Monday, March 22, 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet; Making Way For ME

Spring cleaning fever struck me big time last week, and I attacked my closet. It's a walk-in, with some built-in shelves, which is nice since we don't have any dressers to store our clothes in. Jeff has his own closet, so this one is mine, all mine! Funny thing, though. For a big closet, lately I was squishing my clothes into one little section. It finally occurred to me that I didn't used to have that problem.

For years, I really only had the bare minimum of clothes. That's what happens when you are constantly changing sizes (going up) AND are not thrilled with how you look in clothes. Then, almost two years ago, I started my weight-loss journey, and my sizes started changing once again - this time, getting smaller. I still didn't have a lot of clothes, because I had high hopes that I wouldn't be in those sizes for too long before needing to go down. And while I am a firm believer in wearing clothes that fit, and know that feeling good in my new, smaller sizes (18 and 14 were huge milestones for me) was a big motivator, the practical side came out and I didn't overdo it on purchasing the smaller sizes.

But now, I'm not really changing my size - well, some of my pants are getting to be a little big - but the tops are not. (Let's face it, even when you are smaller, having a larger bust keeps you in the medium-sized shirts most of the time - oh, and for any men who are reading this, sorry for the TMI). Therefore, it was time to figure out why I couldn't fit everything into my closet comfortably.

Well, once I pulled everything out, the problem became obvious: I was storing old schoolwork from my kids; books; tons of photos that need to be sorted; office supplies; was crazy! So I did a lot of rearranging, culling (watch the show Hoarders on A&E - boy will that make you want to clear things out fast), hung a new hook rack for my purses so I can actually access them, got another shoe storage box - and wow! I have a closet that I love! Everything, from my jewelry to my shoes to my belt (yes, singular, haha) - it's all in place so I can play fashionista.

Also, since there is a lot of wall space in my closet, I have tons of pictures and things that make me happy hanging all over. A few years ago I really wanted to add a cute chandelier (I know, how awesome would that have been?!?), but instead frugality prevailed and I got my Dad to install a second fluorescent light fixture (thanks, Dad!).

I'm having fun with clothes. Things fit when I go to try them on at the store, and I've now adopted the "must love it" approach in order to actually purchase any piece of clothing. Which is a huge change from the "thank god it fits I have to buy it" way that I used to live. I must mention that I've found quite a few things that I love in the past couple of months...and I also have to say how nice it is to fit into the clothes on the 70% off clearance racks at Macys - being able to buy a gorgeous purple sweater for $3.60? Niiiice!

Plus, I have exercise clothes. The more often I workout, the more I need to have a couple of spare sports bras - something is always draped over my bathtub, drying out, and I now have some technical shirts to run in as well as shorts (!) to keep myself from having heatstroke in the upcoming Texas summer. That takes up new space.

I didn't think to take "before" pictures of my closet - much like the old me, my closet didn't want to pose much for pictures. But take a look at it now!

View from doorway - my clothes can breathe now! There are still some pieces that are too big, but I love them and am too sad to put them in the Goodwill bag at the moment. Some of the pants are Barbara's and don't quite fit me yet. Workout gear is on the shelves just as you walk in; running shirts are hanging. I figure if I see it, I'll be more apt to use it, right?
Stuff I'm still saving; shelf it too high to be of much use to me, anyway.
My wall-o-fun...
I used to hang my clothes where the shoe boxes are - there was another rod that I removed. Two of the shoe boxes used to be on the floor as you walked into the closet (where my clothes are hanging now). I added the third shoebox and put old wallets, mini purses and my clutches in it...and more shoes, of course! I also added the hook rack for my purses - most of which I don't use anymore, but I love to see them, and now that I can actually reach them, I might just change out my purse every once in a while! (They used to be crammed on the shelf to the left of where my dresses are hanging). There is a pretty scarf hanging with the purses - it has all of the colors that I wear, and was on clearance for a couple of bucks. I've always wanted to be chic and wear a scarf. Have I worn it? No. Can't bring myself to - it feels like I'm an imposter when I put it on. Oh well. One day...oh, and please note the silver scale on the floor to the left of the shoeboxes - it's still on vacation, hanging out in my closet.
Top of picture - the good empty boxes that I kept. And yes, I do distinguish between "good" and "so-so" empty boxes, lol!
Jewelry central - I have been a jewelry fiend from way back! I actually still wear some jewelry that I got in high school. Lots of these long beaded necklaces were my Grandmother's - I used to play dress up with them. The mirror is an antique (can't remember who it belonged to) that I found in our attic when I was a kid. It's hung somewhere in my room ever since I was about 12 years old. The black box on the shelf has drawers that hold my earrings, pendants, pins and bracelets- all sorts of treasures! The plastic drawers that are reflected in the mirror hold desk stuff, scrapbooking supplies (I made one for Paco), cards and more necessary things.
I hang my Christmas pictures behind the closet door - this way they are out of the way, but I can still see them. Socks in that nifty holder...I really need to let go of a bunch of them - they are old and the elastic is shot, but they are fun, even though I don't wear 75% of what is there anymore.

