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Cleaning Out My Closet; Making Way For ME

Posted Mar 22 2010 3:00am
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!
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