fall fashion.

Falling into fall fashion... and massive closet cleaning! The positive effects of working through the Life Changing Magic book are coming to fruition, having reduced my closet by 30-35% (wheew!), making room for the things I really love to jump out at me. It truly is a joy!

Top left 2 photos are dress clothing swap scores (2 dresses, burgundy belt and pink heels- ow though, heels getting re-donated Happy) which was an incredibly fun event I was pushing to get the closet sort done by, and the beginnings of sweater weather... I also scored this amazing jean jacket in the trading process, something I've needed since letting go of my J. Crew one from high school a while back!


clothes hoarding.

So I realized through this process that low and behold, I am a clothes hoarder. Happy I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise... but it did somehow, to realize my habits. I collect things, not to wear necessarily, but to have, so that I am "prepared"... but... you can only wear so many clothes at a time, in a week, in a month. And the fact is I just don't wear that much in that time and have way too much. It has made it hard for the things I love to really stand out.

For example, I adore cardigans, and have many on hand for temperature transitions. I spent hours finding the perfect one, fit, and bought it in 4 colors. I have had them for years now, hardly worn, and now they just don't really fit! So I bought something to covet and not to WEAR. Our bodies change over time and clothes aren't really meant to save forever and ever and to always be able to wear, at least not for me- I think that's a realization from this work. Instead they are meant to be worn and enjoyed, right now.

Another is that just because something fits and is comfortable (i.e. shoes), doesn't mean it is my style. Out went a bunch of brand name quality shoes that are both those things, yet I don't wear because they don't reflect who I am.

I need to think much more carefully when I bring something in, that's for sure. This is some of what went out in the clothing exchange and sold/donated, and there was more than pictured. All told I got rid of about 30% of my current wardrobe. It feels so much better already! I should have taken before/after photos.

Goodbye, extra small cardis. You are no longer for me, but that doesn't mean I can't look fabulous at my current stage in life! Now that I'm free of what no longer works, I can focus on what does and that feels awesome.


lists and notes, that's me!

I LOVE lists and list making. Been doing it all my life as far as I can remember. I have notebooks upon notebooks and piles of lists. In working on tidying up the clothing area this week, I came across this notebook- #nerdalert! I took the time to create all these labels and sections, in the hopes I could get a handle on my stock and help me know what to wear more easily. It makes me feel good to make these lists (and as I go through this process, I'm tempted to do it again!) but the thing is I don't look back at them... so they aren't a whole lot of help. Happy (This notebook had 2 entries, one from 2011- I have none of the clothes listed there now!, and early 2015).

I think what I probably need to do is a look book with Polaroid snapshots of my outfits in a visible place. I put things together when I'm organizing and have time to experiment, and want to remember to do certain things (none of which I can do when I'm in a hurry getting dressed daily).

I don't do so great with things tucked away in a drawer. It has taken me a while to learn this, first via a quiz in Real Simple magazine about left brained and right brained storage, and I'm totally a have-everything-out-on-display kind of person (with a flair for list making, which forays into left brain territory- I had 9 things right brained on quiz and 4 left- this also aligns with what I know about my MBTI Laugh). My Mom on the other hand, is totally a put-everything-away-in-a-drawer person. Once I figured this out it was easy to get my storage solutions and I love them all. See previous post on jewelry displays. So for now, I'm moving on from you outfit notebook, and saying thanks to you also, for helping me refine the best vehicle for my ideas!

phnnnnnnoto 2phoooooooto 1

goodbye old friend.

Day 2 of the Life Changing Magic - I did a first pass through of my jewelry, and quickly (and surprisingly) was able to pick out things that no longer "sparked joy" for me and out they went. Couple more nooks and crannies and I'll be finished up with jewelry- I am very pleased with how much I am getting rid of! And more importantly, how appealing what I have remaining now feels.

I have been skipping around Kondo's order a tiny bit when things jump out at me, like my trusty old favorite gold Banana Republic sweater from fall 2001. They just don't make 'em like they used to- this thing was a workhorse! I got it in Austin, TX, and it seemed to shrink and grow right along with me, and somehow despite my contracting and expanding size, it always fit perfectly! Now finally, with holes in the armpits Laugh, it is sadly time to retire her. Thank you goldy, for the 14 good years you have served me so well- we have been together through a lot of important times. I have happy memories wearing you in TX, when I moved to NC, and at least 3 different jobs. I can only hope to find another even halfway like you one day. Happy (PS- Kondo does suggest thanking items for the role and purpose they have served in your life when you let something go).

RIP favorite gold sweater- some of the jewelry I parted with,
and my reorganized and paired down displays below!

life changing magic.

So I am working through the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up book by Marie Kondo slowly- if you don't know this book, you definitely have been under a rock because I am under a rock and I have heard about this book a ton Happy. There's so much out there already about this, so I am not going to go into the details of her work and principles. Basically you gather all like items together in one place, hold each item (starting with clothes), and ask "Does this spark joy?". I've been on my purging/tidying journey for years now, going at a turtle's place, but making progress, and I know how good it feels. I also know I still have more to do.

First she has you set your intentions, thinking about what it will be like to live in a clutter free space, and to journal about it. Then, to examine WHY you want those things. It is very powerful actually, and essentially boils down to the desire to be happy, in all its forms.

With these clear intentions in mind, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started with off-season clothes last night, which was good timing bringing in fall/winter items from my other closet. I was surprised that even though I was able to let go of a number of things, I rediscovered how much I love hoodies! They had been crammed behind my door in a corner, where I couldn't see them. Bringing them out, holding them, and folding them in a prominent place made a big difference! I am keeping an open mind during this process, and this was just a fun realization I didn't expect.

I've always loved hoodies, they make me smile, remind me of my 90s grunge skater music scene roots, feel core to who I am, and given the size of my collection (at least 14, and I got rid of 2 Laugh) that should be obvious, but it wasn't until doing this. I kept the most of these of any category I worked through by far, almost all of them, which is where the surprise came in. They are a source of comfort and relaxation (and mostly blue and green, clear colors of calm for me- my bedroom is these colors), which leads to me feeling fun and like myself, they can be customized with patches, they are super flattering for my body type, open V at the neck, with generous covering at the waist, like a jacket, so no wonder I love them. Feels amazing that I never clearly identified this before, and I'm already grateful for this process and what it will continue to uncover.

The 20 year old (OMG) XL U of R Tennis sweatshirt I can't part with- that can be my 1 loungewear item Happy, the amazing heart on sleeve shirt I DID part with because it was stained, but cut out the wording for the scrapbook pile (brilliant), the off-season pile I'm working through- you never realize how much you have until it is heaped all in one place!!, and my hoodies that I'm keeping,
very happy in their new prominent location.

clothes closets and fridge behavior?

My clothes closets are full in the same way that people who feel most comfortable having an overstocked kitchen fridges and cupboards are full. I have way more than I actually wear, and I feel comforted knowing I have many GOOD options on any given day for any situation. I don’t have the same need for my fridge and cupboards to be jam packed, although I do dislike having no food at all... Happy

It took me sitting in front of my closets on my trunk at the end of my bed frantically writing another entry before it left my brain to realize this fact about myself! It gave me a different perspective and I was able to look at volume and see what I have from a different angle.

Its time to work on that "highly edited" closet concept and at least take a few baby steps towards it by moving things out that I don't feel utterly fantastic in.