It was great to get that closet cleaned out - I feel really happy when I walk in it, and have a much easier time getting my outfits together. Plus, it is nice to see all of the choices that I have now, thanks to the work I've put into losing weight!


    I was chatting with a woman on the plane yesterday and she was telling me about how she does the same sort of thing every six months (!) simply so she knows exactly what she has and what she might need (clothes/shoes).
    My closet is a mess.
    a jumble.
    I would run and take BEFORE! pics but I fear never making it to the afters :)

  2. I love your looks great! I really love how you have it decorated with photos, pictures, fun stuff...pieces of you. It makes it seem more like a playroom than a closet.

    I have been reading for a few weeks now..congrats on your weight loss and it is great to find another 40-something blogger to "hang out" with! I thought everybody was in their 20s until I stumbled onto this group and was feeling, well, OLD!

  3. Your closet's as big as my bedroom! LOL What a comfy space. Do you ever just go in there and hang out?

  4. Oh thanks for the tour, Shelley, I really enjoyed it! It's neat/cool.

    Jewelry central looked like a real fun place to hang out. It is cute and organized.

    Kind of hard to imagine no dressers, but you show how it is done.

    I am still back in the more 'bare minimum of clothes' stage. It isn't too bad, I guess not really BARE minimum, but not buying the $$$$ stuff too much, & I don't have a lot of extras on hand. Probably depending on the event, I would need to shop just for that then. You recall the days. I am in the 'many changes to the wardrobe every season' stage. I don't mind; it is a good reason, & I do try to do it cheaply by getting as many deals as I can. Maybe my shirt size will stay a Medium now for a while though. Remains to be seen. I have hauled a lot to consignment shops & charity in the past 2 years. Feels great though.

    Did you get rid of a lot of clothes this time? Chrissy

  5. Your closet is gorgeous! I think I might just hate you in real life - you look far too organized for me :-) Oh, and I think we are red roper twins - I still have mine left over from back-in-the-day.

    Have a wonderful week!

  6. This was one of the most motivating posts I've read for a long time! Your closet is absolutely amazing. If there were a closet contest, you should win the grand prize for use of space!

    I share a closet so don't have wall space or rod room that you have - but I could do better - and you have provided the inspiration!


  7. Wow! You really were busy. That is one organized closet. :)

    I laughed at the "thank god it fits I'll take it" comment. That was so me. I was thrilled to find things that would just fit then I would wear them until they wore out completely.

    You've done so great. Your closet has gone from "thank God it fits" to workout clothes and cute numbers from Macy's. Awesome! Oh, and let's not forget 5K tee shirts. :)

    My closet is a disaster but you may have inspired me to get in there and do some work. Or at least think about doing some organizing. LOL
    Thanks for the tour of your closet. I think a chandelier would be awesome! I've been thinking of getting one i mine too but Chuck just installed a new fluourescent light. :( Would be a shame if somehow it broke and had to be replaced. :)

  8. Here is the LOL line; "thank god it fits I have to buy it"

    I'm really organized and I also have a huge closet that has become storage central. Each year around Memorial Day I clean it up. But it has never looked this good. Therefore if you ever come to my house, you are not allowed in my closet!

