feel pretty in it, it's out. 
Pretty simple, right? Well, I bet you'd be surprised how much of your closet would go under that criteria. My mom always said that you only wear something like 50% of your wardrobe. And I've come to realize that's true. I have the clothes I love because they fit well/comfortably, have multiple uses and make me feel pretty. The rest is surplus that could probably go. And when it does, you suddenly have more space for the things that matter. And less time doing laundry and more time having fun. That's something I can get on board with.
Other helpful hints for keeping your closet organized and in good use:
Make sure things don't get hidden. Once piles start to form things get lost and don't get used.
Build your wardrobe consciously. If you get home with something that doesn't really add to your closet (i.e. it doesn't go with anything you already have), return it. If you buy something really trendy you later decide you can't pull off, return it. Get something you'll actually love. I also like to keep a running list of pieces I would like to add to my wardrobe. So when a sale comes along I can hunt with purpose.
Have a place for everything. Color-code your hanging clothes so you can easily access what you need. Display your jewelry so you remember to wear it. You can even do something simple like use a cork board and some push pins to get your jewelry out and about. Keep things like belts and scarves in clear containers so you can see what you have. 

P.S. How do you add to your wardrobe? Nicole of Making it Lovely recommends these 8 Wardrobe Pieces Worth Investing In. What do you think the basic are? Or do you not care about basics? Is it all about fun and trendy styles?

P.P.S. After my make-up reducing purge of last week I saw this article (and this one) on Design Mom discussing beauty and makeup and what it says about us. A very interesting discussion. Check it out.

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