Sophisticated Simplicity

Last week I purged about 70% of my closet. My goal was to create a calm sense of simplicity in my life. I'm pleased to say that my morning routine is far more streamlined and the clothing I've chosen to keep has a cohesive look that reflects my personality. But simplicity is not the only bi-product of having a capsule wardrobe. I've also noticed that my clothing choices are more sophisticated. The reserved color palette, the cohesive fabrics and the uniform shapes of the clothing I kept are, without even trying, more sophisticated than the jumble of clothes I had before. I think it was Leonardo DaVinci who said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Smart guy.



This is NOT a photo of my closet.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? My housemate came home with this book, which is funny because she and her boyfriend have a really tidy studio apartment. My husband and I both picked it up and gave it a quick read. As we read, we kept saying things like, "Yes! This is it!" and "Wow, I never thought of it that way," and "This makes so much sense!"

Kondo's book is the real deal. If you want to change the way you interact with your home, if you want to improve your relationships with the people you live with, if you want to feel more confident about your decisions or if you want to feel more joyful about who you are and how you live, then this little book is for you. It's sort of like coconut oil - you can use it for everything.


photo via


I love purging. As most of you know I'm in the process of re-tooling my wardrobe. This weekend, I had a closet sale and sold about half of my clothing, shoes and accessories. Then I donated another 20 percent. I have about 30 more pieces that are heading to a plus size consignment shop this week. I have successfully decreased the contents of my closet by 70 percent. How did I do this? By asking myself a really simple question: What do I really want to wear?

The most useful part of Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is this one mantra: Does it spark joy? This is the question you must ask yourself when trying to decide whether to keep or discard and item. What do I really want to wear? and Does it spark joy? are sort of the same question for me. Once I got real about which clothing items made me feel joyful, tossing stuff was easy. I still have a little work to do, but I'm feeling more confident that ever about my ability to simplify my closet.



Cleaning My Kid's Closet

Last week I cleaned out and totally overhauled my son's closet. He's five and so his closet does quadruple duty as storage for me, clothing for him, dress-up gear stash and of course toys. He has a big walk-in closet, rare for a home built in the early 70's. The weird thing about his closet is that it's tucked in an alcove behind his bedroom door. So to open the closet door, I have to shut his bedroom door and then do a little side step.




To be clear, I love the size of the closet and I'm so happy to have the space. I'll certainly be able to make good use of it as he grows. And it's hard-to-get-to nature makes it the perfect place for my son's hide out or a club house when friends are over.



But everyday, I find myself squeezing through the awkward door layout and catching my shoulder on the corners of the doorjamb. I've thought about all sorts of ways to reorient the closet structurally, going so far as to even have a contractor come over and take a look. Now I'm thinking about someday getting a ready-made closet for his far wall. Something like one of the slide wardrobes seen below:


Ascot Slide Wardrobe

Just an idea.
For now, it's livable... I'm just tired of the continual shuffling.

Organizing my Closet

My mother told me to never air my dirty laundry in public.  I usually always do as my mother tells me, but now its time to fess up.  Up until now, my closet, which I share with my husband, has been a big cluttered, jumbled mess.  Although its a small walk-in closet, there is plenty of space for the two of us. We're simply not taking advantage of the real estate available.  After piling clothes and shoes around the closet for weeks, we decided to make a shift.  We needed to re-organize.  We emptied the closet, separated our clothing into "keep" and "donate" bins, purchased a few organizational tools and put it all back together again.  Here are the results!

BEFORE: My side

AFTER: Hubby's side

BEFORE: Hubby's side

AFTER: My side

Switching sides made sense.  I have more clothing and could utilize the double bars.  Hubby had shoes all over the floor and needed a second shelf on which to store them.  I also went through the mish mash of stuff on the top shelf and stored it all properly in bins from IKEA. The bins have little peek-a-boo windows that allow to see the contents: sweaters, rarely worn coats, heirloom baby clothes, hand bags and hats.

BEFORE

AFTER

We also wanted to unify the storage for our center shelving unit so I grabbed a few wood boxes from the Container Store.  I needed to maximize hanging space so I also picked up some space saving hangers.  This made a HUGE difference!

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE: My side

AFTER: Hubby's side

BEFORE

AFTER

See, bohemians can be organized too!