  9. Any of those organization shows would be proud to feature that transformation.

    I didn't bring any of my business casual clothes with me to need. I don't know when I'll get back home to visit the office, but I have a feeling that nothing will fit when I get there.

    Shopping is now something to look forward to (except for the money spending part).

    Way to take stress down a notch too by decluttering your closet.

  10. OH now I hate my closet even more :(
    I have a tiny closet and I need a GIANT closet. Well I will need a giant closet. Currently I have a very empty closet because I donated nearly everything. I refuse to keep anything that is even just a little big because that's just giving myself permission to gain weight.

  11. God must be trying to tell me something because your post is the second one that I've seen on organizing.

    I especially need to deal with my closet but having been avoiding it.

    I'm fascinated by those circular containers that seem to be magnetized near your mirror...

  12. I'm totally impressed with what you've done.

    How great that when you shop it's for what looks great and you love, not just because it fits.

  13. I am suffering from serious closet envy right now! Looks fantastic!

  14. I love your closet. I could live in there.

  15. Your closet is awesome. I really love it, I could just hang out in there!

    When I was a size 16/18 when I would find something that fit decently well I would pretty much buy it in every color because that was so rare!

    I haven't bought very many clothes at all recently, I've been holding steady at a size 6 for a long time now but I did recently buy a dress at Target because it was just SO PRETTY and it is still so FUN to me to pick up a size 6 and try it on and it FITS....

  16. Doesn't it feel great! I love love love your closet. I have closet envy too because I wish mine was as big as yours.

    How did you make those cansisters with the jewelery in them? Do tell!

    P.S. You were up until 2:00 a.m. doing this? Yeesh!

  17. hanging my head in shame and off to clean my closet :-)

    WOW! amazing, must feel so good

  18. Girl, I would kill for a closet like yours. I have a walk in closet, but I share it with my husband. I am still in most of my clothes. They are starting to get baggy so I really have not gotten anything new.

    I do love your closet and the post was amazing.. Have a nice day.

  19. I am so so jealous!

    I WANT IT, I WANT IT, I WANT IT ... is it obvious I want a walk in closet?

    I love it!

  20. When my kids were in high school and one of them was really out of control while the other one was just being sneaky and not getting caught, I used to sit on the closet floor and cry.

    I now throw my clothes on the bedroom floor and since I live alone, it's not a problem.

  21. I just did a major closet cleanout and donated ALL of my 24's. Now I can't go back there, I would have to buy all new clothes. Hope in the fall I can get rid of everything that starts in a 2 or an X!

    We don't do dressers either.

  22. UMMM when can you come to Michigan and organize mine? I AM JEALOUS, I can't walk in my walk in closet, I shove everything in mine!!!!!!

  23. I so want your closet!! And I agree with watching Hoarders.. It always makes me want to clean. I tivo it and watch it Friday so it puts me in the mood for cleaning on Saturday and Sunday.
    But I seriously want you closet, It is so nice and orderly and HUGE!

  24. WOW! Great job on the closet. I'm so jealous. I can't wait for the day when I will only have ONE size in my closet instead of the 8-18 range.

  25. wow your closet is nicer than my whole house!!!!

    super cool

  26. Oh, this is really great stuff. Thanks.

  27. Holy CRAP, I would kill for a closet that size! Amazing, and soooooo lovely and inviting. How can it not make you happy to get dressed every morning in a pretty space like that? WOW. I have serious closet-envy now.

    I only see one thing missing: a full-length mirror. You do own one, right? RIGHT? I had a friend in college who believed that everyone women at the age of eighteen should receive one from the government, because it would be criminal NOT to have one. Seeing your full outfit can save you from many a fashion disaster!

    So endeth the lecture. :-D

  28. This post speaks to my inner organizer! Love it. I'm sorta OCD when it comes to this kind of stuff. My kids schoolwork, photos etc are all in some kind of order (ABC or chronological)

    I love your closet!

  29. You are so very impressed...

  30. Love your closet! The addition of other decor is fabulous. Would love to have more space but these little 50's ranch houses are lean on the closets. Will keep up with your posts. Thanks for all the inspiration!


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